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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
Robot Mode:
Alternate Mode:
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Kamen's review: Prowl

Name: Prowl
Function: Spy
Subgroup: TFAnimated Deluxe

“Through stillness you will find the truth.”

Prowl has spent his life studying the secrets of the ancient art of Circui-Su. Through its teachings, he has discovered the beauty of pure logic, and the invincibility of reason. All thing–even combat–are subject to reason. If one is willing to calmly apply one’s mental faculties to any problem, the solution will soon reveal itself. He often finds the chaotic antics of humans and other Autobots frustrating, but he will stop at nothing in their defense.

Prowl is a character whose gotten a lot of press recently, literally in his role as a major player in IDW’s comic series. However, his Animated appearance marks a very different take on the character. Although he is still a police vehicle, this time he is a motorcycle, and though he still has a serious personality he also affects Zen-like calm and serves–“Fistful of Energon” not withstanding–as the practical and objective voice of reason on the Autobot team.

Alternate Mode:

As mentioned, Prowl is a motorcycle this time around, and like nearly every other motorcycle transformer, he looks to be a super-bike, albeit one modified for police duty. His design is actual quite similar to the deluxe movie Arcee mold, only lacking nearly all the mechanical detail of that figure, which, aside from being show accurate, also contributes the “toony” look of the cartoon. Unlike some of the other figures in the line, though, Prowl looks much more realistic, so even skeptics of the Animated look will probably like this figure.

Gold and black make up the majority of the figure, with grey for the wheels and gas-flap, and a spot of silver for the Autobot symbol on the bike’s nose. Clear plastic is used for the windshield and red and blue plastic for the police lights. I really like the combination of colors. They’re simple, yet effective, very much fitting with Prowl’s described personality. The paint job is also done well; the only flaw on mine is a bit of smudging on one of the chevron’s, but it’s hardly noticeable.

Prowl doesn’t have any features or gimmicks in this mode. His articulation is limited to a flip-out kickstand, spinning wheels, and his handlebars, which can move back and forth. The mecha-stars the figure uses in robot mode can be stored as his hubcaps. One point of interest is that smaller figures, as well as Revoltech figures, can ride on Prowl, which is always a nice feature in my book.

There’s honestly not a lot to do with a motorcycle, and Prowl’s version is as good as any I’ve seen.

Robot Mode:

Although the motorcycle alt modes may be more or less the same, there seems to be no shortage of ways to transform them for some very unique robot modes, and Prowl is no exception. Like his alt mode, Prowl has very little in the way of mechanical detail, and most of way he has is fairly unremarkable; mechanical joints on his fingers and vents on his thighs. But also like his alt mode, the smoothness of the mold goes a long way to selling his toony look, an image that is helped along by his odd proportions. Prowl has a thin body and long gangly limbs. Far from looking anorexic, Prowl looks lithe and powerful. His face in particular is interesting. Like Starscream, Prowl sports a Leno chin, but what really sells the figure is the expression on his face–the same serious and grim visage he wears in the cartoon. He is also entirely show accurate.

Articulation is almost entirely dependent on ball joints, giving Prowl a wide range of motion. However, there are a few odd quirks in this area. His knee articulation is limited by the vents on his thighs, only allowing a 45 degree angle bend. The sockets on his hips are both cut differently, cheating his right hip out of some movement. Finally, the joints on mine (and I’ve heard others also complain) are loose as well, so an application or two of clear nail polish or super glue may be needed.

Prowl wields two mecha-shuriken in this mode, just as he does in the show. He also has a stop-light “mace” and flip-out “blasters”. Neither of the last two weapons are really impressive, and seem like an afterthought, but they don’t interfere with the figure so can be easily forgiven and forgotten.

Despite the balance issues, Prowl has one impressive robot mode.

Transformation: Actually fairly difficult the first few times through until you see how everything shifts around. 5/10

Durability: His joints, especially in his legs seem to snap off fairly easily, though because they’re on balls, they snap on just as easily. 5/10

Fun: Prowl looks great, has fine articulation, and is freakin’ NINJA 8/10

Price: $10 USD is practically a steal 9/10

Overall: Prowl isn’t without his flaws, but if he’s any indication of what’s to come, the Animated line will be a huge success. 8/10
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