Review by tanuki
After promising a regular Visionaries feature I had a long break of not posting anything to do with Visionaries, because I like to tease.
So I return with Skyclaw, the Darkling Lords` flying vehicle piloted by the cowardly Mortdread.
First making an appearance in episode 2 of the cartoon the Skyclaw was the only flying vehicle used by the Visionaries, it was discovered by Mortdred and Reekon in a scrap yard.
The wizard Merklyn promised the Visionaries without power staffs that they would have abilities staff bearers wouldn't, two Spectral Knights and two Darkling Lords could pilot any vehicle and fuse them with magic.
You can fit two figures into the cockpit chairs, one to pilot, one to operate the laser cannon.
Detailing is sparse as toys of this era often were, but Hasbro did add ridges to the seats which I appreciate over plain plastic.
The pilot controls are a simplified version of what was seen in the cartoon, obviously missing the lighting, but the dials are all in the right places.
The back seat has two foot pegs to mount a figure which helped kids who flew Skyclaw around their rooms and helps me not lose figures when my nephew flys it around my living room.
The laser cannon has a hinge so you can point it up or down and the stand will rotate side to side, my canon has been used a lot and droops to the left, I can't seem to fix it.
Skyclaw has a few features revealing special weapons, the first is a front cannon, if you push the piece sticking out of the back of Skyclaw the front spike will pop forward and a cannon will pop up from the nose.
This weapon has a little bit of ridge detailing but other than that it's only function is to move up and down.
The second feature is really the flying mode, the two side sections open outwards revealing two rotating twin cannons on each wing, these cannons have a nice clicky joint and can rotate almost 180 degrees.
The main flaw in my Skyclaw is that the holograms on the wings have completely faded, there used to be a picture of a vulture type creature that morphed into a dragon creature, sadly with many Visionaries toys, the holograms are the first things to fail or be damaged.
Underneath the Skyclaw is a pretty basic 80's undercarriage, segmented plastic and five wheels.
It does roll but needs continuous pushing to keep rolling.
At the rear of the Skyclaw are two pegs either side of the rear seat which you can slide in two power staff's of any affiliation, oddly in the official picture they have two Spectral knight staff's shown, and also a better look at working holograms, see picture.
I don't have the box this set came with, but I do have the character bio cut out that was originally on the back of the box giving information on the included figure, Mortdred.
This bio also includes pictures of the vehicle holograms on the right side.
Oddly the bio doesn't have much to say about his infamous sycophantic and cowardly nature, and the picture of Mortdread has evil red glowing eyes, which he has never had.
Onto the Mortdred figure, as I said in my Lexor review, the Visionaries shared a similar basic design with GI Joe's, in terms of their joints and with their helmets they share the look of M.A.S.K. figures.
Mortdred is a mix of purple and light blue, his helmet is all purple and lacks visor paint.
The helmet does make his head look really big.
On his chest you can see his holographic totem, the Beetle, it's slightly off centre in my figure and has a little damage on the right.
I've bought 3 versions of this figure and here I use the best parts of each.
Mortdred comes with a sickle sword weapon with a serrated blade, this weapon will fit into either hand though with all Visionaries figures the left hand usually has a tighter grip.
Once the helmet comes off (it's held on by simple friction) you can see that lovely grey bearded mush, he kind of looks like General Madine from Return of the Jedi (the guy giving the battle briefing before Endor).
If the bio won't say anything about Mortdred's true nature, I will illustrate in pictures.
I'm going to do a quick review of a figure not included with this set, but I've found is the hardest figure to find complete, let alone in a good condition, Reekon.
So until I can find complete version of him this review will have to do, my figure has the wrong hologram totem as Reekon's is a lizard.
Reekon is the only Darkling Lord not to have a full beard, he has his evil little goatee and vulcan pointy eyebrows.
In the show Reekon is a mercenary, out for himself and whoever pays the most.
The figure has a sickly yellow and brown paint job and spikey armor.
He was included with the Dagger Assault vehicle, which is also extremely hard to find, in 6 months of searching I've only seen one Dagger Assault appear for sale for around £400, I've seen two complete Reekon figures come up from between £50-£100 each.
I've included the picture of the Dagger Assault from the toy catalogue the set came with.
Here's a full view of both sides of the toy catalogue, including a preview of the Iron Mountain playset that was never released.
Here is a picture of the unreleased Iron Mountain Playset.
These figures remind me of being a kid and watching Saturday morning cartoons, I think it's more nostalgia than my love for the line.
I almost have everything that was released (but not the Dagger Assault as I've mentioned and I'm not sure I will find that), I have lots of duplicate figures/staffs/weapons because it's hard finding figures with working holograms even though all the eBay sellers claim they're working.
I still think the cartoon quality was much higher than other Hasbro shows of the same time, in terms of animation and writing, i do recommend the series if you can find it (online only for non region 2 people) and it's only 13 episodes long.
Now a final picture of all the Darkling Lord figures going for a spin in the Skyclaw.
|Posted 7 April, 2014 - 00:57 by tanuki|