Cliffbee.com: Hightail Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Hightail
Series: Cybertron
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Motorcycle



MOTORCYCLE MODE
Height: 5.5cm Length: 11.5cm Width: 5.5cm

   A darkish red motorbike with black wheels and saddlebags, Hightail is a repaint of Lugnutz. The grey elements on Lugnutz are lighter here, but to be honest a switch from orange and grey to red and grey isn't a big shift. The engine, handlebars, exhausts and lights are grey while there's some silver on the seat and saddlebags. His headlight is yellow and taillight orange, both represent colour changes. There are quite a few differences in the paintmask, but the overall look is similar. There's a silver license plate at the back, with "OHIO B-CAT 1 CINCINNATI" printed on it, making Hightail a midwestern Autobot. Whilst this is a pretty impressive bike mode, there's not really anything special about this repaint. His colours are nice, but don't bring anything to the mould.

   This mould is quite similar to G2's Laser Cycle moulds, being far more realistic than most Transformers motorbikes. The sculpt is great, with texture on both lights, lines on the compound engine, silver wheelspokes and tread on both tyres. The exhaust pipes are quite detailed while the handlebars have brake levers on them. There's even a silver painted fuel cap on top of the tank. There are brake discs on the front wheel (both sides, for symmetry I guess) and indicators on the front.

   The wheels both roll although the front tyre can't steer (it splits when he transforms). The handlebars lift up and down as part of his transformation, so I guess the rider can adjust to please. Plugging his blue Planet Key (code: s7n5) into the left saddlebag causes a cannon to pop out from the _right_ saddlebag. This grey cannon sits at an angle of about 20 and there are three smaller cannons moulded below it. You can plug the key in gently without activating the mechanism, allowing for storage. There's no kickstand as such but a post on the left exhaust (actually the handle of his gun) does the trick - Hightail will lean to the left slightly.

   A good bike mode with a complex sculpt and good colours. Lugnutz's colours are probably slightly more interesting, but Hightail's license plate is more realistic. The key gimmick isn't anything special, but it doesn't get in the way of the Transformer itself. One of the strongest Transformer motorbikes, Hightail would hold his own next to a Binaltech.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   A lot of contorting gives us the robot mode. The engine becomes his arms while the cradle for the engine becomes his legs. The saddle becomes his groin and the fuel-tank his chest (the head lifts out from the fuel cap). The front splits in half to form shoulderpads of sorts while the back section becomes a backpack. Oh, the left exhaust becomes his gun.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 11cm Width: 11cm

   Hightail has an orange chest, black lower torso, thighs and feet, grey boots and arms while his face is silver with a yellow eyestrip. On and he's wearing a red motorbike on his back. The front wheel sits on either side as shoulderpads and the backpack is the back of the bike - yet the kibble actually looks reasonably good. The wheel halves are almost features and don't look as bad as one might expect. The colours again work fairly well, since the orange is surrounded by neutral colours. The repaint is even less spectacular in this mode, since the black and grey are more prevalent.

   It's quite clear that the designer prioritised the bike mode, since this robot mode is kind of limited. Having said that, Hightail is far from a disaster. The limbs are all fairly well formed, the torso is kinds squished in there, but it's really just the kibble that limits this guy. OK, his arms are a little shorter than they should be, but still look fine. The headlight and handlebars sit on his left shoulder, giving Hightail some asymmetry.

   The shoulders are ball jointed and there are two hinges per elbows, but the kibble limits his shoulder movement. The hips are ball jointed and the knees are hinged. Hightail has heelspurs allowing him to stand despite the backpack. He's slightly pigeon-toed and ball jointed knees would have been nice, but it's not a major issue. The poseability is actually pretty good for a toy with so much kibble (and for a bike Transformer in general), although the limitations are significant.

   The key gimmick is still available and the cannon ends up being a shoulder cannon, sitting on his right side. It actually looks pretty good though it hampers the arm movement even more. Hightail's gun looks like half a trombone - it's actually most of an exhaust pipe. Unlike his predecessor, Hightail hasn't given his gun a name. This nameless gun is quite long, forcing Hightail to straighten his right arm to hold it.

   While this is a somewhat limited robot mode, the trade off is a really good motorbike, so I can live with the shortcomings here. The articulation is pretty good although the kibble prevents the arm movement. The kibble looks okay even if it does get in the way, and is handled better than kibble on many other Transformers. The detailing is quite good and the colours nice, even if they're hardly different from those on Lugnutz.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   A very ambitious mould that works despite its limitations. The bike mode is great, the colours are nice and the key gimmick doesn't get in the way. The mould is worthwhile, thanks to the bike mode, and while the robot mode is limited, it's pretty good considering what this basic toy does. I wouldn't recommend Hightail if you already have Lugnutz - but I'd recommend one of the two. Hightail certainly has a better name, though I slightly prefer the original colour scheme over the fairly similar one here - 7/10

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