It’s Transformers Thursday again, last week was Blades, and today I’m opening up my second figure from the Protectobots Team, Streetwise. I shunned this guy as a kid because there was really only room for one police car in my Autobot ranks and that was Prime’s First Lieutenant, Prowl. Prowl was the shit. He could do no wrong, and he was always by Prime’s side. Who the hell did this poser Streetwise think he was? Well, now I’m older and more laid back and I’m willing to make some room for another Autobot to help Serve and Protect. I was going to make a comment about Streetwise being able to boast being a combiner and holding that over Prowl’s head, but I guess IDW has robbed me of that.
As we’ve seen a bunch of times already, these Combiner Wars Deluxes come packaged in their robot mode and are now being released with free comic books, which is always a good thing, except in this case I’m not too keen on the direction the series has taken, but I’ve yet to sit down and read it all the way through, so I’ll continue to reserve final judgement. The packaging continues to grow on me and in this case the character art for Streetwise is totally bitchin. Let’s kick things off with his alt mode!
Surprise! Streetwise is a white police sports car and he is remolded from the Brake-Neck and Dead End molds. It was a good choice on Hasbro’s part and I’m happy to say they did a lot of reworking to make this car look distinctive. You get a completely re-sculpted front end with vents on the hood and a ramming bar, as well as newly designed headlamps. The fastback includes new scoops and there’s a light bar sculpted onto the roof. Between all these changes and the new blue and white deco, Hasbro was able to create what really does feel like a brand new vehicle to me.
As always, you can weaponize the vehicle mode by pegging his weapon into the roof or the sides. This gimmick is usually hit or miss with me and in this case as much as I love Streetwise’s weapon, it just looks silly when plugged into the car.
While the car may look sufficiently unique, the transformation should feel readily familiar to anyone who’s had a go playing around with Dead End or Brake-Neck. All the engineering is the same and while the end result is a pretty familiar looking robot, Hasbro has tweaked things here just enough to make him work for me as a distinct and different character. Streetwise still has the chestplate that partially covers his combiner port, but this one is brand new. The other big change is in the lower legs. Everything else is borrowed directly from the Stunticon twins, but the red, white, and black color scheme certainly helps to further set him apart.
From the back, Streetwise wears his hood as a backpack just like the other guys, but again the new sculpting gives a little variety there and again down on his lower legs. I think the ramming bar at the top looks pretty sweet.
Obviously, Streetwise gets a brand new head sculpt too, and I really like what we got here. The silver paint on the face is excellent, although there’s a little spot they missed in the middle of my figure’s blue visor. It’s not a big deal, as you really need to get in close to notice it. Streetwise is sporting some major lips, which seemed to be a thing at this juncture of the Sunbow cartoon. I think the robo-lips all started with the Aerialbots.
Streetwise’s weapon is a freaking awesome triple-barreled-shotgun-looking thing. Last week I said Blade’s rifle was one of my favorites so far in this series, but I think Streetwise’s boomstick just won the day. It’s ironic to me that Hasbro is giving all the really cool firepower to the Protectobots.
In the past, I haven’t been big on giving the combiner pieces to the robots as weapons, but in this case I kind of dig Streetwise wielding this stubby twin-mini-gun, allowing this guy to Serve and Protect with Extreme Prejudice.
I was mighty iffy on whether or not Hasbro was going to be able to win me over with all of these remolds and repaints, but so far the Protectobots are two for two. Yeah, Blades was actually my first hands on experience with that mold, having skipped Alpha Bravo, but in this case Streetwise holds his own, even with two other versions of this toy on my shelf. I’ll admit that the Aerialbots are going to be hard to beat as a whole, but the Protectobots are making a damn strong early showing and I’m looking forward to see how they hold up as I continue to assemble this team.