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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Warcry's Review: Terradive

Name: Terradive

Terradive loves to dive toward unsuspecting prey with the sun behind him. The light blinds his target, and the scream of his engines terrifies them, leaving them easy pickings for the blades of his trident. With Jetblade serving as a decoy, Tomahawk will never know what hit him.

Terradive is something you don't see very often these days: a Decepticon with a realistic jet fighter mode that isn't a Seeker or a Seeker homage. Starscream and his brood are very popular, and it seems like most of the Decepticon jets that get released try to cash in on that popularity. As a brand-new mold that looks nothing like a Seeker, Terradive bucks the trend nicely. He shares his name with a few obscure characters from past lines (a small Decepticon jet from Generation 2, a Minicon from Armada and one of the Aerialbots from Energon) but he looks absolutely nothing like any of them so it's safe to assume that he's his own man.

Alternate Mode:

I'm a bit of a jet fighter nerd and I absolutely love the look of forward-swept wings on a plane, so Terradive had me from the get-go. I didn't initially recognize the jet, but a bit of research told me that he's an Sukhoi Su-47 (an experimental Russian fighter of which only one functional model was ever built). He's not an especially accurate rendition of the plane though, since his cockpit is too big, his fuselage is 'chubbier' than the real thing and his canards (the small forward wings) are the wrong shape. If you don't have a picture on hand to compare with, though, you probably won't notice.

Terradive is mostly painted dark yellow, nearly the same colour as a school bus. His wingtips are painted white and he has two broad black stripes running from his tailfins to his nosecone, adding a nice splash of contrast to what would otherwise be a pretty bland vehicle. Terradive also features a red cockpit, black Decepticon badges on his wings and a few bits of grey or white plastic (aside from his afterburners these are all bits of his robot mode that aren't completely hidden). The end result is fairly striking, a cheerful colour scheme that stands out quite a bit among his fellow Decepticons.

Unfortunately, Terradive's paint apps leave a lot to be desired. The white on his wingtips isn't think enough, so the molded panel lines that run along the wings appear to be thin yellow bars running through the white. The same can be said about his Decepticon symbols, both of which have one ear chopped off by yellow lines.

Speaking of molded details, Terradive isn't lacking. He features quite a few molded lines and grooves along his wings and fuselage, although they're hard to see in low light unless they happen to be painted over (as I mentioned above). He also has a detailed cockpit, two machine guns mounted on either side of it, and what might be a larger, heavier gun mounted farther forward. His undercarriage, however, isn't as nice. There's very little 'airplane' detail down there, because much of it is made up of his robot-mode legs. The designers did a pretty good job of making it easy to overlook from most angles, but he's still a fairly 'primitive' jetformer compared to the likes of Classics Starscream or Universe Cyclonus.

Over all, Terradive's jet mode is nothing to write home about. It's not bad, but it doesn't quite measure up to some of the other deluxe planes we've seen in recent years.

Robot Mode:

When I said that Terradive doesn't look like a Seeker, I meant it. In fact, he doesn't really look like he turns into a plane at all. His head is very 'fishy', similar to Beast Wars Depth Charge or Energon Sharkticon. He also has a really big trident and a slender, athletic build that makes him look like some sort of avenging sea-god given robotic form. In fact, the 'fishy' theme is so strong here that it's almost a shame that he's yellow instead of blue or green.

Terradive is still mostly yellow here, although his arms and legs feature quite a bit of black, grey and white as well -- black calves and upper arms, grey hands and thighs, and white shoulders and toes. The shaft of his spear is a dull bronze, with grey tines and dark purple paint (possibly meant to represent dried Energon left over by past stabbing victims) splashed onto the tip. His face is highly detailed: his forehead is yellow with a black horn in the middle and a silver rim running around the edges. His teeth (beard?) is also bronze, his face is silver and his eyes are painted red even though they were designed with a clear light-piping feature. His head is the major attention-getter here, both because it's so colourful and because it's so oddly shaped.

Terradive has very little kibble in robot mode. His wings are attached clumsily to his legs, but every other part of him folds comfortably into his robot mode design. Notably, his chest is made up of his canard wings and nosecone folded in on each other, piled on top of his cockpit. His tailfins jut out decoratively from behind his shoulders, too, giving him a look that isn't miles away from the Japanese-exclusive Breastforce jets Leozak and Hellbat.

Terradive is very well-articulated. Each arm has four different joints along with fully articulated wrists. Since the arms are slender and well-articulated, they can pose pretty much any way you want. That's a huge plus when your only weapon is a spear that's longer than you are tall: Terradive can pose with it in dozens of different positions, and quite a few of them look very good. He's also got good leg articulation and a low centre of balance, which means it's not hard to get him to stand up no matter what he's doing with his weapon. He's also got a ball-jointed neck, but sadly has no waist articulation.

Terradive's robot mode is very neat. With a lot of articulation and very little kibble, he's more of an 'action figure' than most Transformers. He's a lot of fun to play around with, and he looks good on a shelf.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation Design: The transformation from vehicle to robot is absolutely seamless...but it's so seamless because they made a lot of compromises on the jet mode to make it that way. 7/10

Durability: You might worry about the thin spear shaft snapping, but overall Terradive is a very solidly-engineered robot. 9/10

Fun: His jet mode leaves something to be desired, but his robot mode makes up for it. Terradive is a lot of fun. 8/10

Aesthetics: Terradive is a bit awkward looking, without the flashiness of Straxus or Universe Starscream. What he lacks in style, though, he makes up for in personality. He won't win any robot beauty pageants, but he will get your attention. 7/10

Articulation: Terradive is one of the most posable Transformers I've seen to date. 9/10

Price: As a Deluxe, Terradive is a fair bargain. At this time of year you're likely to run into pre-Christmas sales, making him an even sweeter purchase than he is already. 9/10

Overall: Terradive isn't an instant classic or a toy that you absolutely have to have. He doesn't represent a popular character, and he's not liable to show up in any movies or cartoons. He's going to be instantly forgettable to 95% of the fanbase -- but he shouldn't be, because he's a really nice figure. He's not a must-have, but if you have room in your collection for another more generic Decepticon goon you can't go wrong with Terradive. 8/10
 
 
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