Well, I hope you all had a great Christmas, Toyhounds. I don’t want to be a scrooge, but I’m glad it’s over and I’m anxious for things to start returning to normal. Since I took the day off yesterday, I decided to bump Transformers Thursday to today and we are going to be opening up a certain Autobot that Santa Primus left for me under the tree. It’s Crosscut and he’s a repaint of Skids. Ho Ho Ho!
Is there a more beautiful sight to behold than an action figure packaged with a comic book? I think not. If this had been a thing back when I was a kid, I might have grown up with a better outlook on the world and life in general. I’m just glad I lived to see it happen. Crosscut is one of Hasbro’s “Thrilling Thirty” to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Transformers. I’ve lost track of where they are with these, but 2014 is just about gone so there can’t be too many more of these left for me to open. I’m a little apprehensive about what 2015 holds for Tranformers. I don’t see myself buying many of the Combiner Wars stuff, other than the Legends Class figures, so I’m going to be sad to see all this IDW stuff disappear from the pegs. But I digress… he comes packaged in robot mode, but let’s start with his car mode.
If you missed my review of Skids, you should know that I really liked that figure a lot and so I was eager to pick up this remold-repaint. The car mode is an adorable and unassuming little compact that in no way suggests the kick-ass looking warrior bot that you’re going to get out of it. Still, as much as I still dig this mold, the Crosscut version is pretty bland when compared to the original Skids release. Gone is that beautiful blue plastic and in its place is this swirly gray crap that Hasbro likes to use. Cars are meant to be shiny and this bare plastic just doesn’t work that well for the alt mode. The red and white striping on Skids’ sides is replaced by a black stripe and some red scoops. There’s also a lot of new paint to be found on the grill, but I’ll deal with that after we get him transformed.
Crosscut features the same ports on his sides, just in front of the rear wheels, so you can attach his weapons to his car mode. All in all, this isn’t a terrible looking car. If I try hard enough I can get a little G1 Camshaft vibe off of him, but based on coloring alone, I much prefer the Skids release.
Transforming Crosscut into robot mode isn’t too bad, it’s getting him back into car mode that I find a little daunting. Nonetheless, the robot mode on this guy is just a thing of beauty. I love the proportions, particularly since the transformation is so well engineered that it almost looks like the toy uses mass shifting to get such a long and lean bot mode out of such a compact little car. You also have some very classic Autobot design elements at work here, what with the front of the car forming the chest, the wheels on the shoulders, and the door wings angling up from the back. Of course, the mold is still not without some issues. The car kibble on the sides of the legs is rather ungainly and the figure does have a habit of falling backwards if you don’t get his stance just right. This is one Transformer that is sorely in need of some heel spurs.
Like Skids, Crosscut is bristling with weaponry. You get those awesome rocket packs on his shoulders and a pair of shoulder cannon reminiscent of the old G1 Datsuns. He also has dual cannon slung under each of his forearms and these can be angled up for firing, but I prefer them positioned under his arms. It’s odd that his bio should call out that this guy isn’t known for his accomplishments in battle, seeing as how he looks like a walking death machine.
So what’s new? Well, Crosscut does feature a brand new head sculpt, complete with mouth plate and a cool “helmet.” Other than that, the new deco features the same gray plastic we saw in car mode with some snazzy metallic gold paint on his feet, hands, helmet, and shoulders. The gray plastic works for me much better in robot mode than in car mode. The front grill and bumper is now black with some more metallic red and yellow headlamps, which goes a long way to differentiate him from Skids. Honestly, the only issue I have with his deco in bot mode is that the head sculpt uses the bare gray plastic for his face and part of his helmet. I really wish these parts had been painted, especially the mouth plate.
Crosscut’s articulation looks good on paper, but like Skids, he doesn’t feature a lot of mobility in the shoulders. The jointing is there, but the sculpt does its best to interfere. Conversely, his leg articulation is great, but it’s hard to make use of it without Crosscut toppling backwards. The end result is a figure that looks really good standing on the shelf, and can be really frustrating when trying to get great poses out of him.
Crosscut comes with black versions of Skids two weapons. One is a rifle, the other looks like a beefy pistol with a drum magazine and they can be combined into one big gun. Taken together, this is one of my favorite Transformers weapons in recent memory, so I don’t mind getting another, but it’s also very character specific for Skids, so it feels rather out of place getting it again for another character.
All in all, Crosscut is a nice second run at a mold that is admittedly problematic, but one that I love nonetheless. The aesthetics here just scream classic Autobot sexiness to me and I can’t get over how much I dig those rocket packs in the shoulders. The deco works better for me in robot mode than it does in car mode, but I don’t think either are necessarily better than what we got with Skids. I don’t know that Crosscut is a “must-have” figure, especially for collectors that already own the mold, but he is the only one in this wave that I sought out to buy and that’s just because I dig Skids so much.