Cliffbee.com: Street Action Team Toy Review

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Name: Street Action Team
Series: Armada
Allegiance: Minicons (except that they always side with the Autobots)
Components: Grindor, High Wire and Sure Shock, who combine to form Perceptor.

GRINDOR

SKATEBOARD MODE
Height: 3cm Length: 7.5cm Width: 2.5cm

   An indigo and grey skateboard with yellow grip on the front and silver rockets on the back, as well as a hardpoint on top, Grindor is quite long with black wheels underneath. I'm not sure how many rocket-powered skateboards are out there, but if you're going to skate on the road, you might as well make sure you're able to keep up with the traffic...

   Which brings me to the idiotic name of this set - which I'll cover now and get it out of the way. Street Action? Anyone who wants an adrenalin rush on a bike or skateboard is going to seek a ramp, not a street, and last time I checked, motor scooters were slow, trickless, machines. Seems to me the marketing department decided to use a flashy, meaningless, name, rather than an appropriate one. Personally, I think of this set as the Footpath Patrol.

   Anyway, back to Grindor, who is a pretty good skateboard considering he has to transform into a robot, and a great one considering he's a Gestalt component. The board is naturally thicker than a real skateboard's is, because it needs to become Grindor, and because of the rockets imbedded at the rear. OK, in reality it's because of the robot mode thing, but the rockets give it a realism (of sorts - rocket powered skateboards aren't terribly realistic).

   This skateboard can roll along, and if you have a Minicon with a powerlinx port in it's foot, they can ride him. I can't think of any offhand, but one may exist. Grindor's own powerlinx port is underneath the hardpoint. On the whole, this skateboard does all I'd except a skateboard mode to do. Probably the most exciting thing about it is how unique this disguise is amongst Transformers. It's not a perfect skateboard, but then it was never going to be.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Swing the front out to each side to become wings, while the grey parts underneath become his arms. Unfold the rockets to become his legs and rotate them around. Swing the chest panels down to reveal his face.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 7cm Width: 7.5cm

   An indigo robot with grey arms, groin and legs, black chest panels, silver shins, yellow face and a yellow waist. The colours work well in this mode, the indigo, grey and yellow is a good mix. The wings are very wide and look really good, giving Grindor a majesty of sorts - well as much as a Minicon can be majestic. The facial sculpt is simple but not lazy - he's got a well defined eyevisor and a mouthplate.

   Grindor's robot mode proportions are great, conspiring with the colours to make this one sweet robot mode. His arms rest out to the sides slightly, giving him a tough look, which is more heroic than brutish thanks to the wings. The rockets sit on his shins, with the nozzles on his knees, which is nifty.

   His articulation is somewhat haphazard since most of it is used for transformation into skateboard or Perceptor bit. The arms can flap out to the sides, his hips are ball joints and his knees only bend inwards. I don't mind the overall lack of poseability since he looks cool in his normal stance.

OVERALL

   Grindor is one of my favourite Minicons, even if his name sucks. The robot mode is great, the skateboard is pretty good considering the limitations it has, and it's such a novel idea for a Transformer that it makes him worthwhile in itself - 8.5/10

HIGH WIRE

BICYCLE MODE
Height: 4cm Length: 6.5cm Width: 3cm

   A black and grey bicycle with an indigo seat, High Wire's frame and wheels are black while his mechanical bits are grey. His head sticks out the front as an unpainted headlamp, the red paint on his face is visible from the sides. The seat is little more than Perceptor's head, and his face is kind of visible.

   High Wire's tyres are quite thick with pronounced tread - meaning he's a BMX (or a mountain bike, although the proportions suggest the former). So the stupid team name makes even less sense, since neither are designed for road use. He has a moulded chain, pedals that turn (although only as one with their struts), brake levers on the handlebars and springs on the front, suggesting suspension. On the right side of his body is the obligatory powerlinx port, on the rather forced side of the frame - but then I suppose they had to stick it somewhere, and bicycles don't have many smooth surfaces. The left side has a Minicon symbol.

   There's not a not of play value to be had here. The pedals only rotate for his transformation, and don't move naturally here. The wheels turn, he slides along smooth surfaces but they'll turn if you roll him along carpet or something with some texture. I don't mind a lack of play value, considering that this is a fairly intricate Minicon, but I do lament the lack of a kickstand, or alternate means of standing him upright. His left side pedal almost works, but he still leans into that, which is disappointing.

   A pretty good attempt at a transforming bicycle, albeit with some minor flaws. The lack of a kickstand is the only flaw that bothers me - otherwise it's a good bike, and another novel alt mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Swing the rear wheel and chain assembly back, split it to form the legs, and swing the pedals down to form his feet. Unclip the right strut from the front wheel and swing the two struts to the sides to form his arms.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5.5cm Width: 4cm

   A black robot with grey limbs, red eyes and a white mouthplate, High Wire has a black tyre affixed to the inside of his left hand. The body is the bike frame, so it's very narrow, only made wider by the powerlinx port sticking out of his right side like some sort of growth.

   The price for a relatively good bike mode on such a small scale is, regrettably, a bad robot mode. The feet, which sit out to the sides of the legs, are the pedals, and the right foot won't sit quite flat since it's in a different position relative to it's ankle than the left. The powerlinx port on his side, wheels stuck to his hand and ridiculously skinny body all work against High Wire's robot mode.

