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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Warcry's review of: Reissue Tracks

Name: Tracks
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Warrior
Sub-Group: NA
"Looking good is what life is all about."

Called "lousy Earth-lover" by some fellow Autobots because he prefers sleek Earth car form to original robot form. Thinks they're jealous of his good looks, but they feel struggle against Decepticons should be his top concern. As car goes 280mph... uses wings under rear fenders for sub-sonic flight. As car or robot uses launcher to fire heat-seeking incendiary missiles 60 miles. Has blinding black beam gun.

Tracks is one possibly the most popular of the '85 Autobot cars, and it was because of that that I decided to pick him up during TRU Canada's recent reissue sale. I've never been particularly impressed with the pictures I've seen of him and I'm not too fond of the character, but with a reduced price tag I was willing to roll the dice on him.

Vehicle Mode:
Tracks' alt mode isn't really as impressive as I would have expected, to be honest. Sure, he's a shiny blue corvette, but he's lacking something. He just doesn't seem to have the same 'feel' to him as the other Diaclone moulds do. I can't really articulate why, but I imagine it has something to do with the type of plastic Hasbro used; it's too shiny, and that makes the moulding details harder to see. Still, he's a nice replica of a Corvette, and the infamous flame decal really adds to his appearance.

A few minor gripes: his robot arms are easily visible in car mode, something that becomes even more blatant because of the bright stickers that go there. Also, the point that his missile launcher slots into is on the back of his vehicle mode, which means that you either have to attach the launcher there in Corvette mode, or you have to leave it off and have a hole in the back of the car. Either option kinda ruins the look of a Corvette, IMO.

One of the reasons for Tracks' popularity is that he is technically a Triple-Changer. He can change into a Flying Car mode. To do this, flip his arms out from underneath the car and point them backwards. Move his wings into position and attach his missile launcher. His robot-mode gun can attach underneath him, though that makes it impossible balance him on a surface. This mode is thoroughly ridiculous, but it's also undeniably fun.

Robot Mode:
Tracks' robot mode is both better and worse than I expected. It's better in that he can twist at the waist, something unheard of in early Transformers. I was also impressed with the articulation his arms have. They move at the elbows, and due to the way his transformation is designed he has fairly good shoulder mobility.

However, that's about all I liked about his robot mode. Despite good articulation, his arms are overly thin and far too short. His hands have to slide into the arms during his transformation, which means that they are equally undersized. His handgun is extremely shoddy, and is in fact the worst excuse for a Transformer gun I've ever run across (OK, maybe the Targetmaster guns were worse…).

I also take issue with the way his missile launcher mounts in this mode. It basically slots into a hole in what was the rear of his vehicle mode, which hangs behind his head. So if I decide not to display Tracks with his missile launchers, he'll still have the hollow rear end of a Corvette sitting on his shoulders.

And then we have the legs. My Tracks' legs seem to be defective. When viewed from the side, it's obvious that one of them is angled slightly. That means that one of his feet is slightly behind the other, which makes him difficult to balance. Oh, and his shins are die-cast. Honestly, I wonder why they even bothered with that…

Transformation: Simple, even by G1 standards. 6/10
Durability: The only point I'd be worried about is the rear end of the vehicle mode; it could be snapped off if you weren't careful. 8/10
Fun: I didn't find him that amusing, though if you like Corvettes with huge missile launchers attached you might think differently. 4/10
Price: Not really worth the full reissue price, but if they go on sale again he wouldn't be a bad buy. 6/10
Summary: Not the worst, but there's better. Mildly recommended for serious fans, but if you're just looking for a nostalgia hit you could get better. 6/10

 
 
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