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Series: Cyberverse
Allegiance: Decepticon
Categories: Spark Armor Battle Class
Year: 2019

Dedication: This review is dedicated in loving memory to Lilly, our beloved cat. Lilly was a part of our family for 15 years before passing away due to bone cancer. We will never forget you, little tiger. Until we see each other again.

Prelude: I know little about the Cyberverse story, to be honest, beyond the basic outline. I have yet to see Sky-Byte in that cartoon. I do remember Sky-Byte from the original RID cartoon, though, and he was that cartoon’s breakout character as far as I’m concerned. He’s the greatest shark in town, the Haiku-quoting Predacon, the one who got away in the end. So let’s see how Sky-Byte fares in Cyberverse’s Spark Armor line.

Robot Mode: The first thing Sky-Byte reminded me of was a Beast Wars Basic-class figure. Small, but very nicely articulated thanks to being ball-jointed through and through. And, of course, very easily recognizable as the greatest shark in town, Sky-Byte (that’s him). He’s got the (sadly non-turning) head with the fin on top, he’s got the big claw-thing on his arm, the blue and yellow paintjob, and the shark head on the chest helps, too, despite the original Sky-Byte having it in a different place. So this is Sky-Byte, no doubt.

Name recognition aside, this is a surprisingly good figure for the Cyberverse line, especially in terms of articulation. Okay, the back kibble is a bit annoying, but that’s just about the only negative thing here. Detailing is as good as you can reasonably expect for a Scout-sized mainline figure, so no complaints here, either. Bottom line: a very nice, very playable robot mode. Thumbs up.

Alternate Mode: Hardly surprising, Sky-Byte transforms into a robotic shark. The transformation is simple, but still quite well-designed, and the resulting shark shows no clues to the robot mode hidden inside. Of course you can’t really do much here except having it sit there. Not sure if it’ll swim in the bathtub or simply sink. It looks pretty cool, though. Sadly the peg-holes on the side are ill-positioned for adding pieces of the Spark Armor (see below), the fins get in the way, but otherwise: a very decent shark mode. Thumbs up here, too.

Add-Ons: As part of the Spark Armor series, Sky-Byte comes with a drone vehicle, called Driller Drive, which becomes a suit of armor for the figure. It’s somewhat a light version of the Weaponizers, come to think of it, just without a robot mode of its own. The drill tank as such looks okay and you can sort of put Sky-Byte in shark mode on top of it if you wish. Taking it apart, you end up with a sort-of breast plate for Sky-Byte, two pieces that go on Sky-Byte’s arms, and the drill as a hand-held weapon.

Side note: I’ve seen pics of the spark armor working with Siege figures, too, but I’ve yet to try that out.

Overall I like the Spark Armor concept just fine. The drone vehicle as such is nothing special, but it’s fun to take it apart and armor-up Sky-Byte. So thumbs up the third.

Remarks: As I mentioned above, there is nothing I can say about Sky-Byte’s role in the Cyberverse cartoon. In the original RID cartoon he started out as the number 2 bad guy, demoted to number 3 when the much-cooler bad guy Scourge came along, and eventually more or less changing sides and ending up free and alone on Earth when everyone else left. In the IDW comics Sky-Byte was a neutral, who left Cybertron in order to escape the war, and returned after the war ended to do a weird musical poetry number with Jazz.

The Cyberverse line as a whole is not for me, I must say. As a matter of fact I find Hasbro’s decision to sharply divide collector and play lines stupid and I don’t think it’ll work in the long run, but that’s another discussion entirely. That said, I do like the Spark Armor idea and being a big fan of Sky-Byte, there was on question on getting him. The fact that the Spark Armor figures are better articulated than roughly 75% of the other Cyberverse figures also plays a role, of course. So bottom line: if you’re a fan of Sky-Byte, the old Beast Wars Basic Beasts, or simply enjoy a semi-unique concept like the Spark Armor gimmick, this figure is well worth a look.

Rating: B+
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