Cliffbee.com: Air Patrol Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Air Patrol
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Air Defence
Components: Treadbolt, Eagle Eye, Blaze Master and Sky High



Treadbolt

BOMBER MODE
Height: 2cm Length: 4.5cm Width: 6cm

   A small blue flying wing, Treadbolt is meant to be a Stealth Bomber although he's awfully rounded for a stealth plane. He has the words "AIR FORCE" stamped on either side of the fuselage in white paint and a grey painted cockpit window at the front. There's no indication which Air Force, he's only pretending anyway, so it's a moot point. Being almost entirely blue, Treadbolt's colour works well enough, and the paints on him work also. There are plan lines (flaps, seams) in the sculpt, which is slightly better than that of the average Micromaster.

   There's not much play value here, although he has two wheels (and a knob to act as the front wheel) underneath which can roll. His knee joints are visible at the front, and while they're kibble, they don't really detract. While it's not the best plane in this set, it's one of the more interesting choices, since there aren't too many Transformers that turn into Stealth Jets.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Flip up the wings, fold down his boots and stand him up.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5.5cm Width: 3cm

   Treadbolt's blue is retained on his boots, arms and considerable backpack, while his torso and thighs are a mustard yellow and his face is grey (the same colour as his window). The face is well done, and has an avian mask over the eyes (think Stratos of MOTU), although the sculpting on his torso is a little boring. The backpack is the entire flying wing, albeit with folded wings. Treadbolt's bit feet mean he has no trouble standing up despite the weight, but the backpack is clearly visible. Sure, it helps make him look bigger, but it also dominates his arms (it's wider than his shoulders), and comes down to his knees.

   While on the subject of his knees, I should mention that Treadbolt's knees bend forward in his transformation, meaning his thighs fold into slots in his shins (think Bombshell). He has feet on the outsides of these slots, and his boots taper out to form wide footprints, but the legs still look bad. While I can deal with the backpack, the legs really don't work for me and the reverse knees rob him of leg poseability - his only meaningful articulation is the swinging shoulders.

   The weaker of Treadbolt's two modes and the worst robot mode of the set, yet it's bulk and broad shoulders make Treadbolt seem like he should be the leader of this troop.

OVERALL

   An unusual plane mode is the best feature of what is a fairly disappointing Micromaster. It's a shame, since Treadbolt's sculpt is good, and but for proper boots he'd be a good Micromaster - 5/10

Eagle Eye

FIGHTER MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 6cm Width: 5cm

   A baby blue FA-18 Hornet with a black canopy, Eagle Eye has a post underneath the cockpit in lieu of a front wheel and two rolling black wheels under the wings. While the lines aren't as detailed as Treadbolt's, Eagle Eye does have big missiles moulded onto his wingtips that I really like, as well as moulded thrusters on the back.

   There's no play value other than the rolling wheels, but the bombs on his wings make this a fun little fighter, even if it is inanimate. It's actually my favourite plane in this set, and is on par with many larger Transformer fighters, such as the Aerialbots.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Swing the engines down to form his feet, fold the nose and canopy down to form his chest - the faux landing gear cleverly slots into a hole in the bottom of the fuselage. You're meant to swing back the wings, but I actually prefer leaving them out to the sides. It seems whoever posed Eagle Eye for the Japanese Transformers: Generations book agrees with me!

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5cm Width: 2cm (5cm if you deploy the wings)

   Again baby blue, Eagle Eye's head and thighs are white while his groin and the canopy on his chest are black. His face is painted a lemon yellow, which somehow works, and brings out the big eyevisor, although it fails to bring out his moulded mouth. The colours work well, for some reason I've always felt he looks like a medic (maybe it's the nurse-like colours).

   As mentioned, the wings can deploy out to the sides, which helps on two levels. The obvious upside is the fact he has wings as a robot, and these fit in with the tailfins on his ankles as well as the canopy on his chest. The second advantage is that the wings help hide that the shoulder joints are little lower than they should be. These shoulder joints allow the arms to swing up 90, while the hip and knee joints don't really do much since the nose of the plane gets in the way.

   So while the poseability is slightly disappointing, Eagle Eye looks good, especially with deployed wings. What's surprising is that he looks good with a yellow face on white head rather than in spite of it.

