Cliffbee.com: BotCon Ricochet Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Ricochet
Series: Convention Exclusives
Allegiance: Evil Autobot
Alternate Mode: Sports Car



CAR MODE
Height: 5cm Length: 13.5cm Width: 6.5cm

   A rounded deep red sports car with transparent windows, silver hubcaps and white stripes on the side and down the centre, Ricochet is a repaint of Cybertron Crosswise. While Hasbro seem to be using the name haphazardly recently, the inspiration for this repaint is Stepper (who was "reissued" as Ricochet). There's a purple Autobot logo stamped on his bonnet, signifying that Ricochet is an evil Autobot (from the Shattered Glass mirrorverse). His headlights are yellow while the spoiler and engine cover at the back are black. His taillights are unpainted (which was not the case on Crosswise) while the rear indicators are amber. The stripes look good against the deep red, making this an attractive colour scheme. It doesn't look too much like that of Stepper, mind you.

   The engineblock and spoiler are actually detachable, so if you prefer a flat back section you can have one - it removes the black, but also breaks up the white stripe. The detachable section becomes a missile launcher in robot mode, and the smoky transparent missile plugs in the back here, creating a sort of afterburner effect. While I prefer the smoky plastic to the green of Crosswise, I prefer leaving the missile out here.

   Ricochet comes with a smoky blue Planet Key, sporting a raised Autobot logo (painted purple, of course!). There's no code, since he's not exactly a Cybertron toy. Anyway, it plugs into the back of the car. When you push it right in two missilepods flip out from either side of the engineblock. The springs are really powerful and the missilepods hit the painted roof quite hard, which is a little offputting. They do look rather cool, however, with four silver missile tips each. I like how the add-on launcher piece allows clearance for his key gimmick to work. As with most later Cybertron moulds, Ricochet can hold his key without the gimmick activating.

   A pretty good car mode overall, which is heavily based on the Bugatti Veyron (thanks to FortMax Reed for this info). The repaint is nice - at the sort of level you'd want from a BotCon toy. The gimmick is simple yet effective and the missile launcher assembly on the back adds another dimension. The character isn't immediately obvious, but it was never going to be easy making an evil mirrorverse version of a black character. In that context, I'm quite happy with the repaint.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Unfold everything, basically. Ricochet is a classic shellformer, to an extent we haven't really seen since RiD. The front of the car becomes the chest while the arms, head and legs are all stowed underneath the shell, which ends up on his arms and back. The missile launcher becomes a handheld weapon, obviously.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15cm Width: 12.5cm

   A deep red robot with white thighs and upper arms, Ricochet has black fists and feet, along with a groin and black head featuring a silver face and yellow eyestrip. The Evil Autobot logo is now central on his chest. The doors are shoulderpads on the outsides of his upper arms while the roof and windshield form a shield on his left forearm.

   The head has been resculpted for BotCon 2008, which saw this mould used for Jazz as well as Ricochet - Stepper is, after all, a Jazz repaint. It really does look like Jazz/Stepper, and suits the repaint here as a result.

   This robot mode has a real G1 feel about it, which makes this a good choice for a G1 themed repaint. At the same time the Transformation is something from 1999-2001, with a whole bunch of car panels. The front of the car as a chest, the doors on his shoulders, the face and front tyres on the outsides of his ankles are all reminiscent of G1 while the rear fenders hanging off his back and the shield on his arm are elements you'd expect of Car Robots. Most of the elements here work visually, with the exception of the fenders hanging off his back - although they don't really stand out. If you prefer, you can swing the fenders forward to act as hip-mounted cannons. I'm not quite sold on this look, but it does reduce the kibble.

   The key gimmick is available here, with the slot rather unfortunately located on his skidpate. The missilepods now deploy over his shoulders, and look good on either side of his head. Again they deploy forcefully thanks to the strong springs, at least they now hit unpainted plastic. The missile launcher works well as a handheld weapon - the switch from green to smoky plastic makes this a better weapon than that of Crosswise, and the black weapon contrasts well with the red robot anyway, making this a better weapon without the missile loaded, also.

   Ricochet has pretty good poseability, with ball joints in his shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. The arm joints really need to be ball jointed to allow him to contort and fit everything back into the car - but I'm not complaining. The feet and heelspurs are hinged - both the feet and heelspurs can swing up and down, while the fenders hanging off the back act as stabilising legs, giving Ricochet a ridiculous range of stable dynamic poses. The head turns and hinges back and forth, although the latter is quite limited. Other than the fixed waist and wrists there's not really much more we could ask here.

   A good robot mode despite the shellformer panels hanging off him, Ricochet uses most of the panels fairly well. He's very poseable and the key gimmick works well even if the slot's location is dubious. The head resculpt is very well done, it's very obviously Jazz's head (and hence Stepper/Ricochet). The colours represent a new colour scheme for the character, but works visually and works as an evil variant on a black character well enough. The G1-esque layout and the missilepods over his shoulders round out a nice robot mode.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, although as Ricochet was available exclusively at BotCon 2008, he was likely limited to a single production run, making variants unlikely. As mentioned he is a repaint and retool of Cybertron Crosswise, sharing the new head mould with the Jazz toy from the same convention.

OVERALL

   A good mould despite being a typical shellformer in many ways. As with most shellformers, he's very poseable, and the range of poses in robot mode is excellent. The main downside to his transformation is probably the main flaw shellformers suffer from - cramming everything back underneath all the panels properly can be tricky. The key gimmick works really well and his robot mode looks great with a distinct G1 feel. The resculpted head is good, the colour scheme works well despite being essentially new for the character. Of all of the Shattered Glass BotCon 2008 toys, Ricochet was the most appealing for me, since I like Stepper and love the way the concept has been turned using a devilish red. As the attendee exclusive, you're likely to pay handsomely for Ricochet - so I'm stopping short of recommend him. If you have the money and the inclination, this is a nice repaint - 9.5/10

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