Cliffbee.com: Stockade Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Stockade
Series: Transformers Universe
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Cybertronian Tank



TANK MODE
Height: 5.5cm Length: 12.5cm Width: 5.5cm

   A burgundy and mustard yellow tank with some mid grey bits and a pea soup green central block, Stockade looks more like a Decepticon than an Autobot in these colours, but the Autobot symbol stamped on his turret confirms his allegiance. While Tank Drone had a few transparent red pieces, the only transparent plastic on this toy is the spark crystal - which is ironically covered up by the stamped Autobot symbol. The barrel of the cannon missile launcher is gold while the missile is yellow, and this whole assembly sits on the right side of the tank, with his robot head visible in the middle of the tank, towards the back. The colours aren't quite as nice as those of Tank Drone, although there a fairly detailed paint mask, including dark brown front treads and interesting black patterns on the rear tread pods. It's appealing in it's own way, thanks to a colour set that fits together well.    Being a Beast Machines mould, this is very clearly not based on a real tank, so the off centre cannon works fine. The visible head isn't so good, but the colours help it blend in quite well.

   The tank rolls thanks to four wheels underneath the tread pods, and there's a gimmick attached to the rear right wheel, which has a rubber tyre on it. If you push down on the back of the turret you'll complete a chain of gears and the rubber tyre will spin the missile launcher inside the turret. As it spins, the internal trigger will fire the missile about half a metre. You'll have to make sure you attach the relevant tread pod properly or this mechanism won't activate. The turret is on a spring, so it wont press the gears together unless you hold it down. This is a good thing - you can roll the tank along without worrying about the missile randomly ending up behind the sofa.

   A good tank mode overall, Stockade has decent colours and a meaningful gimmick. My only real complaint is the fact you have to get the tank mode just right or the gimmick won't work. The tank mode actually seems to fit together better than on Tank Drone - so the gimmick actually works better. I suppose a spare missile would be nice, but that's probably asking too much for a basic, and I don't see where it could be stowed tastefully.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Flip up the front tread pods and unfold to form the legs. Rotate the waist so that the treads themselves become the shins. Swing the rear tread covers down to the side, flip out the claws at the back. Rotate the arms down, fold the panel supporting the shoulder cannon back and fold the head down onto his shoulders.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12cm Width: 9.5cm

   Again mustard yellow, burgundy and grey, with dark brown "boots" in the form of treads. The torso is pea soup green while the groin, thighs, shoulders and claws are grey and the forearms and lower jaw are burgundy. The top of the head is yellow, as are the shoulderpads which extend down to the outsides of the arms - becoming shields, while the turret is now a giant shoulder cannon on Stockade's left shoulder. The front of this launcher is gold silver and the missile yellow. He has a red eyestrip buried under the yellow forehead - hidden in tank mode and tricky to spot even now. The colours probably work slightly better for Stockade in robot mode, despite the increased prominence of the somewhat incongruous pea soup green.

   The styling of this robot mode is unmistakably Beast Machines. From the simple face to angular torso to the treads in lieu of legs, you can really see that this toy started life as a Vehicon. The downside for Stockade is that he _looks_ like the drone Tank Drone was - a simple face, treads, default position of the knees is bent _forwards_ - all contribute to Stockade looking like a piece of machinery rather than a living entity. The only thing preventing him from clinching the drone look is the mustard yellow. It's slightly disappointing that this character is so drone-like - I guess that's what happens when toys designed for a specific role get recoloured.

   The missile launcher is still functional, although now you have to spin the gear underneath the back of the cannon to activate it, since the other half of the mechanism is on the right wrist (and plainly so). The launcher is so big it really forms the centrepiece of this mode, making Stockade a rather well armed Autobot, and in truth is the only upside of him being derived from an attack drone.

