Cliffbee.com: Cybertron Quickmix Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Quickmix
Series: Cybertron
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Cement Mixer



CEMENT MIXER MODE
Height: 12cm Length: 22cm Width: 8cm

   An orange cement mixer with a white and grey drum, Quickmix has six dark grey plastic wheels and a dark grey platform underneath the drum. There are some yellow plastic elements at the back, a prominent grey protrusion at the front and colourless plastic in the cabin windows. The colour scheme isn't all that similar to the red and beige of his G1 namesake, yet the overall effect is surprisingly similar. While that Quickmix was a regular truck with a drum on the back, this one is a worksite style truck with a small, centred cabin. Despite the marked differences, the tribute still works. The orange, yellow and white works fairly well, with the greys staying in the background.

   The detailing here is pretty good, Quickmix's sculpt is impressive and there are some nice elements such as smokestacks behind the cabin, painted in gunmetal grey. There are external fueltanks underneath the drum, yellow headlights on the front, a complex pouring apparatus on the back and an Autobot logo stamped on the latter. There's some kibble on the back, which looks like generic machinery tacked onto the back. This machinery is actually the left arm of the robot mode - and while it doesn't look too much like an arm it's obviously a robot mode piece.

   The play value here is very good. Quickmix is unusual amongst modern mega sized toys in that he doesn't have some sort of electronic gimmicks - and his play value is better for it, since the design focuses on action features rather than trying to accommodate a battery pack and speaker. The drum turns through 360 thanks to a ratcheting joint at the back - there are twenty positions. His Minicon partner, Stripmine, can plug into hardpoints on top of the roof and at the back (on the left arm). The wheels roll fairly well considering he has no axles nor rubberised tyres. There's a keyslot on top of the drum, if you unclip the base of the drum from behind the cabin and plug in his purple Planet Key (code: ve37), the drum will split revealing an orange missile launcher that houses a single blue and yellow missile. The missile is fired by pressing a yellow button on top of the launcher. The bucket on top of the pouring assembly can clip into the top of the drum, forming a targetable weapon. There's a little lid which flips over the bucket, the bucket then lifts up off its base to form a mini console for Stripmine - there are even tiny handles that flip out. Stripmine then stands on the chute manning the missile launcher. While the blue and yellow Minicon might seem odd fit at first glance, this level of integration is fantastic. Stripmine can also attach in vehicle mode - resting on the chute whilst plugging into a hole underneath the lid.

   While the arm sitting on the back is a little annoying, on the whole this is a great vehicle mode. There's a good G1 tribute in the colours yet this toy still has its own character. The detailing is good while the play value is excellent, thanks to excellent interaction between Quickmix and Stripmine. I like the fact that there's no garbled sound gimmick shoved in here - and find the creative missile launcher based gimmick far more satisfying than yet another sound gimmick.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Unclip and open the drum if you haven't already. Split the front, the cabin will actually split front to back, with the window section moving to the right and the back half moving to the left. Swing these pieces over to the sides, swing out the grey protrusion, split and fold the two plates down to form feet. Swing the rear wheels underneath (onto his back), swing the drum out to form his right arm and swing the left arm into place. Fold down the chestplate, rotate the head to reveal his face. Slide the shoulders down, position the arms and deploy the missile launcher if it's not already.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 19cm Width: 17cm

   The dark grey is more prominent now - on his groin, elbows and thighs. Quickmix is still based on orange, mind you - it's on his shoulders, head, chest, arms ands boots. the feet are grey plates while the drum halves surround the missile launcher that is now his right arm. There's quite a bit of silver paint on Quickmix's robot mode - the face, torso and both shoulders feature silver elements. His face is mainly silver with colourless eyes (and an unimpressive lightpipe). There's a yellow headset on the left side of his head, which is a nice feature. Incidentally, the head looks quite similar to that of his G1 namesake, other than the headset (and the lightpipe). I prefer Quickmix's colour scheme this time around, since the grey and silver break up the orange a little.

   This is an attractive robot mode, even with the obvious kibble in the form of the drum as a right arm. Mind you, the missile launcher makes this pseudo-arm a feature rather than a liability. I really like the headset, which is by no means necessary - the fact that the designer added a piece of plastic specifically is impressive. There's a silver twin cannon mounted on the outside of his left arm, giving Quickmix weaponry on both arms, although the right arm is far more prominent. The cabin pieces in his knees do look a little strange, but this is a minor point really.

