Saturday 24 July 2010

Botcon 2010 Sky-Byte review

The theme for Botcon 2010 was a Generation 2 Redux.  Most of the toys were G2 inspired, but for some reason, we seem to have gotten a version of Sky-Byte from the RID series.  He is just a re-colour of an Energon series figure, and yet it works well and looks good.

Sky-byte is a re-colour of the Energon toy imaginatively name Sharticon.  Obviously somewhere along the way, Hasbro lost the trademark for Gnaw...  Still the original toy was quite a good one, albeit a little simple in transformation and look.

In the comic book that comes with the set, Sky-byte has at his command, an army of Sharticons.  At the Botcon, they were mass produced in a different colour and could only be gained by actually going to the Botcon.  Considering how Sky-byte is a shark himself, this seems fitting really. 

Onto the toy. Sky-Byte (hereby referred to as SB) has a new head and paintjob hat separates him from his Sharticon minions.  The head is sculptured fairly well and carries the 'crazy' of the original pretty well.  It still has the sharp teeth of the original, but due to transformation issues, it has been rounded down a little.  The original had the dorsal fin of the shark pointing off the top of the head.  Nevertheless, the face is very well done, as are the colours.

The Robots in Disguise (RID) version was a re-colour (lots of that going on) of the Beast Wars Cyber Shark toy and used in the cartoon.  The Cyber shark was a mix of organic mode and robot mode, and so the chest was half an half.  Each different side was a different colour on SB, and had different moulding.  Sharticon didn't have that moulding difference, so for SB, they just used different colours.  I must say they have pulled the effect off really well.  I was most impressed and as SB was a funny character, this is the guy that got me most excited about this years Botcon set.

In the middle of  his chest is where his spark was for the RID toy, and that is where the spark for the Sharkticon toy was as well.  Sharky as he will now be referred to as had a Decepticon logo moulded in a silver plastic with a clear cover and I have to say, I like the look it created.  I know that this was done with some Predacon insignias as well, as I have some on some of the Universe toys, but unfortunately, SB only has a solid ball in his spark section.  I think it would have really made this toy if there was the Predacon insignia in there.
Sharky's Chest with Decepticon insignia. Looks nice doesn't it?

The well coloured chest of SB, sans Predacon spark. The pink areas represent a sort of face the RID toy had on the chest.
Robot mode articulation is pretty good, but the head of the shark (or boat depending on the view) weighs heavily on his back, causing him to easily topple over.  It is also a tad unsightly from behind as the shark mode is clearly visible, but he does have the ability to turn at the waist, as  well as the thighs and knees can bend as well.  Again, the only hindrance to cool posing is the weight on the back.

Wonder what this could change into?

The theme of the Energon series where the mould originated from, was the Autobots could combine together with similar sized Autobots and the Decepticons had a type of 'powerup mode' which they could increase their attack power whenever they felt they needed to.  As a result, this toy has the option of splitting the side of the backpack open, to reveal a couple of spring loaded launches.  This works well for SB, as the RID character had some 'shark missiles' which he would always whip off as his blast attack in shark mode.  The downside is, in shark mode, the head of the shark gets cracked open.  Still it is pretty powerful looking.

Robot mode with Shark missiles bared.

Transformations is fairly simple.  To express this, I will describe it.  The waist folds all the way up and then you just need to fold the backpack over and plug the feet into the pegs in the back pack.  Clip the shoulder pads together, arrange the forearms properly and bammo.
As you can see, there are a number of turrets on the shark mode, or boat, or shark themed boat, which add to the coolness. They are all articulated and have varying degrees of movement.  They can all rotate and have limted vertical movement for the barrels, which is extremely cool, in my opinion! Compared with the original Sharkticon, considering how they have just done a paint job, they have done pretty well to make it look like SB.  I see it still has its minicon ports on the fins at the back, and the silver plugs next to the black bit (which I assume to be the boats 'bridge') were in place to hold the energon weapons of the scout class of the era.

Sharkticon and Sky-byte

Even though it doesn't look quite like either a boat, or a shark, I really like the aesthetic to this mode.  It can be a boat, shark or even submarine in the imagination quite easily.  Or even a space ship or some airborne vehicle.  With this factor and transformation being quick and easy, this toy has lots of playability!  Here are some shots of them with their overpower mode.

Overall this is a good figure.  The new head captures the look brilliantly and the clever colouration of the chest and shark mode body really carry the character across.  Fun publications ands the guys who organised these toys for the 2010 Botcon have done a brilliant job.
The original Sky-byte toy with a brief Bio can be seen at the ever handy Transfinda website at, although I think they got his function wrong, as he was second in command of the Predacons, where they have his function as 'Shark.'

Now for the rest of the pics I took of Sky-Byte commanding his 'loyal' Sharkticon to attack!
OK Loyal Sharticon,

Whoob! whoob! whoob!

We are so cool, we don't need to look at the enemy!

Swim us to GLORY!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome review man! I love this new Sky-Byte toy!


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