When Hasbro transitioned from the Cybertron modes of Siege to the Earth modes of Earthrise, I didn’t expect we’d be getting redos of a lot of the same characters. And yet, here we are! It was just back in May that I reviewed the Siege versions of these fellas, and here we are checking out their Earth modes. Am I complaining? Nah. Let’s check out some Datsuns!
The Siege versions of Smokescreen and Bluestreak released as exclusives and each in special packaging. This pair features the normal packages, but Bluestreak was a Walgreens Exclusive, whereas I picked up Smokescreen off of Amazon. They come in the always fantastic Earthrise Deluxe window boxes, with the usual bitchin’ character art. They are packaged in their robot modes, but I’ll start with the alt modes.
Here’s Bluestreak and no, these guys aren’t really Datsuns, but close enough for me. Indeed, this is a great looking little sportscar with a decidedly vintage vibe. Bluestreak retains the same gray and black deco as his previous alt mode, with the black portions having more of a matte finish this time around, and a much bolder Autobot insignia stamped on his hood. He’s got translucent windows and head lamps, a raised hood, a low spoiler, quad exhaust, and silver mag wheels. The panels on mine don’t lock together quite as seamlessly as I would like, but that might be user error. Although, I did give him a good once over to make sure everything looked like it was where it belonged.
Here’s a quick look at the Cybertron and Earth modes together, and I really dig the evolution at work here. The Earthrise version has basically grown a cabin for its human driver and passenger and the wheels have gotten a bit smaller. The Cybertron version actually looks like a concept car that grew out of the 80’s Datsun design and I can dig that!
Just like Siege Streak, the Earthrise version comes with three weapons: A rifle and two shoulder cannons. The shoulder cannons can mount into the hood and the rifle can mount on the roof. These are all fresh sculpts with the shoulder cannons being a lot smaller than what we saw for Siege, while the rifle is a lot closer to Bluestreak’s original G1 weapon. The tabs used for the shoulder cannon are the same for both figures, so you can mix and match if you like.
Transforming these guys is very similar, but there are some key differences in the robot modes. I liked Siege Bluestreak’s bot mode well enough, but the Earthrise version tweaks it to near perfection. Obviously the chest is completely different, as it’s formed from the front of the car. But to me the biggest improvement is in the legs. Earthrise Streak’s legs look better filled out and the lower legs and feet are better defined. Besides the more familiar aesthetics of the Earth mode, I just think this robot looks much more polished and proportioned. I absolutely love it! From the deco standpoint, there isn’t a huge difference. You still get the black and gray from the car mode with some red added in the lower legs and elbows. Earthrise Streak’s lower legs are now all gray, as are his shoulders, and there’s more black in his chest.
I was surprised to see a brand new head sculpt here, and while it’s excellent, I think any question of which one is better will come down to a matter of personal preference. Siege Streak’s “helmet” is more detailed and his “wings” are more pronounced. If I had to pick one, I think I’d side with the Earthrise head, just because it’s more stylized. But either way, they’re both fantastic. If you can’t tell, I really dig this figure a lot. My only real gripe centers around the inner panels on his lower legs. These flip down to fill in the legs a bit, and one of these refuses to stay on when I’m transforming him. Maybe not a big deal, and to be fair I could remove both and not really effect the figure much, but worth mentioning nonetheless. Let’s move on to Smokescreen!
As expected, Smokescreen is mostly a repaint with the major difference of the car mode being the apron on the front. While I’m fine with Bluestreak’s colors, Smokescreen’s red, white and blue deco really brings this excellent auto mode to life. The colors are vibrant, and while I would have preferred more of a glossy finish on both of these vehicles, I have to admit there’s something about the rich, satin finish on Smokescreen that really works for me. The wheels are less flashy here, as they are all black with just the blue clips showing, but otherwise I just love everything about this sportscar. The paint lines are clean, he’s got a bold Autobot emblem stamped on his hood and the racing numbers “80” on either door. The windows are now tinted, as are his head lamps.
And here are some comparison shots of the Siege and Earthrise modes. The deco is pretty damn close, with the Earthrise version adding some red to the roof, the white side stripes straightening out, and the small panel of Cybertronian lettering on the Siege mode giving way to the larger Earth digits on the doors.
Smokescreen comes with the same rifle and shoulder cannons as Bluestreak, only this time they are molded in blue plastic, and once again these can be attached to the car mode to weaponize it. They can also be swapped out with the Siege weapons if you like.
Smokescreen’s transformation is identical to Bluestreak’s, although I don’t have the same problem with the leg panel popping off. The flashy deco really serves to make Smokescreen stand out over his Datsun Bro, as does the addition of the apron on the chest. I can’t stress enough how impressed I am with the way these robot modes turned out. And yet the transformations are so simple and intuitive. It makes me wonder why Hasbro wasn’t able to do this back when they did the Datsuns in the Classics line. The improvement is like night and day.
And here’s a look at Smokescreen’s new noggin, which is a huge departure from what we got with Siege. The face is now white and all smoothed over, with the “helmet” also going for a simpler look. The new portrait really embraces Smokescreen’s look in the old Sunbow cartoon. I also dig the green eyes!
At first I wasn’t all that keen on re-buying these Autobots again so soon, but now that I have them in hand, I’m glad I did because it’s hard to imagine we’ll ever get better versions of Smokescreen and Bluestreak in a Deluxe Class figure. What’s more, I’m actually happy to have them represented in both the Siege and Earthrise lines. How often do we get to display the Cybertron and Earth modes of a Transformer beside each other in what is more or less the same line and the sane continuity! So where’s Prowl? Well, he just hit my doorstep yesterday as part of an Amazon Exclusive two-pack with Ironhide. And I should get around to checking that out next week!