Cliffbee.com: Dropkick Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Dropkick
Series: Movie Tie-Ins
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Chevrolet Silverado Pickup Truck



PICKUP MODE
Height: 4.5cm Length: 14cm Width: 6.5cm

   A purple and grey souped up sports pickup with black plastic tyres and silver hubcaps. Dropkick is largely "Decepticon" purple on top and Jazz-esque not-quite-silver grey plastic on the end and sides. The windshield, side windows and headlights are slightly smokey plastic while the taillights are painted red. The sides sport purple stripes while here are silver lines on the bonnet and roof. These lines form a very distinct pattern - it's the outline of a giant Decepticon logo! As cheesy as this sounds, it works well because the rest of the top is the same purple as this giant allegiance symbol. It's still the defining feature of this truck mode, but it's not the liability you might expect. The colours work well enough together that they support the logo.

   There's a decent level of detail here, including side mirrors, doorhandles, a turbocharger, grille details, transparent plastic foglights and a spoiler behind the purple tray cover. The tray cover (and spoiler) detaches, revealing a grey tray, which features lines on the floor and well shaped wheelbay protrusions on either side. Fit For Natalie has pointed out that he's a Chevrolet Silverado, although I highly doubt they come off the assembly line looking much like this.

   There's some play value here - although not much. The tray cover features a grey knob, pushing it back reveals a black claw that pushes down the tailgate. The claw is essentially set of pliers, complete with grip and wiresnips. Turn the knob and the pliers open about 30. It's a silly gimmick but it doesn't get in the way of much, although the knob is quite visible. If you don't like it (I'm not a fan), you can always leave the leave the tray cover aside anyway. The tailgate is on a spring, so when you fold it down it pops back into position once your finger is removed - or the pliers are retracted. I appreciate the spring, since the taillights go down with the tailgate, and this doesn't look quite right. The wheels roll as you'd expect.

   A good truck mode despite some silly aspects. The giant Decepticon logo - which could well be a liability - ends up being an asset, and the removable tray cover provides an unusual gimmick which can be left aside if it doesn't appeal - without any loss. The detailing is pretty good, making this a nice truck mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove and set aside the tray cover if you haven't already. Split the front and swing out to either side, swing down the folded up legs from under the tray, rotate and fold out his lower legs. Fold out the heelspurs and swing the ankle struts back. The legs are digitigrade (think BM Cheetor, without the ridiculous stability issues). Clip the sides of the front into the the sides, collapse the tray onto his back. Lift up the roof, the head will pop out. Fold back his shoulder spines, lift up the fenders to form shoulderpads, which will release the doors, allowing the to swing forward and form wings. Fold down the arms from behind the grille plates, which swing out to the outsides of his forearms. Lastly, swing down the guns on his hands.

   It's a complex transformation for a deluxe, although once you understand it, he's not really difficult. He's a shellformer in many ways, however there's far more than just a bunch of unfolding panels, and he doesn't end up with panels hanging off getting in the way.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15cm Width: 15cm

   Dropkick's robot mode is a mixture of grey, black and dark green with the purple not as prominent. His torso, thighs, shoulderpads and head are grey while the green is on his boots, forearms and the shoulder spines. There's black all over, although the largest black pieces are the upper arms. The eyes are a smoky plastic with no real lightpipe while his mouthplate is painted a metallic blue. The large Decepticon logo is nowhere to be seen, instead Dropkick has a small silver logo on his waist. The window, in two panes, is on his chest, rounding out an involved yet co-ordinated colour scheme.

   This is an attractive robot mode with a _lot_ happening. The chest has a distinct engine sculpt, on what is actually the inner cabin. The doors work well as wings while the fenders look good as shoulderpads, even with the tyres quite visible. The rear tyres are on the knees and the boots curl backwards, reminiscent of Beast Machines Cheetor, as mentioned, but with real feet and better proportions. The double-barred guns on his fists work visually, although the panels on the outside of his forearms are nothing but kibble. I'm impressed by the attention to detail here, from the chest sculpt (which still sits underneath the clear windows) to the guns on his fists to the placement of much of the truck mode around his shoulders to the complex legs.

   The tray cover can plug into either hand as a sort of pincer weapon, although the big purple plate on the topside looks awkward - I really just prefer leaving it right aside. The fist guns work nicely anyway. The arm poseability is great, especially considering there's two panels around each shoulder. The shoulders are ball jointed and the elbows hinged. His head sits on a ball joint, which effectively functions as a single swivel while the waist is fixed. His legs aren't that poseable - the hips are unrestricted ball joints, the knees are basically fixed and the feet and heelspurs can swing. The knees hurt his leg poseability quite a bit.

   The arms don't clip into the torso quite as firmly as I'd like, but they don't fall off, either - rather they'll stay place slightly loose. Along with the fixed knees, the loose connection holds back this robot mode slightly. Despite these flaws, it's a good robot mode. Dropkick is visually spectacular and the transformation layout really does a lot for this robot mode. The weapon doesn't look very good, but then it can be left aside without losing anything.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. Salvage is a repaint of Dropkick.

OVERALL

   It says a lot about the quality of the Movie line when a sideline toy such as this is way ahead of the prominent characters of Armada (with the cheesiness of Hot Shot and the awful concept of Megatron). The truck mode manages to pull off a bold concept in the giant Decepticon logo without being cheesy, the transformation is very unusual and complex while Dropkick's robot mode looks great. The robot mode poseability is a little limited and the gimmick doesn't quite work, but he's still a great toy. If you're collecting the movie figures, I'd recommend Dropkick - 9/10

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