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Series: Henkei! Henkei!
Allegiance: Cybertron
Categories: Voyager
Year: 2008

Prelude: Skyfire is the Japanese version of Classics Jetfire, for whom I’ve already written a review. That was more than four years ago, though, so I’m in the mood for another go. The main focus will be on the differences between the two figures, though.

Robot Mode: There are several different ways to configure Skyfire’s robot mode, depending on which add-on parts you attach. In his ‘naked’ robot mode he strongly resembles the character we saw in the G1 cartoon series, complete with humanoid face. The differences to the Classic version consist of less red on the torso, different markings on the wings, a smaller cockpit window to more strongly resemble the look of the cartoon character, as well as blue highlights on the head and collar. Skyfire has pretty much the full range of posability, though his feet don’t really lend themselves to dynamic poses all that much. Still, no restrictions here.

Attaching the big booster rucksack, as well as his various weapons and, most importantly, his helmet, brings Skyfire very close to the look of the original G1 toy, which was based on the Robotech Valkyrie Fighter. He now sports a double rifle in his hand (which can split into two smaller rifles), missile launchers on his arms, and two big cannons that can flip out from his red booster rockets. His helmet also features two double-barreled guns as ‘ears’. The only downside of the added bulk is that he’s now prone to toppling over backwards unless you either lean him forward a bit or flip out his big booster rocket guns and point them forward. Apart from that he retains his full range of motion. The only added differences between the Classics and Henkei version in this ‘Super Mode’ are that Jetfire has blue missiles to Skyfire’s clear ones and that Jetfire’s helmet visor is blue instead of Skyfire’s red.

The Jetfire/Skyfire mold has a superb robot mode with many sensible add-ons that improve the figure instead of cluttering it. The paint differences aren’t really that many. Skyfire has the more G1-accurate colors, while Jetfire looks a bit more diverse, not having quite as much white. Still, whichever version you have, both make for kick-ass robots.

Vehicle Mode: Skyfire transforms into an aircraft loosely based on the F-14A Tomcat of Top Gun fame. The jet is supposed to be much bigger, though, as the relatively small cockpit window shows and has a somewhat blunted nose, but retains the characteristic twin tail-fins and moving wings. Just like in robot mode the jet can go ‘naked’ or attach the big booster rockets and weapons. The main difference to Classics Jetfire is the much more restrained use of red paint on the wings, as well as the aforementioned smaller cockpit window.

Adding the booster rockets makes the jet look more like a space craft, as aerodynamics go right out the window. This, though, is a much closer match to Skyfire’s vehicle mode as seen in the cartoon. All of the weapons can attach, though the splitting rifle has to go into the robot mode fists to hang underneath the jet, which doesn’t look all that great, so I leave those out most of the time. So all in all a vehicle mode almost as fun and versatile as the robot mode. No complaints.

Remarks: From an objective standpoint I can’t really say that Henkei Skyfire is any better or worse than Classics Jetfire. Skyfire has the more G1-accurate paint job, Jetfire has the more exciting-looking one. Skyfire has chromed parts, which might be a plus for some people, but I don’t really care one way or the other. The only slight (though highly subjective) edge Skyfire has for me is the name, as that is the name the actual G1 cartoon character went by and I am most definitely a child of the 1980s Transformers cartoon. So for me, at least, that means that Classics Jetfire will go on sale, while Henkei Skyfire will brighten my display case. Objectively, though, the two don’t really differ much. I recommend you own at least one version of this excellent figure, though.

Rating: A
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