This figure is so good, I had to do another part, while having coffee... (I think of the Gassy Autobot too).
For this post, I'm going to focus on (A) simple size comparisons; (B) some QC issues and (C) the weapons that the toy came with.
For the size comparison section, I will simply compare Skids with some recent and past releases.
For the QC issues portion, I hope to address a number of common issues that I have seen other post about online - (i) balance issues because the toy is back heavy; (ii) the legs cannot bend forward at the hips.
For the weapons segment, I want to talk about just how refreshing it is for Hasbro to finally give us a modern day toy with a sizable compliment of weapons.
There has been talk that Skids is small or short and smaller than other Deluxe sized vehicles in the past. It's true that Skids is roughly the same size as Trailbreaker (or Trailcutter if you would) and Orion Pax, but I think its more a matter of the other 2 being smaller than they should be rather than Skids being 'small'. To me, Skids is kind of the right size.
As can be seen here, Skids is actually broader than Orion Pax and Trailbreaker.
In robot mode, Skids is roughly the same height as Trailbreaker. I'd say that Trailbreaker is too small rather than Skids being too small. Trailbreaker should probably have been a Voyager sized toy.
Skids and Henkei Optimus Prime. Scale looks about right to me.
Obviously, the enforcer of the Tyrest Accord, Ultra Magnus, towers over lesser robots. I hope they can deal with that.
Far as I can tell, the 'back heavy' and balance issues are all part of the same problem and created by a mix of QC issues that if fixed, will permanently address the problems of balance and legs bending at the hips.
For my Skids, the 2 little cubes pictured below was assembled on the wrong side. This results in slight balance issues and also results in the legs not being about to bend forward (or naturally) when in robot mode.
The fix is simple. Pop them out of the hip ball joints; slide out the 2 little cubes; switch them around as shown in photo below. Note that each cube has a little "R" and "L" molded onto them - with Skids facing the same direction as you, the "L" cube should be for Skids' left leg and the "R" cube should be for Skids' right leg.
See, now Skids can bend forward at the hips
Another shot of Skids bending forward. As can be seen, no issues with balance.
Even with the simple fix about, there can still potentially be balance issues if the toy is standing upright. A simple transformation step fixes this. Ensure that the knee guard and the portion below the knee looks like the photo below (most people stop transformation when the knee guard is flush straight with the lower shin, if so, there will be balance issues.
This here is just because I am pedantic. The windshield should be transformed to slot in between the door windows and the doors. This will create an effect that looks most like Skids in his G1 incarnation. See photo further below.
See arrow below for intended effect.
Now, have a look at the effect in the photo below. Photo below also shows Skids with his full compliment of weapons. There are a lot!
- Skids' weapons and accessories -
Just when I didn't think a Hasbro / Takara release could get better after Generations Sandstorm and Springer, Hasbro ups the game and gave us Skids. I am really glad that the toy company that I have known and loved for close to 30 years is really taking it to the Third Party Companies out there - almost saying 'what they can do, we can do better!'.
For the most part, the Classics / Henkei / United / Generations (I'm going to call this "CHUG" for easy reference, bite me) line of toys came with little to no weapons. There were exceptions, like Cyclonus who came with Nightstick; Astrotrain who came with his gun.
However, for the most part, even if a CHUG toy came with a weapon, it was usually a bad design compromise that either did not make sense as a weapon or just looks plain dumb. To see what I mean, think of the "weapons" these came with - Tankor (Octane), Prowl / Bluestreak / Smokescreen, Sideswipe / Red Alert / Sunstreaker, Mirage, etc.
What this means is that Third Party Companies gets lots of opportunities to benefit off Hasbro toys be offering weapons and attachments and missile launchers and the like. These do not come cheap. As an example, the Dr Wu add-ons for Generations Springer, I think it was 2-3 guns, was close to USD$40. In some places, that's more than the price of a Voyager class figure.
So, my petition to Hasbro is this - please give you figures proper weapons, like you did during the G1 era, and don't like parasitic Third Party Companies benefit from your creations!
Back to Skids. For this toy, I think it would be very difficult for Third Party Companies to add more by way of weapons, that I would need. It is complete in itself.
Weapons #1 - built-in double twin cannons with spring loaded action
These were first seen in MTMTE issue #2, where after Chromedome removed Skids' mode lock, he unveiled all his weapons before fighting with the Legislators.
The scene can be seen in the comic panel behind.
These double twin cannons are built in and will swing up when Skids is transformed from vehicle to robot mode, via a spring loaded mechanism.
Spring loaded double twin cannons.
The cannons are stored behind Skids when not deployed. This has been a pretty standard design innovation with Hasbro / Takara. Most recently used on MP-Prowl and MP-Streak, and previously used on CHUG Prowl, Streak, Smokescreen.
Weapons #2 - built-in wheel missile pods
Like Weapons #1, these were first shown in MTMTE #2, in the same panel.
These are very cool and look like Macross style Valkyrie missile pods.
Missile pods unveiled!
Weapons #3 - built-in twin electron blasters
These were also shown in the same scene as about. There is little description about the twin cannons and I assume they are similar to what is mentioned in the G1 Tech Specs - "Twin electron blaster of 20,000 volts can short-circuit almost anything".
Sounds like it can come in handy.
There is actually a 'gear' action that swivels both blasters out together.
Weapons #4 - "Binary Gun"
Well, "Binary Gun" isn't its official name, but its the name Brainstorm gave to it because it contains only 2 bullets. This gun appears with Skids in MTMTE #2 and Skids was holding on to it until Chromedome 'took' it from him.
It was only in the latter part of MTMTE, around issue #20, that it was revealed what the gun does.
For the purposes of the toy bio, this is probably the "mysterious new blaster".
Weapons #5 - liquid nitrogen rifle (probably) or "Binary Gun" extensions (take your pick)
From Skids' G1 Tech Specs, the nitrogen rifle is the only weapon not accounted for after the above has been discussed. It sure looks a lot like Skids' G1 gun in terms of its shape and it does look like a rifle (of sorts). So, it could be his nitrogen rifle with a "600 foot range", if we take his G1 Tech Specs seriously.
Or if we prefer MTMTE #20, it could be an extension to the Binary Gun above.
The proof? It does actually combine with the Binary Gun!
In closing, here is a shot of Skids with all his weapons out, in battle mode, so to speak (yes, wrong hand for Binary Gun, so shoot me!)