Cliffbee.com: Hot Rod Patrol Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Hot Rod Patrol
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Highway Reconnaissance
Components: Big Daddy, Greaser, Hubs and Trip-Up



Big Daddy

VEHICLE MODE
Height: 2cm Length: 5cm Width: 3cm

   A very, very, very souped up black 1950's Chevy with red flames on the sides, white painted windows and a silver engine block sticking out of the hood - which is a common feature on all four of these Autobots, actually. It's hard to go wrong with black, so the colour scheme is fine, even if it masks the mould details.

   Not that there's much that's actually being hidden by the black colouring. Most of the mould details are on the engine block, and come out since it's silver. Big Daddy is more about looking souped up that detailed, so the flames and engine block do most of the talking. The only other notable feature is the big back wheels, which are again common to this Patrol, but Big Daddy's also graced with a big, raised, rear, so his rear wheels look enormous.

   The wheels roll, although not all that well, but as I said he's more about looks than the details. He succeeds with his first impression, but the vehicle mode has seams that don't fit quite as well as they should. On the whole this is a vehicle mode that should have been better than it is, since it's got one of the better colour schemes of the set.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Flip the rear over to form the legs, fold the grille down to form the chest and you're done.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 6cm Width: 3cm

   Still mainly black, Big Daddy now has orange thighs, groin and head with a purple face. The purple paint is so dark I can't make out any details - if there are any. His head is nestled in a orange sort of hood, giving him something of a hunchback.

   The arms are the front doors and fenders, which stick up above his shoulders, head, hood and everything else. The end result is that the moulded arms, inside the doors, are shorter than the shoulder pylons and are overshadowed by them. The hood sticks out on his chest, a lot further than it has the right to.

   Overall it's a pretty poor robot mode. Sure, his shoulders rotate but it's pointless when the joints are midway down the "arms", and the chest sticks out a lot further than it should.

OVERALL

   In my opinion he's the worst of the set, which is a shame since the idea is better than Hubs or Greaser. The vehicle mode is okay but the robot mode has such terrible proportions he's hardly worth bothering with - 3/10

Greaser

VEHICLE MODE
Height: 2cm Length: 5cm Width: 3cm

   A pale orange 1940s style hot rod, Greaser has a disproportionately huge engine block on his hood - even by Hot Rod Patrol standards - yellow flames on his doors and blue windows. They're not great colours, but thankfully neither the blue or yellow are overused, so neither manage to detract from the largely monochrome car itself.

   The wheels are of course black, the rear wheelbays are big so he doesn't slope forward like Big Daddy does. The engine block is taller than his roof, although the roof is fairly low. There's a decent amount of moulded detail on the car including front headlights, front grille and vents on the sides of the hood, and there's even a boot (or trunk if you prefer) on the back.

   He rolls on his wheels, although again not so well. Again there are seams, and while they show up on the light orange plastic, none are as badly aligned as those on Big Daddy. It's a decent vehicle mode considering it's orange.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Greaser is the black - ok, orange - sheep of the Patrol, in that the others all transform identically. Flip the rear down to form the legs, fold the entire front down to form his back and reveal the head. Lastly, swing down the doors to form the arms.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 4.5cm Width: 2.5cm

   Primarily orange with black thighs, a black groin and black head with a white eyestrip. The chest is the roof of the car, with a blue border around it in the form of the windows. There are also blue patches on the outsides of his hands, which have moulded fingers on the insides. The arms can swing a little, but if you swing them too far up they stow away.

   The front section of the car forms a fairly hefty backpack, and the shoulder joints are effectively just above his waist. The former isn't much of an issue, he has no trouble standing up. The most unusual aspect of the robot mode is the way his legs have been formed. Because they flip down in a reverse fashion to most Micromasters, he has hollow shins and giant solid heelspurs. There are small, almost token, feet on the sides of the boots.

   Greaser's robot mode has some major flaws, with the misplaced shoulders and weird legs. But the arms still work better than Big Daddy's or Hubs' arms. Greaser's problems are all a result of the unusual transformation, which is his most distinctive feature.

