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Old 2012-09-04, 11:47 AM   #1
Blackjack
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Default Prime Knock Out [uploaded]

Name: Knock Out
Allegiance: Decepticon
Size Class: Robots in Disguise Deluxe Class
Accessories: Torture rod (two pieces)

So, after weíve been introduced to new re-interpretations of Megatron, Starscream and Soundwave, we get two Decepticons-of-the-day Makeshift and Skyquake, who didnít survive their debut episodes. The next major villains to be introduced, however, are the pair of Knock Out and Breakdown. While they share names with past characters, neither of them had anything else in common with past incarnations. Primeís Knock Out was a preening, campy, slightly-sadistic medic who enjoys illegal car racing in his spare time. Heís like an evil version of Tracks. Also, the way heís portrayed, including a line which many fans interpreted to be flirting with Optimus Prime (but really, just another hammy line from him) and the fact that heís always seen around Breakdown has led to a lot of fans assuming that Knock Out is gay. Because the only way you can be campy is to be gay, apparently.

Iím not really a homophobe, but Iím pretty sure censors wonít be letting any confirmation of that slip into the cartoon, so weíll all probably be treated to allusions and hints and nothing more.

Regardless of his sexual orientation Ė or if he even has one, because, lest we forget, these are big giant transforming alien death robots from space Ė I liked Knock Out and his quirky mannerisms, and his rather distinctive, hammy, snobbish voice. Moreover, he is guaranteed to be fun, without resorting to being a butt-monkey like Sky-Byte or Waspinator were. Heís a fun and competent Decepticon, has a unique design, is a medic, and has loads of unique mannerisms. Needless to say, he is one character who I knew I would be getting a toy of.

Sadly, stock photography of his toy looked very lanky and plain, which was at odds with Knock Outís sleek vehicle mode and his spiky-and-curvy robot mode. I eventually got the toy because I enjoyed his character so much, and while he isnít as bad as stock photography made him out to be (thankfully his arms are mis-transformed) he isnít really the best toy in the Prime line. He is, however, quite underappreciated and he does not deserve the amount of flak he is receiving.

The name ĎKnock Outí was first used in the tail end of G1, slapped to a member of the Micromaster Constructor Team, as a non-entity who forms the back half of a backhoe. He would later get a bio and everything, about fifteen years later. But otherwise heís just a generic construction guy. In Armada, the name Knock Out was slapped to another nobody from the Military Mini-Con Team, which got repainted quite a bit. It got slapped onto a random Mini-Con repaint in Energon, and in Revenge of the Fallen they slapped it onto a random, shitty motorcycle Scouts class toy which IDW tries its best to pretend is a character.
[Editor numbat: Does this mean all Knock Outs are slappers? Could be the common character threadÖ]
None of these Knock Outs are even worth remembering, not until this version came along.

Alternate Mode:
Knock Out transforms into a rather generic sports car, coloured in two shades of red just like the show model. Now, the show model has Knock Out be mainly bright red, with a central maroon stripe running through it, while the sides have some generic silver sports car decals. The toy, on the other hand, while it showing the same two-tone red as the show model, the maroon creeps all the way through the rear of the vehicle, and the loops back onto the doors, before meeting up with a splotch of silver paint. Itís a little lazy, yes. The maroon on Knock Outís sides are painted intentionally unevenly, as if this was supposed to be the silver racing stripeÖ but changed to only partially silver for some reason. Was it budget constraints? Is silver paint that expensive? Is the alternative of leaving the plain bright red less attractive? Iíd have gone with leaving the whole sides of the vehicle mode bright red if it were like that, and spend the paint budget elsewhere. As it is, Knock Out feels very maroon. Now I like shades of maroon, but Knock Outís whole thing is that heís this bright red sports car, and now other than two lines running down his sides, heís a dull red sports car. Boo.

There is a bit of golden paint on the details on Knock Outís hood, about the only golden or yellow paint you will see anywhere on Knock Out. His windows are a clear, translucent gray plastic, and his wheels are solid black, lacking the yellow rims. While his rear has all these details, they are left unpainted. Likewise, the front grille is simply painted in one solid grey block, where moulded details should really be brought to attention with a little yellow or silver paint. The front lights are unpainted clear plastic.

