Cliffbee.com: Movie Big Daddy Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Big Daddy
Series: Movie tie-ins
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: 1970s Hot Rod



HOT ROD MODE
Height: 4cm Length: 14cm Width: 6cm

   A black 1970s hot rod with orange flames on the front fenders and side doors, Big Daddy is immediately recognisable as being the same character as his G1 namesake, for those familiar with that Micromaster. He's a repaint of Cybertron Downshift, but the mould fits the Micromaster well. His roof is black with moulded plastic patterning, indicating this is one of those plastic roofs common during this era. The windows are a smoky transparent plastic while the grille, hubcaps, front bumper, taillights and protruding engineblock are all silver. The headlights are transparent and there's a silver Autobot logo stamped on the front of the hood. The colours here closely fit those of the G1 version, with the only major divergence being the white painted windows becoming transparent on this toy. The colours give the mould a different feel to Downshift, which I appreciate.

   This is a very realistic car mode, to the point where it wouldn't be out of place in G1 (well, aside from the lack of die cast metal). It's actually a mix of elements from various US cars of the era, and while it's clearly a different vehicle to the Micromaster (a 1950s Chevy) the style is the same. There are quite a few finer moulded details such as indicators, side mirrors, doorhandles, grille details and tailpipes.

   Unlike most Cybertron moulds, the guns are actually add-on pieces - he comes with twin black missile launchers, along with two orange missiles. They clip into the sides of the car and attach nice and firmly, and will fire the missiles quite a distance. The triggers are easy to access. As a bonus, there are hardpoints on the launchers allowing you to attach MiniCons if you feel so inclined. There's something ironic about attaching MiniCons to a (once) Micromaster. I prefer leaving the guns off (whereas I think they work well on Downshift), because it brings the vehicle closer to the G1 car mode.

   There's a panel with moulded circuitry on the rear window which lifts up to reveal the key slot - which is a great aspect of this toy. Not only does the key slot conceal when you're not using the gimmick but the slot firmly holds the key and you can mount the key without setting off the gimmick. The key itself is red with a silver Autobot logo on top (which is moulded as well as painted). Pushing it in firmly will cause the grille to pop out as a claw. While there are better Planet Key gimmicks, this is a decent one that doesn't get in the way of Big Daddy as a Transformer, and hides very well in this car mode.

   A wonderful car mode, which uses a great mould as a starting point and adds a homage to a fan favourite G1 toy. While Big Daddy's profile as a character is largely a cult following, the revisiting is a nice, focused repaint which lifts him out of relative obscurity. The repaint is well done and the colour scheme is quite attractive anyway. The weapons are a nice add on and the Planet Key gimmick works without getting in the way at all.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Open to doors to the sides (well, the lower parts), pull the rear fenders apart to unlock the rear, swing down to form the legs, clip the waist together and straighten the legs. Lift up the shin panels, fold out the feet and heelspurs, close the panels again. Fold down the roof to form the back, the head should pop out of the the gap left when the engineblock folds up. Rotate the shoulders, fold out the arms, flip out the fists. Lastly give Big Daddy his missile launchers - either as handheld weapons or shoulderpad mounted cannons.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14cm Width: 13.5cm

   A black robot with orange thighs, groin, fists and an orange head, Big Daddy has a purple mouthplate and silver eyes while there are transparent ears on either side of his head (similar to those on Wheeljack, which is what Downshift should have been called anyway, except someone at Hasbro doesn't know that "Wheeljack" and "Carjack" are totally different concepts). The shoulderpads are silver as are his feet, along with the grille and bumper on his chest, that Autobot logo on top of his chest and the kneecaps. The colour map here is based on that of the Micromaster, down to the purple face on an orange head. There's a lot of silver paint here compared to that toy, since deluxes tend to carry more paint than Micromasters. The silver feet are a nod to the white feet of the Micromaster, a detail I'm impressed with. The colour scheme isn't quite as nice as that of the car mode, but then the purple was dictated by the Micromaster - which this robot does a great job of tributing, so I can deal with the quirks here.

   There's a strong G1 feel here - although not so much a Micromaster feel. The front of the car forms his chest, similar to that of Jazz. The doors form shoulderpads while the engineblock sits behind his head (more Jazz like elements!). The shouldercannons actually remind me of Wheeljack, and I have to say they clip onto the shoulderpads really well. The hardpoints are distinctly not G1, of course. The ears are probably the most unwelcome element here in terms of homage. While you could remove them, doing so would involve taking apart most of the torso (and opening up springed joints), so I'm happy to let them stay where they are - they're transparent anyway.

   Considering how realistic the car mode is, this a pretty poseable robot. The feet and heelspurs can move forward, the knees have both hinges and rotators while the hips are ball jointed. The shoulders swing and lift out to the sides while the elbows are hinged. The head wiggles side to side a little, although since it's linked to a spring for transformation, a proper turning neck isn't possible. Other than rotating elbows and a rotating waist (which would have made the torso unstable), I can't fault the poseability. As it is, I'm impressed with the poseability - there are many less poseable, less realistic Transformers.

   The launchers are just as useful here - and look good whether on his shoulderpads or in his fists. When you combine this with the excellent leg articulation, Downshift is a fun toy, and cool action poses are easy. The Planet Key gimmick still works here, with the Planet Key plugging into the same slot (now on his back), and while the slot has moved through 90, the claw will still deploy. The claw isn't as impressive now, since it looks a little odd on his chest, but it's a bonus really - the missile launchers are more than enough for a poseable deluxe.

   A great robot mode which still does a good job of the character, although it's not as strong as his vehicle mode in this respect, due to the head sculpt, extensive silver and chest layout. Mouldwise, this is an excellent robot mode - modern poseability on a G1 style layout and with great weaponry. The key gimmick still works and while there are a couple of aspects of articulation which could have been better, the few restrictions don't hold this guy back.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. As mentioned, he is a repaint of Cybertron Downshift.

OVERALL

   A great mould and a very focused repaint. The fan cult following of the character makes this a good choice, and for a Micromaster fan like me, it's wonderful to finally see a Micromaster character revisited (the 35 Starscreams and 55 Optimus Primes are becoming old hat for me). The vehicle mode just drips Big Daddy, the robot mode offers a strong homage. Whoever did this repaint really put some effort in - the purple face and silver feet are highlights of the process for me. The mould is excellent with a realistic car mode, a robot mode which makes good use of car elements and has good poseability. The play value is good in both modes and the missile launchers really add something to this toy. As repaints go, this is one of the best efforts I've seen - 10/10

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