Cliffbee.com: Black Landcross Toy Review

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Name: Landcross
Series: Japanese Generation 1 Reissue (Chase)
Allegiance: Cybertron
Function: Multi-Warrior Gestalt
Alternate Mode: N/A - Gestalt comprising comprising Dash, Tacker, Mach, Tackle, Wing & Waver

Name: Dash
Alternate Mode: Sports Car



   A black sports car with silver windows and a red Cybertron (Autobot) logo on the right side of the roof. As with most of this set, Dash lacks any of the charcoal colour that Takara's black variants use as a secondary colour. While he does contain some charcoal, it's limited to the robot thighs, and there's only a hint of them visible on the doors. A black sports car isn't that much of a stretch, so Dash looks quite nice in black. Of course this limited the visual impact of the repaint a little - the use of black is more natural than striking here.

   The car itself is a decent little car with prominent rear fenders (the robot arms) and low level moulded detail such as headlights and hood seams. His wheels roll, although not that well.

   Transformation is easy enough - extend the front and rotate the two halves down to the sides to form the legs. Turn him over, flip up the feet. Slide up the head, give him his handgun.

   The robot mode is largely black, of course, with the charcoal thighs I alluded to earlier. His eyes are orange on an otherwise black head. The saddlebags are silver, and stand out much more than the dark ones on the regular version of Dash. There's a grey and red chest sticker which is fairly similar to that on the normal version - it's actually slightly lighter on this version. I would have preferred a darker chest sticker, but otherwise I'm happy with the black scheme here.

Name: Tacker
Alternate Mode: Half-Track



   A black halftrack, also with silver windows - although there's less silver here than on Dash. The stamped Autobot logo is on the back of the left hand side, a less prominent position than Dash, making this a very black toy. I'm not really a fan of a black halftrack, since it's not really an everyday vehicle, and at a glance Tacker isn't much more than a black box. Obscurity aside, the detailing is lost amongst the black, and while that's not really surprising, it's a significant issue for such a square toy.

   Transforming Tacker is very simple - extend the rear to form his legs, push out the head and you're done. Okay, so you'll need to open the legs to push his head out - but the idea is very simple all the same.

   Tacker's robot mode is again very black - relatively speaking. The eyes are green and the windows are visible on his torso, while the charcoal on his thighs doesn't really stand out. The logo is now on the outside of one ankle, which might as well be invisible. On the upside, the shape is far more distinctive than the boxy halftrack mode.

   Tacker suffers more than any of his teammates in this repainted set. The vehicle mode really loses out, and while the robot mode is better, he's still pretty uninteresting. Sometimes this concept works - and Tacker is proof that it sometimes fails miserably.

Name: Mach
Alternate Mode: Space Shuttle



   A black space shuttle with charcoal wings, Mach is one of the nicer vehicles in this set - partly because the vehicle form is so recognisable and partly because of the significant use of charcoal. Oh, and there's something sinister about this black shuttle. Again the cockpit windows are silver - which is quite striking even though the windows are small. There's a single allegiance symbol on the portside of the tail - nothing on starboard which is a little odd, although it fits into the pattern of this set with one insignia per toy. The wing surfaces are unpainted, unlike those of the regular version, which works in his favour here.

   Transformation is easy as you'd expect. Set aside the wings, extend the front and flip out to form his legs, fold up the nose halves to form legs. Push out the head and you're done.

   The robot mode isn't as cool as the shuttle mode, it falls back to being generic black. The symbol on his tail doesn't really offer much - even though the tail is on his chest. The eyes are orange and the silver of his windows is now on the feet. This version of Mach can't get away with the wide body as much as the coloured version, since the shuttle mode isn't as obvious with the sculpt hidden.

   I really like the shuttle mode and there's a coolness about the name BlackMach as well. The robot mode is rather dippy and while he can get away with it in colour, it doesn't manage here. He's still worth it for the shuttle mode.

