Transformers Human Alliance - SKIDS
"Car Car Binks" gets his due...
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Hasbro's first Human Alliance release of Bumblebee and Sam was praised by myself as one of the best Transformers toys based on the films. Since then Hasbro has released two more: Sideswipe and the more recent release of SKIDS. We'll be taking a closer look at the first half of "Car Car Binks" otherwise known as Skids, the Chevrolet Beat. Packaged with the green robot who cannot read is one of the motorcycle twins, Arcee, and the human Mikaela Banes (Megan Fox).
This three pack can be found at most retail outlets for between $30-35.
PACKAGING: Not to confuse the folks buying the regular movie product, the packaging for Human Alliance is much flashier with a lot more graphics from the movies and a nice large window display. The usual stats and bio are included on the back with colorful photography showing you the many reasons why you should be buying this.
Removing the toys were quite easy, a shocker even for me. Just cut the tape and the bubble /window comes right out. Skids is held down with only two twist ties so this is definitely pretty manageable.
SCULPT: In vehicle mode, Skids is as on-model as you can get; a perfect reproduction of the Chevrolet Beat. As a robot, this is probably the closest you can get, but it could be better still. I know it's insanely difficult to capture every detail and nuance instilled into the CG Transformers but some aspects of Skids aren’t even close. The head, thank goodness, is done pretty well and overall it’s a good likeness. Details such as the doors sticking out of his back are definite issues I have. There's definitely a lot of extra stuff hanging on his back, but as a transforming toy, the important features are present and accounted for.
Skids is tiny compared to Bumblebee but don’t worry, that's intentional and also why we got the bonus motorcycle toy.
Arcee, one of the "twins" (triplets really), I have some problems with. In motorcycle form, she looks pretty accurate but in bot form, she doesn’t seem to be the right robot. Arcee's bot mode appears to actually be Chromia! How did that mess up happen? It’s a pretty big screw up so let’s hope that maybe they'll release a proper version of Arcee and Chromia later on.
Mikaela Banes, Sam's love interest, is included here. There’s no real reason why she's packaged with Arcee or Skids but it's most likely because of her importance as a character. Her sculpt however isn't passable as Megan Fox, but due to the size, I don't think anyone really notices or cares. My Mikaela figure does have quite an acne problem on the forehead so you might want to double check your toys before you purchase. Her outfit is mostly accurate to the film although needs more paint aps, and her hair style isn't exactly right either. But all minor issues since the Transformers are what we’re here for.
PAINT: The paint on Skids is generally clean but it gets a bit sloppy in the face. The gold tooth isn't painted entirely and the bottom of his mouth also should be green rather than grey. Much of the plastic is molded in the colors so there’s actually not too much paint. Added some extra paint would certainly bring out a lot of the details that are otherwise unnoticed. Arcee has minimal paint applications and it’s just as well since she’s really just a wrongly colored Chromia anyway.
Mikaela is a smaller figure which makes painting her more difficult. Blowing up the photo reveals a lot of slop on the face but with a figure this small, it really is a challenge to get right. The main ingredient sorely missed is the floral design on her jacket seen clearly in the film. That added detail would have made this figure much more accurate to the film.
ARTICULATION: Much like Bumblebee, the articulation on Skids is quite impressive. He has articulation in the neck, jaw, shoulders, cut bicep, elbows, right thumb, right hand, waist, hips, double knees, calves, and foot. The only thing lacking that I can think of would be articulation in the wrists. The waist is somewhat limited as well due to all the extra gunk he's packing on his back.
A new perk that is designed into Skids is his car seats attached to his arms can be collapsed down, or they can be kept up to interact with Mikaela. Skids also has a secret canon behind his head that can be folded out as well. Arcee too has articulation but due to her transformation, it's a tad awkward. There are joints that can be adjusted to change her body mass but that’s more a part of the transformation. Arcee has some head movement from side to side and up and down, shoulder and elbow joints in the right arm, shoulder and wrist joints on the left.
Mikaela actually has quite a bit of articulation, allowing her to sit inside Skids or ride on top of Arcee. Mikael has neck, ball-joint shoulders, waist, ball joint hips, and knees.
ACCESSORIES & ACTION GIMMICKS: Skids features an arm blaster much like Bumblebee’s. Only the difference here is that Skids gets to keep his right hand. A projectile missile is included for use with the canon. Skids also has eye ports for glowing blue eye action if the light shines the right angle but I found it rather difficult to achieve on a regular basis. He also has a moving mouth feature when you push down on the top of his head.
TRANSFORMATION: Skids is a level 3 conversion (out of four) and relatively straight forward as his legs are in the back, arms in the front, and the hood of the car is his chest. He’s significantly easier than Bumblebee and Sideswipe in my opinion.
Arcee is also pretty straight forward and could probably be considered a level 1 conversion.
VALUE: These will run you between $30-35 at retail outlets and what you get here are three toys. One is a great version of Skids, an Arcee, and a human ally. Despite Skids' smaller stature, this set of three packs quite a lot of bang for the buck.
OVERALL: If the first Human Alliance toy, Bumblebee, was a homerun by Hasbro. Skids is pretty close to that as well. I had my issues with Sideswipe but thankfully Skids is a breeze. I would have preferred some extra transformations to get his doors out of his bot design but overall he's still a fantastic Transformer.
Arcee is a bit of a problem though, not being an accurate design and all. Hopefully Hasbro realizes their error and offers up a new and more accurate version of Arcee in the same scale.
If you're still on the fence about Human Alliance, don't be. These are fantastic Transformer toys that look great in either mode. As a character, Skids isn't really my cup of tea but as a toy, he's pretty darn impressive.
For even more images of this action figure, CLICK HERE!
Review and Photos by David Yeh