The second installment of this week’s Reveal The Shield Quartet is everyone’s favorite posh and pretentious Autobot, Tracks. Forget fighting Decepticons, Tracks was happy enough making friends with good-hearted inner-city Hispanic gang members and helping them bust out stolen car rings. Tracks was also every bit as protective of his paint job as Sunstreaker and he talked like Thurston Howell the Third. Oddly enough I wasn’t jonesing to own this figure, probably because he was given another fairly good upgrade in the now defunct Alternators line. Alas, I sold off my Alternators collection quite a while ago, so it is nice to have a solid update to Tracks in my collection once again.
Once again, there’s the RTS packaging. You’ll note he’s called Turbo Tracks on the package. It’s another instance of Hasbro losing the copyright to a name and doing a slight alteration in order to allow them to still pay homage to the character without getting their butts’ sued off. Why not just go with Autobot Tracks? Who knows. In the end, it’s just a name printed on the packaging.
Originally a blue Chevy Corvette, Hasbro went the generic sportscar route for the RTS version of Tracks and it honestly works very well. Not only did it allow them to avoid those pesky licensing fees, but don’t forget this mold was designed to double as Wheeljack so the car had to work for both figures… and shockingly enough, it really does. The blue paintjob is pretty close to the original and while the hood decals are quite a bit different, they still invoke a familiar sentiment. Just like the original, Turbo Tracks still retains the ability to convert into a flying car by unfolding the wings from under the doors. It was delightfully cheesy back then and it still is.
Transforming Tracks is pretty similar to what I remember from the old days. There’s no terribly clever tricks or anything here, which is in no way a bad thing. Hasbro could have easily over complicated this guy’s transformation to accomodate for the Wheeljack variant, but I’m happy to report that wasn’t the case.
In robot mode, Tracks is easily one of the best homages to a G1 figure. Everything about the original toy’s design is lovingly recreated here and given an updated kick in the pants. The way the wheels position on his shoulders and his wings angle up above them, this is definitely a Classics style figure that doesn’t stray far from home. Tracks has also got a great head sculpt and includes the distinctive red and white color combo that’s always made him stand out in the Autobot ranks. He has two missile launchers that clip onto his backpack and a handgun.
Like Wreck-Gar, Turbo Tracks is another amazing figure in the RTS lineup that made it doubly criminal that this wave was so hard to find. I’m certainly not complaining about getting him for seven bucks, but I would have been just as happy paying a premium for him and eventually I probably would have. I’m sure I said this when I featured Wheeljack, but I’ll say it again: The fact that this mold was designed to work so well for two pretty distinctly different Autobots makes it all the more impressive.