Friday, August 14, 2015

The Machine Wars are here

I'm a bit of a Transformers collector. My love the franchise started with Generation 2, a gloriously colorful and innovative line that sadly bombed. From there I followed Beast Wars and its sequel Beast Machines.  After Robots in Disguise, the Armada cartoon didn't appeal to me at all and I didn't get anything from that era. From Armada's debut (2002) until sometime after Revenge of The Fallen (2009), I only got a single Transformer: Energon Rodimus (who I'll probably sell off). Since 2009 I've been collecting again, starting with a 2-pack that featured Bludgeon vs Whirl. My latest addition is a Machine Wars Skywarp which came in the mail today.

Free to fly after nineteen years.
Why this particular version of Skywarp? Well, this one has a really striking color scheme: White with red as plane, white and black with a yellow head as a robot. It's more interesting than the Generation 1 and also stands out from the many black and purple Decepticons in collection.
I already own a version of this mold  in the form of Beast Wars II Dirge so I was eager to see how Skywarp, a limited KB toys release, compared to Dirge, a mass-market retail release. While I really do like Skywarp, there's a notable downgrade in quality from Dirge. Skywarp's limps aren't floppy but they aren't nearly as tight as Dirge's. The mold's two-part gun can actually be mounted into slots in the forearms to replicate the "null ray" layout of earlier jet robots: While it works perfectly for Dirge, one of Skywarp's gun pieces doesn't fit tightly enough and falls off while the other one seems to fit too tightly. The last thing that strikes me is what I can only describe as striation in Skywarps black plastic. If I look closely I can see little thread-like lines on the pieces; this is something I had previously only experienced with Constructicon bootlegs.

Despite all my complaints, I'm happy with my purchase and I'm preparing a nice spot for him on my Generation 2 Decepticon shelf.