OVERALL

   The best toy in this set in my opinion, and while he's usually overshadowed by the G2 Decepticon of the same name, he's a Micromaster I feel is worthwhile on his own. Two good modes and good colours, and the minor flaws in the robot mode fail to really hurt Eagle Eye - 7.5/10

Blaze Master

HELICOPTER MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 7.5cm Width: 3cm (or 5cm for the rotorblade)

   A mustard yellow passenger helicopter with black windows and yellow crossblades on the roof, Blaze Master has two rolling black wheels on either side. His crossblades are straight yellow, and while the combination of straight yellow with the duller mustard is odd it doesn't look as bad as it may sound. Thankfully the secondary colour (blue) is almost invisible in this mode. There are five black windows painted on either side, which tell us that Blaze Master is a fairly big chopper designed either for commercial passenger flights or troop transport. In this colour scheme I'd say the latter is more likely. There are obvious black windows on the front, as well as on the roof of the cockpit.

   There are moulded engines on the roof, just behind the rotors' attachment point. The rotor spins quite well if you flick one of the blades, although don't hit too hard or the entire blade assembly will pop off. All six side windows are actually painted in recesses, and the front pair are surrounded by door seams. Along with the moulded engines, the end result is a fairly detailed mould that's not immediately obvious.

   With more play value that most Micromaster vehicle modes and clever sculpting, this is a good helicopter mode. Sure, the colours are a strange mix, but this doesn't adversely affect Blaze Master.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the rotor assembly, fold down the cockpit to form his boots. Fold the tail onto his back, stand him up and attach the rotor assembly onto the outside of either hand.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5cm Width: 3.5cm

   The mustard yellow is now confined to his boots and arms while the chest, head and thighs are blue. His face and groin are painted gold, and the gold really brings out the excellent facial sculpt, the best in this patrol. The front of the roof forms his feet, and the front window and roof windows are on his boots. The rotorblades form a giant melee weapon on his hand, which looks really cool - Blaze Master's not the sort of 'bot to pick a fight with!

   The shoulders swing, and the melee weapon still spins. The hips bend as one and the knees bend independently, although i truth there's no worthwhile leg articulation. Mind you I'm happy with the spinning blades on his hand.

   The facial sculpt and melee weapon make this robot mode work. Otherwise it's solid, but these features take a fairly unspectacular robot mode and make it cool. I'm actually wondering if this toy was meant to be called "Blade Master", looking at it's dominant feature.

OVERALL

   One of only three Micromasters with detachable weapons (the others are Growl and Tracer of the Military Patrol, Blaze Master is a fun little Micromaster with two solid modes. The colours aren't as nice as those of Eagle Eye, but he's not far behind his teammate - 7/10

Sky High

CONCORDE MODE
Height: 2cm Length: 6cm Width: 4cm

   A white Concorde airliner with a blue cockpit and unpainted but sunken passenger windows along the sides. Sky High's white makes the transformation hinges stand out - there are four of them, and this detracts quite a bit from the overall look, ruining the sleek, aerodynamic Concorde shape. The mould isn't all that detailed - other than the windows he has some plane lines on the wings.

   The window at the front is more like a fighter canopy than the wrap-around cockpit window of a Concorde. Like Eagle Eye, he has a dummy front wheel underneath and black rolling wheels underneath the rear, which represent his only play value - although I don't really expect anything more. The obvious hinges and bad cockpit window really ruin this plane mode for me. Ok, the hinges would have been difficult to conceal on a white plane, but the cockpit window should have been more realistic.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Flip up the nose, swing down the front of the fuselage to form his legs. Fold back the wings and stand him up.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5.5cm Width: 3cm

   The white is now limited to his arms and boots, while Sky High's thighs, chest and head are baby blue. His groin and mouthplate are painted crimson. The crimson is a strange choice and one that I don't totally agree with, but at least the mouthplate instead of a mouth means the crimson isn't hiding his facial sculpt. The eyevisor above his mouth is actually unpainted, although it's hard to see since his brow hangs over the top. This colour scheme works okay, while I'd be more positive if the crimson was red it's not a _bad_ colour scheme.

   While Eagle Eye's shoulders are too low, Sky Highs are quite high, and his shoulders are quite bulky. This doesn't quite fit with his very narrow thighs and boots. The boots aren't much more than flat, narrow thighs, although they flare out at the knees, since the beginnings of the wings are visible on his knees. These pointy knees are actually the widest point on this robot mode, and as I said his legs are skinny.

   The broad shoulders look decent, the white and baby blue work well together but the crimson paint and leg shape really hold this robot mode back.

OVERALL

   Sky High is probably the weakest of this set, but still has his good points. It's worth noting that he's first Transformer name reuse on a new character (there was a Pretender of the same name two years previous), and the only one in G1. A fairly average Micromaster, but he's better than his namesake! 4/10

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

THE PATROL OVERALL

   Two good Micromasters in Eagle Eye and Blaze Master are enough to make this set worthwhile, and neither Treadbolt nor Sky High are _bad_ toys, so it's a set I recommend to Micromaster fans. It's also one of the more unusual Micromaster Patrols, in a line that was dominated by road vehicles - 6.5/10

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