Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Transformers Generations Combiner Wars Drag Strip Review

combiner wars drag strip

Just popped in to check the lights were turned off....

It has been quite a while since I updated this blog, I have been to Mexico, got through my birthday (I was drunk, in the aforementioned Mexico) and it has also been Christmas.

Now all of that is out of the way, I thought it time to bring it back to life - especially with the huge pile of toys I got over the Christmas period.

Chief among them was most of the first wave of Hasbros new Combiner Wars Transformers sub line. Of all the things I have gotten, this was my most anticipated as it is the G1 Combiners reborn!

Let's start off with the lone Decepticon Stunticon from the first wave - Generations Drag strip

Vehicle Mode
combiner wars drag strip alt mode

As it was in Generation One, so it shall be in Combiner Wars...or something.

Drag Strips alt mode is that of a non specific Formula One race car, and I wonder if he rents it out for track experience days to make a bit of extra cash on weekends.
Swindle would love that.

transformers f1

It is a mode which strongly evokes the original, though is actually very different. For a start, it does not have the two front wheels, and is a much more modern styled F1 car.

The G1 fanboy in me would have loved it to be exactly the same as G1 Drag Strip, but this is a fantastic attempt in its own right.

Drag Strips vintage colour scheme is put to very good use, and the designers have not gone mad added over the top details.

There are peg holes on the sides of the cars to peg in weapons, but as he only comes with a sword, it looks pretty daft pegged in there.

Unless he wants to open tins, by driving around in circles - he must have the same problems as me with tin openers.

drag strip engine

Drag Strip is extremely sturdy, with every piece locking together tightly and compactly. This makes it a great toy for kids to play as bits are not falling off, So I can let my 5 year old nephew play with it, and not be terrified of bits popping off or being lost....though it does nothing for being clattered.

The tabs that lock the nose in place are really tight, as are the tabs that hold the rear of the car in place.

It makes for a very solid car mode,but it is a bit scary pulling them apart.

Overall this is a cool mode, and is a nice update which remains faithful to the original.

Robot Mode

combiner wars drag strip

The transformation of all the Combiner Wars figures I have so far have been brilliant - and Drag Strip is no exception.

With these figures Hasbro seem to have revamped their ethos a bit and finally been able to hit that sweet spot between swift transformations and retaining articulation and looks.

Over the years we have seen Hasbro go all over the map with their Classics and Generations figures, so I dearly hope they can stick to this style for a good while yet.

To transform Drag Strip, you simply pull out the side panels, flip out his hands, pull apart the back section and extend the legs, fold over and rotate the nose - then you are done.

No fiddling, or trying desperately to line up panels, everything locks into place and holds together but takes so little effort to get there.

combiner wars drag strip back

The style of the robot feels more Fall of Cybertron than G1 with the shape and style of the figures edges and contours - like the way the forearms thicken and flare outwards.
Robot mode looks very nice, if a little different to what you may expect from Drag Strip. He looks a bit more thuggish and like a bruiser with his proportions and aesthetic.

transformers drag strip head

This comes to the fore with the head which is a really good sculpt, but looks more monster like than Drag Strips traditional boxy head.

But Hasbro even molded in bits sticking out on either side to homage his original toy. That is something you see all over the Combiner Wars line, a real effort to make sure all of the details are there, rather than just creating new figures entirely and slapping familiar names on them.

combiner wars drag strip sword

The shoulders, for example, have peaks on either side which evoke his G1 design too.

A combiner port is clearly rammed into his chest, but is fairly unobtrusive, and blends well into the body as in a way it calls back to the silver chest details from his original figure - though I may be clutching at straws with that one.

One small thing I would have liked, is the silver backed Decepticon badge, it just screams back to the vintage toys.

There is plenty of articulation, but the joints are all strong, but smooth. You can feel the added effort in the QC department, in order the make combining figures solid.
Ankle tilts would have been welcome, but then there are no real feet for them to well, tilt.

drag strip blaster

Two accessories are whacked into the box (along with a collector card), his sword and the hand/foot piece for Menasor.

First the sword, all of the Stunticons seem to gave been given melee weapons in Combiner Wars. I personally prefer all bots to have guns instead (stop giving Magnus a hammer, it was not a thing!), but I guess it is another way for Hasbro to make them seem unique as a team.

Just seems like they would be easy targets for the Aerialbots flying around shooting lasers at them, whilst the Stunticons are stuck in a traffic jam shouting at them to come down and face their swords....

That could have been a Ladybird book story.

The sword is quite nice and also has a handle so Drag Strip can hold it as a gun, Final Fantasy 8 has a lot to answer for.

combiner wars drag strip foot

The foot/hand piece has two molded cannons, so Drag Strip can wield it as a mahoosive hand cannon or it can peg into his shoulder as a shield.

As a foot it pegs underneath Drag strip, and you can fold his head forward to hide it in combined mode (a great touch).

combiner wars drag strip arm

But the two genius is that it can transform to a hand.

Hasbro have clearly put a lot of effort and thought into this, and whilst it's success as a hand is a not great, the engineering is. Not only does it transform into a hand, but the fun be positioned so that is either a left or right hand.
That is a wonderful, and shows Hasbro's designers displaying a flair an ingenuity we have not seen in ages.

Drag Strip is probably the weakest deluxe in the first wave, but that is not really a negative. Hasbro, with the way they have engineered this figure, have made it very poseable and hit the likeness of the original character, whilst managing to make the transformation intuitive, simple and above all else - fun.

There is a play pattern evident here that has been lacking from Transformers for many years. Part of the fun of Transformers in G1, was being able to switch from vehicle to robot and back again quickly as part of playing with them. Too often in the modern era, it takes an age to transform figures, and it puts younger kids out of touch, and makes the fundamental feature of the figure a chore.

So it is great to see that feeling back, and hopefully it will make the Combiner Wars subline a massive success for Hasbro and enough for them to keep it going long enough to get me a Computron.

Drag Strip by himself is an excellent toy that is worth purchasing, but it is the larger idea of the combiners and other figures to come that make the whole thing so exciting.

You can buy Transformers Generations Drag Strip from Kapow Toys

Please like our page on Facebook where you can get updates and the like here

You can also follow this blog on Twitter @ToyboxSoapbox . Or press the +1 button on this page to follow it on Google Plus.

You can find my own rambles, mostly about football here

No comments:

Post a Comment