"Robots in Disguise" (2015) Crash Combiner Skyhammer Toy Review
Release Date: March 2017
Price Point: $14.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Official images and text in italics below from Amazon.com:
What happens when you crash and combine forces with Transformers: Robots in Disguise Skysledge and Stormhammer figures? No, not a traffic jam. You get an awesome 2-bot Skyhammer Crash Combiner figure! This Crash Combiner 2-pack features one Skysledge figure and one Stormhammer figure. Crash these figures together in one awesome step to form a Skyhammer combiner robot. Combine these figures with other Crash Combiner figures to form different 2-bot combinations. The Skysledge figure converts from robot to jet in 4 steps; Stormhammer figure converts from robot to jet in 5. Scan the Autobot shield in combiner mode to unlock the Skyhammer character in the mobile app. Together, Skysledge and Stormhammer form the awesome high-diving Autobot patrol unit – the mighty Skyhammer! Crash and combine, it’s Skyhammer time! Combine forces and join the battle with these figures based on the Transformers: Robots in Disguise animated series. Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.
After thirty plus years, it is not easy to come up with anything "new" when it comes to Transformers play patterns, but that does not keep the folks at Hasbro from trying. In early 2017 fans were introduced to a new sub-group in "Robots in Disguise": the Crash Combiners. Crash Combiners borrow a bit from the past but add some new functionality into the mix. They feature two characters whose vehicle modes can "crash" into each other and thus activating a transformation that combines the two into a single robot. Similar concepts have existed in past lines such as G1 and "Energon". In both cases there were pairs of robots that could combine with each other to form a larger robot. Crash Combiners are different in that they only combine one way (meaning not every character can be the upper and lower body, they are one or the other) and their combination mechanism is spring loaded.
Crash Combiners are packaged in a bubble attached to a card. The card has a vertical "Transformers" logo with the "Robots in Disguise" logo above it. Off to the other side is artwork for Skysledge and Stormhammer. These are new characters so the artwork is brand new too. Each of the characters is in vehicle mode set at angles inside the bubble. Inside the bubble is also an insert with artwork of Skyhammer, the combined form of Optimus Prime and Strongarm. The insert also features the "Combiner Force" logo, connecting this to the theme of "Robots in Disguise" in 2017.
The back of the pckaging features pictures of both figures in robot and vehicle mode as well as their combined form. Off to the side is a cosell for "Primestrong", the two pack featuring Optimus Prime and Strongarm. Below that is legal information and info on the "Robots in Disguise" app.
Skysledge's vehicle form appears to be a fighter ship, perhaps of Cybertronian design. It is not exactly a sleek fighter jet like Starscream but it does convey a certain sense of power. The main body of the fighter is very thick leading to angled wings in the back and a section with vertical stabilizers at the rear. It also has a small cockpit section in the middle and four thrusters in the back. Additional designs include vents on the sides and front. In order to accomodate the Crash Combiner gimmick, the front end has the combination mechanism sticking out in front. A lot of the thickness comes from the robot mode bits on the bottom of the fighter, which detracts a bit from the "disguise" element of the vehicle and the aesthetics.
Most of this figure is cast in an off-white color. There is a bit of black plastic on the clips in the front and the rear section has metallic red on the thrusters and rear stabilizers. The cockpit windows are painted yellow while the wings have a really nice black, matte finish on them. The front section has a small green arrow on it to provide guidance for the "Crash Combiner" mechanism.
On the top of this vehicle is a 5mm port in a hexagon shape. This allows you to attach Mini-Cons in weapon mode, thus solidifying this figure as part of the "Combiner Force" line.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Flip the vehicle over.
- Swing the chest panel down.
- Swing the robot head up.
- Close the chest panel.
- Swing the robot arms out.
Skysledge's vehicle mode may have been unique but his robot mode has some very interesting and familiar design elements. The head sculpt features visor eyes and a mouthplate with antennae on the sides connecting to a round piece at the base. Except for the crest on top of the head, this design echoes the look of the Veritech fighters from Macross in the 80's. Long time fans will of course recognize this design as the one that was used for Generation One Jetfire (which was also a design aspect of the "Classics" Jetfire figure). The sides of the torso have vents on them and the center looks almost like the top part of an aerial vehicle with a "T" shaped window. This somewhat echoes the look of G1 Skyfire's animation model, especially the vents on the sides. On top of that the legs have some shapes on them including extended knee armor and angled shapes under them that are also reminiscent of G1 Skyfire. Overall I am fairly convinced that at the very least, the designers had G1 Jetfire/Skyfire in the back of their minds when they worked on this figure.
