View Poll Results: Worth buying?

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Thread: Toy Review - Studio Series Dropkick

  1. #1
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    Default Toy Review - Studio Series Dropkick

    DROPKICK
    Series - Studio Series
    Sub-Line - Bumblebee
    Size/class - Deluxe
    New/remould/redeco - New
    Wave - Four
    Released here – November 2018
    Approximate Retail Price - $29
    Approximate Size - 11.5cm
    Allegiance - Decepticon
    Alt-mode – Bell AH-1 Super Cobra attack helicopter
    Main Features/Gimmicks – scale
    Main Colours – grey & blue
    Main Accessories – x2 guns

    VEHICLE MODE
    Highly detailed and incredibly accurate to an actual Huey attack helicopter. Okay, the back of the hands are visible on the tail boom, but we all know how tricky it is for aircraft modes to conceal robot parts. And this is one thin helicopter. And given that there are almost no other robot parts visible in this mode, I can easily forgive partial exposure of the hands. There are blue parts which accent the toys, and while this may not be accurate to how Hueys are coloured IRL, it's obviously a carry over from the robot mode's attempt to look more like the show model. So it's understandable and it doesn't detract from the look of the chopper.

    The rotor blades don't spin which does detract from the playability of this mode, but the upshot is that they sit firmly into place in robot mode. We all know that a lot of helicopter TFs have loose hanging rotor blades that can be a bit cumbersome in robot mode as they dangle side to side. So I can understand why they tightened the rotor blades for the benefit of the robot mode. The blades still turn fine, you just can't spin them. Stabiliser tail rotor spins just fine.

    Transformation
    I don't usually go on about a toy's transformation. I tend to just review each individual mode and unless there's something of note in the transformation, it's something that I usually skip. But damn, Dropkick's transformation has got to be one of the most beautifully intuitive transformations that I have ever seen on a toy. It's not ridiculously easy but not frustratingly difficult either. It seems to hit that Goldilocks spot of being juuust right.

    Now I'm the kind of person who, for some weird OCD reason, always likes to take out the instruction booklet and transform a toy according to the instructions. No matter how basic, I just always do it. But this is one of the very rare moments where I didn't bother doing that. Right now my Dropkick's instructions are still in the box. I never do this! But the transformation is just so good - so intuitive - so fun, that I found myself transforming it before I could get the instructions out. Sure, I that this may be normal for many of you, but this is out of character for me and it just goes to show how delightfully inviting this toy is to transform. Man... I really usually don't even mention a toy's transformation. Partially cos it feels kinda spoilery, and I won't go into details here... but it is a damn excellent transformation! Go look up a video review if you wanna have a look at it in action.

    ROBOT MODE
    Okay, let's address the Beast Wars Ironhide in the room. At first this toy's robot mode looks screen inaccurate, and this is mostly due to the colours. And yeah, also partially to do with the actual mould/design, but not as much as one might think. Certainly not as much as I first thought. When comparing this with Dropkick's screen model, we can see that the chest, head and back are reasonably screen-accurate. In the movie the chest and back are made from helicopter kibble, not car kibble. The legs are also sculpted to be screen-accurate, most notable on the knees and feet (as they are also accurately coloured). The thing that makes these points of accuracy less noticeable is really the colour. And this is really due to the fact that SS Dropkick is a grey helicopter. The toy has admirably added blue on the head, rear engine ports (which become faux-headlights floating on the robot mode's lower ribs), inner leg panels and feet -- all blue. And yes, the rest of the toy is grey, but again this is because it's a grey helicopter. You can't really add any more blue to the robot without doing the same to the helicopter mode, which would risk making the chopper mode look less realistic. So there are about as many blues on this toy as the alt mode (and budget) allows.

    And I quite like how the designers have tried to bulk up the robot mode by having panels fold in on themselves, sometimes more than once. This is similar to what we've seen before in toys like TLK Voyager Optimus Prime, Titans Return Kup etc. It's a neat way to reduce/conceal alt mode kibble, in it can also serve as a means to visually bulk out the robot so that it doesn't look too stick thin. They've also done some pretty clever things with the main fuselage becoming the torso. Count the number of windows on the chopper mode, and now count how many you can see in robot mode. Yeah. Where did half of those windows go?! Sorcery! Or just really clever engineering.

