And now that we’ve had our little segue into Beast Machines, its back to the Unicron Trilogy for a look at another Cybertron toy. In an effort to give the Decepticons a little more loving this week, we’ll check out Mudflap. Its one of the great and unfortunate paradoxes of being a Decepticon that while you’re hardwired to kill, destroy, and enslave, its still trendy to be a construction vehicle. Obviously we have to lay blame at the Constructicons doorstep, and that’s why we have figures like Mudflap. While other Decepticons get to be tanks and assault jets, he’s a boom crane.
Yes, a boom crane. What’s worse than a Decepticon having to suffer through life as a boom crane? How about being a powder-blue boom crane? By the way, I like to say boom crane. As far as boom crane’s go, Mudflap is a decent looking toy. He’s segmented into three parts, each with two pairs of wheels, and he even has the stability legs on each side of his middle to hold him in place while he’s lifting heavy stuff. They’re just molded on, but a nice touch nonetheless. He has a translucent windshield, which is always a plus for me, and pretty good sculpted detail, including vents and even sculpted, painted wires on the sides of his crane arm. The crane can raise and extend, has a simulated working piston, and the crane turret turns 360 degrees. If this guy looks familiar to you, its because he’s got a very similar powder-blue color scheme to the Energon Basic Class figure Duststorm. Duststorm was also a boom crane and one of the component robots that merged to form Constructicon Maximus. Its a small world.
Mudflap has a pretty crappy CyberKey gimmick that basically flips a green Energon sword out of the front of his boom crane. Its ridiculously long, and apart from using it to stab other vehicles like a scorpion tail, I really don’t see the point.
Transforming Mudflap is probably not what you would expect. There’s some crazy stuff going on here and when you’re done you get a lot of unfortunate boom crane arm kibble. At his core, Mudflap is a solid looking robot with an absolutely spectacular head sculpt. Seriously, this is one of my all time favorite headsculpts. Its just so sharp and detailed, and very G1-ish. I like the way he has a pair of wheels on each of his arms and legs, and the way the additional wheels form the little wings on his back. But despite his solid, symmetrical body its hard to ignore he has a giant crane hanging off his left arm, and the crane’s turret hanging off his right arm.
A secondary CyberKey gimmick deploys a missile launcher from the turret on his right arm, but it still looks rather ungainly. As for the left arm, there’s nothing hiding that thing, and deploying his Energon sword makes it even worse. I’m not one for Transformers designed with parts that you take off, but in this case I’d make an exception. If that crane could have been pulled off and repegged onto his back or something, Mudflap would have been a thousand times better.
And so, alas poor Mudflap. Its a shame that Hasbro produced such a cool looking figure with such an obvious, and probably easily fixed, fatal flaw. Something as simple as making the crane removable would have gone so far to help this guy along. Everytime I see him with that crane arm, I think of him having to go through life with the Cybertronian equivalent of a crippling disfigurement. Still, if you have a particular fetish for Decepticon construction vehicles, he may warrant an addition to your collection. Back in the day, it was enough that he was a new Transformer, so I bought him. Nowadays, I would likely have left him on the shelf.
[And that’s a wrap for Transformers Week. I enjoyed doing this week a lot more than I had any right to enjoy a week that was made up solely as filler because I didn’t have anything new to write about. Rest assured, I’ll be doing this again during the next dry spell. There are plenty more totes full of random Transformers in the closet to choose from! This is also a wrap for me for the weekend. I’ll be back Monday with some DC figures to look at. In the meantime, have a great weekend. -FF]