Again, the painting may be inspired by the show, but I donít think the decision to use so much maroon is a good idea. There are two 5mm peg holes near the rear wheels, and theyíre just jutting out of the maroon paint in bright red, like an eyesore. You can theoretically plug in the energon torture prod here so Knock Out looks like a sports car with a lance thing on his side or something. Itís stupid.

He doesnít really roll very well, at least not my Knock Out. The boots keep catching onto the rear wheels, although I donít really think itís a widespread problem.

Robot Mode:
Now in order to get into Knock Outís robot mode, itís obvious that the show designers cheated quite a bit, but they had managed to work Starscream and Soundwaveís origami designs into great toys, while Knock Out is a rather generic-looking robot, right? Shouldnít be hard, theyíve been making cars that turn into robots for twenty-six years, no? Except that, well, Knock Outís kibble layout is pretty unconventional, with doors ending on his car arms, wheels on his feet, wheels on his back, the sides of his vehicle hood forming his distinctive shoulder-things, while the rest of his hood and the front grille form the chest and stomach respectively. And the toy replicates this layout perfectly. I cannot stress this enough. Everything goes more or less where itís supposed to goÖ the doors and roof collapse and form the lower arms, spikes sprout out to form the shoulders, the sides of the hood form the shoulder things, the center of the hood forms the torso, the grille forms the abdomenÖ so whatís wrong?

Well, the shoulders are a little low, like heís slouching; thatís the first thing that actually bothered me. The fact that the shoulder spikes are entirely grey instead of matching Knock Outís red came a bit later. And then the fact that the sides of the hood werenít bulging enough, the wheels arenít visible enoughÖ which, I realized, would not be possible, at least not in the confines of a toy like this! And certainly the centre of the hood would not be able to collapse into a small chest, and the grille couldnít expand to wrap around the entire abdomen. The show model cheats, and the toy shows what Knock Out would really look like if the transformation were constrained by actual physics. And since they canít trade the hood-torso mass for the grille-abdomen mass, Knock Out looks a bitÖ ganglier due to the long hood piece running down him. However, thatís not really the toyís fault.

A major problem lies in how plain the toy is. Remember how I said that the toy didnít have yellow? Yeah, he doesnít. The wheels? Nope. The distinctive interiors of the shoulder things? Nope. Joints? Nope. Yellow has been exorcised out of everything in Knock Out, which is a shame. The little bit of yellow had always brightened Knock Out for me. And then heís severely lacking in paint applications. Thereís the aforementioned lack of shoulder spike paint, the boots are solid blocks of black instead of silver with black details, and the crotch is one big slab of red, but the legs are the clincher. Both the crotch and the legs have moulded lines where black paint is supposed to go (and the legs have an additional chunk thatís supposed to be maroon) but theyíre all left in solid red. The knee guards that are supposed to be silver with yellow joint details? Red. The entirely red legs make him look very bland, and more importantly, cheap in robot mode.

Also, the instructions and the stock photography give us no clues as how to transform his arms properly, even though the toy was designed to replicate the doors-on-lower-arms look, which it is perfectly capable of doing. The instructions make him into this gangly half-transformed affairÖ look, just ignore the damn instruction sheet when transforming the arms, okay?

Mind you, once you get over these visual impairments Ė and since Knock Out is big on his visual appearance, itís actually quite integral to his character Ė the toy is actually quite adequate. The headís ball jointed with a self-satisfied smirk, the shoulders are ball-jointed, so are the armsÖ the elbows are hinged, but the door kibble makes it difficult for Knock Out to really bend it. His thighs are double-jointed, his knees can bend and his boots are on ball joints. No waist for Knock Out.