This mode mostly shows off white plastic. Blue paint is used on the eyes and red is used on the chest. That is it for the deco, but that is to be expected for this class of figures. It is a bit of a shame however. The white is a rather plain color and it could have used a touch of paint here and there to enhance its appearance.
The Crash Combiner figures are not exactly known for articulation and this is no exception. Skysledge has only two points of articulation: the arms. They can swing out and in and that is about it.
Stormhammer's vehicle mode is a triangular jet with forward swept wings and a point in front. In some ways I find the design very reminiscent of the Seeker design from "Fall of Cybertron". Like that design the wings are sweeping forward on the sides and the cockpit section is triangular in shape angling inward until everything comes to a point in the front. That said, there are some elements unique to this design. The back has two vertical stabilizers sweeping back instead of a triangular point on top. Also the nosecone has two small vertical stabilizers sticking out to the sides.
There are some fun sculpted details on this figure including vents on either side of the cockpit, some raised panelson the back and a series of lines on the wings. The "Crash Combiner" mechanism is on the back of the figure, so it is nicely hidden away.
Stormhammer is cast in the same colors as Skysledge: red, black and white. The black and red are much more prominent here however. Black makes up the nosecone section, the sides and a little of the back. Red makes up the stabilizers and wings leaving most of the white in the middle. The cockpit cover is painted blue. It is a simple deco, but I appreciate the break out of colors in this form.
There is a 5mm, hex shaped port on the top of this vehicle, allowing you to attach 5mm weapons and of course, Mini-Cons with 5mm pegs.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Swing the nosecone end down to form the robot feet.
- Swing the robot arms out.
- Swing the hcest panel out, flip the head up and close the panel.
Stormhammer is a new character, so his robot mode is not beholden to any previous design. In concept, I really like this design. The head has a nice high crest in the middle with horns sticking out on the sides. In many respects his head has a very G1-esque look to it. His body also has some standard G1 style designs including vent like designs on his shoulders and beveled armor on parts like his chest, waist and knees.
Sadly the deco on this figure is very plain. Most of the body is white while the arms, head and wings are red plastic while the feet are black. The only deco on this figure is the face. The face is painted silver and the eyes are blue. And...that's it for deco. Unfortunately with the body being mostly white plastic the figure looks terribly plain.
The only articulation to speak of are the arms, which can swing out to the sides. That is pretty typical for the Crash Combiner figures but it will definitely make this figure a "no buy" for some fans.
With both figures in vehicle mode, "crash" the clips on the front of Skysledge and the back of Stormhammer and press them together. Split Skyhammer's legs and swing the red foot pieces out. On each arm swing the black pieces back to reveal the fists.
This combined form is the real reason to get this set. Skyhammer is one awesome looking robot whose design recalls the days of Japanese exclusive figures such as Star Saber. His head design has horns sticking up on the sides, a mouthplate with thin eyes and a central crest - classic Transformers. His shoulders have wings angling upward on them and the rest of his design has a lot of angled designs that give it a very sleek appearance.
While the other modes may not have a lot of color, this form has a good amount. There is a fantastic blend of red, white and black plastic. The chest has white paint on it while the face is painted yellow with blue eyes. The forearms have some blue as well. Overall I love the look of this character.
Skyhammer has 5mm ports in each fist, allowing him to hold weaponry. His forearms can move up and down, allowing him to point said weapons forward.
Right off the bat let me say that this figure is not for everyone. If you're looking for a super detailed, highly articulated Masterpiece level figure (or even "Generations") then this is not for you. If you want a fun, gimmicky figure to mess around with and form a neat Combined form then this fits the bill.
- Fun gimmick.
- Skyhammer's combined mode looks fantastic.
- Individual robot modes are a bit odd looking.
- Barely any articulation in any mode.
- Needs more paint deco.