OVERALL

   The vehicle mode is fairly good, the robot mode has flaws which are all associated with the unorthodox transformation. Despite the flaws it causes, this unusual transformation scores points in Greaser's favour. Sure, it doesn't work that well, but it makes him interesting - 5/10

Hubs

VEHICLE MODE
Height: 2cm Length: 4.5cm Width: 3cm

   A lime green early 1950s car with orange flames on the doors, blue windows and the obligatory silver engine block. The lime is almost a neon green, and combined with the blue and orange Hubs is easily the brightest car in this patrol. It's not a shocking colour set, but it's not fantastic, either.

   Hubs has a moulded front grille, moulded (although unpainted) rear windows and distinct door seams. Like Big Daddy, he slopes forward, although isn't quite as souped up as the black Chevy. He has moulded headlights, although they blend into the fenders.

   If this toy was done in Greaser's orange, or a red, it would have been better. The mould is quite good but it's a little overwhelmed by the lime green.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Flip the rear over to form the legs, fold the grille down to form the chest and you're done.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 6cm Width: 2.5cm

   Now green and white, Hubs' robot mode is a lot tamer than the entirely green vehicle mode. The white is on his groin, thighs, head and shoulderblades. His face is painted red, the paint conceals the sculpt, which is fairly good despite being hard to see. The white really makes a difference, subduing the green quite well. It's still not my first choice, but it's now passable.

   Like Big Daddy, Hubs has huge shoulders, in fact his shoulder joints are below the midpoint of the arms - you can swing the arms around 180 if you like, which will fix this problem but rob him of the moulded hands he has underneath the doors. His chest sticks out a little, but not as much as those of Big Daddy or Trip-Up.

   Hubs has arm poseability that's basically useless, since the shoulders are so far down the arms. Provided you don't try and pose him, it's a decent robot mode, the feet are well formed from his rear windows and the head is fairly good. With better arm design this could have been a good robot mode, but as it is he falls just short.

OVERALL

   A good vehicle mode with too much lime green and a robot mode that could easily have been better, without managing to be terrible. Hubs is still one of the better toys in this set - 5.5/10

Trip-Up

VEHICLE MODE
Height: 2cm Length: 5cm Width: 3cm

   A white 1980's Ford Mustang with blue flames on his doors, gold windows and of course a silver engine block and black tyres. Trip-Up has the oversized rear tyres, and they really do look huge on Trip-Up, even if he doesn't slope too much. It's a pretty nice colour scheme, although silver windows would have worked better than gold.

   Relatively speaking Trip-Up has a fairly small engine block, which is surprising since he would be one of the smaller cars in this set. He's also the most modern vehicle, by thirty years or so. The headlights and front grille are distinctly those of a Mustang, although he doesn't have any taillights since the robot knees are in the way. The windows are all moulded fairly well, including unpainted sunshades on the small rear side windows on this 2-door sports car.

   This is my favourite car mode of the set, which is partly because I've always like the designs of the Mustang cars, but also because it doesn't suffer from bright colours or overly visible seams. It's the better of Trip-Up's two modes.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Flip the rear over to form the legs, fold the grille down to form the chest and you're done.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 6cm Width: 3cm

   The tasteful white vehicle mode is now joined by the green that hurts Hubs' vehicle mode so much. While it's the secondary colour, it's a colour Trip-Up could do without. His face is painted white and has the clearest sculpt of the Hot Rod Patrol, with eyes, nose and even little lips. There are moulded fists inside the doors and he has gold patches on his shins. The colour scheme is better than that of Hubs, although the green means it's not quite as nice as the colour schemes of Greaser or Big Daddy.

   Like all of his teammates, Trip-Up has his proportion problems. The arms have pillars on top, although they're not as bad as those of Big Daddy or Hubs, although they still make him look a little silly when his arms are posed. His chest sticks out, more so than Hubs, about the same as on Big Daddy.

   Despite the proportion problems, he's not weighed down as much as those on Big Daddy, and has better colours than Hubs. It's not a great robot mode, but is probably the best of a fair poor bunch.

OVERALL

   Trip-Up has the best vehicle mode, and best robot mode of this set, but the lime green means he misses out on the best colour scheme. Most of the problems he has are common in this Patrol, but he handles them fairly well - 6/10

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

THE PATROL OVERALL

   An interesting way to squeeze another set of cars into the Micromaster line, but unfortunately they're still fairly formulaic, with only Greaser really offering any novel engineering. Trip-Up and Greaser are the more interesting of the group, but neither are great toys. Big Daddy and Hubs are disappointing, so it's a set that I stop short of recommending - 4.5/10

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