Knock Out comes with an Energon Prod, first used by Starscream to torture Agent Fowler in the pilot episodes, before graduating as Knock Outís weapon of choice, being used like a stun baton or a spear. In the show Knock Outís hand can transform into a buzzsaw or a drill (used in both medic-stuff and battling) but I agree with Hasbroís choice for including the Energon ProdÖ itís far more dynamic, and awesome-looking. Itís cast in solid black (I can forgive Hasbro for not giving the thing any paint applications, but Knock Out needs all that he can have) and, sadly, separates about two-thirds of the way to form two shorter stabbing spears or something, which looks stupid. This is stupid, and it means that Knock Out will invariably hold a wonky spear, or youíll have to spend a long time trying to pose him. Itís a suitably dynamic weapon though, and Knock Out can hold it in both hands. There are two 5mm pegs on Knock Outís spine where you can store the prod.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation Design: 5 Ė It is quite fiddly, and Iím not a big fan on how you have to REVEAL THE HEAD, transform the hood and rotate the shoulder-wheel assembly all at the same time. The fact that Knock Outís head crest likes to catch on other things isnít endearing, and the arms were a bit frustrating the first time around. Otherwise, though, itís pretty serviceable.

Durability: 7 Ė Besides losing his weapons, the plastic used to make the roof seems a bit soft, but otherwise he feels quite durable. Canít name any bit of him that feels like it would snap off.

Aesthetics: 5 Ė He has the silhouette in both robot and alternate mode down, and with a proper touch-up (Reprolabels or kitbashing) he would look miles better. As it is, however, Knock Out feels pretty dark in vehicle mode, and very, very bland in robot mode. The lack of any sort of paint on his feet feels very jarring, and the lack of yellow anywhere in his body makes him very, very two-toned. Which is a shame, Iíve seen people who touch up their Knock Out and they look so much better with some relatively easy-looking additions, and I wonder why Hasbro didnít do that.

Articulation: 5 Ė Knock Out isnít very well-articulated, although he does have all the joints youíd expect a Deluxe Class toy to have, barring the waist. Itís just that, the door and roof kibble get in the way of the arm articulation, the waist gets restricted by the red robot bits and things like that.

Fun: 7 Ė Mmm, I enjoy the character enough to like the toy without being frustrated with it, although I wish they had moulded the Energon Prod as one solid piece so it doesnít bend or pop off when Knock Out holds it.

Price/Value: 5 Ė He is a rather good mould, just a little troubled. Heís not bad, heís just average. The poor chapís under-detailing has also lead to many people turning their noses up on him. I, for one, enjoy him quite a bit, and while heís not as good as the other RID toys I own (Soundwave and Wheeljack) those two set the bar pretty high.

Overall: 5.5 - Despite his faults, Knock Out isnít exactly a bad toy per se. Heís strictly average, and he just suffers from bad publicity and some overblown reactions towards his relatively minor faults. I do hope they release a ĎPremium Editioní of Knock Out somewhere down the road that fixes most of his faults, but Iím actually quite happy with my Knock Out. Heís not going to win any Ďbest Transformers toyí competition any time soon, but heís far from being a bad toy, with minor articulation issues being the only fault the mould has. I like him, but I just canít give him a high score with a clear conscience. All things considered, though, if you like the character enough to want a toy of him, heís quite serviceable. Just donít expect to be wowed.
 

Last edited by Blackjack; 2012-09-08 at 04:58 AM.
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Old 2012-09-04, 11:48 AM   #2
Blackjack
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I like him more than I should, since he's quite a problematic toy, but he doesn't deserve the bad rap he's got all across the boards. I'm a bit iffy with the review, because unlike Soundwave I'm not all praises about him, but unlike some other toys I could name I don't boil with hatred at him either.

I hope the review does the toy justice.
 
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Old 2012-09-04, 11:50 AM   #3
Blackjack
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Old 2012-09-04, 11:51 AM   #4
Blackjack
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Eesh, I have to fix that crack on my wall.
 
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Old 2012-09-04, 12:21 PM   #5
numbat
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Proofed!



See, I do do things from time-to-time, even when I am horrendously busy with work (I'll regret this later)...



What's the deal with Skye-Byte? I love that guy and dream of one day owning his toy! My favourite thing in the RID series... (Although Scourge is a close second - hopefully own him oneday too... unlikely...)

Oh, and if he's 'strictly average', why does he get an above average overall score (5.5 is more than strictly average)? I've not changed this, but you may want to rethink the wording, or score.