Name: Tackle
Alternate Mode: 4x4



   A black 1980s style 4x4 (back before they invented the SUV, the wanna be 4WD invented to pick kids up from Saturday sport) with the standard silver windows and Autobot logo on the hood. Like Mach, the shape is obvious enough that Tackle still works in black - although unlike Mach a black 4x4 is quite credible. Okay, so real black 4x4s will have more colour than this, but it's not too much of a stretch compared to most of the others. He loses the blue backpack which provided a nice contrast to the original red, but then that's really unavoidable here.

   Transformation is simple - extend the rear to form his legs, push out the head.

   As usual the robot mode is almost entirely black with charcoal things. There are red stickers on his chest and a very prominent yellow eyestrip. While the latter isn't all that big, it stands out against the black backdrop. The prominence of colours on Tackle's robot mode almost feels out of place, to be honest. Mind you, most of the set do have some colour.

Name: Wing
Alternate Mode: Fighter Jet



   A black jet place with a silver canopy and the obligatory Autobot logo on the left - Wing wears it on his tailfin. Unusually this black actually enhances the plane mode, since it helps mask a lot of the shortcomings of the mould. As the core of Landcross, Wing has a lot to do, and on the original Wing, there are a lot of things sticking out or detracting from the plane form. While the shortcomings are still present, the black allows you to focus on the jet shape since it hides them.

   The transformation involves extending the rear, folding back the nose and pushing out his head.

   With the wings on the side of his boots and no colour other than slender gold eyes, Wing is dark even compared to his teammates. With the wings visible there's more black here than on any of the others and the charcoal thighs are overwhelmed. The tapering wings end up becoming the only defining feature of a rather uninteresting robot mode.

Name: Waver
Alternate Mode: Hydrofoil



   Waver's vehicle mode is one of the more distinct in this set, so even in black he's immediately recognisable as a hydrofoil. The wraparound window is silver and the Autobot logo is on the portside bow. Along with Mach, Waver's vehicle mode is the most successful, since the black doesn't mask the alt mode form. In fact this is my favourite vehicle mode amongst this black set.

   Transformation is again fairly simple, although Waver is the most complex of the Multiforce. Extend the bow to form the legs, flip up the feet, swing the foils down to form ankle stabilisers. Fold don the rear foils to form arms and push out his head.

   With his giant feet, Waver is again fairly distinct despite the overabundance of black. There's a sticker across his chest which is largely black with some touches of red in the centre and a fair amount of blue on either side - the blue matches his eyes quite nicely. The black helps Waver out here in that it slightly masks the wheels sticking out on his chest and shins.



COMBINED MODE - LANDCROSS
   Not surprisingly, this Landcross is largely black with some charcoal elements. Most of the add-ons are charcoal, including the chestplate (Mach's wings), the head, feet and fists. Only the groinplate is black. The components are all black with some silver windows and almost irrelevant charcoal connectors. The face is unpainted with gold eyes, and while I'm not usually a fan of unpainted faces, in this instance it fits in with the overall concept. It also helps accentuate the gold eyes which is nice. There are silver circles on the chestplate along with ochre stickers displaying Autobot logos. Whilst the components don't display their allegiance as robots, Landcross clearly shows his.

   The physical form is of course the same as the regular version, although I find that the chestplate on mine tends to only attach to one of the two posts, and lifts out slightly. I have the original Landcross - not the reissue - so I can't say if this is specific to the black repaint or common to the reissue mould. Either way, it is somewhat annoying.

   While some of the smaller toys (Tacker in particular) suffer in black, the combined robot does come together well. I like the use of charcoal on the add-ons - the colour map looks quite nice. As you'd expect some of the more disparate elements which stood out on the coloured version don't really grab your attention now - notably Waver's foils - which makes this a more unified gestalt than the original

Overall
   As with any chase set, it's difficult to really recommend the black Multiforce set. While some of them worked out well - Waver & Mach look good in black, others such as Tacker don't work so well. More to the point, tracking down the set isn't necessarily easy or cheap. The combined form is quite nice however, and if you have the time, money & inclination then I'd say grab these guys.

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