   The poseability is decent without being anything special. In fact it's slightly disappointing for a Beast Machines mould. The neck, shoulders and hips are restricted ball joints while the elbows are hinged and the waist swivels. The knees are ratcheting with slots, so you can change the positioning but have to lock them into one of three positions. In truth the knee poseability isn't really much of an issue since Stockade rolls along on his treads - it'd only matter if you wanted to place him "rolling" over obstacles. While most of the joints have some movement, none have full motion.

   It is possible to create a legged robot, if you rotate the lower half of the toy and straighten the knees by one notch. Along with the missile launcher and articulation, it gives Stockade some play value, and makes him slightly less drone-like.

   The colours are nice, but I still get the feeling this toy carries too many Drone features. All the same, it's a good mould recoloured quite well, so it's a decent robot mode, albeit with not a lot of poseability.


Name: Prowl
Allegiance: Minicon
Alternate Mode: Car

CAR MODE
Height: 1.5cm Length: 5.5cm Width: 3cm

   A grey sports car with burgundy sides and rear section, the strobe rack on top is unpainted so this Prowl is not a Police Car, unlike the Armada equivalent. The windows are painted black while the headlights are a light yellow. The wheels are all black plastic, with the rear wheels almost twice the size of the front ones. This mould works much better as a sports car than a police car - despite the moulded strobe rack - even if this is a rather bizarre colour scheme for a sports car.

   Despite the colours, this mode works reasonably well. It's clearly not a real car mode, but looks decent anyway. He has a black front bumper, which is rounded.

TRANSFORMATION TO WEAPON MODE

   Basically you unfold him, with one rear tyre becoming the barrel of the gun, and one arm becoming the handle. It's asymmetrical and difficult to describe, so I'm not going to try.

WEAPON MODE
   Completely useless really, since Stockade can't hold it in any meaningful way. The handle does fit into his hand, but the back of the gun gets in it's own way, since Stockade has the arm shields. By himself Prowl looks like a gun someone put down. It's an okay mode, I suppose, but I wouldn't have cared had the left it out of this toy. In fact, since it puts some design limitations on the robot mode, I'd have preferred they did leave it out.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold out the halves of the front bumper and fold over the front half to form the legs. Stand him up lift the arms out from his sides. Done. It's a pretty simple transformation - more engineering has gone into the gun mode.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 6.5cm Width: 3cm

   Still largely transparent grey, Prowl has black thighs, burgundy arms and a gold head. The head is itself moulded onto a large burgundy block sitting on top of the shoulders, formed from the rear section, complete with rear wheels on either side. While the block itself doesn't look that bad, his face is almost flat and does look bad. The gold paint contrasts sharply with the burgundy, which helps considerably. He has a red eyeslit and gold mouthparts (which look like a gas mask for some reason).

   The only real poseability Prowl has is ball joints in his arms. His hip and knee hinges allow some posing but he's hard to stand in any position but upright. There's no gap between his legs, combine this with the arms right at the sides and the simple face, he almost reminds me of a very early Go-bot.

OVERALL

   Far from the best Minicon mould, but Hasbro seem determined to reuse them all - even if they don't work with the toys they're packaged with. There's no real reason why Prowl should come with Stockade - the only thing tying them together is colour. The colour scheme works better than the Armada one, but Stockade would have been no worse off without Prowl - 6/10
VARIATIONS

   Shipped with Magna Stampede (whom I do not own), and a repaint of Tank Drone, as mentioned. No actual variations as such.

THE PAIR OVERALL

   Stockade is a rather unusual reuse of a mould designed for a specific reason, which means he's always going to be an unusual toy. The colours work fairly well, and do a good job of giving the drone mould some personality. The mould itself is good, the gimmick works in both modes but the robot mode's poseability is a little disappointing. The choice of Prowl as a partner is random and absurd, although Prowl is an improvement on his Armada counterpart. This pair comes boxed with Magna Stampede and Terradive (another random pairing), so whether or not you grab the set will depend on the other half (I split the box with a friend), but Stockade is a decent toy, and certainly worthwhile if you missed Tank Drone - 7.5/10

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