Cybertron Toy Reviews: Sky Lynx vs. Thunderblast

in 2005, Action Figure Review, Armada, Cybertron, Mini-Con

General Information:
Release Year: October 2005
Retailer: General Release (Target, Wal-Mart, Kay Bee etc.)
Price: $6.99 (Depending on retailer)
Transformation Difficulty Level: 2
Accessories: Missile

Images:

Mini-Cons were one of the most successful aspects of the Transformers line in the past few years. Now the little robots are brought back as full fledged Autobots and Decepticons, removing them from their status as a third faction all their own. Having chosen sides, the Mini-Cons are now all packed in "versus packs", with one Autobot and one Decepticon affiliated Mini-Con in each pack.

Sky Lynx is a redeco of the Air Military Team member, Gunbarrel. Thunderblast is a redeco of the Land Military Team member, Bonecrusher. Check out their reviews for more detailed looks at the toys. These reviews will cover changes made to the figures for this release.

Sky Lynx

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Tech Specs:
Sky Lynx prides himself on his ability to evade enemy defenses and drop his payload with pinpoint accuracy from amazing altitudes. The only one among all TRANSFORMERS to ever offer him a challenge in this is Thunderblast, and for that he grants his rival respect and admiration. Given the distance involved in their battles the two have met face to face only rarely, but Sky Lynx considers Thunderblast a friend, despite their differing philosophies.

Strength: 7 Intelligence: 6 Speed: 5 Endurance: 10 Rank: 4.5 Courage: 6 Fireblast: 3 Skill: 7.5

Vehicle Mode:
The name Sky Lynx has its roots in Generation One. Back in the day, Sky Lynx was the Autobot Lieutenant Commander. The name has not been used in ages, and it is nice to see that Hasbro has begun to renew some of their older, unused trademarks.

Of the three Decepticon Mini-Cons in this first wave of "versus packs", Sky Lynx is the most jarring visually. His primary color is a light, almost flourescent green. Light and dark grey are used to fill in details such as the edges of his wings and the windows in the cockpit. The Decepticon symbol on his tail fin is painted in black. With such a wide space, I am surprised that the designers did not tampograph a mini-Decepticon symbol as they did with the Autobot Mini-Cons in this series. I think such a symbol would have looked much nicer.

Weapon Mode:
In weapon mode we get to see the robot arms, cast in black plastic. I was disappointed that the designers did not take this opportunity to paint in the turbine ends to draw greater emphasis to their use as gun barrels in this mode. I love the sculpt of the mold, the idea of a plane turning into a gun port with five barrels and six missiles is awesome, but the colors do not help emphasize this at all.

Robot Mode:
Sky Lynx's robot mode is perhaps the most ornate. The robot head is dark brown with red eyes. The upper legs are cast in grey plastic. Light grey is used on the chest and legs for additional color. Still, the green color is just an odd choice and looks rather strange.

Thunderblast

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Tech Specs:
These two aggressive robots have been rivals for centuries. Over the years Thunderblast has specialized in long-range defense against high altitude attacks specifically for the purpose of defeating Sky Lynx. The two robots treat this rivalry as a game, ultimately caring little for victory, as long as they can offer each other a challenge. Thunderblast shares a sort of respect with Sky Lynx, and wishes that circumstances were different so that they might be friends in peace as well as war.

Strength: 8 Intelligence: 10 Speed: 6.5 Endurance: 8 Rank: 7 Courage: 8 Fireblast: 7.5 Skill: 8

Thunderblast

Vehicle Mode:
Thunderblast is cast in three primary plasti ccolors: grey, brown and orange. Like the other Autobot Mini-Cons in this assortment, Thunderblast's missile is orange. The main body of the vehicle is brown and the launcher is grey. Silver and black paint are used for detailing. The window in the front and the platform with the crosshatch pattern in the back are silver. Black camo patterns can be found towards the front. A tampographed mini-Autobot symbol is on the left side of the vehicle's rear section.

Though numerically there are not a lot of colors in this form, they are distributed in such a way that they look great on the figure.

Robot Mode:
One more plastic color becomes apparent in robot mode, light brown such as that on Tankor. The robot head piece is cast in this color with silver and red used for his "eye". A bit of grey is used for the right side of the chest, and his waist is grey. The upper legs are orange, which offers a nice bright color break from the grey and brown that comprises a majority of the sculpt.

As a side note, I find it very amusing that an Autobot Mini-Con and a Decepticon deluxe sized toy both share the same name in the same line!

Final Thoughts:
While I like Thunderblast's colors a lot, Sky Lynx is just a bit too garish for my tastes. I would only recommend this if you cannot get any of the previous versions of these figures at a good price. Mildly recommened in that case, otherwise you can skip this set.