Transformers Legacy: Dragstrip by Hasbro

Lately collecting Transformers for me has become a cycle of conflict. It goes something like this. Oh no, they’re doing him again. We just got him and I don’t need to buy another. Oh, but look at how much better he looks than the last one. Oh, and it’s actually been five to ten years since we last got him. Huh, seems like it was more recent. Oh, what the hell, I’ll buy him anyway because he really is a big improvement. Transformers is the only line I collect, where it feels like I’m constantly upgrading to a better version of an existing character, and yet I’m a sucker for convertorobots, so I usually do it.

And here we go again, because it’s Dragstrip! A character that last saw release in aptly named Combiner Wars back around 2015. And while it feels like that was just yesterday, it really was quite a while ago. As with Hasbro’s last crack at the Stunticons, Dragstrip and the other limbs are Deluxes, but this time it looks like Motormaster will be a Commander Class, which I think is the new Leader Class. That classification makes sense, since those figures have been getting smaller, but coming with more stuff. And, unlike the Combiner Wars version, this Motormaster will have a trailer. Anyway, we’ve seen the Legacy packaging before. I dig the deco, but I’ll continue to complain about the toy being exposed to the elements, not to mention the disgusting booger-mining fingers of children. Just put them in closed boxes, Hasbro. Let’s start with the alt-mode…

Nice! One of my many issues with CW Dragstrip was that the mold was obviously intended to double as Mirage. And so, while we did get an F-1 racer, it wasn’t really the Dragstrip I knew from the G1 toy or the Sunbow cartoon. This version fixes that very well, most notably giving him his distinctive double wheels on the front and the exposed engine on the back. The vehicle is very compact and boxy, and I absolutely love it. I particularly dig what they did with the front scoop, giving him what looks a bit like a cow-catcher on a locomotive, perfect for ramming Autobots off the road!

The colors here are also spectacular! Hasbro took the basic yellow and red stripes from the original toy, but added in some of the brownish-gold from the Sunbow animated model. Toss in the beautiful silver paint on the engine, and the black wheels, and you’ve got a striking color scheme, that manages to pay respects to both G1 versions that I love so much! The large Decepticon insignia on the front is a great touch as well!

Dragstrip comes with a pair of guns, which can be pegged into the holes on the top sides of the vehicle if you like to weaponize your racecars!

Transforming Dragstrip is just complex enough to be satisfying, but not annoying. The result is an absolutely stellar looking robot mode, which again pays respects to the character’s roots. Gone is the f’ugly combiner port chest, and in its place is the open cockpit with the silver exposed engine block, just like the toy and Sunbow versions. Other great call-outs are the spoilers making up the feet, and the position of the wheels, with the backs landing on his lower legs, and the double fronts on his shoulders. Here, Hasbro went with the Sunbow look of having the shoulder wheels line up front to back, rather than on top of each other like the toy. He even has the shoulder ridges, which remind me of the ridges armor sometimes had to prevent decapitation in battle. Even from the back, he’s pretty damn clean and tight.

The head sculpt is a welcome departure from whatever the hell it was that we got with the Combiner Wars figure. While, I eventually warmed up to that figure, I never stopped hating the portrait. Here, we get a very Sunbow looking head sculpt, featuring the bold red visor, red plates on the sides of the “helmet” as well as the little “ears” jutting out the sides.

The color scheme in robot mode is pretty much identical to the alt mode. It’s dominated by thes ame bright yellow and brown-gold accents. I do like how the red stripes land on his arms. Really, the only thing missing here is a little Decepticon insignia near his left shoulder. Indeed, there’s no faction symbol in this mode at all, but I suppose that can be easily fixed with a repro-sticker.

As we saw while looking at the alt-mode, Dragstrip comes with a pair of pistols, which can be combined into one gun, as well as wielded separately. It definitely references the Sunbow gun over the original toy’s, particularly with the inclusion of the scope. The guns look OK when combined, but it does give them two sets of grips, which is a bit weird. I will likely display him with just one pistol and set the other aside, or peg it into his back for storage. The black and purple deco on the guns is excellent!

Almost everything about CW Dragstrip felt like a compromise, whereas the Legacy version is 100% its own thing, and I absolutely love that! Hasbro executed this figure with style and precision, and apart from the bot mode missing a faction symbol, I can’t find anything bad to say about him! Indeed, it’s especially interesting how there’s virtually nothing about him that advertises the figure as doubling as a Combiner limb. No obvious ports or connectors, no extra parts, nothing! Only a tiny graphic on the box suggests he’s part of a Combiner team, and I suspect that’s because all the Combiner stuff will be found in Motormaster.

