"Cyberverse" Spark Armor Sky-Byte with Driller Drive Toy Review

in 2019, Action Figure Review, Battle Class, Cyberverse, Decepticon, Robots in Disguise (2001), Power of the Spark

Cyberverse

Sky-Byte

General Information:
Release Date: August 2019
Price Point: $14.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Amazon, Entertainment Earth, Target, Walmart etc.)
Accessories: Driller Drive Vehicle/Armor

*Images and text below from Amazon.com:

  • 4-Inch sky-byte figure: sky-byte figure is an impressive 4 inches tall.
  • Power up sky-byte with spark armor: combine, convert, and power up! Combine the included Driller drive spark armor vehicle with sky-byte to convert him into his powered-up mode.
  • 3-In-1 converting toy: easy Transformers conversion for kids 6 and up! Convert sky-byte toy from robot mode to shark mode in 10 steps, then combine with his Driller drive spark armor to armor-up figure. Makes a great gift for kids!
  • Transformers cyberverse character: classic blue and yellow sky-byte toy robot inspired by the Deception relentless Warrior from the Transformers cyberverse cartoon, as seen on cartoon Network and YouTube.
  • Inspired by Cartoon Network show: in the g1-inspired cyberverse series, giant Transformers Robots from the Planet Cyber Tron engage in epic battles, harnessing the power of the all spark with their spark armor! Kids can imagine unleashing this new ability with this spark armor figure

Sky-Byte is a character who was first introduced in the Japanese Car Robots series as "Gelshark". He would later be named Sky-Byte when the series was translated and brought outside Japan as Robots in Disguise. While he was a Predacon, the character quickly became a fan favorite with him composing poems even as he plunged into battle with the Autobots. Years later a version of the character would appear as a Botcon exclusive. The character also appeared as a Generations Voyager Class figure in 2014. Now the character has been folded into the Cyberverse story as a new Decepticon being introduced in season two of the show.

Packaging:
The "Power of the Spark" Spark Armor packaging is a bit of a throwback. In the "Robots in Disguise" line from a few years ago, the "Crash Combiners" featured packaging that emphasized the combination of two characters. In this case, the emphasis on the packaging is between a character and their armor. The packaging uses the same "Cyberverse" design as last year's figures including the vertical "Transformers" logo, a yellow and blue background with the "Cyberverse" logo prominent in the middle. Where this packaging borrows inspiration from the "Crash Combiners" is the character art. The left side of the packaging features an arrow with the name "Sky-Byte" and the right features an arrow with the name "Driller Drive". The two point to the middle where Sky-Byte's artwork shows him combined with his armor!

The back of the card shows Sky-Byte separate and combined with his armor. The transformation is called out as a 10 step transform. The cosells are the Spark Armor versions of Jetfire, Prowl and Starscream.

Accessories:
Sky-Byte includes several accessories that come together to form one vehicle: the Driller Drive! As its name states, this is a drilling vehicle featuring a giant drill in front and four wheels on either side. The main body of the vehicle is relatively flat, featuring several sections including what appears to be a control cabin on top, vents on the sides and lights set towards the middle facing back. I imagine by Earth standards this vehicle is intended to be huge for humans, but next to Sky-Byte it looks almost small. Scale is sort of all over the place with Transformers anyhow so let your imagination roam.

Most of this vehicle is metallic yellow plastic. Some blue plastic peeks out in the front and the drill is gunmetal grey. The wheels are also painted gunmetal grey, adding some nice contrast to the yellow.

The vehicle breaks up into four separate pieces, forming armor on Sky-Byte. More on that below in the "Spark Armor Mode" section of this review.

Robot Mode:
Sky-Byte is not a Generation One character, but his look is so iconic he may as well be! The character was based on the Beast Wars Cybershark figure and thus had a very distinctive appearance in Robots in Disguise. This figure reflects a lot of those design elements including:

  • There is a distinctive fin on the top of his head.
  • The chest features a shark head, eyes, teeth and all.
  • Each shoulder has a small sharp looking hook on it (don't worry, it's not sharp at all).
  • The left forearm has a four sided claw on it that is much larger than the right forearm and fist.
  • His thighs have distinct details on them that resemble gills on a fish.
  • The lower legs have sections that resemble the design of the leg armor seen on the Robots in Disguise version of Sky-Byte.
  • The armor on the back is reiminiscent of the armor on Sky-Byte's shoulders in Robots in Disguise.

