Cliffbee.com: Darkmount Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Darkmount (AKA Straxus - they couldn't get the name, but I'll use it anyway).
Series: Generations
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Half-Track



HALF-TRACK MODE
Height: 6.5cm Length: 14.5cm Width: 8cm

   A blue half-track tank with gold on the front, a slew of medium grey weapons and some gunmetal painted details. Straxus also has splashes of red - the red and gold allude to his inconsistent colours in the Marvel comics. There's also a white "M17" referring to his marvel comics debut. The tyres at the front are black while the sculpted treads at the back are painted gunmetal. Surprisingly there are no visible Decepticon logos in this mode. There's a silver-windowed cab on the front ride side.

   He's not a flying space cannon - hard to market something like that to kids who've not read the 20 year old comic - he's a fairly convincing half-track aside from the fairly unlikely blue colour. The turret has a single blue cannon with grey tip and there are three grey weapons which can plug into various locations on the sides and top of the vehicle. There's a lot of sculpted detail here, from the intricate treads to hatches & panels all over this vehicle.

   The play value is above what you'd expect of a deluxe, even considering the lack of a missile launcher. The turret rotates through 360 and the cannon lifts up to 45. The three grey guns are all on ball joints, allowing them to be aimed. There are a total of 7 places where they can be attached - one on either side of the base of the vehicle, two on the edges of the top of the turret, two on the sides of the turret towards the back and one on the top of the turret, on the right side. One of the grey guns is a missilerack, one a rifle-like gun and one a three barrelled cannon. The tyres at the front roll, as do small hidden wheels under the treads.

   While it's not the space cannon which would likely clog shelves, this is a good half-track which carries Straxus' colours. The detailing and play value are excellent, with the unlikely blue (for this sort of vehicle) the only real drawback - but that colour works for the character.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   There's a lot of contorting and twisting, so I won't go through every step. The turret unfolds to become his legs while the cannon becomes his battle axe (the blade anchors inside the turret). The front becomes his chest with the "fenders" (if you will) become the shoulderpads. His treads end up on his back while the arms are stowed within the treads. The head simply folds out from within the chest.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 16.5cm Width: 12cm

   A blue robot with a mixture of the two secondary colours seen in the comics - a gold central stripe on his torso and red on his upper arms and some joints. The forearms, thighs and hands are grey (although his fingers are blue). Straxus has gold eyes and a red crest on a simple face. There's a black Decepticon logo on his waist. There are red triangle features on either side of his chest - consistent with the comics.

   While he's not quite as stocky as we saw in the comics the head is very similar (if slightly higher detail) and the battle axe is a good match for his weapon seen in that medium. There's a high level of detail overall, which carries over from the vehicle mode to a fair extent. There's kibble in the form of the treads on his back, and while they can pop off during transformation, they basically stay out of the way here - making this an appealing robot mode. It's a good tribute, with a clever use of both red & gold to match the inconsistency of the comics.

   Play value is pretty good, thanks to the poseability and weaponry. Straxus's neck and waist rotate - the latter is actually the same joint around which the turret turns. His shoulders, hips and ankles are ball jointed while the elbows and knees are hinged with rotators above them. His feet and heelspurs both have hinges, allowing for a pretty good range of leg poses. The shoulders are somewhat restricted by his shoulderpads, but overall he's very poseable. The battle axe has icepicks on either side of the blade and a grey handle at the base, and can be grasped in either hand - his fingers open to grasp the shaft. The three grey guns can plug into his boots of backpack, depending on your whim.

   A good robot mode that's limited only by the shoulder movement - and that's minor. This really is Straxus from the Marvel comics, straddling the line between his two colour schemes nicely. The detailing and play value are both great and the weapons really add something to a toy that already displays well.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of although there is a retool, Skullgrin.

OVERALL

   An excellent toy with good play value in both modes, a great sculpting and good colours. It's nice to see a non-toy G1 character given a toy, and they've really made the tribute work despite a new vehicle mode. You can mistransform for a sort-of space cannon mode, but I actually find the half-track satisfying anyway thanks to a clever transformation and attention to detail. Recommended for G1 fans/fans of the "Classics" lines - 9/10

"Transformers" and other indica trademarks of Hasbro and/or Takara.