Cliffbee.com: Punch/Counterpunch Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Punch/Counterpunch
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot - or is he?
Function: Double Spy
Alternate Mode: Pontiac Fiero (thanks to Katie Berger Tremaine for the model)



CAR MODE
Height: 4cm Length: 12.5cm Width: 4.5cm

   A blue sports car with painted grey windows on the front and sides, with red hubcaps and black plastic tyres, as well as black stripes on the engine behind the cabin. Punch has a lot of moulded detail, including headlight seams, door seams, rear side windows, parking lights at the front and rear headlights. Most of this is quite subtle, though. On balance, he looks quite plain since he's about 90% blue and has no stickers.

   There's no hint of allegiance on this car - since it's shared by both Punch (Autobot) and Counterpunch (Decepticon). I'm not sure how the Decepticons are meant to not notice the identical car modes, but that's beyond the scope of a toy review. I don't object to the lack of allegiance symbols, or the fact that there's no visible rubsign, although they would have added some colour.

   The wheels roll, and he rolls fairly well. What's weird is the fact that his tyres are black plastic and his hubcaps red. Usually black plastic tyres means painted hubcaps, or non existent hubcaps, so the fact that he's got actual hubcaps is a plus.

   While it's a somewhat boring car, it's not a bad car mode. The level of detail is ok, had they given it more colours I'd endorse it.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   I'll start with Punch since this guy's nominally sold as an Autobot. Extend the rear section, rotate and extend the cabin-end of this section, pull the halves apart to form the legs. This is basically a fancy, more complicated, way of flipping the rear section to form the legs (like Gears). Slide the legs forward. Separate the front of the car into two halves, fold them down to each side and lift out the (black) arms. Fold down the car roof on his black, flip out his head and close the roof panel again. If it's not already in position, push back the black crown which might be covering his eyes. Give him the orange gun.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13cm Width: 9.5cm

   The blue that drowned out the detail in the car mode is thankfully joined by a lot of orange. This orange is quite light, it verges on yellow in fact. It's subdued, so it works quite well with the blue. His chest, shoulders and cheeks are orange, the lower legs and feet are blue as well as the arm panels (out to the sides of the shoulders, these are the bonnet halves). His forearms, crown and thighs are black, and he has a silver painted face, including a mouthplate, eyes and nose, which sits between the cheeks and below the crown. His hands are red.

   This robot has pretty good detail. Like the car mode, there's a fair but of detail in the moulding, and now it's joined by the orange plastic and some other colours - he has stickers on his thighs, shins and the top of his shoulders, as well as the red hands and a rubsign on his chest. Yes, that's right, while the car mode lacked a rubsign, he has a rubsign on his chest, and there's even a rubsign indent to boot. This rubsign is the only Autobot logo that Punch has on him, by the way. This is the only toy with a rubsign indent I can think of that's hidden in the alt mode, specifically placed for the robot mode.

   The poseability in this robot is in the arms. The shoulders rotate 360 on ratcheting joints, and can lift out to the sides. The elbows swing, on the joint that lifts them out of the hood sections that incorporate the shoulders. The legs don't move, nor does the head, but the effective poseability in the arms is actually pretty good.

   It's a good robot mode, with nice colours, and I like the arm poseability. The colours are certainly more exciting than the car mode, too. The only real flaw is the fact that his shins are grooved (the thighs stow there in car mode), but the dark colour of the shins means that the grooves largely blend in.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE... THE OTHER ONE

   Starting with Punch, fold in his forearms and hands, lift out his shoulders and the rotate them backwards 90. Turn him around, lift the crown about halfway to expose Counterpunch's eyes. Swing down the car roof (now his chest), rotate the central panel to reveal the Decepticon rubsign and flip up the chest again. Flip down the robot feet, fold out the blue robot arms from the bonnet halves (which are now the shoulderpads). I recommend swinging the arms forward one notch since the arms fold out from the back edge of the shoulderpads. Lastly, give him the black gun.

ROBOT MODE... AGAIN
Height: 13cm Width: 13.5cm

   Like the car mode, Counterpunch's robot mode is dominated by blue. His chest is largely blue, with grey windscreen sections on either side. The arms, shoulderpads and shins are all blue, his mouth and lower face is blue, his eyestrip is painted silver and the crown is black, being the back of Punch's crown. The orange is confined to small sections of the shoulderpads, and the red confined to the front hubcaps now on the shoulderpads. The grey on the chest, rubsign on the chest and silver stickers on his knees give him enough colouring to save this from being a boring colour scheme. In fact, it's kind of fitting that he's darker as Counterpunch, the evil half of the toy.

   Ignoring the orange back which looks suspiciously like Punch's chest, they've done a fairly good job of making what is largely the same robot bodyplan look different. The head, legs and torso are all essentially just spun around, so the variation in colour and different arms are largely responsible for making him look different, and do a decent job. Again, the rubsign on his chest is the only Decepticon logo on the toy, and they've done a good job of hiding it from the car mode.

   The play value isn't quite as good now, since he loses the elbow hinges and ability to lift his arms, although the shoulders have ratcheting joints that swing right around.

   The main flaw in this robot mode is the fact that the arms are set so far back. He looks silly with his arms down to his sides, and still not quite right when they're swung forward. Otherwise, it's a decent looking robot mode, although the poseability is poor.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   The concept is unique, and they've done a decent job of two robot modes in the one car. Punch's robot mode is the better of the two, Counterpunch's is still decent, I can't help wishing for a more lively car mode, though. The real play value is in the dual robot mode idea, and it works well for what it is. If the idea appeals to you, I'd recommend Punch/Counterpunch - 6/10

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