Cliffbee.com: Dirtbag Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Dirtbag
Series: Generation 2
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Materials Transport
Alternate Mode: Dump Truck

Thanks to Tiby for loaning me Dirtbag for this review (I have since acquired Dirtbag).



DUMP TRUCK MODE
Height: 6.5cm Length: 14.5cm Width: 6.5cm

   A fluorescent green yellow dump truck with a transparent orange cabin on the left side, Dirtbag sports a black grille with "TFORM" in chrome silver. His headlights are also chrome silver while there are black lines on the front bumper, giving him dangers stripes. The tyres are black plastic with green hubcaps. There are also danger stripes on the rear with red taillights. The striped areas are actually stickers. There are some outbursts of a grey, on joints and the like, which is neutral enough that you'll barely notice it - this is a good thing against such a bright main colour. There's a black switch at the back and you have the option of attaching his transparent orange missiles on top. While the grey is nice and subtle, the green is bright enough that it's garish on its own, I'm afraid. I'd recommend leaving the missiles off.

   The level of detail is decent, but there's not that much focus on detail here. The Autorollers are intended with a slightly younger age group in mind that is the case with most Transformers, so Dirtbag ends up a tad sparse. There are various grey triggers in the tray, the tray lines help them blend into the background a little but they still stick out a little more than I'd like.

   The play value here is minimal. He rolls very well, on two axles, but that's really all we get. If you flick the switch, rolling him will autotransform, adding something. As mentioned, you can add the four missiles on top, if you feel the need.

   A simple dump truck, Dirtbag is unremarkable but works well enough - aside from the fact he looks like a tennis ball. The mould does what it has to, but combining the simplicity with the green just makes this truck feel cheesy.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Flick the switch and roll forward. The front slides forward and then lifts up, while the tray splits out to the sides to become the arms. You're left to manually pose his arms. Slide the claw out of his left forearm and plug two of the missiles into the right forearm. While it's very simple, the autotransform works very well. If you flick the switch back, he locks into robot mode.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12.5cm Width: 12cm

   A fluorescent green robot with grey shinpads and thighs, a black grille on his chest and a black face on a green head. His eyestrip is transparent orange without a lightpipe. The front of the truck, including the front wheels, forms his chest (think Long Haul). The left hand is a grey claw while the right arm ends in two orange missiles. The colour scheme is again very bright, and I can't really say that the black or orange help, nor does the grey really dampen this enough.

   The bodyshape is... limited. Which is to be expected when a blocky truck autotransforms into a robot, so I'm not really unhappy with this robot mode. The boots are a single green block, but the grey shinpads define his legs well. The arms are huge blocks, but the elbows help define them and the weaponry is good. The cabin sits behind his left shoulder, and the chest protrudes more than I'd like, but both are carried over truck elements that work fairly well, visually.

   Poseability is limited, which is again what you'd expect. His shoulders swing and lift out to the sides while his elbows are hinged and can rotate out to the sides, although the latter is limited by the lip of the tray hanging off his forearms. The play value is all on the end of his arms, with the left claw opening and closing as you move its slider. The missiles on the right can be fired independently, the other two can clip onto the lip on either forearm. He can roll on the rear wheels, if you hold him and roll.

   While the robot mode is always going to be limited, the end result is actually pretty good in context and the play value is decent. This mode is better than you'd expect really, although the colours are awful.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of although BWII's Autostinger is a repaint of Dirtbag.

OVERALL

   A decent effort considering the limitations this sort of autotransform imposes, but Dirtbag's green really hurts the overall impact. The simple nature of this toy is effectively emphasised by the use of such a bright colour - he feels like a toy for a 3 year old, even if some of the finer aspects such as the missile launcher aren't really suitable for that age. The colour choice also firmly plants Dirtbag in G2. The robot mode is playable and does a great job of being an undefined lump. The orange missiles and transparent plastic would have been better in a dull colour. The simple nature of this toy isn't going to suit everyone, but it's the colours that are the real killer here. I'd recommend hunting down the more sedate Autostinger, which is about as easy to find as Dirtbag - 4/10

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