Cliffbee.com: Street Speed Team Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review








Name: Backtrack
Series: Armada
Allegiance: Minicon
Alternate Mode: Sports Car

CAR MODE
Height: 1.5cm Length: 5.5cm Width: 2.5cm

   A very green sports car. No idea what type of car he is, but aside from silver painted headlights, white painted windows and black/silver wheels, he's all green. Which works to hide the seams fairly well. It also hides the intricacy of the mould, which includes taillights, a front grille and a Minicon symbol behind the rear window. His rear wheels are slightly larger than the front ones, and all four have silver painted hubcaps.

   The only real action feature of Backtrack in car mode is the fact that he rolls along. But he's a nice looking car with good detail. I'm pretty certain he's based on an actual production model sports car, rather than being a made up car make. One thing that impresses me with Backtrack, as well as the other two in this set is that there's no obvious robot mode kibble on the underside of the car. The stuff underneath - transform joints and such - is mechanical enough to look car-ish.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Pull out the front, then pull the feet out and flip them up. Carefully pull out the sides and then slide them back. Carefully spin the waist 180, fold down the back of the car to form the chest and fold the arms down. Pose. Care has to be taken in a few steps, as mentioned, or things (arms, legs) will pop off. Having said that, they pop back on pretty easily, so it's not a huge thing. A complex transformation for such a small toy. In fact, it's very similar to G1 Mirage's.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5.5cm Width: 2.5cm

   Backtrack's obsession with green is carried over into this mode. His thighs are grey, his eyes yellow. Otherwise, well, he's green. This isn't a bad thing, although I'm sure he can empathise with Kermit (it ain't easy being green). He has a Spychanger-esque chest in that the rear of the car sits on his chest, but it doesn't really protrude much. He has fists moulded into his arms, although they're on the insides to not spoil the sides of the car mode.

   His hips & shoulders are ball joints, and he has swivel joints on his ankles, elbows (though they only move about 30 before his forearms pop off), waist and shoulders. That's not a typo. There are two joints per shoulder, ball joints in the arms and swivels on the sides of the torso. Very posable for a toy this size. Heck, he's very posable for any TF that turns into a realistic car.

   Aesthetically a good looking mode, with good poseability. The only real drawback is the tendency for things to pop off - especially the forearms.

VARIATIONS

   None that I know of.

OVERALL

   Poseable, green, detailed and fragile. And green. A very, very good toy for his size, only really dragged down by the tendency for things to detach. This doesn't really bother me, everything easily reattaches. Individually I give him 8/10
Name: Oval
Series: Armada
Allegiance: Minicon
Alternate Mode: Sports Car

CAR MODE
Height: 1cm Length: 5.5cm Width: 2.5cm

   An orange curvy sports car, Oval has black windows, white headlights and grey grilles (on the back, I guess I'll put my luggage in the front). He's got black tyres with silver hubcaps. The wheels are a different mould to Backtrack's - and Spiral's in fact. It's nice to see Hasbro bothered to give them all different wheels. His seams are slightly more obvious than Backtrack's, but that's partly due to the lighter orange and partly due to the fact he's not as monochromatic as Kermit the Minicon...

   Oval's a pretty decent little sports car. I'd imagine he's based on a real car, but I know not these things. He rolls along nicely and has good detail, such as taillights, tailpipes and air intakes on the doors. He also has sports lights on the front, and a grey front grille. This guy's car mode puts a lot of larger car Transformers to shame. The Motorvators spring to mind as examples of large, low detail car modes.

   I can't really flaw this mode much. There's moulded detail on the underside, which, while not carlike, is clearly mechanical. Part of it is only really useful as the bottom of the carmode, which shows how much effort was put into moulding this set. The only minor flaw I can see is there's a small notch on the boot (trunk) to allow you to flip up the head.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   If Backtrack is the Minicon answer to Mirage, then Oval is Overdrive. Pull out the rear, fold down the front, click it into place, swing back the roof, swing up the head and swivel down the arms.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 6cm Width: 2.5cm

   Predominantly orange with a silver eyestrip, grey waist, groin, thighs and grille on his chest. He has a powerlinx connector on his left ankle. He's somewhat lanky, although not as much as Overdrive was. The orange and grey work quite well together, and the sparing use of grey makes this a very unified colour scheme.

