Cliffbee.com: Battle Squad Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Battle Squad
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Decepticons
Function: Aerial Counterattack
Components: Meltdown, Half-Track, Direct-Hit, Powerpunch, Fireshot, Vanquish



Meltdown

ARMOURED CAR MODE
Height: 2cm Length: 4cm Width: 2.5cm

   A purple armoured sedan with cherry red painted front windows (yes, windows, one on each side) and side windows. He has a single rear window, but that's unpainted. He's a two door but has front and rear side windows. Meltdown has a distinctive angular look, including a protruding front bumper, which fits in with the armour car theme.

   His wheels roll, that's it for play value. What I like about this car mode is that Meltdown forms a good vehicle all by himself, which can't be said of all Micromaster Combiners.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Flip his rear over to form his legs, stand him up and position the arms. Very much standard for a Micromaster.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5cm Width: 2.5cm

   The purple is now on his arms and lower legs, as well as the hood over his head (the front of the car), and is joined by baby blue on his torso and head. He has an orange painted face, the paint might have hidden facial detail, but there's very little of that anyway. He has the magenta thighs that every member of this squad has. The colours are okay, although not really anything special

   The knee joints aren't really well placed - his lower legs stick out, looking more like giant boots than shins, since the thighs attach to the back of the lower legs. He does have clearly defined feet, the back half of the car roof, it's just a shame they're part of the giant gumboots. Play value is what you'd expect. The arms swing, the hips swing (as one), and the knees can independently hinge.

   I don't really like Meltdown's robot mode, the giant gumboots ruin it for me. There's not really anything else bad, but nothing much grabs me either.

OVERALL

   The car mode is cool, so he's a good combiner squad member, but the robot mode is lacking - provided you leave him in car mode he's fine, since he does the mix and match thing well enough - 5/10

Half-Track

TANK MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 4cm Width: 2.5cm

   A purple tank with a blue turret, Half-Track has twin red cannons on either side of the turret. It's worth noting this red plastic is not used anywhere else in this set. I actually like the colour combination here, the red serves to highlight his cannons and make him look more powerful.

   The play value is probably slightly better than what would be expected - he has wheels underneath the moulded treads, and the cannons can lift up (as one) and swing right over to point backwards. The cool thing is the turret rotates 360, which is better than any other Micromaster tank. This play value sells the tank mode to me - the colours just make him cooler.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold out the rear section to form the legs. Flip up the front centre section, swing down the sides to form the arms. This is actually fairly unusual as Micromaster transformations go.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5cm Width: 2.5cm

   The purple is now confined to his lower legs and his arms, as well as the front panel of the tank which is sort of sitting behind his head, but visible. The chest and head are black, he has a yellow painted face, which highlights the moulded eyes, nose and mouth quite effectively. His thighs are magenta, of course. The red cannons are visible, they stick up from behind his shoulders.

   The poseability is the same as Meltdown's, his arms don't actually swing down all the way, instead coming to a natural looking almost vertical resting position. Overall, this is a nice robot mode. The black and purple work well, the facial sculpt is good and they've managed to give him distinct feet despite his legs being the back of a tank. The panel hanging behind his head is a negative, but the cannons on either side look cool, so they counteract it.

OVERALL

   All that and a bag of chips as Micromasters go, Half-Track is my favourite of this squad. The colours work and both modes are good, and they've got the little things right, such as the choice of yellow facial paint - 8/10

MELTDOWN & HALF-TRACK COMBINED
Length: 8cm Height: 2.5cm Width: 2.5cm

   A purple armoured car-tank fusion, it's a kind of half-track, really - no doubt the inspiration for the name of the rear half. While the two components don't marry perfectly, they've done a reasonable job of joining them.

Direct-Hit

ARMOURED TRUCK MODE
Height: 2cm Length: 4cm Width: 3cm

   A rather solid and well armoured looking baby blue armoured truck - well, as much as it can be when it's just under 2cm tall. Direct-Hit is a boxy affair, and he looks like he's designed to withstand a beating. There are no doors, rather he has a reinforced hatch on the roof. He has white painted windows and wide fenders covering black plastic ridged wheels. There's splashes of robot mode colour - magenta at the front and purple at the back.

   The play value is limited to rolling him along on his wheels, or playing mix and match with other Micromasters. While it's a rather simple little truck, I do like the level of detail on this mode, which really makes him look heavily armoured.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold the front of the truck out to form the robot legs, pull out the head front the back, stand him up and position the arms. His head has no tab, and is hard to pull out - much hard than it should be. This is his biggest flaw.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 6cm Width: 2.5cm

   Direct-Hit is a mixture of pastels now - the arms and lower legs are blue, his chest is purple and his thighs are magenta. He has a black head and his face is painted orange, and has a somewhat disappointing lack of detail. At 6cm high, Direct his is tall for a Micromaster, and more than half of it is leg - he's quite lanky. I don't like the abundance of pastels.

   Poseability is what you'd expect - his hips bend as one, his knees bend independently and his shoulders rotate. It's worth noting his shoulder joints are actually behind the arms themselves, so lift his arms puts them in an unnatural pose.

