Name: Sky High
Series: Generation 1
Alternate Mode: Helicopter
Thanks to Griffin for loaning me Sky High, making this review possible (I have since acquired a complete Sky High).
Height: 6cm Length: 10.5cm Width: 5.5cm, rotor width 11.5cm
A grey chopper with black runners underneath, a solid sky blue canopy, a red and grey engine on top and black two-blade rotor. While Sky High is clearly a Cybertronian helicopter, he clearly looks like a helicopter - this vehicle is far less forced than many other 1988 Pretender alt modes. The colours are pretty bland but this serves to draw attention to the chopper itself, which works in his favour.
While the limbs are still fairly obvious here, the legs work well as runners and the arms work well enough as part of the engine. The canopy is rounded - common enough on helicopters but unusual on Transformers. There's an Autobot logo sticker behind the cockpit, below the base of the rotor. Sadly, the rotor doesn't spin - you can manually turn it but there's no inertia - as soon as you remove force it stops.
As bland as the colours are, as static as this thing is, Sky High has a pretty good vehicle mode compared to many Pretenders - there's no mental gymnastic required to work out what he is, and no great leaps of faith either.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Remove the rotor and the grey top section of the engine. Swing out the legs and flip up his feet. Fold out the arms and swing into position. Attach the grey engine as a handgun and - if you like - plug the rotor directly into his back as a feature.
Height: 12.5cm Width: 5.5cm
Again grey, red and black - this time Sky High's colours don't do him much justice. The arms and feet are red, the torso and head grey and the legs black. His face is painted sky blue - the same shade as the canopy - with an eyevisor, nose and mouth as part of the sculpt. The colours are very boring and without much in the way of distinctive features, this works against Sky High who now ends up looking very, very, generic. The rotors on his back help somewhat - but not all that much. Still, he looks better with rather than without.
Like the rest of the 1988 Pretenders, Sky High's dominated by having to fold up into his shell. He's skinny, his legs are spread slightly, and his arms fold inwards. These design limitations influence his robot mode quite heavily, and more significantly, seriously limit the transformation. The end result is that the robot mode is devoid of any interesting features (hence my preference for the rotor on his back). Even the red stickers on this mode are decidedly uninteresting.
The play value is limited to his poseability, which isn't that exciting. His head is fixed, his shoulders rotate, his ankles fold and his hips swing. The handgun does look nice, even if it _looks_ like an engine to some extent.
While the chopper mode is one of the better 1988 Pretender alt modes, the robot mode really pays for that. This is a robot mode pretty much bereft of character - the rotor is about all we get in terms of individuality here - the colours are bland and the detail generic. The play value is meagre, just to round of the generic feel of this disappointing robot mode.
The Pretender Shell
A red and grey Caucasian humanoid with ginger hair and orange eyes (as you do). The chest has a dog's face motif with yellow eyes, the arms are grey with orange shoulderpads. There's a detachable black helmet and belt, the rotor and gun can plug into either hand as a melee and ranged weapon, respectably. Again this is a pretty generic shell - but then most Autobot shells were.
There's not much play value here. The arms swivel at the shoulders, and he can hold the gun in the front of one fist and the rotor in the other. The main point of the Pretender shell is that Sky High can stow his robot inside, which is I suppose the biggest feature in play terms of the entire toy.
Like the rest of the 1988 Autobot shells, it's a simple humanoid, although it matches Sky High's colour better than some of the shells do.
None I'm aware of.
The chopper mode is easily the best part of this set, but even then Sky High is reliant to the add-on engine and rotor to make that work. Mine lacked both of these, which is why I borrowed a Sky High for this review. The colours, robot mode and shell are all very dull, and the accessory-dependant alt mode isn't enough to save the toy, sadly. One of the weaker Pretenders, Sky High isn't a toy I recommend - 3.5/10