Well, I said I’d be getting to one of the bigger bots sooner or later, and it looks like it’s finally happening. I stumbled across Sky Shadow last weekend and while I had planned on passing him over for the Overlord redo, I found that he was too cool looking to pass up. Also, he’s an homage to Black Shadow, a certified badass among badasses and I really needed that character in my collection. I’ll call you Sky Shadow for the purposes of this review, big guy, but behind closed doors, you’ll always be Black Shadow to me!
Here’s a quick packaged shot. While I haven’t been dipping into the bigger figures in this line all too often, this is actually my third Titans Return Leader Class, with Powermaster Prime and Blaster being the others. Let’s start out with his alt mode… whoops, I mean alt modes PLURAL. As in TWO INDEPENDENT AND SIMULTANEOUS alt modes. Does that make him a Duocon? Sure, why not! Although, I doubt even Hasbro would repaint a Leader Class as Flywheels unless it was some crazy Con or Club exclusive.
So first off, we’ve got this totally bitchin’ Decepticon tank. It’s a very conventional-looking Earth tank, but it also reminds me of the drone that came with Energon Megatron/Galvatron way back when. Now, as far as toy tanks go, it doesn’t do a hell of a lot. The turret doesn’t rotate, the gun cannot elevate, it’s treads are molded faux treads, but it can roll along on its concealed wheels. You do, however, get some tiny foot pegs on the back and on the turret so you can load him up with a bunch of Titan Masters. OK, maybe not the most exciting of toys.
But, with all that having been said, I still really love this little death machine. There’s a ton of sculpted detail on the body, including all sorts of panel lines and hatches. The black body with red trim is a fantastic color combination for a Decepticon and the silver paint on the gun barrel and the two Decepticon insignia stickers are all gorgeous. In fact, I’d say this is a case where the deco carries the day and totally sells this stubby little tank mode.
The translucent red hatch on the top of the turret can open and fit a Titan Master, which makes now as good a time as ever to introduce Ominus. He’s cast in black and gray plastic, and is just your typical tiny head robot, albeit with a great name. Alas, there’s no paint on him at all, which really peeves me off on these Leader Class toys. Hey, Hasbro, I spent some real monies on this thing, how about a dab of paint on this robot’s wee little face? Ah well. We have another alt mode to look at…
While Sky Shadow’s tank patrols the ground, his other half takes to the skies in what is a superb nod back to Black Shadow’s jet mode. This is the air and ground version of robot surf-and-turf. Eh, forget that, that doesn’t make any sense. That was the Jameson talking. But, this is one sleek and sexy aircraft, featuring the same style of angled wings that we’ve seen a few times in Titans Return, and a pair of chunky blasters under those wings that look like they mean business. The profile alone on this bird makes it one of the fiercest looking jets in the entire Decepticon fleet.
The deco here is mostly the same as the tank mode, and that’s a very good thing! It features all that lovely black plastic with red and silver trim, but here you also get some gold paint on the back rear section and a little dark gray plastic too. The striping and Decepticon emblems on the wings are actually pre-applied stickers and they look straight and sharp. They’re loads better than the ones on my Broadside figure. I only hope they don’t start peeling too badly over time.
Ominus can fit into the cockpit and he can also pilot the drone that’s stored under the nosecone. I actually prefer the look of the jet without the drone attached, but it’s still a cool little bonus. Here’s where I wish Sky Shadow came with more than one Titan Master. I mean, I realize he can only have one head at a time, but Ominus can’t operate both alt modes and a drone at once. Maybe he pilots one alt mode while Sky Shadow focuses on controlling the other. Maybe I still don’t fully understand the dynamics of the whole Headmaster/Titan Master relationship. Maybe I’m overthinking it and should just move on…
Sky Shadow’s jet mode can also pick up his tank mode and carry it with him. There’s a fairly strong tab that locks the two together. Naturally, this looks fairly ridiculous, but it comes in handy. Nothing is more embarrassing than flying a couple hundred miles, wanting to transform, and then realizing you left half of your body back where you were. Also, being able to fly over a battlefield and drop a tank right into the middle of the action sure is quite an attention getter. But wait… did I say Sky Shadow had two alt modes? Well, I lied, because he also has one of those tertiary base modes.
Ok, so as far as bullshit tacked-on base modes go, this one isn’t terrible. It’s got the typical robot leg pylons in the front and robot arm pylons in the back. There’s a central deck area with a big cannon and a jet nosecone that passes for a control tower. It can almost work as some sort of super-tank mode, since the tank treads are on the bottoms of the pylons. There are plenty of Titan Master foot pegs if you want to load it up with occupants. There’s a place for the cannon operator to sit, and also a control room on the right pylon to seat another Titan Master. But enough with the alt modes, let’s check out Sky Shadow’s robot mode.
The tank transforms into Sky Shadows legs and robo-groin…
While the jet transforms into the upper half, and the two connect in the middle.
And once fused together at the waist, he is a shining pillar of Decepticon magnificence. There is nothing that I don’t like about this guy. He sports a ton of sculpted detail, carried over from his alt modes, and I’m in love with the giant cannons that angle up and outward from his shoulders. This guy can shoot Autobots out of the sky while just standing around! He’s also so satisfyingly big and bulky in all the right places. The deco carries over a lot of the black and red from his alt modes, but adds some dark and light gray plastics, as well as a lot more of that beautiful silver paint on his chest and shoulders. He’s also sporting a bold Decepticon sticker on each of those shoulders. This dude is fabulous!
From the back, he looks nice and clean. The backs of his legs are mostly filled out by the two halves of the tank turret. His bent wings angle off his back, Seeker-style, and the nose cone of the jet rises up behind the back of his head to make him look even more imposing. The drone can peg into his back, like I have it in the above shot. I think it looks good back there, even if it does give him a bit of a stubby tail.
Just as we’ve seen with the other Leader Class Titans Return figures, Ominus transforms into Sky Shadow’s head, but actually fits inside a helmet. Overall, this has worked pretty well on these bigger toys and it works great here as well, allowing Ominus to work with the smaller Deluxe Class figures as well as the big boys. I’ll also go ahead and say that this is my favorite Titan Master head of the entire line. The fierce angles, the piercing yellow eyes, and the beautiful silver paint conspire to make it a work of art. Combine it with a very traditional G1 style “helmet” and those pointed blades rising off the sides, and you’ve got Titan Master perfection.
Sky Shadow’s extra bits, the drone from his jet and the cannon from his tank, can be pieced together to form a gun, but I really don’t like the way it looks. I dislike it so much, I didn’t even bother shooting a picture of him holding it. I’m much happier just stowing the drone on his back and giving him the tank cannon as a gun. It isn’t a terribly imposing gun for a robot this size, but it’ll do.
For what is essentially a sloppy seconds figure based on a mold that was designed to be Overlord, Sky Shadow is an absolutely stunning figure. I’ll confess on the ride home from the store, I was having second thoughts about buying him. After just selling off a bunch of old Transformers from the Unicron Trilogy, I’ve been trying to be more picky about the ones I buy, especially when it comes to the larger figures that take up more room. But once I had this fella out of the box and in hand it was pretty much love at first sight, and having him has only whetted my appetite for Overlord.