   Quickmix has at once good play value and limited poseability. The head turns, the shoulders swing and lift out to the sides while both elbows swing in but can't lift up. The left forearm has slightly more elbow movement than the right, mind you, since it doesn't have to double as a truck mode missile launcher. The hips swing and lift out the sides while the knees bend and rotate. Most of the jointsso far are ratcheting, in fact only shoulder and knee rotators along with the neck aren't. The ankles can swing inwards and rotate. The heelspurs anchor Quickmix well, and the proliferation of ratcheting joints combine with the large feet and versatile ankles to help stabilise a toy with a lot of weight on the right side. The end result is a toy that makes good use of his slightly articulation. The missile launcher on his right arm retains almost all of the play value it had in cement mixer mode. I say almost since the two different ways that Stripmine can attach are rather useless now (although still) possible. There are four hardpoints on Quickmix's robot mode - one on the right kneecap (the cabin roof), two on the chest and one on the outside of the left forearm. Whilst Stripmine can't really attach to the missile launcher in a meaningful way he _can_ mount as a third weapon on the left arm, thanks to the hardpoint there.

   While the kneecaps are a little awkward, the rest of this robot mode looks pretty good and the play value is innovative and efficient - Quickmix's poseability is great considering the limitations on movement here. The colours work well, the G1 tribute is again fairly effective and the weaponry options are quite impressive. The level of detailing is consistent with the vehicle mode, rounding off a good robot mode. The only caveat is that the missile launcher/drum arm is a defining characteristic of this robot mode - and whilst I appreciate the creativity, if you hate this arm, you're going to dislike the robot mode.


Name: Stripmine
Allegiance: Minicon
Alternate Mode: Drill Machine

DRILL MACHINE MODE
Height: 3.5cm Length: 10cm Width: 2.5cm

   A long blue drill machine on treads, Stripmine isn't so much about stripping as drilling, but I don't mind - it's a cool name. There's a transparent tip at the front of the long drillhead, which I assume represents a diamond tip. Most industrial diamonds are grey or black - generally the colourless ones all go to jewellery. Anyway the treads have small moulded links and internal gearing, but no actual wheels. There's a little sight on top (for the arm-mounted weapon mode, I guess, and just behind the drill are some gunmetal drilling teeth.

   The upper portion containing the drill can actually rotate through 360, and while this is for his transformation that does mean the joint is quite tight and will happily hold a position. While this is an unusual vehicle mode, the originality is nice and it integrates quite well with Quickmix (even if the theme of the two vehicles isn't quite the same). There's enough detail here to clearly define this vehicle, making Stripmine's vehicle mode cool is unusual.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   The treads simply unfold towards the front, revealing the torso. Rotate the drill itself through 90, fold the ends down to form his arms. Lastly, flip down the sight. Incidentally, the sight automatically flips up when you transform him back - a little latch not only locks the drill halves together but also pushes up the sight.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 6cm Width: 4cm

   Again based on blue, although the minor yellow aspects which were barely worth mentioning in vehicle mode are now slightly more prominent - basically his thighs are yellow and most everything else blue. There is some silver on his chest, along with a powerlinx port, while his eyestrip is red. One are is the back of the drill, with a yellow tip, while the other - which is slightly longer - ends in the colourless diamond tip. There's no pre-determined arrangement here - the arms can end up on either side so I guess we get to choose.

   The play value of this robot mode is pretty good. The arms swing while the hips and knees also bend, allowing Stripmine to sit down. As I've already covered, Stripmine can grasp the handles of Quickmix's missile launcher assembly.


VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. Universe 2.0 Heavy Load is a repaint of Quickmix.

OVERALL

   A good set with well thought out play value. The key gimmick is much more rewarding than yet another sound gimmick - and still allows the toy to transform and pose without having to lug around a large block. The colours are nice although not great - they do enough that the G1 tribute here is readily evident, mind you. The detailing on Quickmix is impressive and really adds to the toy. The set integrates better than most Armada sets did, making the addition of a Minicon (unusual in Cybertron) a definite plus for Quickmix. While his poseability is a little limited, overall Quickmix's play value is good, and offers something different. The few flaws here are fairly minor kibble issues. Definitely a toy I recommend - 9/10

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