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Series: Titans Return
Allegiance: Decepticon
Categories: Leader Headmaster
Year: 2016

Prelude: Some people call him the space gangster! Yeah! No one calls him the cowboy of love! Some people call him Sky Shadow! And he was a gift from my buddy Caked-Up, who is occasionally a joker, but not a smoker, nor a midnight toker (as far as I know). Thanks, buddy!

Robot Mode: Sky Shadow is a Leader-class figure and sufficiently large and broad to look the part, too. He is mostly black with red and silver highlights, giving him a nice evil look. The combination of jet wings on his back and tank tracks on his legs looks very interesting and I just love those gun things on his shoulders. Very nice.

Articulation is fully okay, though the shoulders tend to sag a bit when you move the arms (part of the transformation here, just push them back in). One thing that does bother me a tiny bit is the hollow forearms, which seems to have become a trend among current Transformers. A tiny little plate to hide the empty space where the fist retracts when transformed wouldn’t cost that much more, would it?

For weapons Sky Shadow carries a big gun that becomes part of his tank mode (see below) and a kind of arm shield / blade / drone thing. Both weapons can either be held in hand or be attached to his forearm, whichever you prefer. Sky Shadow is also a Headmaster, meaning his head (or rather, the face inside his helmet) becomes a separate figure (see below), but if you don’t care for the gimmick, it’s not really noticeable. So bottom line: while appearing a bit simplified when compared to older Leader-class figures, Sky Shadow has a very nice robot mode with no flaws worth mentioning. Thumbs up!

Alternate Modes: Technically speaking Sky Shadow is a Duocon, a single robot that falls into two separate vehicles. In his case those vehicles are a jet and a tank. Starting with the latter, the tank is formed from Sky Shadow’s legs and, while not terribly intricate, is easily recognizable as what it’s supposed to be. Sky Shadow’s gun becomes the tank turret and there is a cockpit for this Titan Master partner (see below). The nearly all-black paint job swallows up some of the sculpted detailing, but apart from that a very nice tank mode. No complaints.

Sky Shadow’s jet mode is made from his upper body and bears a strong resemblance to the jet mode of his original Generations incarnation, as well as the jet mode of G1 Thunderwing. The jet looks pretty good and has the advantage of not having to put the robot legs anywhere. The robot arms are still there, though, being somewhat bulky underneath the wings. Not a big thing, but not very aerodynamic, either. Overall though I like this jet mode very much. The cockpit opens to seat Sky Shadow’s Titan Master partner and you can give the jet a long or short nose, depending on whether or not you add his drone / arm shield thing. Overall a very nice Science-Fiction style jet mode, no complaints here, either.

Sky Shadow’s two vehicle modes can combine… sort of. Basically the jet sits on top of the tank. But one can easily imagine the jet thus carrying the tank through the air (or space) towards whatever destination Sky Shadow intends to transform back into a robot with legs at. Also, it earmarks this mold for a Flywheels repaint or custom.

Like all Leader-class Titans Return figures, Sky Shadow, too, has a base mode. It is, of course, very similar to the base mode of Overlord, with the upper body / jet serving as the main tower and the legs being outriggers on either side. The tank gun sits in the middle to give the base firepower and the robot arms go out sideways as additional, smaller outriggers. The results is a pretty good-looking base mode, certainly better than some of the others we’ve seen in Titans Return, and offers ample room for numerous Titan Master figures. So bottom line, an above-average base mode. Nicely done.

Partner / Add-On: Sky Shadow comes with Titan Master Ominus. Ominus is a typical Titan Master figure and can pilot Sky Shadow’s tank or jet mode. Ominus can also use Sky Shadow’s drone / arm shield as a kind of miniature jet. If you don’t particularly care for the Headmaster gimmick you can also leave him in place as the robot’s head, it doesn’t impede the transformation into vehicle mode in any way.

Remarks: Sky Shadow began his existence as Black Shadow, a Takara-exclusive remold of Thunderwing, who appeared in the Japanese-exclusive Victory cartoon series. The official function of this character translated as “space gangster”, though a mistranslation fueled persistent rumors that he was a member of some never-seen “space mafia”. Hasbro only introduced this character in the course of the original Generations series, once again as a repaint of Thunderwing, and he subsequently appeared in the IDW comics as one of the Decepticons three Phase-Sixers, super-powerful Decepticons who are called in to deliver the final death blow to near-conquered planets. Sky Shadow, however, did some unofficial paid work on the side, too, which caused the Decepticon Justice Division to target him. Sky Shadow was executed by the DJD after all members had a chance to show off their special torture abilities.

As has become a somewhat regular occurrence in the Titans Return line, molds that are earmarked for certain characters are reused BEFORE being released as the actual characters they were made for. Same here, as the Sky Shadow mold was clearly made for Overlord, who was released afterwards. While I intend to skip the Overlord version (because Carnifex), I fully intended to buy Sky Shadow… until Caked-Up got there first and sent him to me a as a gift. Thanks again. Anyway, Sky Shadow is a very good figure and I dare say that the mold looks better to me like this than it does as Overlord (judging purely form pictures for the latter, of course).

So bottom line: Sky Shadow is an excellent figure. Somewhat simplified in some aspects, but with no real flaws and a pretty cool look. Even if you have no relation to the (rather obscure) character, Sky Shadow is still a great choice to bolster your Decepticon ranks. Fully recommended, even if you do intend to get the Overlord version.

Rating: A-
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