Release Date: December 2013
Price Point: $12.99
Retailer: General release (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: "Nudge Gun", Rifle
*Images with asterisks and text in italics from Amazon.com:
With no memory of his life before a few cycles ago, Autobot Skids finds himself with a rare opportunity. Not knowing who he is allows him to be anything he wants to be, and the firepower of his mysterious new blaster gives him the strength to follow through on any adventure he pursues. Convert, arm and attack with all the Transformers action you can handle! This Autobot Skids figure is just the Autobot to create maximum trouble for his Decepticon enemies (other figures sold separately). In robot mode, your Autobot Skids figure has 2 blasters that combine into one for an even more powerful weapon. When he needs to zip around and do recon, convert him to cruiser mode! Whatever mode he's in, his enemies will think twice before taking him on! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.
The "Generations" line of figures continued right up until the end of 2013 with a release of both Voyager and Deluxe Class figures in the November/December time frame. One of the last Deluxe "Generations" releases of 2013 was "Autobot Skids" (so named for trademark purposes). Like many of the other figures in the "Generations" line this year, Skids was based on his appearance in the IDW Publishing "More than Meets the Eye" title.
The new style of "Generations" packaging features a card back with the G1 inspired "grid" pattern and a small "Transformers Generations" logo at the top. Most of the "art" in the background is provided by a cover of a comic book exclusive to this toy. In this case it's the twenty second issue of the "More than Meets the Eye" comic book with a cover created just for this release featuring Autobot Skids himself. On top of that is the figure in robot mode with its accessories. It's a nice packaging design, but I think it would've been better if the "Transformers Generations" logo was larger on the card or even printed right on the comic book. Still, it is quite eye catching and grabs your attention by being distinct from all the other "Transformers" packaging on shelves around it.
Before going into the design and colors of the figure, it is important to note that a significant number of the initial run of this figure suffered from an assembly error. Have no fear however as it is fairly easy to fix. The issue involves the pieces that connect to the thighs and the hips. These pieces are assembled incorrectly. You'll know this is assembled correctly if you cannot move the legs up (as if he were kicking up in front of him). If this is the case, pull the legs off (gently). They pop off since the piece they connect to is a ball joint. I highly recommend you do this in a relatively warm environment. You don't want the plastic to be cold and brittle when you do this. Once you've pulled off the legs, swap the small pieces that connect the legs to the hips. The legs should now be able to kick forward. In the pantheon of production errors, I'm going to give a pass on this one since it's fairly easy to rectify and looking at the pieces I can see how they could easily be confused since they have similar details.
In Generation One, Skids transformed into a sub-compact vehicle (that some folks mistook for a van over the years). Like many G1 Autobots this meant he wound up with the front of his car mode on his chest, the car doors on his back while the rear of the vehicle formed his legs. When IDW Publishing redesigned the character for their series, some of these basic elements were kept intact. However he was given significant weaponry upgrades and a more streamlined appearance. This sculpt is largely based on that design. Elements borrowed from the comic book include:
- The chest features the vehicle mode's headlights are round and stick out a bit on the edges of the chest.
- The center of the chest features a trapezoid grille section.
- Skids' legs have angled knee armor panels which include angled lines running across the lower half.
- The feet have vehicle mode wheels on the bottom in a horizontal position.
- The shoulders have hidden panels that swing out featuring eight rocket launchers in each.
- Each of the forearms have twin blasters that can swing outward. This is also a callback to G1 Skids who had a dual barreled blaster that could attach to his arm.
- The smaller weapon included with Skids is based on the "Nudge Gun", a special weapon that was central to a plot point involving the Skids character in the comic book.
- Skids features twin cannons that swing out from his back to either side of his head, a feature the original Skids did not have but was part of the IDW design.
- The outside of each hand has small, raised details resembling vents sculpted into them, a small detail worked into the comic book version in this redesign.
The overall detail level on this figure is quite impressive. It works very well as an update of the character and I really appreciate the fidelity to the comic book design. There's also a sleekness to it that I wouldn't normally associate with the character.