   Oval has ball joints on his hips, swivel joints on shoulders and hinges on his elbows with 30 movement before popping off. The least poseable of the set due to the lack of ball joints in his shoulders, but probably the best looking in robot mode. Mind you, being the least poseable in this set is hardly a bad thing. Six meaningful points of articulation is six more than Runabout.

VARIATIONS

   None that I know of.

OVERALL

   A good little toy, Oval is my favourite in this set, thanks mainly to the aesthetics of both modes. He's got no flaws worth worrying about, but since he's less poseable than Backtrack, I'm giving him an individual 8/10
Name: Spiral
Series: Armada
Allegiance: Minicon
Alternate Mode: Mercedes Benz Sports Car

CAR MODE
Height: 1.5cm Length: 6cm Width: 2.5cm

   A blue (verging on purple, especially under artificial light) Mercedes sports car, with silver windows, white headlights, silver grille, black tyres and silver hubcaps. His elbow hinges break the side windows up. The gaps almost look like the doorframe gap in windows, but not quite. Still, this is a fairly minor thing.

   Due to his rather innovative transform, Spiral has some trouble staying together in car mode, and it's fairly easy to move things out of place. At the moment I've got him it a "just rolled" crash shape (c8

   Like the others in this set, Spiral has very good detail in car mode - including door seams, sports lights & taillights. When he's properly in car mode, he has about 1mm of clearance above the ground... er... table, but still rolls freely. Like the others in this set, he's got no obvious robot mode kibble on his underside. He has a Minicon symbol under there, that's only visible in this mode, too.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Pull out the front, fold the doors under the hood, pull out and flip up the feet. Split and fold down the halves of the roof, twist the waist 180. Fold down the spoiler to form the chest. Pose.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 6cm Width: 3cm

   The bulkiest, most posable yet most flawed robot mode in the set. Largely blue, with silver on the arms and feet. He has a thin blue eyeslit, grey thighs and groin with yellow detailing on the chest. There's a total of four paint colours (including white on the headlights) visible in this mode - another sign that this set demanded creativity and care from Hasbro.

   The arms are little more than the two halves of the cabin's roof, with the windows on the front of them. there are fists moulded to the insides, but the arms still look like giant fins. The car mode doors form stabilising heel spurs, which are huge in proportion. While it looks a little kibbly, it makes this guy incredibly stable in terms of posing. Just don't try fold his elbows more than 30 or they'll pop off.

   Like Backtrack, he's got the Spychanger-esque chest, which is wider and sticks out a little more than his green companion. As mentioned, he's the chunkiest of the lot, mainly due to the heelspurs and chest, but also the fin-arms. He's the most poseable of the lot, with ball joints on his shoulders & hips, hinges on his ankles, knees and elbows with swivels on his shoulders and waist.

   Despite the poseability, this mode is hampered somewhat buy the fin-arms. They just look odd. While it's not awful, it's got some flaws.

VARIATIONS

   None that I know of.

OVERALL

   The most poseable of the lot, but Spiral also has problems the other two have managed to avoid. The fin-arms, car stability and Minicon symbol only visible under car mode all drag him down. There are worse Minicons out there, but he's the worst of this lot - 5/10
TEAM OVERALL

   Overall, a nice set. Two very good toys in Backtrack (the Frog) and Oval, and a decent one in Spiral. All are poseable and highly detailed, with attention to detail. They work well as a set, too. A lot of people have been critical of the fact limbs pop off - but this was the case with 2/3 of the Beast Wars era toys anyway. I can overlook it, considering how detailed & poseable these guys are - 7.5/10

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