Skydive is a mid year addition to the Beast Machines Transformers line. He offers up what might be one of the most positive examples of what the Maximal toys in the Beast Machines line can be. This review will note some of the positive features of this toy that this reviewer hopes will carry on to future Beast Machines and Transformers toys.
In beast mode, Skydive is a techno-organic Pteranodon. His colors are an odd mix of orange, dark purple, grey and light purple. The colors are spread in good detail all over his body, but roughly, his wings contain all the colors described above, including translucent orange sections which are lightly spray painted with silver. The upper arms of his wings are orange, but have a fantastic dark grey "staining" style of painting often seen on McFarlane type figures. The detail level is great, showing everything from "fur" on the upper arms to "webbed wing" like detailing on the translucent orange sections. His beast mode legs are dark purple. The best mode head is a mix of dark purple, light purple and orange, along with the neck.
In this form, Skydive has nine points of basic articulation. Further articulation can be gained by moving the various sections which make up each wing, however this essentially begins taking Skydive out of beast mode and into the beginnings of his transformation.
Skydive's action feature is activated by pressing down a small tab on his neck. This causes the beast mode head to snap forward and his mouth to open up. Inside his mouth there is a small device that looks like a weapon of some sort (or a horn, depending on how you look at it). The disadvantage to this feature is that you cannot lock his head into a forward position without holding the tab down (which looks silly if you want Skydive to be posed as if he were "flying").
Transformation to Robot Mode:
Begin Skydive's transformation by straightening out his beast mode legs. Fold them down and turn them around to form the robot legs. Next, fold the arm/shoulder pieces to the sides, and then flip the oval shaped parts at the shoulder joint around. From the underside of the beast mode chest/abdominal area, fold out the robot head, and then rotate the entire section with the beast mode head, robot head and arms. Fold down this and maneuver the robot legs into place. Swing each of the robot shoulders to finish forming the upper torso. Flip up the dark grey triangular piece on each arm so that they mount on the robot arm's shoulders. Swing back the translucent orange pieces and straighten out the lower arms and wrists. Skydive is now in robot mode.
Skydive's robot mode is a prime example of the type of Maximal toys that Beast Machines should be offering. As befitting his beast mode, Skydive is lithe, streamlined and angular all at once. With his claws, shoulder blades and wrist mounted swords, he looks like one fierce fighter.
The color scheme from the beast mode carries over to this mode. His upper arms, chest and upper legs are all a combination of silver, dark purple, orange and dark grey. His lower legs are dark purple and his lower arms and hands are dark purple with dark grey blades coming out of them. The should blades are dark grey as well. The addition of yellow comes in on the robot head where yellow is used as detail filler for the area under his eyes and "scratches" that appear to be battle wounds.
The wound details continue all over Skydive's body. His chest (with his Spark Crystal dead center) looks as if it has been "slashed" with a crack on an angle in the middle and smaller cracks around it. If you look behind the chest panel, you will see more of these damage details. Cracks also show up on his arms and legs, where the detailing is accented with dark colors to bring them out visually.
In robot mode, Skydive has nineteen points of articulation, which include his wrists, swords and shoulder blades. On a final note, kudos to the designers for choosing a good grade of plastic for Skydive's more "sharp" sections. Unlike McFarlane toys which uses ultra soft "I bend at the slightest hint of sunlight" plastic for sharp points (such as swords and such), Hasbro went with a slightly harder plastic that can still bend (and not hurt any kids playing with it).
Skydive is a nicely made toy, the only drawback being the aforementioned beast mode neck feature. Highly recommended. A+
Updated Thoughts (March 11, 2022):
Skydive is a prime example of just how incredibly different Transformers design was in the Beast Machines era compared to today. There are a lot of design choices made on this figure that I would not see happening today including the weird proportions, the way some parts come together and even the beast mode action feature involving the neck. I still think this figure is very cool and a unique design. However, as I was transforming it for these new photos I found some of the design (including the swords on the hands) get in the way here and there. I still have an affection for this figure, but it has dulled a bit over a time.