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Combined form of Inventa & Magna

Series: Mastermind Creations Reformatted
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Combiner
Year: 2018

Prelude: In the original Transformers cartoon there was a clear rule: Transformers with animals or monsters for an alternate mode (or, God forbid, primary mode) were primitive and stupid (like the Dinobots) or mute pets (like most of Soundwave’s cassettes). The shining exception was the mighty Sky Lynx, the Autobots’ most noble, valiant, powerful, and intelligent warrior ever (he was also quite modest, you know?). Sky Lynx was allowed to be smart despite a non-humanoid robot mode and he ended up one of season 3’s most popular characters. Now this Sky Lynx here, seeing as he is from a third party company, Mastermind Creations, instead of Hasbro or Takara-Tomy, can’t legally be called Sky Lynx. Instead he is called Inventa Magna, which is Latin for “Great Discovery” or “Great Invention”. Both descriptions certainly fit the noble yet very modest Sky Lynx.

Magna - Lynx: Mastermind Creations cheated a bit by selling Sky Lynx in two parts. The first to be available was Magna, the lynx part of Sky Lynx. In his primary mode Magna is a big robot cat (he’d need big ears to actually be a lynx) with a blue torso, red-and-white legs, a golden head, and two red tails. Unlike the G1 version of the lynx, though, this one here is more than a box on legs. All four legs are fully articulated, including double-jointed knees and tilting ankles, as are the two tails. Magna also has a waist he can bend his torso at. The head can move, too, and the jaws open up to reveal a laser cannon inside it. Finally two tiny little batteries can be entered into the head to make the eyes glow.

Magna also comes with a replacement head in shiny gold instead of the duller gold of the pre-installed one. It’s a closer match to the cat head of the original G1 Sky Lynx and also features light-up eyes. Which head you prefer is, of course, entirely up to you. What else to say here? I really like Magna in cat mode. I don’t think I ever had the original G1 toy in lynx mode much, but Magna is pretty cool. So no complaints here, a great robot cat.

Magna – Transport: Magna transforms into a square. I know, it’s supposed to be a transporter, a tracked vehicle used to bring space shuttles to the launch pad, but let’s be honest: it’s a square. The lynx tugs in his four legs, both head and tails are folded in, and you are left with a square. So... yeah. It looks good in combination with the shuttle (see below), but on it’s own? Just a square. So let’s best move on.

Inventa – Bird: The second component of Sky Lynx was released under the name Inventa and it’s the bird component. Some kind of flying dinosaur, probably, neither cartoon nor comics were ever really clear on that. Inventa is a huge bird who clearly transforms into a space shuttle, but more on that below. The bird itself is pretty big, comes with a nicely articulated neck and tail, as well as moving wings. This is one of the major differences to the G1 bird component, whose wings were fixed in place. Inventa’s wings can flap up and down and the blue wing parts can extend or fold in for many different wing shapes.

This also leads us to one of Inventa’s few weak spots, though: the wings are connected to the torso via a single ratchet joint each. I am not sure how long-lasting this joint will be, considering that size of the wings it has to stabilize. No problems yet, mind you, but I am not sure that will remain that way. Another potential weak spot is the flap that lies along Inventa’s breast, formerly the underside of the space shuttle cockpit. The pins keeping it in place in both modes are rather tiny, so be careful here, too, lest they break, especially when prying them loose during the transformation.

Inventa stands on two highly-articulated bird legs with individual claws. They give Inventa a solid stance despite his very top-heavy design, so no complaints there. One thing worth mentioning about the legs and tail, though: both have tiny little coverings on each joint to hide the screws from view and those coverings come off rather easily. It seems a common problem, as MMC included several replacement coverings for Inventa in the box. Not a big problem, mind you, but if a small red or blue disc should fall off and disappear somewhere, you know where they come from.

Inventa’s head is very nicely done with long rows of sculpted teeth and a laser cannon inside the opening mouth. Here, too, you can insert two tiny little batteries (not included and of a format not usually available in any German convenience store) to make the eyes glow. So bottom line for the bird mode: very nicely done overall, but it does feel a bit fragile in places. Best be careful in handling it.

