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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
Robot Mode:
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ganon578's review: Smokescreen

Name: Smokescreen
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Diversionary Tactician, Screener of Smoke, Rodeo Clown
Group: Universe Deluxe (Generation 1 Series)

"A look can be deceiving; a touch can be lethal."

This cunning robot's job is to distract, disrupt and confuse the enemy. He is a master of misdirection, skilled at making Decepticons look in exactly the wrong direction at just the perfect time. More than one Autobot sneak attack owes its success to the skill of Smokescreen. He enjoys playing games with the enemy, taking a huge amount of pleasure in the frustration they display.

Yes, hereís another repaint of Universe Prowl, just like Silverstreak. Smokescreen was one of those repaints you just knew was coming at some point, it was just a matter of time. I know people have mixed feelings on this figure, especially with regards to the mould itself; some people donít really care for the Prowl mould, while others love it. The paint job on Smokescreen, from what I gather, turns most buyers off. In my opinion, Smokescreen has a great paint scheme, and the mould is good too. Most of what I have to say has been said before with Prowl and Silverstreak, so the focus of this review will be on the paint applications, quality of this version, and my two cents on the figure. Here we go!

Alternate Mode:

Like his mould-mates Silverstreak and Prowl, Smokescreen transforms into a Nissan 350Z. I rather like the design; it has a true sports car feel, and is somewhat related to his G1 version. As far as the color palette is concerned, I feel that it matches really well with G1 Smokescreen. I know some people complain about the abundant red, but itís OK with me, and seems to be a faithful recreation of the original toy. When comparing him to his two mould-mates, Smokescreen has clear, colorless windows, and a lot of bright colors going on. One good thing in this version of the mould is (in comparison to reports I see on the internet of Prowl and Silverstreak) is that the doors/front panels on Smokescreen are neither sticky nor tacky. Theyíre nice and smooth, and the paint matches well with the shades of the rest of the car. I feel thereís a good balance of red, white, and blue (go USA!) on the alternate mode, and the ever present number 38 is boxed in on the hood and doors. A large white-bordered Autobot symbol adorns the front of the hood, too. I like that the rims are gold this time around, and Hasbro put in some other paint detail to boot. The front blinkers are yellow, but for some quirky reason, so are the taillights. Thatís right, I said it, yellow taillights. I donít think any country has yellow taillights on their automobiles. On top of that, Hasbro decided to slap some yellow paint on the spoiler too. This weird addition is definitely not on G1 Smokescreen, and I donít know why Hasbro decided to put it there. Another goofy paint app is the dark blue used on the ďback windshieldĒ. Granted itís solid plastic like the rest of the back half of the vehicle, and I donít know what other paint could have been used to mimic a windshield in this case, but it looks odd. Other than the few quirks in the paint apps, Smokescreen looks great in this mode, especially for display. The bright colors truly are eye-catching.

Robot Mode:

The robot mode is decently balanced, if a bit back heavy. But if you pull the feet out enough, he balances well, and can get into some pretty cool positions. I like the way the doors are situated on his back, and the rockets on his shoulders are a nice touch, making him very well armed. As for the color palette, this can be hit or miss depending on your taste. While the alternate mode had great blending of the red, white, and blue, the robot mode looks more like a smattering of rainbow. Granted, it does match decently close with his G1 predecessor, but thereís a lot going on here. Gone is the good blending, in is a mix of red (a lot), blue (a medium amount), white (very little), grey (out of nowhere), and yellow. Not to mention the black front bumper. Some would say this is where Smokescreen falls apart. I like it for varietyís sake, but if you look at stock photos, he looks horrid. Trust me, itís not that bad in person, and I rather like him on my shelf, as it stands out a bit. To Smokescreenís credit, as uneven as the paint balancing is, itís done well. Hasbro even went so far as to paint blue around his chin, giving him a different face look compared to Silverstreak and Prowl. Heís top notch when it comes to quality, and the joints are all good; nothing is loose or super tight like in some cases with Silverstreak. It feels like Hasbro reached a happy medium with this one. The only weak spot is the plastic used for the doors, as they feel a little flimsy. Overall, heís a fun figure, if you can stand the paint job. Maybe itís the rainbow colors that distract DecepticonsÖ

Marks Out of 10:

Transformation: 6. Fun, but it can be frustrating. And when that happens, doors go flying.
Durability: 8. Heís solid. Parts can pop off when needed, but the doors seem flimsy.
Fun: 8. If you can balance him, he looks dynamic. Two rocket boosters and a pistol make him one of the more heavily armed Universe figures.
Price: 7. Around $10 US. Not bad, but heís the third version of this mould.
Overall: 7. Heís good fun, but I canít recommend him over the Prowl or Silverstreak, and vice versa. It all comes down to what color scheme you like, or if youíre collecting all the Classics/Universe. If youíre into both, the score goes up a point.
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