Cliffbee.com: Collector's Club Dion Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Dion
Series: Collectors Club Exclusives
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Hot Rod Car

Thanks to fatbot for loaning me Dion for this review



CAR MODE
Height: 4cm Length: 13cm, 16.5 with Jolt Width: 6cm

   An orange hot rod with transparent windows (parts of the side windows are painted a solid grey), white bumpers and side trim, colourless headlights, blue painted patterns on his good and doors, Dion has a silver grille, black plastic tyres and a black plastic protruding engineblock on his hood. He's a repaint of Universe 2.0 Hot Shot (actually, the slightly retooled Henkei Version), designed to tribute an obscure G1 cartoon non-toy character. Rounding out the colour scheme we have red painted taillights and silver hubcaps. There are no distinct allegiance symbols here, although Autobot logo elements are incorporated into the blue patterns on his doors.

   This car mode is nothing like the eight-wheeled transport truck seen in the cartoon, since it's Hot Shot's sports car mode - the semblance is stronger in robot mode and that's most probably why this particular repaint was produced. Dion's generally well sculpted, with door handles, air intakes, side mirrors and the like. There's a non functional hardpoint on the back, and while Cop-Tur can plug into it, he's designed to loosely fit into a gap in the spoiler and rear window instead. There are twin transparent missiles sticking out the back, which are essentially twin exhaust flames.

   The play value is quite limited really. The wheels roll, of course, but there are no gimmicks or action features other than plugging Cop-Tur in. If you plug Cop-Tur into the hardpoint, his tail sticks up awkwardly. It works, just not very well. The other option is to slot Cop-Tur in - but he slides out easily, since he relies on gravity to hold him in place. If Cop-Tur is left aside, there's a fairly jarring gap in his place - the spoiler and rear windshield just don't look right.

   A good car mode with a reasonable colour scheme. It's an admirable attempt to make this sports car work for the character, and uses the better version of this mould. The options Cop-Tur provides are all flawed in different ways. Not a great end result, but pretty good for a co-opted repaint that - in this mode - doesn't suit the tribute at all.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove Cop-Tur and set aside. Unplug the missile launchers underneath, and set aside also. "Open" the doors and swing forward. Split the car down the middle, fold the roof out to the sides forming his arms. Fold the arms and backpack forward while swinging the halves of the front out and back to form his legs (needs to be done simultaneously). Clip together the groin, swing in the windshield halves, rotate the boots so that the insides of his doors form shins. Flip out the feel, fold the feet themselves forward (leaving the heelspurs in place). Swing the roof halves back to properly reveal the forearms. Rotate his head, attach Cop-Tur to the backpanel on the left side, if you wish.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14cm Width: 10cm

   A blue and light orange robot, Dion has a blue torso with white painted details, blue thighs and blue elbows. His upper arms & boots are largely orange with blue painted details while his feet & forearms are white. Dion has an orange head with a silver face and he sports a transparent blue visor and transparent blue eyes underneath that - with a lightpipe that works even through the visor, which is great. There's a red Autobot logo stamped on his left shoulder (within a red chevron design). It's a colour scheme which fits his brief G1 cartoon appearance nicely - especially considering that this is a co-opted mould.

   While this is a pretty good robot mode, it has a more dynamic than seen in the cartoon. Mind you, the rear fenders behind his back match the kibble seen on Dion's back in the G1 cartoon, which really sells this repaint. Cup-Tur doesn't add much at all here, but I'm glad that they've used the Henkei version of this mould - which means Dion carries two white missile launchers with transparent missiles - Hot Shot lacks any sort of weaponry. We have the option of rotating the backpack pieces, which reduces the kibble here but moves this robot mode away from Dion as introduced in G1. You can detach the fenders as well, which leaves Cop-Tur completely out in the cold. Cop-Tur doesn't actually activate a gimmick, mind you. The arms are fixed in a "tough guy" position - the shoulders point up and out slightly.

   The head turns on a restricted ball joint and the visor actually lifts up this time. His waist is fixed, as is usually the case with a groin that clips together. His shoulders swing and lift (further) out to the sides while his elbows are double hinged with rotators. His hips swing and lift out to the sides while his knees are hinged with rotators. The feel can swing back and the feet+heelspurs can pivot back as well. Hot Shot's hips are a little loose for some of the more dynamic poses (he'll do the splits, basically), but there is a good range of poses available once you deal with those fenders. Jolt is a passenger here - either on the panel over his shoulder, or alongside Hot Shot.

   While the original version of this mould seemed like a redundant revisiting of an Armada character, the mould comes into its own here. Dion's colours, poseability and play value all work well, and while the backpack limits poseability, it makes sense for this character and really makes the tribute work well on a mould never intended to represent this character.


Name: Cop-Tur
Allegiance: Minicon
Alternate Mode: Helicopter

HELICOPTER MODE
Height: 2cm Length: 6.5cm Width: 5cm

   A small, almost totally blue, helicopter. He has silver windows, some random orange at the back of his fuselage and black rotors. There's a single Powerlinx port underneath the front of the chopper. For some reason his tail is upside-down, which largely spoils the illusion here.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Swing the feet out and back from underneath, fold the front down to form his back and reveal the head. Unclip the pontoons on either side to form arms.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5.5cm Width: 3cm (ignoring rotors)

Still mainly red, with those orange outbursts on his chest. His face is painted silver while the upper arms are black plastic along with the rotors on his back. The tail forms a phallus, and I suspect the reason the tail is upside down is to try and avoid Cop-Tur looking "excited". Considering that the tail reaches below his knees anyway, the mutilation of his tail was downright pointless to begin with. The shoulders swing and the elbows are hinged while his hips swing and lift out to the sides. I'm happy to report that his elbows are more useful than on Jolt - whose lower arms pop off far too easily.


VARIATIONS

   A limited repaint of the Henkei version of Universe 2.0 Hot Shot. No variations as such that I'm aware of. There was an earlier e-Hobby toy representing the same character, which is very much a co-opted repaint, and not one that works for the character at all.

OVERALL

   Well it's better than the first Dion toy - but then as a rather forced repaint of Wheelie, that toy was also going to suck. It's a decent mould, albeit with some flaws and a pretty useless MiniCon. This mould works better now than for Hot Shot - it doesn't improve on the original Hot Shot to really shine, but provides a decent Dion and now offers something new. I'm glad they went with Takara's version of the mould - Hot Shot's biggest failing was the lack of weaponry. Good robot mode articulation is somewhat limited by the backpack, but it's this backpack which makes the repaint work. The character is pretty obscure, so this is really one for those who enjoy creative repaints - but it's not a classic repaint by any means - 7/10

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