Inventa – Shuttle: Inventa transforms into a space shuttle, a vehicle that was the epitome of exploratory spirit and adventurism to those of us who grew up in the 80s and 90s. The resemblance is very good and unlike the G1 original this one comes with a landing gear, too. Also, the cargo bay opens up and unveils an unfolding robot arm. Not much more I can write here, so bottom line: an excellent shuttle mode. No complaints at all.

Combined Shuttle: The two components of Inventa Magna can combine in vehicle mode, which basically means setting the shuttle on top of the transporter. There are two connecting pieces on the underside of the shuttle that slot into place on top of the Transport. The rear connecting piece looks rather fragile, I must say, but the connection is solid, no complaints. You can easily lift the entire thing by the shuttle, even though the transport module is a good deal heavier.

I don’t think we ever saw Sky Lynx’ two components separate in alternate mode in the cartoon, so this was the alternate mode we saw him in most. A space shuttle flying through space with a big box underneath it. I always saw it more as a cargo module myself, rather than a ground transport, but to each his own. Bottom line: I very much like this look, though nostalgia might play a big part here.

Inventa Magma: And now we have finally arrived at Inventa Magna’s primary mode, which is kind of a winged dinosaur thing. The bird component folds in its legs, the lynx component folds in its head, and the two combine. The flap from the bird’s chest wraps around the front of the lynx mode and plugs into place, further solidifying the connection. The resulting robot looks fabulous to me and very much like the Sky Lynx we saw on TV. Huge, powerful, and wonderfully weird. A space shuttle dino bird on four legs, what more could you possibly ask for?

Of course Inventa Magna retains the full articulation of his components in this mode, meaning you can pose the legs, wings, the neck, and the tail in whatever manner you want. So... yeah, nothing really new I can write here that I haven’t already written about the components, except for one thing: this is Sky Lynx! That weird alien dinobird robot thing with the inflated ego! And he is brilliant!

Remarks: As mentioned above Sky Lynx was a regular during the third season of the original Transformers cartoon and definitely one of my favorites. Nicknamed “Commander Modesty” by Springer, Sky Lynx was never one to be humble, constantly praising his own prowess, though in most cases deservingly so. He more than once used the fearsome Predacon combiner Predaking as a punching bag and did not hesitate to take on the giant Trypticon, either. For all that he was shown to be every bit as smart as any given humanoid Autobot, he was still somehow considered a “primitive”, as seen in the third season episode “Call of the Primitives”.

Inventa and Magna each came with a comic book that showed them being created by “Cyclops” (Shockwave), before being sent to a primitive planet on a mission. Here they were ambushed by a group of beast-formers (the Beast Wars Predacons), whom they drove off by joining forces with another group of beast-formers (the Beast Wars Maximals). All of which makes me hope that Mastermind Creations might soon release Beast-Wars-themed figures. Noteworthy: the comics here show Inventa and Magna as two separate individuals, while the cartoon only ever showed Sky Lynx as one guy with two bodies.

I briefly considered reviewing Magna and Inventa separately, but eventually decided against it. Let’s face it, no one is going to buy just one of them as a stand-alone figure. You’re either a big fan of Sky Lynx and get them both, or you’ll spend your money elsewhere. That said, Magna is the better stand-alone figure, but that’s just here for completeness’ sake.

Being a huge Sky Lynx fan myself, it was never really a question for me and the only reason I didn’t buy them myself is that my birthday got in the way and I got them as presents from my beloved wife. I definitely would have gotten them either way, though. Of course they don’t come cheap, as buying both sets you back well over 200 bucks, but to me they are definitely worth it. They aren’t perfect, as there are some weak spots one needs to keep an eye on during transforming and combining, but they are close enough for me. So bottom line here: if you’re a fan of G1 Sky Lynx or enjoy the occasional non-standard robot design, this weird flying dinosaur robot is fully recommended. Just beware the price tag.

Rating: A-

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