Cliffbee.com: Universe Drag Strip Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Drag Strip (well, Decepticon Drag Strip, for legal reasons)
Series: Universe
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Racer



CAR MODE
Height: 4cm Length: 14cm Width: 7cm

   A yellow track racer fairly similar to G1 Drag Strip, although this car has an enclosed cockpit and only four tyres (since Drag Strip is a repaint of Classics Mirage). His tyres are black with blood red painted hubcaps while there are red highlights on the sides, spoiler and airdam. Drag Strip's cockpit window is a transparent blood red while the front wheel struts and air vents on top are painted silver. There's a Decepticon logo on the front, right in front of the window, which is purple with a while outline. Despite the slightly different shape, these colours are clearly those of Drag Strip. Visually they work well - I really like the red hubcaps, which give him some attitude.

   While this vehicle is more aerodynamic, it's still a racer, as Drag Strip was in G1. The car slopes up - the base of the spoiler is much taller than the front of the car, and there are silver air intake vents moulded around the cockpit region. There are twin black exhausts at the back on either side, rounding out his detailing. There's not exposed engineblock at the back, but it's still Drag Strip, minus the rest of the Stunticons.

   There's no real play value here, other than the rolling wheels. Drag Strip does roll reasonably well on his tyres - and mine rolls straight, which is nice. I can't see how the designer could have put too much relevant play value in here without impacting on the Transformer itself, so I'm not really worried about the lack of play value. As a minor bonus, if you look inside the cockpit, Drag Strip's head sits in front of the seat, sitting low enough that you have to look to see his face.

   A simple yet effective car mode. It's difficult to see how the designer could have put too much play value here without compromising the toy. For a Mirage repaint, there's a lot of Drag Strip here. Sure the cockpit is covered and he's lost a pair of wheels and the visible engine, but the yellow and red ensure this is Drag Strip in a new body. I can't recall too many racing car Transformers with any real play value - other than a few with missile launchers awkwardly added, so overall I'm very happy with this car mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Unclip the airdam and set aside. Lift the rear, pull out to form the legs, split the legs and fold up the spoiler to form feet. Swing the sides out to form his arms, rotate the waist. Fold down the shoulderblades, swing the nose down to form his chest and reveal his head. Unfold the arms and swing out his fists, give him the airdam as a handheld weapon.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15cm Width: 8cm

   Again mainly yellow, Drag Strip has black upper arms and knee hinges along with black fists. His head is purple with a pale blue face and red eyes - garish but true to G1. There are again red highlights here and there, but the red isn't ass prominent now. There groin is black and purple while the Decepticon logo sits in the middle of his chest. While the transformation does expand the concept a little, this robot layout is essentially a copy of G1 Mirage's, and while the chest layout is different, the boots and arms are still reminiscent of G1 Drag Strip. The clincher, as far as the tribute goes, is the head - which does a great job of making this robot mode Drag Strip.

   Drag Strip's robot mode does have a slight proportion problem - the chest is very slender and his shoulders high set, giving him an unnaturally spender waist (worse than a Barbie doll). While it doesn't ruin his robot mode, it's a significant flaw. The legs look really good though since the split spoiler looks quite nice as his feet - and is a dead on match for the G1 toy. I suppose the canopy on his back counts as kibble, even if the wheels are sitting above the shoulders, similar to the Stunticon, as a result. The kibble isn't that bad, despite being quite visible.

   The poseability here is excellent. His head turns, the shoulders are ball jointed while the elbows have two hinges and a rotator each. The waist rotates, the hips are ball joints with flaps covering the ball joints, the knees are double hinged and the ankles ball jointed. Mirage has small but meaningful heelspurs which, along with the ankle balls, give him a variety of stable poses. The airdam sits in either hand as a gun - there's shoulder missile launcher on this version of Mirage.

   As with most Classics moulds, Drag Strip doesn't come with a gimmick as such. The poseability is great and the gun works quite well, allowing Drag Strip to display in some nice poses. The hourglass waist is my only real complaint - and it's enough to bother me. The G1 tribute is very strong, thanks to the head colours and some nice coincidences such as the shape of his boots.

VARIATIONS

   A repaint of Classics Mirage, as mentioned. Drag Strip is a "Special Edition" Universe toy - sold in a premium black box. While available at retail in Australia and much of Asia, he was limited to the Hasbro online store in the USA. He also shares the mould with Fracture (thanks to Mr Blades for reminding me!).

OVERALL

   A well thought out repaint, Drag Strip makes good use of a mould meant to tribute someone else. Both modes tribute the Stunticon well, thanks to thoughtful repainting. The robot mode is very poseable but the waist bothers me. A rewarding repaint, and I'm always a fan of tributes that take combiner toys out of their team and highlight them individually. While the premium packaging makes Drag Strip a fairly pricey deluxe, he _is_ a very well done repaint - 7/10

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