Series: Generation 1 Break them, crush them -- grind them to dust!
Pathological hatred of anything and anyone that is not 100% evil. A wicked genius, wholly dedicated to laying waste all in his path. Utterly cold, calculating and rational. Even his all consuming loathing of the Autobots is clinical in its vicious single-mindedness. Locks together with Predator planes to maximize astounding supersight capabilities. Interaction also gives him instant ultra-communication with the minds of his forces. As bomber, attacks with dreadful 15 missile power. As robot, strikes terror with handheld missile weaponry.
First thing you notice about Skyquake is that he’s big. By today’s standard he’d be a Leader-class figure. And despite his somewhat strange color combination (it was the early 90s, after all) he does manage to look quite menacing. Menacing enough, by the way, that this figure was repainted into Starscream for the short-lived Machine Wars series. Still, size and menacing look alone can’t disguise one thing: Skyquake is a brick. He can move his arms forward at the shoulders and that’s it. While quite a few G1 figures were equally immobile, it grates a bit more here because there was more than ample room to include a few extra joints in a figure this size.
Skyquake has multiple gimmicks, but none of them really come into play in robot mode. Here he’s restricted to using his missile launcher (not pictured because I couldn’t find it), which is the standard weapon of all Predators. Which means that, given that the others are all a good deal smaller than Skyquake, it looks very small in his big fists. Anyway, Skyquake can’t really do much except stand there and look menacing. He does it well, yes, but a little more than that would have been good, even for a G1 figure.
Skyquake transforms into a futuristic looking bomber. Unlike his robot mode (which is the underside of the bomber, basically) he’s mostly green / turquoise here. Also, the alternate mode offers a whole lot more than the rather restricted robot mode. For one, he can really bomb stuff, thanks to the magazines in his wings. Turn them and missile after missile will drop out, nicely carpet-bombing everything below him. A simple but very nicely implemented gimmick.
Furthermore Skyquake has vents in the middle of his bomber mode, which can be opened to show translucent green plastic or closed off with bronze-colored blinds. What good is that, you ask? Well, it plays into his main gimmick, the so-called supersight system, which is the big thing on his back that serves as a combination of main thruster / tail rudder. Looking through it, you see different images, depending on which other Predator jet is currently sitting on top of Skyquake. See two examples in the pictures above.
So all in all Skyquake’s bomber mode is easily the better of his two modes, offering quite a bit of play value and an incentive to collect the other Predator jets, too. Thumbs up.
1992 was the twilight year of the original Transformers series. The United States hadn’t seen any new toys for two years and even in Europe things were winding down. Still, there were new toys that year, featuring the Turbomasters on the side of good and the Predators as the bad guy. Skyquake was the leader of the Predacons and the biggest figure released that year. And while he was never seen in any cartoon, he did feature in several comic books such as “Last Stand of the Wreckers” and “Wings of Honor”.
As a toy Skyquake is a bit of a mixed blessing. The robot mode looks good, but offers almost nothing beyond that. The bomber mode is pretty cool and the supersight gimmick is entertaining, though its name sounds a lot cooler than anything it actually does. Anyway, I like Skyquake because, to many fans, he’s THE quintessential European G1 Transformer and I do like both the Predator and Turbomaster groups. He probably won’t offer much to younger fans, though, who don’t have much in the way of G1 nostalgia and grew up with far more articulate and versatile toys.