I woke up today, pondered some content for Transformers Thursday, and it just felt like a cement mixer kind of a day. I’m sure you know what I mean. That doesn’t leave me too many options… Mixmaster would be too easy and my G1 Targetmaster Quickmix is long gone, probably still at the bottom of a backyard sandbox in Northern New Jersey. Thankfully there is the more recent version of Quickmix to choose from. He was a Voyager Class released in the Cybertron line and he comes with a little Minicon called Stripmine. Let’s mix it up!
Like his G1 namesake, Quickmix is an Autobot, but that’s where the similarities dry up. Hasbro wasn’t going for a direct homage on this guy so the color scheme isn’t the red and white-grey that one might expect. Instead we get a lot of bright orange, which I will concede is often times the color of construction vehicles. Actually, now that I think of it, they’re usually yellow. Maybe Hasbro was going for an homage to that elusive set of orange G2 Constructicons. Or maybe Quickmix is just orange because he’s orange and I should shut the hell up about it.
Quickmix’s vehicle mode is a little rough around the edges. You can see a lot of hinges and gears and other transforming robot tomfoolery. But construction vehicles aren’t supposed to be pretty, so what’s here largely works for me. A good part of the back of the truck is made up of one of Quickmix’s arms and I have to say it’s pretty cool the way it’s all contorted like that to form the feeding chute for the mixing materials. On the downside, the arm doesn’t lock down very well so it’s not uncommon for the back of the mixer chute to unfold into a mess. There is undoubtedly a lot of detail to this vehicle’s sculpt and I really dig the jagged detailing on the mixing drum itself. The truck rolls along on six wheels and has a bizarre prow jutting out of the front. I have no idea what that’s supposed to be for, but then I know precious little about cement mixers.
While Cybertron figures were all about Cyberkeys, for some reason Quickmix came paired with a Minicon named Stripmine. You’ll hear no complaints from me because I love Minicons and Stripmine is definitely one of the better ones. His alt mode is a blue and yellow laser cannon that rolls on tank treads. Based on his name, I’m going to assume he’s a mining laser. He’s a very simple little guy, but he transforms into a clean robot mode that uses his laser cannon as an arm. Quickmix has Minicon ports on the top of his driving cabin and another on his rear bumper so Stripmine can attach to him and power him up. Yes, he still has a Cyberkey gimmick, but it’s only designed for use when he’s in robot mode, so let’s get him transformed.
One of the things that always cheeses me off is when Transformers have some huge part of their vehicular anatomy hanging off one of their arms. This is very often the case with crane trucks, but it should only take one look at Quickmix’s robot mode to see where I’m going with this. His right arm consists of his mixing drum, which is probably very useful for hitting other robots, but not so much so when you need to pick something up. He also has some pretty bulky truck kibble for knees. In the plus column, Quickmix features one good arm with a pair of guns on it, that look pretty cool. I do like the way he wears his wheels on his back, and you certainly can’t deny that this mold is absolutely packed with sculpted detail. Oh yeah, Quickmix has a pair of Minicon ports for nipples. Nipples are of course useless on a robot and to keep that line of thought going, these nipples are pretty useless as Minicon ports as well.
I’m not sure what’s up with Quickmix’s head, but it really strikes me as some kind of misguided Blaster homage. He’s got the same silver band running over his head that looks a bit like a flipped up visor on a helmet. He’s also got a microphone and earpiece, which granted wasn’t part of Blaster’s head sculpt, but Blaster was a communications officer, so you can see where I’m going with that. On the other hand, I can’t think of any good reason why Hasbro would make a cement truck an homage to Blaster, so I’m probably reading way too much into this.
In the Cybertron fiction that I know very little about, Quickmix was a native of the Giant Planet and hung out with Metroplex. As a result, he shares the same kind of growing gimmick as Plexy did. The only difference here is that Metroplex’s growing gimmick was pretty cool and Quickmix’s is garbage. You just pull down on his legs or push down his shoulders and it grows him all of about an eighth of an inch. If it wasn’t pointed out as a growing gimmick in the instructions I would have just assumed it was part of the transformation. It also doesn’t lock into place, which makes it all the more annoying.
I couldn’t find Quickmix’s Cyberkey anywhere, but that doesn’t matter because his gimmick is easily accessed without it. You just pull apart his mixing drum to reveal a missile launcher. It looks like a pretty powerful weapon, but I’m not sure I would want to go through life with a giant albatross for a right arm only so that I could launch a missile every now and then. For a construction vehicle, Quickmix seems just as dedicated to wrecking shit as he is to helping to build. There’s also a Minicon port on his left arm to give him some extra firepower. I dig that a lot as it’s a nice nod back to the original G1 Targetmaster toy.
In case you haven’t guessed, Quickmix does not impress me. I don’t hate him, but when you consider how many Transformers are vying for what little display space I have; poor Quickmix is never likely to earn himself much shelf time. The vehicle mode isn’t bad at all, but I tend to display my TF’s in robot mode and that’s where Quickmix falls short. His bot mode is just lousy with lazy design and poorly conceived gimmicks. I can certainly appreciate all the effort that went into his detailed sculpt, but in the end it feels wasted on what is a rather forgettable Transformer figure. Yes, Quickmix is bound for the storage tote. Hopefully in a few years when I discover him again he may have a little nostalgia working in his favor.