Transformers Legacy: Blaster & Eject by Hasbro

The hot newness around the Transformers world is the Legacy series, but it really just seems to be a continuation of the previous lines, with a heavy lean in to the old favorite Generation 1 designs and a smattering of Beast Wars here and there. And in keeping with their sometimes irritating habit of recent redos, Hasbro is taking another crack at everyone’s favorite Autobot boombox, Blaster!

I say recent redos, but to be fair we last saw Blaster about five years ago in the Titans Return line, and it was about four years before that when he was released in Generations. Now, I wouldn’t call three Blasters in the course of about a decade overkill, but there are still other characters who are overdue for their time in the spotlight. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t I see this figure released in Kingdom packaging as well? To be honest, it’s getting hard for me to keep track of some of Hasbro’s releases these days. Anywho, Blaster comes in the colorful new packaging we last saw with Skids, and there’s still a big open window so kids can stick their disgusting little peanut butter fingers all over my toy. Also billed in this package is Eject, which is thankfully a cassette tape and not a Headmaster head, like we got with Twin Cast. Let’s check out the alt modes…

For a long while, Hasbro seemed to be ashamed of the old tape player modes. That was especially the case with Soundwave, but Hasbro seems to have gotten over it, as the last Blaster we got was a boombox, and so is this one. And because we aren’t dealing with any third base mode, this one looks pretty damn good. You get the red body with gray side speakers, a yellow tape door, and a carry bar up top. There are some non-working knobs, and a row of buttons, which can be pressed to open the tape door. There’s not much happening on the flipside, although as you can see, I have a few pieces that aren’t aligned perfectly, which just goes to show this is a fairly forgiving transformation. Colors aside, this looks a lot like the Emerson boombox I used to record songs off the radio with when I was a kid!

The tape deck is pretty small, but I still think it scales pretty well with the Netflix War For Cyberton Soundwave release. A figure, which I never got around to reviewing, but here’s a comparison, nonetheless. Personally, I think they look good together.

As I mentioned earlier, the tape door is spring loaded, and pops open when you press the row of buttons under it. At which point you can pull out Eject in his cassette mode. Eject is mostly cast in this beautiful blue transparent plastic, with some gray parts and gold trim. They didn’t really go overboard with any cassette tape markings, but you can clearly see the two tape reels as part of the sculpt. I wan’t a big fan of the days when Hasbro was turning the cassettes into bombs or data pads, or data discs. It’s nice to see them as cassettes again. The flipside isn’t very polished, and if you’re a goofball like i am and don’t turn the head around, you can see Eject peeking back at you. Let’s check out his robot mode, before getting back to Blaster.

Eject is a pretty cool little guy, and while some may have issue with the use of translucent plastic, I actually like it a lot. It looks gorgeous with the gold paint, and Eject’s proportions aren’t too bad for a little cassette bot. And thanks to some ball joints and rotating hinges, he’s got plenty of articulation too.

Blaster’s transformation is a bit more complex than his old G1 toy, but the principle is pretty much the same. The robot mode is clean and well-proportioned and looks great. You still get the tape door on his chest, the speakers on his lower legs, and I dig the way the carry bar splits and locks into the outside of his legs. Those hollow forearms are a shame, but nothing that’s going to ruin the toy for me, and he even looks surprisingly polished from the back, and includes a whole slew of ports back there so he can store his gun and a bunch of other stuff. They even hit a homerun with the head sculpt here.

Hasbro sculpted Blaster’s right hand so that he has a pointing index finger to allow him to push his own buttons and eject a tape while in robot mode. Seriously, can these guys not just activate eject internally? Why they gotta push their own buttons? Either way, it’s worth mentioning that Blaster has some serious ankle tilts, to keep them feets flat on the floor even in dynamic wide stances, and I sure do appreciate that!

Blaster comes with his very distinctive sniper-rifle style gun. There are plenty of Transformers out there who could get away with any old weapon design, but you can’t mess with this design. It just wouldn’t be Blaster without it!

And if you were playing with Transformers back in the 80’s, you know what a triumph it is to have a Blaster and a Soundwave that actually scale well together. Blaster is just a tad taller than that Netflix Soundwave. Just enough to keep with tradition, but not enough to make it awkward when you want to have them fight. And boy do they look fantastic together!

