Cliffbee.com: Offshoot Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Offshoot
Series: Energon
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Radar Truck



TRUCK MODE
Height: 8cm Length: 12cm Width: 4.5cm (Or 9.5cm wide if you add his wings)

   A kiwi sort of green maser tank with menthol green wheels and fenders, Offshoot retains the transparent red that graced Signal Flare, although the front fenders are now painted menthol green rather than just left red, which is an improvement. The cannon is a darkish blue with some gold highlights and a menthol green mid section. There are some gold plastic elements peaking through here and there, along with some orange and black paint apps. The trailing block is now blue with a gold top, and still sports a red Autobot logo. The colours are a little more unorthodox than those of Signal Flare, again there's an awful lot happening. Personally, I prefer these colours, not only are they a little more interesting, but losing the random orange on the cannon and gaining paint on the front fenders both help a lot for me.

   When it comes down to it, the overall effect is similar on both Offshoot and Signal Flare, both have the red wings that have nothing better to do than attach to the sides of the cannon - somewhere to store the weapon bits really. The green and blue play off each other quite well for me, but with the transparent red it's a little much.

   The wheels roll, and there's another set of wheels concealed under the treads, so Offshoot can roll. The treads have a faint menthol green paint wash, similar to that on Signal Flare - and again it works well. There's a spark crystal on top of the tank, but concealed under the cannon - not something you'll really see unless you stick his Energon chip on it. Something I missed on Signal Flare is that the Energon chip gets in the way of cannon motion if it's attached - so I recommend leaving it off.

   The cannon can lift about 45 and rotate right around, and doing either of these will cause the front half of it to slowly rotate. The dish itself can also rotate, although not as part of any gimmick - it spins quite well when flicked with a finger. As mentioned, the Energon chip gets in the way of this gimmick.

   For some reason the oddball colours work better here for me - maybe because it's a strange vehicle mode. The gearing works quite well without seriously impacting on the toy. Whether or not you like the repaint will be a personal thing, he's not tremendously worse or better than Signal Flare here, although the paint on his fenders is a clear improvement.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Unclip the treads and fold them under the tank, out to the front to form his legs. Flip out the fender covers, the legs contort so that the treads become the heels (it's hard to describe this step). Rotate the central block 90, fold the blue block down to form the left arm, slide the central block down to form his back, which will bring the arms into place and reveal his head. It's an unusual transformation which is fairly complex for an Energon basic.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 10cm Width: 9cm

   The various colours again all appear in robot mode. His torso and boots are kiwi green while his thighs are transparent red with menthol green paint and the arms blue. The right arm is the cannon - so it's very long with a giant red dish in place of a hand. His head is gold with a simple menthol face and orange eyestrip. The Autobot symbol is now on the outside of his left hand while the spark crystal is now visible on his chest, albeit buried inside it's socket.

   The cannon arm is kind of cool, and the rotating gimmick again works if you lift it up or out to the side. If you leave the disc attached it'll look like a giant buzzsaw, remove it and his arm is a huge-ass cannon (on Offshoot I much prefer leaving the disc attached). The left arm has a hinged elbow and ball jointed shoulder. The hips swing a little and there's some bend in the knees but it's very unnatural since it's part of the transform. You can join the two remaining Energon bits together to form a sort of shield that he can hold in his left hand, although it doesn't really look much like s shield - it's meant as a handle to the buzzsaw for larger Energon toys to hold. It's also possible to attach this shield to his right elbow, which concentrates the red on this arm, and I prefer this effect.

   The colours make this guy more interesting than his predecessor, even if the red isn't quite as welcome. He's not relying on the cannon so much for visual impact, the green and blue again play off one another. Several people have mentioned that you can swap the arms of the two, giving Offshoot khaki arms to go with his gold and green, while Signal Flare becomes more blue. I actually think both look better with blue arms, but I'm not buying another Offshoot for his arms - so I'll leave them as Hasbro intended, unless I score a second Offshoot for a dollar.

   The robot mode's colours appeal to me, making this a nice robot mode. Again the red doesn't really work - I prefer to leave the dish attached to the arm and leave everything else aside. The rotating gimmick still works without impacting on the toy. More poseability would have been nice, especially in his legs, but overall this guy is okay.

VARIATIONS

   A repaint of Signal Flare as mentioned.

OVERALL

   A nice repaint of Signal Flare with a couple of little improvements in the paint mask (which does have several minor changes), Offshoot is the more striking of the pair, which means the transparent red plastic gets in the way. The gimmick works well, and I'd certainly recommend one of this mould. Personally I prefer Offshoot, but it's a fairly close thing and which you prefer depends on taste - 6/10

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