You know what? You're review and photos have actually convinced me to buy Knock Out if I ever see him at a decent price. I'm not hindered by knowing what he looks like in the cartoon (although his character sounds great - I may track down an episode to see him in action), and that transformation looks different and really fun.

Shame about the paint applications though, as you say - those legs do look plain.

Anyway, great job as always!
 


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Old 2012-09-04, 01:02 PM   #6
Knightdramon
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Here I am again, he's slightly mistransformed and puts forth the shoulder problem you speak of. His gray panel with the head on has enough friction to be repositioned higher,putting his chin on the same level as the sides of the front of the car\his collarpieces.

Truthfully, while he's glaringly devoid of paint in robot mode, almost all of his robot mode is painted. That's where the budget for his pant apps went. Every maroon part of his vehicle mode [front, sides, hood, roof] is paint on red plastic.

Somebody would probably think I designed the thing with all the praise I'm giving it...
 

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Old 2012-09-04, 03:14 PM   #7
Blackjack
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Thanks for reading, guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by numbat View Post
What's the deal with Skye-Byte? I love that guy and dream of one day owning his toy! My favourite thing in the RID series... (Although Scourge is a close second - hopefully own him oneday too... unlikely...)
I absolutely love Sky-Byte and his goon trio, and they're the ones who made watching RID bearable. It's just that, well, up until now nearly every Decepticon that was funny had to be a butt monkey and are generally incompetent. Waspinator, BW Inferno, Sky-Byte, Armada Demolishor, Cybertron-era Thundercracker, Ransack and Crumplezone, Animated Lugnut...

Practically only Lugnut has any competence out of the funny Decepticons, at least until Knock Out came along. He's a Decepticon that's genuinely funny without having to resort to getting himself put into stupid situations... well, not all the time, anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by numbat
Oh, and if he's 'strictly average', why does he get an above average overall score (5.5 is more than strictly average)? I've not changed this, but you may want to rethink the wording, or score.
Should be 5 there, yeah. I'll change it in a bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by numbat
You know what? You're review and photos have actually convinced me to buy Knock Out if I ever see him at a decent price. I'm not hindered by knowing what he looks like in the cartoon (although his character sounds great - I may track down an episode to see him in action), and that transformation looks different and really fun.
He never disappointed me toy-wise. It's just that he's quite plain, and quite fiddly. I won't say get him over Wheeljack or Vehicon or Soundwave, but he's pretty great for an average toy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knightdramon View Post
Here I am again, he's slightly mistransformed and puts forth the shoulder problem you speak of. His gray panel with the head on has enough friction to be repositioned higher,putting his chin on the same level as the sides of the front of the car\his collarpieces.
Mmm, the panel was positioned in the 'correct' higher position everytime I transformed him. Figures it's when I'm photographing him for the site that his head slides down.

Sadly my Knock Out's been... modified, to brighten him up a little, so I don't think I can take another picture with my Knock Out...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knightdramon
Truthfully, while he's glaringly devoid of paint in robot mode, almost all of his robot mode is painted. That's where the budget for his pant apps went. Every maroon part of his vehicle mode [front, sides, hood, roof] is paint on red plastic.
Aye, it boggles my mind. Did the show model have this much maroon? I remember it being more similar to ROTF Sideways' Audi, with mainly red and the maroon only in the center bits, while the sides have silver decals.

Pity, if the paint was distributed properly we would've gotten the panel on the lower legs painted maroon, which would be at least a saving grace... part of the problem with the toy, I'm afraid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knightdramon
Somebody would probably think I designed the thing with all the praise I'm giving it...
Mmm, he does deserve the praise, at least from a design standpoint. As a whole, though... not so much. Which is a shame. I really, really like this fellow.
 
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Old 2012-09-04, 06:56 PM   #8
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Nice review as usual.

I really like this Knock Out character in Prime (and so do the kids) but for some reason I don't know why, I never interests in this toy. Also, isn't his car mode feels like a mix between Bugatti and Aston Martin?
 
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Old 2012-09-04, 08:09 PM   #9
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I own knock out and think he is ace. The only thing that lets him down -like all deluxe transformers these days is the lack of paint.the prime toys i've picked up i really like,but they are all hamstrung by penny pinching on the paint.thats the biggest detractor in my eyes as it feels like there's no real care put into the toys.shame.
 
