Cliffbee.com: Movie Mudflap Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Mudflap
Series: Movie Tie-Ins
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Crane

Thanks to liegeprime for loaning me Mudflap for this review.



CRANE MODE
Height: 7.5cm Length: 23.5cm Width: 6.5cm

   A bright yellow crane truck with twelve black wheels - in three clusters of four, Mudflap has a white cabin at the front, some black danger stripes on the crane arm and cabin. There are some bronze colours paint applications here and there while the windows are transparent with a brown tinge. The crane sports painted (and sculpted) pneumatic hoses on the left side while there's a silver stamped Decepticon logo on the roof of the crane cabin. I'm really not a fan of the bright yellow alongside white - both complete for dominance. There are shades of Erector here, and while that name is dubious, that toy's grey and yellow is much better than the clashing colours here.

   Mudflap is a long, narrow and essentially flat truck - ignoring the crane assembly. This assembly dominates the vehicle as might be expected. There are sculpted support feet on either side, both in front of and behind the missile set of tyres. They're painted silver but can't extend and anchor the crane - in fact the panels they (and the tyres) rest on don't lock down. Despite the robot stuff visible just behind the driving cabin and in front of the crane cabin, the arm is dominant enough that this crane mode works well.

   There's a lot of play value here. All twelve tyres roll while the arm can extend to 28cm and lift up to 90 - there's even a piston underneath which extends as it raises. The platform at the back which anchors the crane assembly rotates through 360 on a ratcheting joint. The hook itself is fixed, however there's a keyslot on the right side of the arm - and the hook forms part of this key gimmick. Plugging his purple Planet Key in while the arm is extended will cause a silver sawblade to flip out (the hook is at the base of this, and flips up as the blade swings out). The blade is composed of a slightly flexible plastic - probably for safety reasons - and has moulded serrated teeth underneath (which are moulded onto the sides, so it's not actually going to hurt anyone). Plugging the key into a slot on the right side of the driving cabin will cause a missile launcher to flip out and forward on the left side. It's possible to leave the single transparent missile in place while this launcher is stowed, although the trailing missiletip ruins the illusion somewhat so you may want to leave it out until this launcher is deployed.

   The mould is a good one with a lot of detail and great play value, but the colours here are garish - yellow should have worked but the white messes things up - and the paint job doesn't really highlight the detail. The crane arm is fun and the realism is nice, but this repaint is a regression compared to the original.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Okay I'm not describing everything here because it's very asymmetrical and tricky to really describe. The front and rear sections both split, with the front becoming the right arm and leg while the rear becomes the left. The missile launcher ends up behind his right arm and the crane arm behind the left. The central wheel section becomes a backpack - the torso and head is stowed under than area. There's a fair bit of kibble in the resultant robot mode, but it's a clever transformation nonetheless.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 17.5cm Width: 14.5cm

   A yellow and white robot with bronze here and there, Mudflap's torso and thighs are mainly white, along with his face which sports transparent brown eyes with a weak lightpipe. Most of the rest of the toy is yellow. Again I'm not a fan of the white and yellow. The bronze highlights are okay, but the white against yellow is too prominent here. The point job does a decent job of highlighting the mould's detail. This mode looks less like Erector, incidentally. There are no allegiance symbols visible on this robot mode.

   Mudflap's body is quite boxy, although he's not especially _bulky_, just very square as a result of the boxy shape of his vehicle mode. The notable exception is the head, which is angular but lacks the right angles prevalent elsewhere. There's a fair bit of kibble - the plates on his backpack ant the weaponry hanging off the back of his forearms. The weaponry is a little detracting but it's fairly clear that this stuff is not just junk - the use as weapons is apparent at a glance.

   Mudflap's missile launcher sits under the right arm, and deploys as an underarm launcher. The slot is actually on the inside of his forearm, so you'll need to drag the arm out to the side to release the launcher. The crane arm is pretty damn visible under the left arm, and makes a good melee weapon when _stowed_. The slot is on the outside and easy to access - extending the arm and flipping out the blade are simple enough, and give him a slashing weapon with an insanely long reach. Surprisingly Mudflap can extend this weapon without toppling over - his feet and heelspurs are large enough for him to stand while extending this weapon.

   Mudflap is fairly poseable for such a boxy toy. His head and waist both turn. His shoulders swing and lift out to the sides - these joints are ratcheting joints, allowing the left shoulder to support the considerable weight of his crane arm. The elbows are hinges with rotators above them. The hips swing and lift out to the sides (again, there are ratcheting joints) while his knees are hinged with rotators. The heelspurs can bend down while the ankles rotate. While it can take some work getting the positioning right - and he can fall in a loud heap - most poses are possible with a little work.

   Colours aside, this is a solid robot mode despite some fairly prominent kibble, Mudflap uses the crane arm as a feature _and_ play value while the poseability is good and the joints are well designed - I love the fact that the designer has set out to make sure this guy can carry his heavy weapon. Considering how long and boxy the vehicle mode is, this is a good effort. Again I'm left wondering why they didn't do an Erector tribute here when grey would have worked so much better.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, although as mentioned he is a repaint of Cybertron's Mudflap.

OVERALL

   A good mould with two solid modes, good gimmicks and great play value but a colour scheme that's dubious at best. The danger stripes are a nice idea but the white and yellow are a terrible idea and the clash between these two dominant, bright colours overshadows everything else. Mudflap's gimmicks don't get in the way of his transformation, which is quite clever and interesting, and neither mode feels like an afterthought - which could be expected here. What frustrates me is that the yellow _should_ work well for a construction vehicle, but they've managed to mess that up. The mould is a good one, but the original is just so much better, and this one can't even work as an Erector tribute - 5.5/10

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