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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Clay's review: Shadow Recon Team

Name: Shadow Recon Team
Function: Shadow Reconnaissance

Fun fact! Shadows are created when opaque objects obscure a source of light. The Shadow Recon Team is not actually opaque at all, but quite translucent instead! Oh, you wacky Hasbro and your names...

Anyway, the Shadow Recon Team, a repaint of the Recon Team that was part of the first offerings of the Cybertron line, consists of probably the strongest designs of all the minicon sets released..

Alternate mode:

The helicopter, four wheel drive truck, and race car alternate modes each represent one of the physical realms of travel: air, land, and asphalt. While the helicopter with the bubble cockpit seems slightly deformed (albeit in the cute way), the race car and truck both have great proportions. More importantly (and irrelevant to being cast in clear plastic), none of the three have incredible obvious breaks in their vehicle modes hinting that they turn into robots. As such, they all pass as tiny toy vehicles without accounting for the robot gimmick.

Robot mode:

The robot modes for the three are all rather nice as well. The trio have good proportions and sufficiently complex transformations without ruining the figures (compare them to, say, Brawn). In addition to being visually balanced, the trio has a decent amount of articulation as well: each can move their arms about at the shoulder, and all have hip and knee joints. Best of all, they all have adequate feet, meaning they won't fall over if the table is given a slight nudge.

Of course, the theme of the repaint is the clear plastic. Clear transformer toys are a bit of an oddity: they're either mass repaints of tiny, cheap figures, or are rather expensive premium figures aimed towards completist collectors. Clear plastic is nothing spectacular in its own right, so I consider the Shadow Recon Team the best 'clear' release to get if you're after the novelty: they're cheap and the toys themselves are very well done.

Transformation: 10. Very well-thought-out little toys. Good proportions, complex-enough transformations, decent articulation, and good stability. Very strong designs overall.
Durability: 9. Aside from stepping on the helicopter's blades, these have no significant weak points.
Fun: 10. Nifty little figures in either mode, and fun to switch to and fro.
Price: 10, assuming you pick them up for the original retail price of $7.
Overall: 9. A really outstanding little set. The three are well designed regardless of the colors they're in, and the novelty of owning clear toys that are actually quite good at a pittance makes the trio real winners. Worth picking up at or around the retail price if you can find them.
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