Just a heads up, this will probably be the last Transformers Thursday before I turn TFT over to look at figures from the dreaded Bayformer Trilogy! My plan is to keep that going until Age of Extinction releases in June. Whether I can keep that going remains to be seen, but truth be told I have a lot of those figures that have escaped the FFZ spotlight and for good or for ill, they must be shown! Anywho, today’s feature is a genuine random grab from my Energon tote and I came out with… Skyblast! Very cool! Skyblast was one of the first Energon figures revealed by Hasbro before the line launched and for me it was love at first sight. I couldn’t wait to find him on the pegs and the midnight runs to Walmart were a common activity for me back then. I was also really intrigued over finding out about these new Omnicons. Turns out that they were a new type of Transformer allied with the Autobots with the skill to work with raw Energon. Let’s see what this little guy is all about…
When I think back to how excited I was to get this guy, it says a lot about how far Transformers have come since. I’m not knocking him, I still dig him a lot, but nowadays he’s probably not all that much to get excited about. I think a lot of the appeal comes from the fact that he’s obviously an homage to our old friend G1 Jetfire. He’s an adorable little Autobot jet with a just a slight Macross vibe to him. The red and white plastic features some gold and blue paint apps thrown in. And then thee’s the Autobot emblems sculpted right into the wings. I love that!
Skyblast also comes with a bunch of translucent red “energon” parts that can be attached to the jet mode to beef him up. Two of the pieces snap onto the wing tips and the other two pieces connect together into a ridiculously long chin cannon. I’ve never been a big fan of using these parts on the alt mode, but that’s ok because they come in handy later.
Skyblast has a very simple yet clever transformation and the resulting robot mode carries the Jetfire homage over mostly in the Sunbow-style headsculpt. He’s got a pretty clean robot mode that I really enjoy, although there are just a couple of issues. The wings coming off the arms would have worked better if they folded down. I also prefer to flip them and unfortunately the Autobot emblems on the reverse side aren’t painted. Boo! The nose cone can be fold down a bit behind the head, but if you do that you can’t turn the head. Personally, I prefer losing neck articulation and having the nosecone not stick up so far.
As for those energon parts, you’ve got a couple of options here. First, you can make a nice rifle for Skyblast, which I think works much better than the chin cannon on the alt mode. Granted, the limited articulation here makes it tough to have him wield it convincingly, but I still dig it.
The other weapon combines all the parts into a bitchin’ energon spear. Again, there’s not a lot of cool poses this little guy can do with it, but he looks damn cool just standing there holding it.
I’m almost envious of the past me that was able to get so excited about such a simple little eight dollar Transformer. Of course it helps that at the time I was only back into collecting these things for a couple of years and Armada really got me hot and bothered and ready for more. Fast forward to today when I’m dropping hundreds of dollars on Masterpiece and third-party figures. Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty sure if I showed my TFC Not-Aerialbots to that past me he would toss Skyblast into the garbage and start saving money, but then I would have missed out on some genuinely cool figures. Skyblast still holds a lot of appeal for me. As a kid, he’s exactly the kind of toy that I would have shoved in my pocket before going anywhere so that me and my tiny little almost-Jetfire could have adventures together.