Cliffbee.com: Energon Prowl Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Thanks to Goktimus Prime for loaning me Prowl, making this review possible.

Name: Prowl
Series: Energon
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: SWAT Racing Car



CAR MODE
Height: 6cm Length: 16cm Width: 9cm

   A blue racing car, similar to a Formula One racer but sporting a closed transparent blue canopy, Prowl bears only a passing semblance to the original character of the same name - the stroberack on the spoiler. There are some white lines on the airdam and front fenders while the sides sport the words "POLICE" and some Japanese text - both in silver. There is a grey block on his spoiler with transparent red and blue strobes on either side and a red moulded Autobot symbol and spark crystal in the centre. The spoiler also read "POLICE" in front of both lights. Formula One cars don't stroberacks or closed cockpits, so there's little realism here. The colour scheme isn't ugly, but I can't say it's that interesting either.

   Prowl's wheels are smooth, racing slicks and the rear ones are huge, as you'd expect. He doesn't ride quite as low to the ground as you'd expect of a track racer - I suppose he needs to have road clearance for police work. The canopy may be transparent but there aren't any seats or anything of that kind - just transformation joints inslde. I don't think the blue really works for what the designer was trying to achieve here - Prowl feels more like a weird track car than a police vehicle. The repaint is more successful in this respect.

   There are two fins on the sides of his spoiler which can slide out or retract (but are intended to slide out here). There are twin grey exhausts sticking out of the back, and they hang off a light grey bulb which is obviously the robot head, but it's tucked away under the spoiler so unless you peep in there you see just the exhausts.

   The rolling wheels represent most of the play value here. There are holes on the sides into which you can plug two Energon weapons. Prowl comes with a transparent blue missile launcher that fires a blue missile up to a metre along the table - making it fairly powerful for a Hasbro missile launcher.

   Prowl's large features give him something a Hasbro GoBot feel, but he's more detailed than that. The colour scheme doesn't work so well, and while it's not ugly, it conspires with the GoBot shape to make this vehicle feel like a preschooler-aimed toy car. The relatively powerful missile launcher is a highlight.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Based on that of the Minicon Swindle although obviously more complex. Swing back the sides, so that they point to the sides. Extend and split the front to form his legs, making sure to fully extend them, otherwise his kneejoints will be hindered (the slides are quite tight). Flip up the airdam halves to form his feet, deploy the heelspurs and swing down the canopy halves on his thighs to form ankle-plates. Swing the sides down to form arms, but leave the rear tyres as shoulderpads. Rotate the forearms and swing out the fists - it's a good thing the now hollow forearms are black. Rotate the head so the face is visible. Slide in the spoiler wings.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15cm Width: 11cm

   Still mainly blue, Prowl has a grey chest (the stroberack area), grey thighs and black fists while the rear tyres form huge shoulderpads His head is grey with a white face and gold eyes. The colour scheme is better in this mode - the blue may not work so well for a police car, but it does gives Prowl police uniform overtones. The added relevance means that the blue, which works aesthetically, works here.

   The chestplate is an interesting idea and the stroberack, spark crystal and moulded logo all work there. The words "POLICE" are immediately below the strobes, so he's still definitely a police 'bot. His head is quite detailed and looks very Autobot. The giant shoulderpads kind of dominate the upper half. For some reason Goktimus's Prowl leans to his right - the slider in his right leg tends to sag.

   Poseability here is reasonable, but there are some annoying restrictions. His head does not turn and the shoulderpads are fixed. There are hinges in the upper arms that allow effective shoulder posing and the elbows are ball joints, and while the wheels mean he can't lift his arms in the air most are poses are possible. The knees and hips are hinged and there are rotators behind his torso allowing the legs to twist (although looks weird if with his back twisted). The feet can flap up and down and the heelspurs give him some meaningful leg poseability. It's not the greatest articulation but it's enough to keep me happy. The right arm on Goktimus's Prowl pops off far too easily.

   Less of a GoBot now, and Prowl's big shoulderpads and blue gun really sell him as a heroic enforcer type. I do wish the poseability was better, but on the whole I'm happier with this robot mode than I thought I'd be. I'm not very impressed with the loose leg and arm, but I'll give Prowl the be benefit of the doubt and assume these are not common problems.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, although as mentioned, the same toy was repainted and sold in a two pack with Checkpoint.

OVERALL

   The police car mode is weird and while there's some merit to what the designer was aiming for, it doesn't work in blue. The robot mode looks nice but isn't as poseable as I'd like. I'm a lot happier with the repaint, and I would recommend grabbing that toy instead - while I wouldn't recommend against this one, I can't say I recommend him either - 6/10

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