What’s one of the things that bug me the most about Transformers in the last ten years or so? Hasbro puts out a figure and I really like it. Then four or five years later, they put out a new version and it makes the previous figure, the one I was perfectly happy with, look like poop. That’s probably why my Transformers toys are the only aspect of my collection that I purge with some regularity. There are some older favorites that I keep, but even though the Titans Return Blaster is a distinctive figure with its own charms, now that this new Blaster has come along, I really have no need to keep him in the collection anymore.

Transformers Legacy: Skids by Hasbro

What’s this? A new main line of Transformers? Well, at least that’s my assumption, that Legacy will be replacing the Trilogy of Siege, Earthrise, and Kingdom as the new Generations line, and what better character to launch this Legacy series than… Oh, it’s Skids. Ok, then…

Well, I do like the art design! Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say, I like it better than what we’ve been getting. The character art has been phenomenal, but some derivation of the boring black package with generic font Transformers running up the side has been with us for a while. This is colorful and trippy and while the Legacy logo doesn’t really scream Transformers brand to me, I can get behind this. Unfortunately, like the packaging we saw in my Buzzworthy Bumblebee review, Hasbro has stopped using plastic windows to save the planet and now leaves the toy exposed to the elements, as well as the sticky fingers of children. I would much rather they just use a completely enclosed box, but whatever. Let’s start with Skids alt mode.

Ah, the Honda City Turbo. It’s a car I never heard of before meeting Skids, and one that I haven’t heard of since. I should go on record here by saying that I’ve never been a fan of Skids. He was kind of a non-entity in the Sunbow cartoon. Indeed, off-hand I can only remember him being in two episodes: Quest for Survival and Triple Takeover. Both are great episodes, but certainly not because Skids happened to be in them. His toy was released too late to be part of the original Class of 84 Autobots, but too early to be included with the hot newness of the 1985 roster. I do distinctly remember finding him in Sears and my Dad saying, “oh, a new Transformer?” You want him? And I said nah, and wound up getting something else instead. At the time, there was just nothing about him that made him desirable to me and he was one of the only Autobots in the 1984-85 line up that I never owned.

Skids is a box on wheels, and certainly doesn’t share the stylish contours of the vintage Datsuns or sexy Lamborghinis. But with that being said, this is a fantastic new version of the original car form. Hasbro didn’t go too far off the page with this one, keeping the same midnight blue body and the same red and white striping on the sides. The front grill is gray with yellow headlamps, and there’s an Autobot emblem on the hood. The windshield and front windows are tinted blue, and you get lots of nice sculpted detail, including quad exhaust, a gas cap, and the screen on the front and back bumpers. The back is a little bland, but all in all, this is a nice alt mode for what it is.

Skids comes with a few weapons, and these can be attached using any of the three ports (one up top, and two on the sides), if you want to weaponize this mode.

Transforming Skids is pretty intuitive and the resulting robot looks surprisingly nice. The front bumper chest and door-wings has always been my favorite look for an Autobot, and Skids wears them quite well. Yeah, the chest is sharply squared off, and reminds me a bit of Armada Red Alert, but I ain’t hating it. The rest of the figure is nicely proportioned, and adds some more red to the deco, both down on his feet, and smack dab in the middle of his robot cod piece. And when viewed from behind, he’s all closed up and polished to a shine.

The head sculpt is very close to what I remember the original toy looking like, although I’m remembering him with yellow eyes instead of blue. The silver face paint looks sharp, and he wears a slight expression of disapproval on his lips, like he just saw that Spike’s report card and he got a C- in Algebra.

For an Autobot who’s primary function is a theoretician, Skids does come with a lot of weapons. You get two silver blasters, one is a stout single barrel pistol, and the other is a dual barreled gun, which can combine together to form a pretty formidable looking piece of hardware.

You also get what I think is supposed to be some kind of Energon Ax, which can also combine with the guns in a number of ways to make, well… I don’t know what. The ax replaces the rocket launcher that came with the original toy, and I’m cool with that!

The only reason I picked up Skids was because he was a new figure in a new line, and I was excited. But in reality, Legacy appears to just be an extension of what we’ve been getting in the War For Cybertron stuff, which is pretty much what I’m looking for in my Transformers anyway. Change the packaging all you want, Hasbro, but you’ve been batting a thousand with your Generations Transformers lately, and I don’t want to see that change. As for the figure itself, Skids if great! I’m legitimately surprised at how happy I am with this pick up, and he’s going to look fantastic on my Autobot shelf!