Cliffbee.com: Motorcycle Drone Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Motorcycle Drone
Series: Beast Machines
Allegiance: Vehicon
Function: Vehicon Mobile Infantry
Alternate Mode: Cybertronian Motorcycle

This toy is one of the few Transformers toys marketed as a drone, rather than as a thinking entity. Except that it feels no more drone-like than any other Transformer.



MOTORCYCLE MODE
Height: 5cm Length: 15cm Width: 6.5cm

   A maroon and silver bike that's clearly meant to resemble Thrust, without being a straight out copy of the larger toy. There's a lot less yellow than on Thrust - it's really only prominent on the back of the big jet engines on either side of the rear wheel, in the form of some transparent parts, and a spark crystal on top of the left jet. The wheels are black, and are monstrously huge, giving Motorcycle Drone a speed-demon sort of look. Rounding out the colour scheme are some copper and silver painted details on the maroon areas. All in all, it's a pretty good colour scheme - the maroon and silver work together and the supporting colours are well chosen.

   The wheels roll fairly well, and they're wide enough that it's easy to stand this bike upright. The centrepiece of the play value in this mode is the missile launcher embedded inside the left engine. Basically, the yellow "flames" that stick out the back of the engines are missiles, and the left engine is the launcher. The missiles are quite heavy and don't shoot terribly well, but when you do fire them the top and bottom covers of the launcher will pop out, revealing yellow innards. The effect is kinda bizarre in this mode, since it's shooting a missile backwards from a rocket engine, but it's nice that they're trying to including an interesting gimmick.

   The only real issue I have with this mode is that the covers on the left rocket don't clip down, instead they rely on some loosish gears to stay in position. I recommend keeping the clear rubber band that it's packaged with on when you're not using this gimmick.

   The overall look of this mode is typical of the Vehicons - very mechanical looking with a high level of detail. Like Thrust the robot eyes are visible, although the robot head itself is partly transformed, so it doesn't quite have a head in this mode. If this was meant to be an Earthen vehicle, it would be a drag-racing bike, with the giant tyres (that almost look like they're rubber) and long frame. It makes sense, since the Motorcycle Drones on the Beast Machines show exist solely to pursue the Maximals.

   A good bike mode with very well done colours, it's a shame it's only meant as a drone. The gimmick isn't so spectacular, but this mode is enough of a departure from Thrust's bike mode to keep me happy.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Pretty complex for a basic, so I'm not going to bother going through it all - you'll have trouble following if you don't have the toy already. By the numbers, the front tyre splits to become the robot feet, the engines become the forearms, the "head" transforms into it's head and the central maroon piece becomes the torso, with the rear tyre on it's back.

   You have the option of keeping the front wheel together, for a show-accurate unicycle mode, although it can't stand up.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 10.5cm Width: 10cm

   Similar colours here, which is a good thing. It has a maroon torso, head and much of the legs are also maroon, while the arms and parts of the legs are silver. The feet are black tyre-halves while it has transparent yellow claws. The eyes are also transparent yellow, along with the missiles optionally sticking out of it's hands. The copper accents aren't so visible now, but it still looks pretty good.

   The proportions are very much non-humanoid, although no more so than Thrust - or half of the Beast Machines line, while we're at it. The feet stick out to the sides rather than the front, they anchor the toy a lot better than Thrust's - I think the designer learnt the lesson. The upper arms are skinny and short, the giant rockets are it's forearms, with the right one now housing the missile launcher (more on that in a bit). There are twin shoulder panels on either side of the head, which is a maroon handlebar-esque affair with a mouthgrille and evil looking yellow eyes. The legs aren't straight - the hips are further back than they should be, so the legs slope forwards towards the feet to correct the centre of gravity. The torso is more of a central block than being composed of a chest, waist and groin, and the shoulderblades stick out to the sides.

   As unusual as they are, I don't really mind the proportions. Thrust wasn't going for humanoid, and this thing is meant to be non-sentient anyway. It fits in well with the whole Vehicon thing and skinny and angular works for it. The moulded detailing on it's forearms is prominent, and along with the detailing on the legs, is intricate mechanical stuff.

   The spark crystal on the right forearm is the trigger for the missile launcher, which is a little more effective now. The play value of this mode is more in the articulation than the gimmick, but the odd positioning of the legs limits poseability somewhat. There are two ball joints in the neck, while the shoulders and elbows are also ball joints. The hips and ankles are hinges that swing out to the sides, while there's another hinge behind the groin (where the legs attach) allowing it to lean forward or backwards. The arm poseability is excellent, the leg poseability okay and the neck interesting, although the shoulder panels get in the way.

   Not as nice as the bike mode, but it's well engineered and is very different from Thrust despite the common theme. The colour scheme is nice and it has an interesting aesthetic.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. Cycle Drone is essentially a more show-accurate version of the Thrust concept, since Thrust was designed before the show and this toy afterwards.

OVERALL

   A fairly unusual Transformer, Motorcycle Drone features great colours, some nice engineering and a lot of interesting design elements. In a lot of ways it's better than the toy it's mimicking, and is sufficiently different from Thrust that I recommend getting it. It's kind of a shame that this toy is marketed only as a drone - it's better than being a "copy", and has just as much character as most Beast Machines toys - and more than quite a few of them - 7.5/10

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