Archive for February, 2011

Masterpiece Rodimus Prime in the Box

February 27th, 2011 4 comments

Several weeks ago I received MP Rodimus Prime. I still have not opened this figure. I intend to do this soon, but before that I thought I take some pics of him sealed in the box.

Rodimus is finally getting the MP treatment that he deserves. Could Galvatron be next? That would complete the G1 leaders. Anyway, I plan on doing a full review. Until then… Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: Pics

Reveal The Shield Turbo Tracks Review

February 21st, 2011 Comments off

A while back I did the review for Reveal The Shield Special Ops Jazz. Today I’m doing the review for Turbo Tracks, also in the Reveal The Shield line of TFs. These two figures came out at the same time. I bought both of these from right before Christmas. That turned out to be a good decision because I still have not seen these guys in the stores, and February is almost over!

Tracks first appeared in Season 2 of G1 Animated. He kinda just appeared. So as to how he arrived on Earth, your guess is as good as mine. Everyone remembers him for having a super sexy Corvette as hit alt mode and his suave and debonair ways of operation. Tracks is way too into himself, but he is one of the Autobot’s better warriors so I guess his peers put up with it. Tracks did not appear in the G1 movie and I don’t remember if he appeared at all in Season 3. Back in the 80s, he was one of the most sought after figures among the kids in my class, probably because he turned into a Corvette. It’s good to see Hasbro finally give him the update in the CHUG line that he so properly deserves. I guess due to licensing issues, he is called Turbo Tracks.

Let’s start by looking at the alt mode. I don’t think Hasbro got the rights to Corvette for Turbo Tracks, which is kinda strange considering they got it for the Alternator and Movie figs. But regardless, Hasbro came up with a pretty sporty alt mode that still does Tracks justice.

The shape of this alt mode deviates a little from how I think the Corvette looks, especially in the front grill area. The car also feels a little wide to be a Corvette. However, all the Autobot cars in the CHUG line are clones of the vehicles that they’re supposed to be. In the case of Tracks, I feel this is close enough. If I simply saw an outline of the shape of this car and had to guess, I would’ve guessed Corvette. And seeing as how they’re going to repaint this mold into Wheeljack (with minor alterations), the alt mode here will work for both characters.

As far as the colors go, this shade of blue is undoubtedly Tracks. G1-ers will notice immediately that the flames on the hood are reproduced here as well, albeit somewhat modified. Hasbro took the effort to paint the rims silver this time, something I complained about on Jazz. The front windows are kind of a clear black and in this case matches well with the figure. The front lights are painted silver, rear brake lights painted red, and the grill painted black. All in all, the paint job is pretty good, much better that it is on Jazz. Tracks does look a little plastic-ish in alt mode, but that’s kinda true on all $10 deluxe figures, so I’m not going to make a big deal out of it.

The “Reveal The Shield” rub sign is locate don the roof of the car. I think in G1 they put it in the same place.

Functionally, Tracks is fairly solid in alt mode. All parts and pieces come together to form a cohesive whole. Hasbro engineers have done a good job of hiding body parts into the vehicle construction. All accessories are accounted for in alt mode. Notice the missiles are tucked underneath the sides of the vehicle. The gun is hidden the rear area of the car that forms Tracks’ back and it can only be removed during transformation. The mechanism works really well and is leaps better than the usual placement of under the hood. The missiles can also be placed on the rear of the car, where the spoiler would go if he had one. To do this, you would need to rotate this one panel that contains the pegs. I really like this mechanism, because if you didn’t want to attach the missiles, you can then hide the pegs for a sexy and smooth look for the car. Hasbro didn’t have to do this and I commend them for paying attention to the little things.

I have 2 small gripes about Tracks. The first is the placement of the missiles underneath the door. It looks pretty cool in that location, but there really isn’t enough clearance underneath. So they kinda scratch the ground when they’re placed there if you try to roll Tracks on a flat surface. The second gripe has to do with how the rear part of the car doesn’t come up flush with the rest of the body. Check out the pics above and you’ll see what I mean. There is a very noticeable seam line between the door and the side rear, and it runs over the roof. It is possible to get it slightly better than how it looks in the pics, but everything has to come together just right and could take some time.

Turbo Tracks is also capable of transforming into his flight mode, like G1. Below I have a pic. I don’t think Tracks is a fully qualified Triple Changer. However we do see him do this from time to time in G1 animated. Very nice to see Hasbro incorporate this into the toy.

Below are some pics of Turbo Tracks with Tracks from other TF lines. The red Tracks is an actual Diaclone from the 80s (BTW, the Autobot sticker on the roof came from an extra G1 Hound sticker sheet). The blue G1 Tracks is an early 2000s TRU re-issue, and the yellow Tracks is Binaltech.

Transformation to robot mode is a combination of the G1 mold and the Binaltech/Alternator mold. The hood of the car forms the legs, which is the same for all Tracks. The roof of the car forms the chest, like G1. However, the arms are hidden in the rear section of the vehicle, and this is more like Binaltech. Overall, I don’t see anything really innovative in the transformation, but in this case it’s not a bad thing. We all know the general mechanics of the Tracks transformation and I think Hasbro did the right thing by sticking with the old familiar formula. I should point out that there is a little bit of Auto Morph in the chest and head mechanism. I usually hate Auto Morph features, but in this case it works pretty well.

I am lovin’ the looks of Tracks in robot mode. Take a look at the pics and see for yourself. This Tracks simply screams G1! The overall body styling is an homage to both the G1 toy and the G1 character. All the famous characteristics that make Tracks is here, including his overall colors of blue and dark grey, his wings, his over-the-shoulder twin missiles, and his signature red face. I didn’t think it was possible to make a Tracks figure that’s even more Tracks than the Binaltech, but Hasbro proved me wrong. Nice job Hasbro!

Construction wise, I see no issues with Tracks in robot mode. He’s well articulated and hold his poses well. I’ll let the pics do the talking.

You can remove his missiles if you like, and the gun can be placed in either hand. Nothing on Tracks looks out of place. He’s well balanced, he’s proportionate, and he’s not front or back heavy. I really can’t find any gripes with this robot mode. I also really like the detail on this figure. The grey area on the legs has a nice paint finish that makes it look diecast. Some parts look a little plastic-ish, but all $10 Hasbro figures (if not all TFs) have this problem so I’m not going to bash Tracks here.

Here’s a shot of how the back looks.

And here’s Tracks with other Tracks figs in robot mode.

In my opinion, this is the best Tracks figure ever made. The Binaltech figure is very good too, but it’s got too much kibble and it won’t form the car-jet. Turbo Tracks does not have these obvious weaknesses, plus it’s got all the strengths I mentioned. If you can find one anywhere near you, buy it now.

By my count, Hasbro is almost done re-doing all the Diaclone cars from the first 2 seasons as a deluxe or voyager in the CHUG line. Wheeljack and Grapple is on the way. This only leaves Trailbreaker, Hoist, and Skids. Actually, I’ll live if they don’t do Skids since he never really appeared that much. But I want the other two! C’mon Hasbro make it happen!

That’s all for now my fellow TransFans. Get out there and get your TFs… Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews