Click the image above to see the alt mode, or view more photos here
First/Last Comic Appearance (US) - Issue 1, September 1984 / Issue 50, March 1989
First/Last Comic Appearance (UK) - Issue 9, January 12th 1984 / Issue 87, November 15th 1986
First/Last Cartoon Appearance - Episode 1 (Season 1 #1), September 17th 1984 / The Transformers: The Movie, August 8th 1986
First Toy Appearance - 1984
Click here to see Figure Details and review
Manufacturer - Hasbro
Toyline - Classics
- Added Decepticon symbols to the wings
- Added a Small Decepticon symbol to the chest
- Added a Small Decepticon symbol to the nosecone
Way before the Japanese market went crazy for black repaints, there was the cool-as-ice Skywarp, who probably had a big part in making sure the trend continues to this day. He was the figure who proved the basic rule that any mould looks more badass when it is black. I suppose you couldn't say the same for Trailbreaker, but then there's not an awful lot that could rescue that mould. Skywarp was by far my favourite seeker, primarily because of the aforementioned colour scheme but also because he had by far the best 'special power' of any Transformer - Teleportation. This meant that he was pretty much the best in the air, having awesome speed but also the ability to disappear, and then suddenly be behind his target. Skywarp was one of the first classics figures produced, originally a repaint (natch) of Starscream, and only available in a boxed set with Ultra Magnus. This boxed set was destined to warm the shelves of many a supermarket until a company called FansProject suddenly made Magnus cool, and then Skywarp 'vanished' (see what I did there?) Let's see if this figure was worth the hassle of tracking down...
Appearance (Robot Mode) 7/10
The Seeker mould is long in the tooth and is not without its faults - it is smaller when compared with more recent deluxes, and the forearms are hollow. The forearms are a bit too stumpy as well, and there is no light-piping for the eyes. The headsculpt is pretty decent. Also, Hasbro have evoked memories of the original seekers figures very well by ensuring that the cockpit is in place, alongside the shoulder-mounted weaponry and the classic silhouette. Skywarp's colour scheme breathes a bit more life into the figure, the old adage of a black repaint providing added badassery holding true. The purple is perhaps a tinge more neon than the original, but I feel this is necessary against the flat black. The silver accents are well-defined, and the red detailing either side of the shoulders looks great.
Appearance (Alternate Mode) 8/10
I absolutely love the seeker mould as an alt mode. Elegant and sleek, there is not too much robot kibble on display either. I'm not sure about some of the superfluous paint in this mode though - I would prefer there not to be silver accents at all. I would have preferred the classic lines of the G1 plane here, but there is nothing nearly so bad as, say the detailing on Cliffjumper. The orange cockpit adds a striking contrast to the black, and the rubberised tip completes the look.
The transformation successfully homages the original, and is a lot of fun. The legs are created by pulling the rear section of the plane out and apart, and the fuselage opens up to allow the arms to be moved to the side, and the fists unfolded. The cockpit and nosecone are 'snapped' downwards and rotated, before the whole assembly hinges and slots back into place with a reassuring click. The tailplanes are rotated into position and the wings are folded up. All that remains is to fold in the front landing gear to form the 'robo boobs' and the classic seeker look is complete.
Quite poor, I have to say. The first issue that this mould encounters is very poor articulation. The head dose swivel but the range of movement is extremely limited, owing to the kibble attached to it. The shoulders offer lateral and side-to side movement, and the elbows are jointed but shockingly there is no bicep swivel. There is no useful wrist articulation. There is also no waist swivel. The hips offer a similar range of movement as the shoulders and the knees are jointed, unfortunately there is no thigh swivel but a rather less useful lower-leg swivel is provided. The second issue is that the positioning of the wings prohibit any real movement in the arms when the weapons are attached. Balance is not fantastic either. So you are left with mould which is extremely lacking in versatility and is probably the worst apart from some Energon redecos.
I haven't had issues with any of the Seekers, but all the joints seem like they could snap relatively easily - there are few ball joints here (there are only any in the hip) which means that if breaking points are reached then you will end up with a broken figure, as opposed to the more recent toys which are designed to pop apart and then can be re-attached. The mould seems a little dated, and is consequently more fragile than later ones.
Overall - 34/50
Skywarp is favourite of mine, and this version does a good job at capturing his original character. However, the mould is a little old-fashioned, and too small really. I would expect the Seekers to be a little taller than the Autobot cars, when in reality it is the other way around. A shame and I feel that the lack of poseability is the real killer here. Still, as far as I can see there are no viable alternatives to owning this character, so for the time being we are stuck with this old mould!