Cliffbee.com: Fizzle / Wildspark Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Fizzle / Wildspark
Series: Generation 1 / Japanese G1
Allegiance: Autobot / Cybertron
Function: Military Strategist / Flame Field Operations
Alternate Mode: Racing Buggy

Note: Since the only difference between these two toys is a paint application, I'm combining them into the one review.


Note: the toy pictured is Wildspark.


BUGGY MODE
Height: 3.5cm Length: 8.5cm Width: 4.5cm

   Fizzle and Wildspark are identical in this mode, I'll refer to Wildspark since I have him in buggy mode in front of me.

   A royal blue racing buggy with an enclosed cockpit, dark grey plastic wheels and a giant mid blue spoiler on the back, Wildspark looks like he's designed to break the speed limit. He has a front windshield and side windows, all of which are painted silver. I can't complain about the colours - they work without being remarkable. There are silver and yellow stickers on the doors, which don't add much, but do break up the abundance of blue a little, which is a good thing.

   There's no rear window, since the rear houses the spark gimmick, but I doubt the driver would be able to see past the spoiler. It really is huge - I suspect this buggy would actually be a failure as a racing buggy since they tend to race around tight corners and if the airflow caught under Wildspark's spoiler on a corner he'd flip. It looks okay, mind you, so it's not really a problem.

   The Sparkabots were some of the earlier 1988 designs, and this is evident by the rubsign indent on the front. The rubsigns were abandoned for 1988, however, so Wildspark has no rubsign - the indent is home to a large Autobot symbol sticker instead. While the line was generally getting cheaper at this point, I will give Hasbro / Takara credit for actually putting faction symbols on these toys.

   The whole point of the Sparkabots is the sparking mechanism. There's a rubber tyre underneath Wildspark, separate to the plastic wheels, and if you roll him along with some downward force flames will shoot out of a small hole at the back of the car - about 5 centimetres. You generally have to push a few times to get it working, since the friction that makes it work is reliant on heavy resistance and it won't work if there's not enough friction. There's a flint (the same as lighter flint) inside, which will eventually wear down, which provides the sparks. More likely to actually wear down is a white gear that transfers the tyre's motion to a flint wheel. A lot of second hand Sparkabots have worn mechanisms. I got my Wildspark new, so he sparks fine, but my Fizzle is worn down and no longer sparks at all.

   The whole point of this mode is the sparking mechanism, and while it's kinda cool, it is rather prone to wearing out. Aesthetically this buggy mode is fine, but there's not really anything going for it aside from the gimmick.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Extend the rear to form the legs, fold the front section over onto his back, stand him up.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 7.5cm Width: 4.5cm

   The difference between Fizzle and Wildspark is visible in this mode, so I'll discuss both now.

   The robot mode is mid blue, with the royal blue limited to the arms only. Wildspark has a yellow face and Fizzle has a red face - this is the only difference between the two. Personally, I think Wildspark looks better since the red on Fizzle is too dark and hides the facial sculpt of the mould - there's eyes, a nose and lips - good detail for such a small head.

   There are no stickers visible on either Fizzle or Wildspark. The chest (which is a solid piece, along with the face and thighs) has three screws visible, which looks pretty poor - even a single Autobot logo covering the screw on the centre of the chest would have done wonders for this robot mode, which has a total of five screws visible - the other two are on the feet. As mentioned, the thighs are a solid piece, part of the chestpiece. There's no gap between the legs at all, in fact, and the thighs are about 1/4 the length of the shins. Add to this the overly long arms (they come down to his knees) and the proportions are pretty bad. The shins have to be a single piece since they house the spark gimmick, but longer thighs would have really helped.

   The only play value in this robot mode is the fact the shoulders swing, but this is not enough to save a bad robot mode. Wildspark looks slightly better with the lighter colour facial paint, but the proportions suck and there's no poseability or gimmick to save the robot mode.

VARIATIONS

   Depending on your definition, Fizzle and Wildspark can be considered the same toy - Wildspark is the Japanese counterpart to Fizzle. There aren't any variations of either toy as far as I know. Blaze, the G2 Sparkabot, uses the same mould, but is a different character in different colours.

OVERALL

   My least favourite Sparkabot mould, neither version is terribly inspiring. I only got Wildspark since I was offered a deal for all three Japanese Sparkabots, and I got Fizzle for a dollar. Between the two, Wildspark is a little better, but I don't really recommend either. I suppose one cool thing about owning Wildspark is that very few Anglophone fans have him. Really, if you get Fizzle cheap, great, but if you really want something that sparks, get a Monsterbot, Guzzle (or Hardspark if you want to go Japanese) - 3/10

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