TLK Drift

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TLK Drift

Post by Skyquake87 »

Name : Drift
Allegiance : Autobot
Function: Master Swordsman

Bio: A former Decepticon turned Autobot commando, Drift''s strength lies not only in his mastery of ancient swords, but in his composure in battle. Despite the dark times upon the Autobots, Drift remains calm, dignified, and thoughtful, often taking time to practice his swordsmanship and spout haikus about whatever's going on. Leaving the Decepticons didn't automatically fix everything, though. Drift is still prone to manic bouts of aggression if he's startled or otherwise spooked, and is quick to try to stab whatever's the problem to death. He's taken up meditation to complement his swordsmanship to hopefully curb this lingering rage. Teaming up with the rowdiest Autobots around may not be the best start, but luckily Drift gets to serve directly under Optimus Prime who he refers to as his sensei. Knowing there is hope whenever the Autobot leader is around, Drift will follow Optimus to the bitter end. He doesn't think much of Bumblebee's attempts to be Autobot leader, though, due to his youth and lack of warrior discipline. He is sometimes partnered with the Dinobot Slug.

Drfit is a unimaginative take on a character who was introduced in the last decade to the world of Transformers. Whilst the original version took his design cues from Gundam and what have you, this version is little more than a stereotype, dressed up as he is as an ancient samurai warrior and prone to quoting titbits of eastern philosophy. It's obvious and mildly offensive; continuing the movies usual cultural sensitivities. Still, at least the toy's neat, now they've done away with him being a triple changer – which I never bought into, anyway as he never seemed to hop between the two modes.

Robot mode: Is very nice, but extremely red. He could have used some more paint apps to pick out some of the greebling and tone the red down somewhat. The detailing is very nice overall and I like the care that's been taken to bring in elements of samurai armour into the robot mode, particularly the ornate and fancy head. The back is a bit of a mess, as there's a ton of crumpled up car parts, which does make him back heavy and prone to falling over. Waving his swords about does seem to help with stability though, giving him some good counter balance. There's a couple of storage spots on his shoulderblades for these to plug into, which is nice, although one of the swords doesn't like to stay in one of these, so falls out all the time.

Alternate Mode: Drift ditches the Bugatti for the much nicer looking Mercedes-AMG GT R, which I had a Lego Speed Champions version of once and thought looked great. It's a nice looking thing, all bonnet and round, like a really fast looking pebble. The red of the robot mode disappears into this sea of black, save for the skirts and wheels. There's a section of unpainted plastic which breaks up the striping, which is a shame and as much as I like the alt-mode, I do find the bright red wheels are a bit much, along with the goofy powder blue headlights. I wish those had been done in clear plastic, like the windows.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation design: He's a fold and tab job, like a lot of Transformers these days. The armour on his arms folds out to form the sides of the car, the mess on his back folds out to give you the bulk of the vehicle mode. Then it's just a case of folding his feet up and pressing everything into place. It's nice and quick, but not very exciting as he doesn't really transform. Something you can tell by peeking at the chassis, where you can see his entire robot mode. 6/10

Articulation: Drifts articulation is decent, but not outstanding. There's enough joints to get him in some cool sword-wavy poses – and some tilt at the ankles thanks to transformation joints and some inward wrist swivels really help with this – and that's about it. 6/10

Durability: The figure feels nice and solid, and even the thin panels that snap and crack into place for the vehicle mode feel tough enough. 8/10

Fun: I like the figure, it's a bit gaudy, but has a nice vehicle mode and a good robot mode with some good weapon accessories. Loses a point for falling over. 9/10

Value/ Price : Drift cost me £9.99, which is a bargain for such a good figure. He's good enough that the RRP of £22.99 – steep though it is – doesn't feel too outrageous. 8/10

Overall: My only gripes with this figure really are the lack of paint applications. The balance issue isn't that much of a big deal, once you work out the limit of how he can be posed before he'll fall over. He looks good and plays exceptionally well and is easily my favourite of the vehicular Autobots from the line. 7/10
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Drift 005.jpg (184.96 KiB) Viewed 2920 times
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Re: TLK Drift

Post by Tantrum »

Have you looked at the Studio Series redeco of this figure? It's got clear headlights and a lot less red. It comes with baby Dinobots, so it retailed for a bit more than the normal figure. I don't know what it goes for now.

I like that the otaku Autobot transforms into a Bugatti or a Mercedes, never a Japanese car.

The cultural insensitivity of Drift bothers me less than it did for the twins. With Drift, it seems more like the joke is that this foolish alien misunderstands the culture he claims to love. Like when he gives a speech about being calm, right before flipping out and stabbing something. Or when Hound groans at his haiku.

He reminds me of an SNL bit where Taran Killam and Vanessa Beyer played white college students who thought their love of anime made them experts on Japanese culture, saying stuff like, "I'm Rebecca Weinstein-san". We're laughing at the attempted cultural appropriator, not the culture being appropriated. Or at least, that's how it would come across if they hadn't made his face yellow with squinty eyes.
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