Skids was an unusual selection amongst the supercars of Generation 1, and the story of his release was equally strange. Technically, he was released at the very end of 1984’s selection of Autobot Cars, but his two cameos in the second season of The Transformers cartoon and his absence earlier in the year lead many people to believe he was part of the 1985 series.
As with all Autobot Cars until 1986, Skids was originally released in Takara’s Diaclone toyline, as Car Robot No. 9 Honda City Turbo. This version included a small scooter that could fit inside the hatch area of the car mode, representing a Honda Motocompo folding trunk bike, as well as a plastic and die-cast driver that could ride inside the vehicle mode. This version also used wheel pins with a broader head molded in the battern of a Honda four-spoke wheel. The No. 9 Honda City Turbo was available in black, blue, or red; the blue version was selected for Skids. Skids was designed by Koujin Ohno, and his US Patent, titled Reconfigurable toy assembly (aka Transformers G1 Skids) was filed on October 12, 1982 (U.S. Patent No. US4580993 A).
Skids transforms into a Honda City Turbo (AA). While having a small appearance, Skids is actually in a much larger scale than many of the other Autobot Cars. He features translucent blue windows and sunroof, and a number of stickered details add the appearance of a grille, taillights, and a license plate. Skids uses the same smooth chrome wheels as Sunstreaker and Ironhide, with the same ridged rubber tires. The doors can be opened in car mode (which will later become “wings” in robot mode, like many Diaclone-originated designs). His transformation is somewhat unusual compared to the standard tricks used by Takara at the time, and results in a very tall robot mode, albeit with much thinner proportions than his companions. He includes two different chrome guns and a chrome missile launcher that all attach by clipping directly on to his arms, meaning he can only wield two of the three at any given time. His rear wheels fold under his feet, giving him a more stable base to stand on the flat side of the tire.
Vintage specimens of Skids are always found with two tabs on his knee hinges stress marked, and often broken. These tabs are used to stiffen the knee joint, and also to hold the back edge of the roof down. Unfortunately, rotating the knee just once will flex the tabs enough to cause stress marks.
Interestingly, Skids had no noticeable production variations during his original run. Even the Reissues look strikingly like the original, save for a small piece of plastic connecting a tab on his rifle to the barrel.
Skids was available in very late 1984 and throughout 1985, the whole time bearing a rubsign on his roof. He was only available in Japan as part of a Versus Set with Sunstreaker and Buzzsaw. He was re-issued in Japan as part of The Transformers Collection in 2002, and in the US as part of Commemorative Series in 2004. He was reissued a third time in Japan as part of Transformers Encore in 2009.
Redecos & Retools
Skids’ mold was originally used in 1983 to produce Diaclone Car Robot No. 4 Honda City R in red or silver decos. This mold was retooled to produce Car Robot No. 9 Honda City Turbo in three colors: black, blue, or red. The blue version was redecoed to produce Skids. Skids was redecoed in 2009 and was released along with a redeco of Honda City R named Screech in the Million Publishing exclusive set Skids and Screech Quantum Operative Ver.. Both figures in this set included the scooter accessories. The Honda City R mold was redecoed slightly in 2002 to produce Crosscut who was sold exclusively with Road Rage by e-HOBBY.