It’s that day of the week again where I tear open another one of these Hasbro Change-A-Bots and see what he’s all about. Last week I started down the dark path of Stunticons by checking out Motormaster and I came away almost instantly (and surprisingly) impressed. Will that be the case with the first one of the Stunticon Deluxes? Well, here’s a spoiler: No. No, it won’t. The truth is, it took a couple of days of playing around with Dragstrip to really start warming up to him. But I’m getting ahead of myself and protocols must be maintained. So, allow me to do the thing where I write about the figure for an average length of two Word Document pages and then snap some photos. Kay?
I don’t know, but I think the Combiner Wars packaging is growing on me. It still doesn’t really speak to me as a Transformers branded package, but this one does feature some pretty bitchin’ character art. I mean, holy shit, Dragstrip looks like he should be on the cover of a Meat Loaf album riding a guitar into the bowels of hell and laughing the whole time. The bubble also gives you a really great look at the figure you’re getting, which in this case might not be a good thing because looking at this bot in the package did absolutely nothing for me. I ordered this guy online, so that’s my excuse. Dragstrip comes with a weapon, some combiner parts, a character art card and some balled up instructions. Let’s start with his alt mode.
As any GeeWun fan worth his salt should have guessed, Dragstrip is a Formula-1 racer with a yellow and mauve deco. The homage is a decent one and the biggest thing that separates him from his 80’s namesake is one less pair of wheels, but I’m OK with that. The thing that strikes me first about this car mode is just how damn big it is. It seems like Deluxes have been shrinking for so long and now all of the sudden… BAM, we get a growth spurt like this! The car mode here is more in scale with the Masterpiece cars than recent Deluxes. In fact, Dragstrip is almost as long as the Classics Seeker mold in jet form. Nice!
Along with being big, Dragstrip’s alt mode hits all the right points. It’s a good looking car, albeit not exactly packed with detail. There’s some nice silver paint on the wheels as well as the front wheel connecting bars, and again near the back wheels. The driver’s compartment is painted black and you get a crisp Decepticon insignia stamped right in front of that compartment. The car locks together perfectly and rolls really well. It’s a perfectly fine alt mode, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it, and yet I still feel a little underwhelmed. I can’t really explain it.
Transformation is about as simple as you can expect for a Deluxe Class figure. Pull the arms out from the sides and flip the fists out, pull the legs down from the back of the car and split them, rotate the legs at the waist and twist the top of the car and fold it back. It takes no time at all. Some may criticize a toy of this size and price having such a simple Transformation, but I would have loved playing with this as a kid for the quick and easy conversion, so I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing.
I am so conflicted about this robot mode. On the plus side, Dragstrip is a big and satisfyingly chunky figure for a Deluxe. The proportions are decent, he stands well, and he’s pretty solid and poseable. Also, with the wheels on his shoulders and legs and the front of the car neatly pegged to his back, the car kibble is all well placed. On the other hand, he ain’t the prettiest thing to look at and I’m mostly blaming the torso for this because it looks so unfinished. Dragstrip has four exposed screws in the most visible area of the figure and that connection port making up his chest just isn’t doing it for me. Some more paint apps might have helped, because he just looks unfinished to me.
The portrait is another sticking point. I’m not sure what they were going for with this head sculpt, but it doesn’t strike me as a head that belongs in the Generations line. It’s not really bad, but maybe a little too stylized. I was hoping for something more akin to the Sunbow look, and maybe that’s my fault for coming in with the wrong expectations.
Nonetheless, the more I play with Dragstrip, the more I find myself liking him. As I said earlier, he’s a solid figure and lots of fun to play with. You get ball joints in the shoulders and hips, hinges in the elbows and knees, a ball jointed neck and a swivel just below the waist. What’s more all the joints are nice and tight and nothing pops out of this guy when I’m transforming him.
Dragstrip comes with a purple weapon that can be used as either a sword or a rifle with a bayonet. It’s a cool design and I like having the options with it. His combiner part, on the other hand, isn’t of much use when it isn’t being a combiner part. I’ve seen people stick it on the figure, but I find it’s best left in a tote until called upon for combined mode. Speaking of which, I’m not bothering to look at Dragstrip’s limb modes until I’ve got a full team and I can do a proper Feature on Menasor.
I rarely find myself this torn on a Transformer, or really any figure, but Dragstrip is one of those rare instances. I can’t point to anything about him as being particularly bad, and yet the figure as a whole doesn’t seem to come together for me as much as it should. In the end, it would be safe to say I like Dragstrip, I just don’t love him. But considering I had really low expectations of this figure when I opened him, he deserves some credit for bringing me around at least part of the way.
And now for a little administrative crap. I’m in the process of transferring all my stuff to a new PC, which is partly why today’s Feature went up so late. I was going to wait until the weekend, but I’d rather spend it enjoying the new computer rather than beating my head against it. So, there will be no new Feature on Friday, I’ll take the usual weekend off and I’ll be ready to get back in action on Monday.