Cliffbee.com: Countdown Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Countdown
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Aerospace Commander
Alternate Mode: Moon Buggy



MOON BUGGY MODE
Height: 3cm Length: 4.5cm Width: 3cm

   An open cabin red moon buggy with two grey seats and a white section behind the seats. There's a red radar dish on top of this white section while Countdown has black plastic tyres. There are red hubcap stickers on his tyres, rounding out a fairly simple but focused colour scheme. Red and grey usually work together, and they do so here. Of course, Countdown has something that most Micromasters aren't lucky enough to have - a stickersheet - but even without the hubcap stickers this would be a good colour scheme.

   Countdown's vehicle mode is unusual amongst Micromasters in that there isn't a distinct two colour theme. Adding to that, there just aren't many moon buggy Transformers. It works well with the mobile rocket base he's sold with - which increases the appeal of a good buggy mode. The play value is what you'd expect of a Micromaster - the wheels roll and the radar dish can pivot back a little. He rolls better than most Micromasters - and most g1 cars - since he has front and rear axles. The robot arms stick up on the back fairly clearly, but work well as antennae and stay in place well enough that there's no liability.

   A pretty good vehicle mode for a Micromaster, and Countdown's vehicle is unusual for a Transformer, which makes him interesting. These colours always work and there are no real shortcomings here. If anything he's above average for a Micromaster, and unlike many that come with bases, his vehicle mode fits into the base's theme.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Flip the front over to form legs, swing the antennae down to form arms, fold back the radar dish, stand him up.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5.5cm Width: 3cm

   A silver red and white robot, Countdown has red arms and boots, white thighs and a silver painted torso with a grey head and light blue face. The silver torso is unusual amongst Micromasters - you don't see many with this much paint - and it sports an Autobot logo sticker, which is also unusual. While the grey takes a back seat, the colours still work very well. The silver gives Countdown a classy look compared to most Micromasters.

   The sculpt on his chest is quite detailed, in fact the boots are also well sculpted, with different details on either side (for the buggy mode). The fists are well sculpted while the ends of his antenna work as arm mounted blasters. Countdown has average poseability for a Micromaster - the shoulders swing and his hips swing as one. The knees bend, but not in a meaningful way for poseability.

   A good robot mode which is well above the usual standard for Micromasters. Countdown's silver paint, excellent sculpt and involved colour scheme all work to make his robot mode one of the best amongst the Micromasters.

ROCKET PLATFORM MODE
Height: 35cm Length: 31cm Width: 16cm

   A large blue rolling platform with black treads and a light grey launch tower. Next to the tower is a grey and white rocket - itself 26cm tall. There's a red gunpod on one corner and a blue driver's pod on the opposite corner, allowing Countdown and a second Micromaster to man this vehicle. There's a black platform towards the top of the tower with two posts for Micromasters to stand on, and a third post on the blue platform itself.

   While this is essentially the folded up mode, and the less dynamic mode, there is some play value here beyond the positioning of Micromasters. As you'd expect there are four small black wheels underneath for it to roll on. The twin black barrels on the gunpod lift up to 45. The rocket itself is detachable and Galaxy Shuttle is designed to plug into the same spot, if you prefer a space shuttle to regular rocket. That's assuming you're lucky enough to have acquired a Galaxy Shuttle of course. There's a red lift up the back of the tower which slides manually. I like the fact that the lift's high level is in line with the black platform while the low level is in like with the blue base itself. While the main base is fairly static, this makes sense for something that unfolds as is the case here.

   For a folded up base, this is a pretty good effort. It clearly _looks_ like a mobile launching platform, allows for some play value and can accommodate up to five Micromasters. While there are some ramps that are left aside here with nothing to do, on the while it's a very satisfying secondary mode for a Micromaster base.

TRANSFORMATION TO BASE MODE

   Well, the base unfolds to form a very big Micromaster plaza, the rocket becomes a comms tower and the launch tower folds out as part of the plaza. Add a few ramps, move around the pods and you end up with a very impressive base.

BASE MODE
Height: 22cm Length: 43cm Width: 50cm

   The most remarkable aspect of this base are the dimensions - which rival the G1 city Transformers, albeit with less mass. The main colours here are light and dark grey, with some blues at the back, some black ramps, red here and there and of course the white top of the rocket. The blue base of the platform has unfolded into the wider back section, the underside forms a dark grey core while the launch tower has opened out to form the front.

   The majority of this complex is on the one level, maybe 4cm off the floor (or table, if you have enough room). The rear section is higher, with its own tower and the driver pod up high, and of course the comms tower is high. There are a total of four black ramps, with one at the rear fixed in place since it sits higher than the others. The other three can move around between seven different locations. There's a detachable helipad which can plug into either side, and the comms tower plugs into this helipad so it will follow.

   There are four guns, including the twin barrels on the red gunpod, now front centre. There's a white claw on the lack towards the left (as you look at it). While there's not actually that much play value here, we have a few compartments, lots of flat spaces and some ramps for Micromasters to inhabit this complex, as well as the two pods. The end result is a very playable base.

   A fantastic base, and one that actually can serve as a HQ for your Micromasters. You can easy place a dozen or so Micros on here, the layout can be adjusted if you prefer and the sheer scale provides great play and display value. While many Micromaster bases are a little underwhelming - especially the smaller ones - this base is a worthy flagship.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. The Japanese version came packed with the Rescue Patrol.

OVERALL

   A really nice little Micromaster with an unusual alt mode, good detailing and a nice colour scheme, Countdown suits his base. The base itself is great - both imposing and useful as a base, even if you have a lot of Micromasters - not the case for many smaller Micromaster bases. The versatility of the base and it's unusually focused vehicle mode make the set a winner anyway - the fact that it comes with a killer Micromaster just makes things even better. While he's a little tricky to find, I strongly recommend Countdown to fans of Micromasters - 9.5//10

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