Overall, this sculpt is a fun update to the Sky-Byte sculpt. Mind you, it is an extremely simplified verson of the larger figures released in Robots in Disguise and Generations but given the target age group and price, I am not surprised.

Taking color cues from previous Sky-Byte figures, this figure is made up of yellow, light blue and dark blue plastic. The colors are distributed pretty evenly. Silver, blue and red paint are used to fill in details and the chest has a purple Decepticon symbol on it. While Sky-Byte looks good, I cannot help but think that this deco could have served as a foundation for an even better one. There is plenty of detail sculpted into this figure and seeing some paint accents on them would have been great.

This figure has eleven points of articulation. This includes ball joints on the elbows, shoulders and hips. I am being generous by including the ability for his claw hand to turn and the feet. I have to say, the joints are surprisingly tight on my copy of this figure. I do wish the figure had head articulation however. Losing that feels a bit cheap.

Transformation to Beast Mode:

  1. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  2. Point the feet down.
  3. Connect the lower legs together in the middle.
  4. Swing the head back.
  5. Swing the back armor up over the head.
  6. Rotate the arms so the pointed parts on the shoulders are pointed inward.
  7. Swing the arms back.
  8. Rotate the forearms around and connect them together.
  9. Swing the waist and legs up, connecting them to the arms.
  10. Swing the side panels down.

Beast Mode:
Sky-Byte's shark mode is based on the look of the original Beast Wars Cybershark sculpt, but many details have been simplified heavily. He still looks like a mechanical shark, but a lot of the original design's asymmetrical elements are not present on this figure. Instead, there are plenty of mechanical bits including hinges that have been cleverly sculpted to look like cannons and an extra, smaller fin towards the back.

All the colors from the robot mode carry over here, with the blue taking center stage towards the front and middle and the dark blue and yellow making up the back. I will say the same thing for this mode as the robot mode. This is a good foundation for a much better deco. Some more silver details would have helped immensely.

There are two 5mm ports on the top near the head and one on each side. This allows you to attach additional weapons from any Transformers line with 5mm peg weapons. This was an unexpectd bonus for this mode (and frankly, it makes sense given the play pattern of the line).

Spark Armor Mode

Combination with Spark Armor (Start with the figure in robot mode)

  1. Separate the parts of the drill vehicle. Remove the drill and detach the wheel sections.
  2. Swing the panel on the back down.
  3. On the center piece of the drill vehicle, swing the top yellow panel back to reveal the helmet.
  4. Connect the two pegs on the dark blue section to the ports flanking Sky-Byte's head.
  5. Connect the wheel sections to the forearms.
  6. Place the drill in the right arm.

Sky-Byte's Spark Armor Mode not only gives the character some armor on his torso area, but he also gets a helmet, armor on the arms and a drill weapon. My favorite part of this sculpt is the sculpt of the helmet. In keeping with the "shark" inspired design of Sky-Byte himself, the helmet looks like a mutated version of a shark head, complete with evil looking eyes and "teeth" on the edges of the front opening. The wheel sections on the arms may just look like some type of protective armor, but they also have small sections sculpted on top that could be seen as rocket launchers or blasters of some sort. The drill is a very appropriate weapon given that his other arm has a blade/drill weapon on it.

The parts from the Driller vehicle all match up nicely with Sky-Byte himself. The armor pieces are mostly yellow, with blue hinges and attachment points. The drill and wheels are painted gunmetal grey. Overall this mode looks great.

Thanks to the way the armor fits on Sky-Byte, he does not lose any articulation in this form. Even better, his legs have additional 5mm ports, allowing you to attach extra weapons from other figures. You can also attach additional weapons to the 5mm ports on the sides of the chest armor and the sides of the wheel armor.

Final Thoughts:
I've always loved the character of Sky-Byte, so any new version of him is welcome. This is a fun version with cool play value. The figure of Sky-Byte himself is already cool enough, but the additional armor and vehicle is a really cool add on. Recommended!

Pros:

  • New version of a character that does not get a lot of attention in the Transformers toy line.
  • Fun play value including ability to use parts from other Spark Armor figures.

Cons:

  • Articulation is limited given the cost of the figure. Some fans may want to wait for a sale.