   The only aspect of High Wire's robot mode that I'm able to be positive about is the poseability. The shoulders and hips are ball joints, and the halves of the rear tyre behind his legs act as a third leg making leg poses stable. It doesn't really make up for the poor proportions, but he does have better articulation than either Grindor or Sure Shock.

OVERALL

   A pretty good bike mode for the size, and like Grindor it's a novel alt mode to use. The robot mode really suffers as a direct result of so much of the toy going into the bike mode. There are worse Minicon robot modes, though, and the bike mode makes him worthwhile, if only for the novelty of a Transformer mountain bike - 5.5/10

SURE SHOCK

SCOOTER MODE
Height: 4cm Length: 7cm Width: 3cm

   An orange motor scooter with a dark grey seat, grey handlebars and silver paint on the front fork and muffler, as well as yellow on the front, Sure Shock's light colours are in contrast to the darker Grindor and High Wire. Which I suppose makes sense, since she's the only female in the set (and the entire Armada toyline, sadly). Her tyres are black plastic, and are wide enough for her to stand upright on, unlike High Wire's.

   It's a pretty good scooter, even if it doesn't do much more than roll along being a scooter. There's a lot of detail for a Minicon - well defined brake levers on the handlebars which even have the lumps at their base which would be the ends of the pins holding them in place. The muffler is on the right side of the rear tyre, while the left side has a chain for locomotion. There's a moulded (although unpainted) headlight on the front of her handlebar, and tread on her tyres.

   Of the three vehicle modes, this is the best execution in this set, although it's not as novel as Grindor's or as intricate as High Wire's. It's on a similar scale to the other two, and is probably the only one that really belongs on the street of the three.

   While I'd like the a front wheel that turns, I can't really find any real flaws in this mode. I suppose a painted headlight would have been nice. Her powerlinx port is on the bottom, which is fairly standard, although on a lot of hardpoints it'll make her stick out noticeably. Still, better that than a hole on the side like High Wire has.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Extend the rear section to form her legs, split the front in half and swing the halves to her sides to form the arms.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 6.5cm Width: 6.5cm

   Again mainly orange, with grey arms and dark grey shins and a dark grey face with beady yellow eyes. Sure Shock's eyes really look like they're staring at something - the yellow _really_ stands out against the totally grey face, round eyes were a mistake.

   Sure Shock has the weakest Transformation of this set, since she has to split in half to form Perceptor's legs, but the end result is a robot mode that still looks better than that of High Wire's. Her shins protrude further forward than they should while her thighs are very short, and the halves of the scooter front hang off her wrists, providing an interesting design feature and some hefty kibble at the same time. The legs do not separate, since the only place the halves of this toy is attached is inside her feet.

   Sure Shock's only real articulation is the ball joints in her shoulders. It's possible to swing her legs forward and sit her down, but the boots are so big that it looks silly. Despite the flaws this mode has, it looks better static than High Wire's, albeit it's nowhere near as nice as Grindor's robot mode. But then she gives so much of herself to being Perceptor's pins that there's only so much left for her own legs.

OVERALL

   It's a great motor scooter, and while the robot mode does have a charm to it, it's not really a great robot mode. Being the only female in the entire Armada line, she's one Minicon that stands out, and not just because of her unusual vehicle mode - 6/10

PERCEPTOR

Height: 9.5cm Width: 9.5cm

   Naturally a hybrid of the colour schemes of his three components, Perceptor is indigo on top, orange on the bottom with some black interspersed and the common grey holding it all together. This colour scheme works fairly well, thanks mainly the they unifying grey. His face is silver with blue eyes, while his chest is painted yellow. I should point out that this robot looks nothing like the G1 toy of the same name.

   As a hybrid of three personalities, Perceptor should probably be androgynous. But since two of them are male, I'm calling it a he. And he has High Wire's tyres sitting behind his shoulders, Grindor's legs as arms, Grindorís arms & wings as hip armour and Sure Shock in her entirety as his legs. Annoyingly, there's a joint in my Sure Shock that's slightly off-kilter, meaning his left leg is pigeon toed.

   There are a lot of joints in this toy, but no meaningful leg movement - aside from the dodgy leg on mine causing some stability issues. The shoulders have swivel joints and below these are ball joints that point down. This gives Perceptor great theoretical shoulder poseability, although the armour skirt below and wheel wings behind do get in the way. There are fists moulded into his hands, and even holes in these fists, which manage to not stand out on Grindor. The holes are too small for Armada weaponry, but I'm pretty certain you'd be able to find a G1 gun he could wield.

   Perceptor's head attaches to a post that connects to his backpack, so it can swing from side to side, which looks fine if you move it a little, but too far and it looks like he's met with the guillotine. There is a hinge in his neck, but it's designed to held hide the face on High Wire's bicycle mode.

   Considering this robot is formed from a three fairly details Minicons, it's a great Gestalt for the size. There is a lot happening visually, so it's not the best looking Gestalt, but a good colour mix helps minimise the impact. It's certainly worth forming, although I think the three Minicons on their own are better than their combined form.

THE PATROL OVERALL

   All three vehicle modes are novel, and all work fairly well. Grindor is easily the best of the three, but both Sure Shock and High Wire have their good points. Perceptor adds another dimension to this set, although he does put some design restraints on the set - especially Sure Shock. Easily the most innovative Minicon set, and one I recommend - 7.5/10

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