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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Dean Man Wade's Review: Robots in Diguise Drift

Name: Drift
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Samurai

Part of Wave One (1.5?) of the new Robots in Disguise line, Drift is a toy I was admittedly unsure of picking up. On the one hand, I've been incredibly impressed with the overall quality of the line; on the other, he's a samurai, like the character in Age of Extinction. I was not overly impressed with the character of Drift in that movie, despite usually quite enjoying Ken Watanabe's performances in other movies. Ultimately, though, my curiosity won out, having not owned many bright orange Transformers and looking to change that.

I'd found the first four toys in the line, but my area's been suffering from something of a drought (or really energetic scalpers), so I was figuring on having to order them online. Finally, though, I lucked into some new stock, and managed to pick up not only Drift, but Prime and the abysmal Combiner Wars Optimus Prime. Out of the three, Drift is the only one I don't have at least some regrets about; not because he's perfect, but because his minor failings are countered by some serious strengths.

Vehicle Mode:
It's been some time now since a single mode would have been enough to sell me on a toy, as I usually expect at least something to recommend it in every mode, because money gets tight when you have actual responsibilities. But, I will say this: If I were still the sort to do that, I would buy Drift based solely on his vehicle mode alone. He quite honestly has the best vehicle mode I've seen in a very long time.

Drift transforms into some sort of sexy, low-slung sports car. His deep orange color might initially be off-putting to some, but it's balanced nicely by some black accents on the hood and sides. The join lines on the hood create a stylized design that sweeps forward into a pincer-like bumper that I absolutely adore. The detailing is amazing, with a red hood ornament that carries over from the robot mode's helmet crest and blue painted headlights. Overall, the effect is a dangerous looking car that screams speed and acceleration, and whoever designed this vehicle mode deserves far more than they're getting paid.

The one major complaint I'd have are the comparatively flimsy front wheels. On their own, they wouldn't grate to any extent; taken with the rear wheels, that are half again as thick as the front, I worry that they're going to fall off at some point. It wouldn't even have occurred to me but that they wobble somewhat more than the rear, so it's created a feeling of flimsiness where none may actually exist.

Robot Mode:
After a phenomenal vehicle mode, a decent robot mode is going to look slightly the worse for wear, and unfortunately that's what happens here. Drift's transformation is the tried and true sort used for cars like this: The rear becomes the legs, which the roof folds down on to (though in this case, they're kind enough to peg in as to stay in place), the front becomes the arms and torso. Fairly standard, really. Unfortunately, where this often results in a serviceable (if dull) robot mode, in Drift's case it results in a disconnect between the upper and lower halves of the figure. His upper half, down to the knee is fairly proportional, and then his legs suddenly flare out. They look like they belong on a much larger toy, as the feet alone are a good three times larger than his head.

Like the character that appeared in Age of Extinction, Drift's robot mode is fashioned after a samurai, so he's got a helmet with the aforementioned large red crest, a placid face, and a "beard". His chest has a design that, presumably, was intended to look somewhat Asian, when considered in concert with the rest of the character design, and he has the characteristic swords (though they're not as large as others that have been carried by previous characters with the name) which store nicely in his hip guards. His hip guards, unfortunately, are a huge source of irritation, as they completely restrict the movement of his legs beyond "Completely at Attention at All Times". This can seriously hamper one's options when it comes to poses, if that's something that you might consider a dealbreaker, though his lack of all but the most basic and necessary of kibble can even that out if one's inclined.

Robots in Disguise App:
As with other toys in the line, scanning Drift's Autobot insignia unlocks a souped up version of the character in the game that would otherwise cost 4,250 Energon. Other characters have unlocked special weapons and the like, but that doesn't seem to be the case with Drift. That's not to say that "Warrior" Drift is necessarily anything to turn one's nose up at, but it sort of disincentivizes you to buy him over, say, Strongarm if you're pursuing the game to any degree. Just something to take under advisement.

Transformation Design: 6 - This is one of the areas where Drift falls down slightly. His transformation is unimaginative and hinders the overall look of the robot mode. Despite this, it is easy and intuitive, which is the one major thing that saves his score here.
Durability: 8 - Drift is built like a rock. The one thing I'm slightly concerned about in the long run are the front wheels, as they're so much thinner than the rear wheels, but I don't necessarily have any reason to think they're going to break.
Fun: 9 - Since getting him, I've sat driving him around incessantly. I can't stop. Literally. My wife is genuinely worried.
Aesthetics: 8 - Based on the robot mode, his score here would be a 6; the vehicle mode raises his score significantly.
Articulation: 6 - Drift's articulation is hampered somewhat by a couple of iffy design choices, but not so much as to ruin the figure's robot mode.
Price: 8 - Drift is generally priced the same as any other Deluxe figure, so somewhere in the $14.99 USD neighborhood.
Overall: 8 - Drift is definitely worth picking up. His robot mode is not exactly a strong selling point, but his failings as a robot are made up for as a vehicle.
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