The previous post about the War for Cybertron Seekers got me thinking about another relatively new complete set of Seekers. When the BotCon boxset was announced in 2013, the Skywarp collector in me felt great shame. There was one Skywarp I hadn’t bothered to hunt down, despite him being relatively easy to acquire.
Yeah, in my defense, Machine Wars Skywarp is pretty un-Skywarp-like in appearance. Wildly inappropriate alt modes and completely unrelated colour schemes were kind of the force majeure of Machine Wars, so I think I can be excused from not following my Skywarp compulsion in this case. At least he has the proper alt mode, though colour-wise he’s almost the inverse of G1 Skywarp.
The spring-loaded automatic transformation mold (later dubbed “flipchangers”) was originally meant to be released in the G2 line but once that line was cancelled, the mold first saw release in Machine Wars. It would be seen again in Takara’s Beast Wars II line as Dirge and then it was released as part of the Robots in Disguise toyline as Skyfire, looking far more like Skywarp than Machine Wars Skywarp did.
So, ironically, a Skywarp that is white and red like G1 Skyfire, and a Skyfire with purple and black like G1 Skywarp.
Next the mold would be released with an even crazier paintjob than Machine Wars Thundercracker as Robotmasters Wingstun. Finally, it was released as BotCon 2006’s pre-Beast Wars Waspinator.
Meanwhile, back with the originator of the mold, Machine Wars Skywarp is also the subject of another one of Matt Kuphaldt‘s wonderful pieces of art, depicting a battle between him and Machine Wars Mirage.
Though I was aware that his gun could split in two and store in his legs, it was this image where I learned you could attach the two halves to his forearms to mimic his G1 toy’s arm-mounted missile launchers.
I was finally motivated to pick up Machine Wars Skywarp (because, well, Skywarp) when the BotCon 2013 toy previews revealed there was going to be a new Timelines version in the box set. The preview art using the original molds and done by Josh Burcham were awesome.
Then it was shown that he was going to be depicted mid-teleport using translucent purple plastic.
Due to its highly atypical design and transformation for a Transformers jet, I am very much a big fan of the Revenge of the Fallen Dirge mold. The new headsculpt is great, especially the detail of the shiny silver visor. The teleport effect adds a lot to what would otherwise be a rather stark paintjob.
The paint applications on the ends of the wings annoy the heck out of me. It would have been much better to have the paint end at the jagged black line to more clearly delineate the teleport effect.
Lacking any other previous fiction for Machine Wars, the Timelines storyline establishes their version as a follow-on to their version of G2. Seems natural, though like many of the G2 toys used in Timelines, these new versions were also repurposed as clones of their original G1 selves serving in Jhiaxus’ army. They then used the original Machine Wars toys as mass-produced drone armies for the clones to command.
Because someone apparently thought it would be a good idea to leave the clone of the least responsible Decepticon ever in charge of an entire drone army. There’s a number of ways to put the missile launchers on him in robot mode, unfortunately putting them on his upper arms seriously impedes his arm movement, so I perfer the shoulder launcher configuration instead.
As an added bonus there was a surprising souvenir set comprised of 5 Kreon versions of the ‘bots in the full box set.
All that and it came with the greatest Kre-O accessory of all time for little Kreon Machine Wars Skywarp: teleport pants.
I would have been more than content with my new Timelines and Kre-O Machine Wars Skywarps, but those clever folks at Fun Publications ensured I would buy at least one more souvenir set. A Machine Wars repaint of Thundercracker seemed like a sure thing, but what did I need with only two of the three Seekers? Especially with Thundercracker coming in a two-pack with the unimaginative choice of Classics Mirage repainted as Machine Wars Mirage.
Then they handed me the free attendee toy. Timelines Machine Wars Starscream made from the Movie-verse toy, Terradive.
I unabashedly adore this mold and the colour choices are perfect on it. This was a rather unexpected mold to represent Starscream’s Machine Wars incarnation, though the original was itself an odd choice as a mostly black repaint of the large G1 Skyquake mold.
Most importantly, it meant that whether I wanted to or not, I now had two of the three Seekers, thereby feeling compelled to buy the set with Thundercracker to complete the trio.
Next to Skywarp’s stark white and Starscream’s somber black, Thundercracker certainly has the most outrageous of the paintjobs.
This wasn’t a case of Fun Pub simply pulling a colour scheme out of their tailpipes. I much prefer the digital camo pattern on the Timelines version to the original’s tiger stripe pattern.
An advantage the unconventional layout this new mold has over the original Machine Wars toy is that the wild camouflage pattern carries over to his robot mode, at least to the legs.
At first I was perturbed at the continued “Clone Wars” angle of these newer Timelines releases, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea and it’s not like the source material (or lack thereof) is much to go on anyway.