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Old 2012-09-04, 11:29 PM   #10
Blackjack
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Well, Knock Out certainly doesn't skimp on paints per se -- he just uses it all for his alternate mode. In all the wrong places.

Actually strangely appropriate.

RE: Alternate mode... I don't really see it myself. He is very generic, and unlike Cliffjumper there's really nothing to tell which parts are cobbled from which. I'm not really that big a car geek, but Knock Out seems to be a very, very generic sports car... if someone can confirm what he's based on, though, it would be great.
 

Last edited by Blackjack; 2012-09-10 at 03:41 AM.
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Old 2012-09-06, 02:23 PM   #11
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Thanks for the review Blackjack - I know you didn't score him too highly, but your review convinced me to pick up Deluxe Knock Out, and I was lucky enough to find him in Glasgow today.

I was not at all disappointed - he's a really cool Transformer, and quite different from anything else I own. Very very pleased.


 


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Old 2012-09-06, 06:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by numbat View Post
Thanks for the review Blackjack - I know you didn't score him too highly, but your review convinced me to pick up Deluxe Knock Out, and I was lucky enough to find him in Glasgow today.

I was not at all disappointed - he's a really cool Transformer, and quite different from anything else I own. Very very pleased.
Glad you like him. Again, I stress this -- he's not bad, he's just not good. He's ever so slightly above the average (hence the 5,5 score) but the shit paint distribution, blocked articulation, flawed weapon and skimping on details cost him quite a bit. Probably should have been 6, but I've spent a good bit of the review bashing him, so...
 
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Old 2012-09-07, 08:28 AM   #13
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I can see why he'd be particularly annoying if you were a fan of the TV show. I think as a Transformer toy, removing any requirements to look like a CGI model, he's pretty fun. Trouble is, of course, that part of the point is that he should represent his TV show CGI model well too, and if he fails that, it's a pity.
 


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Old 2012-10-01, 11:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackjack View Post
Thanks for reading, guys!



I absolutely love Sky-Byte and his goon trio, and they're the ones who made watching RID bearable. It's just that, well, up until now nearly every Decepticon that was funny had to be a butt monkey and are generally incompetent. Waspinator, BW Inferno, Sky-Byte, Armada Demolishor, Cybertron-era Thundercracker, Ransack and Crumplezone, Animated Lugnut...

Practically only Lugnut has any competence out of the funny Decepticons, at least until Knock Out came along. He's a Decepticon that's genuinely funny without having to resort to getting himself put into stupid situations... well, not all the time, anyway.



Should be 5 there, yeah. I'll change it in a bit.



He never disappointed me toy-wise. It's just that he's quite plain, and quite fiddly. I won't say get him over Wheeljack or Vehicon or Soundwave, but he's pretty great for an average toy.



Mmm, the panel was positioned in the 'correct' higher position everytime I transformed him. Figures it's when I'm photographing him for the site that his head slides down.

Sadly my Knock Out's been... modified, to brighten him up a little, so I don't think I can take another picture with my Knock Out...



Aye, it boggles my mind. Did the show model have this much maroon? I remember it being more similar to ROTF Sideways' Audi, with mainly red and the maroon only in the center bits, while the sides have silver decals.

Pity, if the paint was distributed properly we would've gotten the panel on the lower legs painted maroon, which would be at least a saving grace... part of the problem with the toy, I'm afraid.



Mmm, he does deserve the praise, at least from a design standpoint. As a whole, though... not so much. Which is a shame. I really, really like this fellow.
Here's a screencap of his vehicle mode from the show (from TFWiki.net). I wish the angle was better, but from what I can tell, the silver on the sides do fade into maroon, not bright red. So in that case, the toy's detailing along the sides of the car are relatively accurate.


 
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Old 2012-10-03, 08:11 AM   #15
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I really do love this figure, but was terribly disappointed yesterday when the plastic cracked around one of the large swivel joints on his arm - I've only had him a month and transformed him about four times!

I'm very gentle, so I hope there aren't lots of kids out there a bit rougher than me with broken Knock Outs...
 


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