OVERALL

   Underwhelming. There are worse Micromasters, but Direct-Hit is one of the worst of this lot, thanks to the robot mode and the head being so difficult to extend - 3.5/10

Powerpunch

CANNON MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 5cm Width: 2.5cm

   Simply put, Powerpunch is a big magenta cannon on wheels. He shares the same armoured look that Direct-Hit has, and the same style of ridge wheels underneath his fenders. When it comes down to it, he's a baby blue box designed to carry a giant magenta cannon around.

   The play value is limited to lifting the cannon up - it swings up to about 85, and rolling him along on his wheels. It does what it has to - makes him a rather hardcore little mobile weapon.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   About the simplest Micromaster, Fold the rear half down and straighten his knees. That's it.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5.5cm Width: 2.5cm

   A baby blue and black boxy robot, Powerpunch has a black torso, black head and a yellow face with low detail. His arms and lower legs are baby blue and his thighs are magenta. His shins stick out in front of the rest of him, which looks kid of silly, and they're one solid piece since the cannon is attached behind them.

   Play value is laughable. Powerpunch's hips can bend forward or backwards as one, the shins make any poses look silly though. The shoulders rotate, but the joints are behind his elbows, so moving his arms into meaningful poses is impossible.

OVERALL

   I do like the vehicle mode, but Powerpunch has the weakest robot mode of this squad. The colours are slightly better than Direct-Hit's and he doesn't have the head problem, but the robot mode looks worse, so he's on par with his partner - 3.5/10

DIRECT-HIT & POWERPUNCH COMBINED
Length: 8cm Height: 3cm Width: 2.5cm

   A long blue armoured truck with a giant magenta cannon on the top, it's a pretty good combined mode. It's quite clear that Powerpunch was designed around being the back half of combined vehicles, since he makes this combined vehicle cool.

Fireshot

PLANE HALF MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 4.5cm Width: 3cm

   Simply put, Fireshot is the front half of an SR-71. He has only two wheels and cannot stand up by himself. He's half of a black plane and has no vehicle mode of his own.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Extend the cockpit section to form the legs and fold the nose back to form the legs. Stand him up, fold down the wheels to form the hands and flip up his head.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5.5cm Width: 3.3cm

   A black robot with a purple chest, magenta thighs, a baby blue head and a cherry red face, Fireshot looks better than he sounds. He has a big blue mohawk on top of his head, which looks cool, and his face is moulded into an eyeslit and mouthplate, which works well with the mohawk to make him look hip. His arms are set further back than they should be, and his legs thinner than most Micromasters, but neither of these really hurt aesthetically.

   Fireshot's an unusual Micromaster with unusual poseability. His elbows hinge up and down - part of the transformation - but it works. His hips bend as one, as do the knees (the shins are a single piece), there's not really much leg poseability.

OVERALL

   The individual vehicle mode isn't really a separate vehicle, but it's hard to make _anything_ out of an SR-71's nose. While this is kind of silly, the robot mode looks cool, so I give Fireshot 5/10

Vanquish

FLYING WING MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 3cm Width: 5cm

   Like Fireshot, Vanquish is basically half a plane, although this time he can still call himself a vehicle on his own. He's the back half, and the end result is that he's a flying wing, but hey, it works. This mode is black with some coloured robot mode undercarriage kibble.

   There's not really any play value here - he sits on the two rear wheels of the combined SR-71 spyplane, so by himself he tips forward when on a table. It's not a great vehicle mode, but it's passable.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold the wingtips up, flip out the robot mode legs and stand him up.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5.5cm Width: 3cm

   Vanquish is basically a robot that's unfolded from the kibble with half a plane on his back. As a result, he's far less black than you'd expect. His lower legs are black and his thighs are magenta (what else?). His torso and head a baby blue, his arms are purple, and are quite well moulded for Micromaster arms - he has clearly moulded fingers. The things you can do when you're not trying to make the arms part of the alt mode. He has a white painted face with a well moulded mouthplate.

   The poseability is decent - his shoulder lift up 180, his hips bend as one, so he can sit, and his knees bend independently. Overall, this is one of the better robot modes in this set.

OVERALL

   One of the better toys in this set, although Vanquish does have a slightly dull vehicle mode. The robot mode is a big plus, though - 7/10

FIRESHOT & VANQUISH COMBINED
Length: 8cm Height: 3cm Width: 2.5cm

   The only standard combination in this set that is clearly and obviously a real vehicle, and it's actually a very good SR-71 for the size. There's more undercarriage junk than there should be, and his has four wheels instead of three, but this is a good starting point for the mix and match gimmick.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

THE SQUAD OVERALL

   The combinations work quite well here - from a jet with a giant cannon on it's back to a flying armoured car to an armoured track attached to a tank, it's a pretty cool combiner squad. The components range from the very good toys such as Half-Track to poor in Direct-Hit, but they work well as a set. If you like Micromasters, I recommend this set, which is more than the sum of it's parts - 6.5/10

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