Cliffbee.com: Double Face Toy Review

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Name: Double Face
Series: Robot Masters
Allegiance: Destron
Function: Gas Guzzler
Alternate Mode: Harley-Davidson Motorbike



MOTORCYCLE MODE
Height: 8cm Length: 11cm Width: 4cm

   A purple Harley-Davidson with transparent blue plastic on his windshield and headlights, a silver fuel tank below the saddle and some yellow plastic at the base. The core of the bike is black with silver and grey mechanical details while there's a sky blue stripe on the front wheelguard which continues below the windshield. There's a transparent blue exhaust pipe on the left side, which is the main addition that prevents this bike from treading on trademark. The partially visible engineblock is sculpted with some silver painted highlights - the rims & spokes on both wheels are also painted silver. On either side of the fuel tank, Double Face sports "D-750" in black text. Double Face is a repaint of G2's Road Pig inspired by Armada Sideways (known as Double Face in Japan). The repaint is quite successful since this bike reminds me more of Sideways than Road Pig.

   Double Face is a pretty detailed bike for this size - with the engineblock, speedo and tachometer and brake levers on the handbars. There's also moulded suspension and a diffusion pattern on the headlight and front indicators (which are composed of the same colour transparent plastic as the headlight). There's even a kickstand underneath. The transparent tailpipe is really his only diversion from reality, but it has a good reason for being there.

   Pressing a small black button behind the handlebar will cause an LED to light up at the base of the exhaust (inside the yellow block), and there are some internal notches allowing the red light to refract near the end. This gimmick is both easy to activate and not ridiculously easy to accidentally activate, although the impact is compromised by the tinted plastic - Road Pig's version of the gimmick works much better. There's a wire hanging off the left side, but it's black and you hardly notice it. Adding to the impressive Laser Rod gimmick are the spinning wheels and the kickstand which allows Road Pig to stand easily. The front wheel cannot turn from side to side since the handlebars split from the fork when he transforms. Still, I'm quite happy with the play value here - Road Pig is pretty good compared to most Transformers bikes (the fact that the wheels aren't detachable and easily lost is an advantage itself).

   Other than the wire and tailpipe need for the Laser Rod thing, this is a pretty realistic Harley-Davidson. The colours aren't so realistic, but then this repaint is copying Armada, which was far from realistic. The transparent blue plastic works well on his windshield but not so well on the tailpipe. I wouldn't say this bike mode is better than that of Road Pig, simply because the G2 toy had more realistic colours (I never though I'd make a statement like that!). Still, it's quite a nice repaint and captures the homage really well.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Lift the storage box behind the saddle up and back to form his boots. Swing up the yellow blocks to form his forearms, swing up the shoulders. Deploy the rear wheel on his left knee, fold down the windshield and headlight as a torsoplate and fold the front wheel down onto his back. You'll need to fold down the kickstand on his left shoulder and push the wire over his right shoulder.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 10.5cm Width: 7.5cm

   Again mainly purple with yellow forearms and a yellow head, Double Face has black thighs and the blue tailpipe hanging off his right forearm. The face is a silver ninja-style facemask on a yellow head that with a ninja eyemask. Double Face has red eyes, underneath the red paint are blue lightpipes which hardly work. The windshield is now a groinplate with the lights upside-down as his chestplate. The colour scheme homage isn't all that strong since the colours followed the colour map of the bike mode - Sideways revealed a lot more grey than we have here, but the homage is still evident. The Headmaster Minicon gimmick is absent.

   Double Face has a fairly obvious gap between his thin thighs, since the rear wheel that now sits on the outside of his left knee has to squeeze in there. His knees are a tad lower than they should be but otherwise this is an attractive robot mode. The torso prominently displays the front of the bike while the tailpipe-lightsabre on his right arm looks very cool. The kickstand sits on his left shoulder without getting in the way. My only real complaint is that the forearms are hollow when they don't really need to be. Still, he has holes in his fists when he doesn't need them so that helps offset the forearms. Road Pig's ninja motif was quite well put together in robot mode, but much of that is lost here as the extensive black gives way to purple and yellow. I'm not complaining about this - it gives the repaint definition.

   Double Face is quite poseable, using the ball joints that started to come into their own during G2. The shoulders, elbows and hips are ball jointed while the head turns. His knees ratchet but are too low for any bent knee poses to really work - but he has fairly big footprints so straight leg poses that rely on the hips work.

   The button on his saddle is now underneath the chestplate, but there's another on his back that's easy enough to activate - simply push on his backpack. The gimmick is pretty useless in this mode, but the lightsabre makes for a great weapon anyway - I don't miss a handheld weapon. You can detach the LED housing from his forearm, which will reveal a moderately weak red LED.

   Despite the awkward knees and thighs, Double Face still has a strong robot mode. I like the fact that this robot mode has a vastly different feel to Road Pig, and loses much of the ninja feel. The colour scheme still works for Sideways, although not as well as it did in bike mode. The poseability is good and even though the LED gimmick fails here, the lightsabre weapon is cool.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   While this mould has been around for over a decade, it still holds its own against modern designs - and betters many of modern gimmick-centred Transformers. Sure, the LED gimmick doesn't really work here, but this toy is about a good Transformer first. The repaint is quite nice, and while I'd stop short of recommending getting two versions of the mould, if you missed Road Pig, this toy is worthwhile. With a realistic bike mode and a playable robot mode, it's a mould worth picking up - 8/10

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