Today I’m checking out another Transformer from the current Legacy line, and one that I actually bought entirely by mistake. This guy went up for pre-order along with some of the Legacy Stunticons, and I guess I just went Decpti-Car mad and slapped that pre-order button one too many times. But that’s OK, because ever since the Stunticons were first introduced, I’ve always had a thing for Decepticon cars and I’m always happy to add another to the collection.
So, it looks like Legacy is just drawing characters from all over the Transformers Universe? Or was that already widely known and I’m just now figuring it out? Either way, Knock-Out here is a reimagining of a character that was introduced in Transformers: Prime. I liked the show well enough, and I collected the toys, but the designs always struck me as being sort of like a weird cross between Animated and Bayformer. Oh yeah, and the package even states “Prime Universe” so my dumb ass has no excuses for buying him by mistake. Let’s open him up and start with the alt mode!
I’ll get to some comparison shots in a bit, but other than being a red car, this alt-mode doesn’t have a whole lot in common with the original toy. But that’s fine because I’m prepared to treat this figure as its own thing for now. This car is a little boxier and less streamlined, but it looks really nice. You get some clear windows, silver decos on the doors, and some gold bling on the wheels. The rather aggressive looking front bumper is a nice mix of dark gray and silver, the headlamps are blacked out, and the hood has some stylish grills sculpted into them. You also get a understated Decepticon emblem front and center. This car holds together well and rolls perfectly.
Alas, there’s one big QC issue on mine, and that’s this mess on the rear driver-side quarter panel. Yeesh! What the hell is this? It doesn’t come off, and it almost looks like spilled adhesive that has melted into the plastic surface. I’d like to blame the lack of a window on the box for this, but I’m pretty sure whatever this is happened at the factory and should have been caught. Yeah, there’s also some gold paint spray on the tire below it. Not cool, Hasbro! I’ll also throw out here that the plastic in general has a grain to it, almost like you get with 3D printing, but not nearly as bad. Very odd!
Knock-Out comes with a two-piece weapon, which can be plugged into the vehicle on the various ports. I went with what the package suggested and it’s not bad. It basically gives the car a long cannon on the hood and a smaller gun-blade-thingy on the side. I do enjoy weaponizing my Decepti-Cars, so I like it! OK, so how about them comparison shots?
Yup, Legacy Knock-Out is bigger and beefier, and I’d say even a bit more aggressive in his design. He looks like he’d be more at home trading paint with Autobots on the highway than his somewhat fragile looking predecessor. The silver deco on the doors pays homage to the original toy’s design, but I wish Hasbro had included the darker maroon coloring on the Legacy version, as I find it pretty distinctive, and it would have helped to drive home the homage a bit more. I didn’t think original Knock-Out had gold rims, and when I dug him out I saw that I remembered correctly. They do look nice, though! On to the robot mode!
Getting Legacy Knock-Out into and out of his robot mode sure is a lot easier than it is with his fidgety predecessor. Indeed, the robot mode here conforms pretty close to the tried and true designs of the Autobot Datsuns, Hound, or Jazz, with the hood making up the chest, the back of the car making up the feet, and the top of the car worn as a backpack. If you’re looking for anything clever or fresh here in terms of engineering or design, you won’t find it. But, if you like this design trope as much as I do, you’ll be happy to see it’s done quite well here. I especially love how the aggressive front bumper makes for a powerful and intimidating chest, and the way the front wheels are concealed inside the shoulders. The deco keeps a lot of the red from the auto mode and throws a lot of black and gray into the mix. You also get some nice, sharp looking silver on his abs. It’s a great looking robot mode!
The head sculpt definitely draws from Prime Knock-Out, and while it’s certainly a good sculpt, it does lose a lot of the personality of the Prime figure. The helmet is toned down a lot with the central comb not nearly as stylized. He’s got a nose now, which is worth noting because TF: Prime Transformers didn’t seem to ever have noses. It’s pretty obvious, this portrait is made to conform to the G1 style and sensibilities and I can dig that. I do wish they let him keep his smirk, though.
When assembled together, Knock-Out’s weapon is meant to pay respects to the original toy’s trident. To be honest, I was never a big fan of that weapon in the first place, and this one doesn’t do much for me either. It looks good, but the way he’s meant to hold it doesn’t make any sense. And the peg at the base of the shaft is too small for him to grasp tightly. You can split it up into two weapons, and that works better for me. I particularly like the rifle. The blade-thing works as a pistol, I guess, but I wish he could hold it like a dagger. I just don’t think a lot of thought went into this thing.
In the end, Knock-Out is an interesting figure, that is at best only inspired by the Knock-Out of Transformers: Prime. His design allegiances clearly lie with the G1 aesthetic, and I actually dig that very much. But fans that were hoping for something a lot more faithful to the source material may very well be disappointed with this guy. Now at the risk of pissing some people off, I’ll say that I was pretty shocked when I dug up Prime Knock-Out for this review and transformed him. I have very fond memories of these toys, but this is one that has not aged well, and I fear that may be the case with the rest of my Prime figures, most of which I haven’t laid hands on in a while. He’s kind of ugly and not very stable, and while Legacy Knock-Out is a lot more homogenized, and maybe even a little generic, I’d still say he looks better on the shelf and he’s a much more fun toy to play around with. I dig him!