Timelines: Botcon 2013 Skywarp Toy Review

in 2013, Action Figure Review, Botcon, Decepticon, Deluxe, Machine Wars, Seeker, Timelines


General Information:
Release Date: June 27, 2013
Price Point: $275 (Part of boxed and/or bagged set with Megaplex, Strika, Obsidian & Hoist)
Retailer: Botcon Exclusive
Accessories: Missiles x 2, Missile launchers x 2


SkywarpThe theme for 2013's Botcon exclusive boxed set is "Machine Wars". This was a relatively obscure line of "Transformers" figures released only in Kay Bee Toy Stores in 1997. This was a counterpoint to the main line, "Beast Wars" which focused on animals and creatures as the alternate forms for the "Transformers". "Machine Wars" focused on vehicles, mixing up previously unreleased sculpts with European exclusive sculpts given new decos, functionality and identities. Among the unreleased sculpts was Thundercracker, who was a "Basic" class vehicle (roughly equivalent to a modern day Scout Class figure) that transformed using a spring-based system to quickly convert form one form to another. This sculpt would later be used as "Robotmasters" Wingstun and later as Timelines Waspinator, "Robots in Disguise" Skyfire and "Beast Wars the Second" Dirge.

Using the "Machine Wars" version of the figure as inspiration, Fun Publications took the "Revenge of the Fallen" Dirge figure and gave it a deco inspired by the 1997 "Machine Wars" Skywarp figure. I've already reviewed the Botcon 2013 Thundercracker sculpt, which uses the exact same sculpt (modifications and all) This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

Vehicle Mode:
Like his fellow "Machine Wars" Seeker Thundercracker, Skywarp had a radically different color scheme than his Generation One counterpart. In Generation One Skywarp had a black and purple based color scheme. In "Machine Wars", his primary colors wound up being white and red with some yellow.

The Botcon "Machine Wars" figures have attempted to stay faithful to the colors of the characters as laid out by their 1997 counterparts, but that alone wasn't enough for Skywarp. Sure the primary color of white plastic is present, but key parts of the figure have been cast in translucent purple - specifically the wings and stabilizers on the tail. The translucent color is meant to represent Skywarp's teleportation power, as if he were "fading" back into view in mid-teleport. It also serves another purpose: paying homage to one of G1 Skywarp's original colors! His weapons are also cas tin translucent purple, which makes sense s they wind up located on the part of the wing that is left translucent to represent his "teleportation" effect.

Other plastic colors on this figureinclude black, used for smaller parts like the nosecon, front landing gear and the edges of the missile launchers. The cockpit cover is cast in translucent yellow. These colors also play into the scheme laid out for the 1997 "Machine Wars" Skywarp and look great along with the white and purple.

Skywarp has a really awesome color scheme. The pint colors used on this figure include red, white, black, purple andsilver. The red is used for several details including the wings, stabilizers and details towards the front of the vehicle. The white color is a metallic looking paint that only partially covers the wings and stabilizers. Where the white paint ends, black "digital" looking lines begin, indicating the areas where Skywarp's parts are "teleporting" into view. It's a brilliant touch on the figure and not the type of deco you often see on figures. The purple paint is used for a large Decepticon symbol in the center of the vehicle. Oddly, the Decepticon symbol used here is not the "Machine Wars"/G2 symbol used on the original but instead the more classic Decepticon symbol from G1. Silver paint rounds out all these colors by coloring the frame of the cockpit cover.

This is one of the most impressive color schemes to come out of the Botcon 2013 set. Not only is it clean and sharp looking, but the "teleportation" effect looks fantastic and shows a certain amount of thought behind the deco that clearly took things one step beyond just being a homage to the 1997 Skywarp.

The missile launchers on the figure still work very well and the landing gear hinges are nice and stiff, allowing the vehicle to rest on them without a problem.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the missile launchers and set them aside for now.
  2. Pull the wings down to the sides.
  3. Pull the air vent sections out to the sides.
  4. Swing the side pieces down and connect the halves of the waist piece on the underside of the jet.
  5. Pull the vent sections down and rotate them around to form the robot feet.
  6. Swing each wing down on the hinges and swing the wings forward.
  7. Pull the tail section back to lift up the panel in the center of the vehicle.
  8. Separate the tail section from the central panel.
  9. Swing the center part of the vehicle forward.
  10. Rotate the chest piece around so the silver details face front.
  11. Collapse the panel on the left arm against the forearm.
  12. Rotate the left arm around so the black and red details on the shoulder face forward.
  13. Rotate the right arm around so the black and red details on the shoulder face forward.
  14. Lift the cockpit cover up, rotate the piece inside to reveal the robot fist and close the cover.
  15. Pull the right forearm down to form the right arm.
  16. Push the black panel on the back of the torso piece up.
  17. Swing the side panels on the tail piece out to the sides, then clip them to the holes in the back piece you just pushed up.
  18. Swing up the small oval shaped piece on the waist against the chest.
  19. Attach the weapons to his wings for storage or on the holes on his arms to use as weapons.

Robot Mode:
The 1997 "Machine Wars" Skywarp figure was mostly black and white in robot mode. This new incarnation also uses black and white as the primary colors for this form, but there are many more colors that are brought into play. This includes red, black, silver and yellow. Red paint is used on several parts including the head, chest, waist, legs and shoulders. Black paint is used on the shoulders. There are small yellow details painted onto the sides of the feet and silver is used on the frame of the faux "cockpit" piece on the chest. Silver is also used for the visor eyes on the head. The head is cast in yellow, which was the same color as the 1997 "Machine Wars" Skywarp's head. The head is the one section that is very faithful to the original in both colors and layout, but that's not a complaint. I love the way this figure looks in this form. The color layouts and choices are absolutely brilliant.

Skywarp uses the same new head sculpt as Thundercracker. This is based on the head sculpt used for both the 1997 "Machine Wars" Skywarp and Thundercracker, complete with a round "helmet" section and high crest, visor eyes and mouth plate. It looks fantastic and really helps sell this as a modern day versi on of the 1997 figure.

Skywarp's joints are all nice and tight and there are no issues with the transformation. His missile launchers work fine and the "Mech Alive" gear system in his chest works great.

Final Thoughts:
Botcon 2013 Skywarp is an unlikely homage and redeco/retool that hits the right marks in every way. It's an excellent figure and worth having in your set if you're interested in exclusives or more "off the beaten path" homages.