Skids is mostly cast in blue plastic. Smaller parts are silver and black. The silver parts include his thighs and the wrist blasters. Paint applications include silver, red and gold paint. The silver is used for parts of the front grille, headlights, shoulders and face. Red is used for smaller details such as each individual rocket on the shoulders, "U" shaped details on the chest and parts of the waist and feet. His eyes are painted gold to match his appearance in the comic book. There are some minor details here and there such as the lines on his lower legs that could've been painted to match the "glowing" details on the comic book version, but I'm nit picking here. Overall he looks fantastic!
Skids features nineteen points of articulation. This includes two on each arm, six on each leg and waist articulation. The arms sound like they're lacking, but both the shoulder joint and elbow joint are ball joints, allowing for a wide range of articulation. As mentioned before, each of his forearms have dual blasters built into them. These swing out with a slight pull. Moving one blaster automatically moves the other. Each of his hands can accomodate a 5mm peg weapon. His two weapons can be combined to form one large rifle weapon. You do this by taking the smaller "Nudge Gun" and plugging it into the back of the larger rifle weapon. The weapons also have pegs sticking out the sides. What's nice about these pegs is that they've been designed with small holes in the center, meaning you can even attach Energon weapons or Mini-Cons to them! On top of all this there are the aforementioned rocket launcher details built into his shoulders. These can be "hidden" by sliding the panel back to give him "regular" shoulders. When you deploy the shoulder cannons and all his other weapons, Skids looks positively amazing. G1 Skids had quite a few weapons too, but this version just takes it to a whole new level!
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Detach both weapons and set them aside for now.
- Swing both of the wrist weapons together.
- Swing the rocket panels up.
- Swing the back panel down and push the shoulder cannons back.
- Rotate both feet around.
- Point the feet up.
- Swing the feet up to the sides.
- Rotate the waist around.
- Connect the two legs together, then swing the lower legs up, forming the rear section of the vehicle mode.
- Swing the top of the chest section forward, swing the robot head back.
- Rotate the doors down, lining them up with the side windows.
- Swing the front of the vehicle/chest piece up.
- Rotate and move the arms to the sides, attaching the small tab on the forearm to a corresponding slot on the black plastic on the side of the figure.
- Swing the windshield piece forward.
- Swing the side panels down.
- Each weapon can be attached to the holes above the rear wheel wells.
Skids' vehicle mode is loosely based on his G1 mode in that it resembles a hatchback vehicle of some sort. However, this is meant to be more of a Cybertronian mode, so it has a sleekness to it that G1 Skids did not. The lines from the front curve really nicely to the back. Nothing feels blocky, instead he looks like a vehicle that is a bit thick, but could seriously pick up some speed. Most of the details you see here were visible in the robot mode, but some get more emphasis than before such as the details on the front and back. You also get a better look at the wheels, which have well detailed rims and angled lines on the tires. I also appreciate smaller details like windshield wipers and vents on the back of the car.
Most of the vehicle winds up being blue in color (a significantly lighter shade than G1 Skids). The windows are cast in a dark blue translucent plastic, so blue paint is used to fill in details at the edges. A red and white stripe runs along the sides of the vehicle, a callback to his G1 incarnation. He also features a small, tampographed Autobot symbol in red and white on the front of the vehicle. All the silver and red details in the front of the vehicle visible in robot mode show here as well, but there's less to distract your eyes so they get more of your visual attention. Surprisingly, red is also used to paint the rear lights and the rims on his wheels, both of which are details that had been neglected on many figures in the past couple years. I was very happy to see this figure get so much love in the deco department. It looks fantastic in this mode.
As mentioned above, you can attach weapons to the 5mm holes above each wheel well. Since the two weapons combine, you can attach both his weapons to one side and reserve the other for other weapons.
Autobot Skids is a beautiful example of a "Generations" style update of a character. He looks a lot like the comic book version and he retains a lot of aspects of the G1 character. Add to all this his copious weaponry and this is just a fun figure overall - enough to overcome the hip mis-assembly issue. Highly recommended!