Cliffbee.com: Power Core Combiners Double Clutch Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Double Clutch
Series: Power Core Combiners
Allegiance: Auobot
Alternate Mode:



CAR MODE
Height: 3cm Length: 10.5cm Width: 5cm

   A slate blue Ford Mustang with black pained windows (although the rear side windows are unpainted), silver flames on his hood and black plastic tyres. His grille and headlights are painted silver while the taillights are red and the rear bumper black. There's no Autobot logo here, although his drones have a few. This colour scheme is okay, although it would have worked better if the blue was slightly lighter - and if there was paint on those side windows.

   There's a "kiddie" feel about this car mode, since it's quite wide and the tyres are somewhat simple and oversized. I don't think this effect was intentional, mind you. He ends up looking a little cheap as a result - but then the PCC line is full of underdone ideas. On the upside, he's clearly recognisable as a Mustang, has a boot that opens and some good moulded details such as doorhandles, lines in the taillights, vents on the bonnet and a grille lattice.

   There's minimal play value here - basically the wheels turn, the boot opens and that's it. Still, the boot opening is actually more than I'd expect from what's essentially a fairly realistic scout. Okay, we can also flip over a panel on the back end to reveal a hardpoint.

   Well, unlike most PCC toys there's a very clearly defined real life vehicle here. The colours are okay, even if the blue hue chosen ends up a little dull. While the boot is a nice touch and the detailing good at this size, the shape and lack of vibrancy in his colours really hold back this vehicle mode, which ends up mediocre.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Unclip the front, split to form legs. Fold the grille halves down to form feet. Fold out the blue pegs underneath, unlocking the arms. Pull the doors out. Lift out the hood halves, fold out the blue pegs underneath as heelspurs. Fold out the roof, rotate the upper body. Fold the rear down as his chest, with the boot forming his waist. The head should pop through as the chest is put into position. Fold back the arms, stand him up.

   It's a very inelegant transformation by since so much of this toy is geared towards the combined mode. The roof on his back doesn't lock in, neither does the chest. The heelspurs float in place - there's no ratchet or notch in the joints keeping them in place.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 10cm Width: 7cm

   The slate blue still dominates, with grey introduced on his collar, thighs and elbows. Double-Clutch has black on his forearms groin and head. The face is silver with blue eyes and there's a small black Autobot logo stamped on his right knee (where else?). The red taillights are on his chest and the grille & headlights are his toes. The colour scheme works better here, and the visible car details are a nice touch. I wish the Autobot logo was more prominent - both in colour and position - but otherwise this works well.

   The bodyshape here is pretty bad. The upper arms are tucked in behind the chest, the lower arms are tucked away underneath the car's doors. His boots are tall & wide while the thighs are very short. Adding to this the generally sloppy way the heelspurs are put together and the loose chest & backpack, and this robot mode is very much underdone. It's clearly playing second fiddle to the combined mode - which still makes compromises (but I'll come back to that).

   Poseability is by the numbers, with the restrictions you'd expect from his kibble. The head rotates through 360. The shoulders, elbows and hips are all ball jointed while the knees are hinged with rotators. The waist rotates while the feet and heelspurs are both hinged. The shoulders are quite restricted by the chest. The fists are moulded open, which makes sense since the PCC 5-packs don't come with weapons (although some of them do have fistholes).

   A poor robot mode whose only real positive is the colour scheme. The Autobot logo's placement wastes it, the shoulders aren't done well and too much is either out of shape or unable to lock into place.

STREET RACER DRONE

   A black sports car with neon yellow lines, silver headlights and black tyres. It's more Batmobile than street racer, but they've got to call it something, I guess. There's a silver Autobot logo on the roof, the windows are unpainted black (which works) and there's a hardpoint on the back which can flip up - in red (which doesn't work). The lines work, the yellow works and the double exhausts at the back work - the red plastic piece doesn't. It's interesting to note that this is the only drone in this set whose socket isn't visible in car mode.

RACE CAR DRONE

   More of a street racer than the street racer, this is a blue hatchback with a giant spoiler on the back - the spoiler, roof and hood are white, the headlights silver and the windows black while the remainder of the car is dark blue. If they could paint the smaller rear side windows black on this peripheral toy (on a dark plastic where they could get away with it), why couldn't they paint Double-Clutch's? There's an orange hardpoint at the back - I'm not sure what's with these random colours - which folds away fairly well. There's a red Autobot logo on the hood and a fairly well concealed combination socket where the back window would be. This is probably the best drone in the set, despite being the least exotic.

TUNER DRONE

   An orange sub-compact hot rod with a black roof, metallic dark blue windows, red paint around the rear fenders, silver on the protruding engineblock & a giant Autobot logo on the roof. The spoiler at the back is grey while the headlights are silver. The engineblock is pretty big - it's a good thing this car's designed for show because it'll be hard to see clearly on a crowded street for the driver. There's an orange hardpoint on the engineblock, which Hasbro's photos suggest should stick up in the air, but it's less obtrusive pointing forward. At any rate, it's a nice little drone.

DRAG RACER DRONE

   A red Le-Mans style car with silver on the sides, a grey airdam in front and a silver wrap-around window in front. It has black tyres (actually, they all do). There's a black Autobot logo on the front and a well-concealed hardpoint which can fold up out of the rear spoiler. The connection port is on the back (as is the case on the Tuner Drone, BTW). This drone comes misassembled - there's a grey tab underneath which is head to be pushing through a square hole, but isn't fed through properly. This affects it's usefulness in leg mode. While it's easily fixed, it pops out of position again too easily, making this my least favoured of the drones in this set.

COMBINED ROBOT MODE
Height: 18cm Width: 18.5cm

   The torso is the blue Double-Clutch with a larger black head, featuring a silver face, red crest and blue eyes. The orange Tuner Drone forms the left arm and the blue Race Car drone the right arm. The red Drag Racer drone is the left leg and the black Street Racer is the right leg.

   As seems to be the pattern with PCC gestalts, this is a fairly unstable robot. The red drone is the chief troublemaker (again), as the foot on this leg overextends, causing him to sag forward. The shoulder anchors (smaller Double-Clutch's arms) don't lock in properly, despite dedicated posts & sockets (which can't connect) - they just float in position, which is not a good thing when the arms are long and heavy. The arms work well otherwise, mind you, since both arm drones conceal grey hands. Sure they open up to form wide kibbly arms, but the hands make these arms work visually. The chest doesn't lock in place very well, despite dedicated posts & sockets. At least these ones connect, I suppose.

   The poseability is limited by the stability. The shoulders rotate and the head turns. The hips have ball joints but you can't do much with them other than try to stabilise that right leg. There are no weapons here. The arms tend to dangle against the body, as the shoulder anchors move with gravity.

   Not a good combined mode even though three of the drones do their job well. The red Drag Racer drone severely affects stability while the torso doesn't plug together well at all. As was the case with Skyburst, it's an unstable mess.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. The drones can be attached to other Power Core Combiners such as Searchlight, if you wish.

OVERALL

   It seems to be standard for PCC combiner teams to feel rushed. Three of these drones work - they're actually quite nice - but the fourth was poorly designed and Double-Clutch himself only fits together properly in car mode. The engineering of the robot mode & combined mode's torso are frankly awful - it feels like a prototype that's a long way from being ready to release. The Mustang mode is good despite a somewhat kiddie shape, but it's not enough to save this set from a poor main toy - 5/10

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