    OVERALL
    To be perfectly honest, I wasn't really expecting to like this toy all that much. It initially felt like an "obligation purchase." A toy that I had to have because it appears in the movie. But this toy has truly gone above and beyond in exceeding my expectations. Until I got this toy, I thought that Studio Series 18 Bumblebee was going to be my favourite toy for 2018, but now it's become SS22 Dropkick! Okay, while Bumblebee may visually look nicer in both modes, Dropkick doesn't require loads of panel-massaging only to end up with one panel side not clipping in properly. As I mentioned before, it's an incredibly intuitive and fun transformation. I wasn't expecting to like this toy, but now I love it! The arms don't swing out to the sides due to the tall shoulders which get in the way. They still swing laterally up and down just fine, just not out to the sides. But this more limited shoulder articulation is just due to the shape of the shoulders which is carried over from the helicopter mode. You would need to design the shoulders with hinges that all the tips to fold down, but it would more than likely eat into this toy's budget. This is a Deluxe Class figure, not an MP.

    I honestly cannot find any real faults on this toy and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
    Last edited by GoktimusPrime; 17th November 2018 at 10:11 PM.

  2. #2
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    Can't wait for your thoughts. I need this toy.
    I'm really just here for the free food and open bar.

  3. #3
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    Looks pretty rad

  4. #4
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    Meh - it irritates me when they make non-triple changer toys out of triple changer characters. I’ll just wait and hope

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigTransformerTrev View Post
    Meh - it irritates me when they make non-triple changer toys out of triple changer characters. I’ll just wait and hope
    It's one of those things where you're damned* if you do, dammed* if you don't. Because if they try to make the toy a triple changer that's also trying to be screen accurate, then the look of each mode will be compromised. The alternative is to release two double changers with the benefit of better looking robot and vehicle modes.

    I personally agree with you and would prefer a triple changing toy, but we both know that if that were to happen fans would complain about the compromises made. The fact is that the screen model incorporates both the grey helicopter and blue muscle car modes. This is something that's more difficult to render as a toy without making compromises. Even if you look at some of the CHUG Triple Changers...
    + Titans Return Blitzwing has wings on his tank mode and a visible turret & barrel in jet mode.
    + Titans Return Astrotrain's vehicle modes aren't realistic looking and his train mode is kinda rubbish.
    + TR Octone's truck cab halves are visible in jet mode (although the tanker truck mode looks pretty boss ).
    etc.
    Now of course, as G1 fans we're willing to forgive these compromises because many of them were also done on the G1 toys - so we suspend disbelief and allow our rose-tinted nostalgic confirmation bias goggles overlook these flaws. The Bumblebee movie toys don't have the luxury of 30+ years of childhood bias that makes fans more forgiving of compromises. Heck, sometimes even CHUG toys cop flak for compromises that they've had to make (which I think is unfair, but I digress). Younger fans who never even grew up with G1 would just think it to be weird. HasTak weren't even able to do it with Drift, and he had a uniform colour scheme across all modes and a fictitious helicopter mode. Dropkick's design is more challenging with a grey chopper mode, a blue car mode, and both based on actual real-life vehicles.

    I would love to have a proper triple-changing Dropkick toy, but it is admittedly easier said than done on a non-MP budget. They could definitely pull it off with an MP, but of course, it would be much more expensive and not something that Hasbro could market at the general mass market (as opposed to the niche collector demographic that MPs are aimed at).

    ↑Dropkick's blue muscle car and grey helicopter modes.
    I've circled all the car kibble in blue and helicopter kibble in grey. I don't think that this is an easy thing for a Deluxe or even Voyager Class figure to pull off. You'd have to go MP level to do it properly.

    ----------------------------
    *Or as John Barber would say, "dammed"

  6. #6
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    I actually really like the look of this, but kind of want it with a new head as an homage. It could make a good G2 Powerdive update.

  7. #7
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  8. #8
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    Snaketales, this looks like the perfect figure to be re-purposed into Whirl. Just need to swap his head, maybe add a little paint and BOOM! Whirl!

    Would love to see you attempt this if you get time.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by AJ_Prime View Post
    Snaketales, this looks like the perfect figure to be re-purposed into Whirl. Just need to swap his head, maybe add a little paint and BOOM! Whirl!

    Would love to see you attempt this if you get time.
    What's stopping you from doing this AJ? Hand swap and head swap easy as

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMHFConvoy View Post
    What's stopping you from doing this AJ? Hand swap and head swap easy as
    Good point. Might need a creative solution to hide his claws!

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