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TRANSFORMERS TOYS AND MERCHANDISE SECTION

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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Brendocon's review of: Smokescreen

Faction: Autobot
Function: Diversionary Tactician
Generation: One
Sub-Group: N/a
"A look can be deceiving; a touch can be lethal"

"Whether engaged in raging battle or friendly conversation, an ulterior purpose usually exists. Job is to lead enemy astray. Sneaky, but charming and affable...considered most devious yet most trusted of Autobots. In car mode, emits thick smoke from tailpipe...attracts to metal. In robot mode, shoots missiles which wreak havoc on enemy aircraft radar and guidance systems...electro-disrupter rifle shorts out electical targets."

Alternate Mode: Smokescreen is packed in his alternate mode, a Datsun 280 ZX Stock Car (Go to the back of the class if you hadn't already worked that out). The sides of the car are a pale blue, with a white front bumper, the stripe of which recurs along the bottom of the wings. The back bumper is black, with the tail-lights created by stickers. There is also a white stripe that runs along the top of the flanks, level with the bottom of the door windows. The roof and boot of the car are a shade of red (scarlet?), whilst the bonnet is a darker shade (almost crimson), barring a central bar and two panels above the wheel arches, these are the same colour as the roof. There is a large white sticker on the front of the bonnet, bearing the number 38. Similar, smaller, stickers adorn each door. The doors have nice handles detailed into the mould, and both open and close freely. The front and back windscreens are both made of clear plastic, whilst the entire shell of the car is made of metal (barring the rubber wheels, of course).
The overall appearance of the Datsun is very good. To elaborate, if you know your cars (which I don't) it would be fairly clear what he's supposed to be. There's a little awkwardness at the back of the car, where the roof and the rear windscreen overlap. The image is also ruined if you peer through the windows, as Smokescreen's robot hips and shins are quite visible. The metal does also make him a good deal heavier than he looks. The rubsign (cos I know some of you need to know this) is located on the roof, and has no ident. (Mine doesn't anyway). Incidentally, I checked, it is an Autobot sign.

Robot Mode: Right. Ya ready? No? Tough. Turn him over on to his roof. Where the engine should be (Who stole it? C'mon 'fess up) are the arms, folded over. Swing one arm up, and rotate it away from the centre of the car (the bonnet panel will swing with it) and repeat with the other arm. (Confused? Turn him over the right way, the wheels should point up, and there should be two arms sticking out of where the wheels used to be. No? You're on your own). Grasping the front end, slide the rear of the car away, then flip up the hip lock (you'll see what I mean) you can now rotate the rear end through 180 degrees, and flip down the hip lock. Swing the rear end over 90 degrees, the windscreen pieces will slide up the car to form the shins. Now separate the rear end by sliding the two pieces away from each other (they split down the centre). Swing open the car doors, and stand him up on his feet. Swing the bonnet downwards, the roof piece should stay in position, with the crimson bar (see above) forming the head. Manipulate the arms to however you want them, slot the two missile launchers (missiles do not launch) into the holes in the sides of his head (the cartoon makes them look shoulder mounted. The cartoon lies!!!) and add his gun (an electro disruptor rifle, apparently), and he is ready to go.
He looks quite like his cartoon counterpart, albeit slightly shorter than would be expected (4.25 inches tall). He looks a lot wider than the cartoon Prowl and Bluestreak, as a result I can't criticise the toy for reflecting this, though I'd imagine Prowl and Bluestreak's toys to be just as fat. There is also the issue of the cannons that aren't shoulder mounted, they aren't even head-connected on the box art. Blue feet (with yellow tail-light stickers), and red shins. The shins incorporate the rear windscreen, but this is utilised to show off some 'circuitry' stickers underneath. The thighs are white, and the hips black with green 'vent' stickers on the sides. The chest is the front of the car, so I won't describe that, but will move straight on to the arms: black forearms, blue fists, blue shoulders. His face is silver, with blue sideplates and forehead, and gold 'horns.'

Transformation:7 - Confusing at first (and to explain), but pretty straightfoward really
Durability: 7 - The rear windscreen plates / shins look very fragile, and the roof would suffer the same fate as many a Bluestreak's (The number of times I've seen "Bluestreak; broken roof")
Fun:7 - Depends on the size of your collection, and your intentions for him
Price: 7 - Mint Condition? Complete? Boxed? $250 I've seen. Loose, C8, complete? $40 - $100. Depends on the source really
Overall: 7. David Beckham, Matthew Le Tissier, Steve McManaman, Kevin Keegan, and er, Vladimir Kinder. Ah well. Could do worse.
 
 
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