Thursday, 30 September 2010

Alternity A-04 Skywarp (Witch Purple Pearl)

There are times when I actually hate Takara Tomy. Only, not really. They have produced another excellent collectors' line of TransFormers... and then triggered my OCD regarding the G1 Seekers. Not content with releasing the Mitsuoka Orochi as Starscream, they have repainted it twice now... and Skywarp, release alongside Starscream, is the first of these.

Vehicle Mode:
Well, you can certainly see that the Mitsuoka Orochi loses none of its impact in purple... It may not be the ideal colour - not least for the character - but I guess repainting something in black is a bit passé in general, and they wanted to do something approaching a unique paint job for Skywarp.

I'm a little curious about the name of the colour - Witch Purple Pearl - considering there's nothing remotely pearlescent about the paintwork, a far cry from the otherwise plain white of Starscream. It's a good, solid, glossy, blackcurrent juice purple, so it's not a disappointment... but it's not as interesting as it could have been. Kind of like the difference between Cliffjumper's metallic cherry red and Bumblebee's flat, cool yellow.

Robot Mode:
Here's where Skywarp starts to seem a little bit more impressive. Robot mode retains the same glossy purple as the vehicle, but adds a lighter, lavender shade, touches of silver (notably on the pieces on the back of his shoulders that hark back to the jet engine intakes of the G1 Seekers) and matte black where Starscream was glossy all over. This wins back a few points for the repaint, as the sheer glossiness of Starscream was a little overwhelming.

The head has been remolded quite significantly - still retaining design cues from the G1 Seekers, and keeping it more traditional with the standard two eyes. It's this head that's being used for the Thundercracker repaint and, frankly, I'm glad of it... It really is the better design. Still, Starscream does kinda need to be unique among the Seekers.

There's no doubting this is an impressive model, despite the same flaws (loose arm joints in particular) as the original. The car is awesome, transformation is satisfyingly complex (if a little fiddly), and the robot mode is certainly stylish, even if it's not quite in keeping with the rest of the line so far.

And, yes, I shall be getting Thundercracker...

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