Japan is probably not too big on Skids. He, like, showed up barely in two episodes of the original cartoon, with a line of dialogue each (performed by a different voice actor for each appearance in both English and Japanese), and Japan didn't get the Marvel comics where he had a spotlight issue and several other appearances. His toy wasn't released normally over there, as it was available not separately, but only in a boxset with Sunstreaker and Buzzsaw. And so it's not surprising that it took so long for TakaraTomy to put out their own version of our Generations Skids.
It IS kind of surprising that it's such a perfect deco replica of his appearance in IDW's More Than Meets The Eye comic book series. Like, I'm not sure that's released properly over there. I think you hafta get it on iTunes or something. I mean, there seems to be a small fanbase in Japan for it, but I don't think that's a widespread thing. Honestly, I don't really know. My knowledge here is spotty. If someone wants to fill me in on Japan's relationship with IDW Transformers comics, that'd be neato.
But, yeah, instead of trying to deco Skids hardcore like the cartoon, they made sure to MTMTE him up, including painting pink stripes across his hood despite there not being any sculpting there to suggest a need for that. Nope, he gets those stripes (and basically everything else) off his color model for an American comic.
And so, obviously, I had to get him. I mean, I'd put Reprolabels on my domestic Skids to get those necessary stripes and other details on there (as you can see in the photos -- that toy ain't stock), but this TakaraTomy version is so much more comprehensive in replicating the MTMTE color model than the domestic version + stickers. He's got the black toes and the silver ankles and the red hands and tummy, and I adore the use of pink for the stripes, as well.
Addendum: After taking a photo of the new toy next to the old one with the stickers, I tried to remove the stickers to get a more fair visual assessment of the two toys unaltered. BAD IDEA. Those Reprolabels are not meant to come off. You leave a lot of silver chrome behind, and I'll probably hafta get some serious Goo-Be-Gone to remove it, if I decide to at some point. You can get the American toy carded on eBay for like $8, so I'm not sure it's worth selling the thing once I subtract the cost of the Goo-Be-Gone. If it even works. Meh!