"Transformers Adventure" Big Drift Toy Review
Release Date: March 2016
Price Point: $20-30 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: Japanese Market Only
The Autobot known as Drift was introduced to the "Robots in Disguise" series as a new member of Team Bumblebee. Based on the "Age of Extinction" character, the character features a design based on traditional Samurai armor. Drift has been represented in many forms already including Legion Class, a One Step Changer and of course a Warrior Class figure. "Big Drift" is a different size class which are called the "Three Step Changers" outside Japan.
Big Drift is packaged in an enclosed window box unlike the "Robots in Disguise" packaging which has no window. The "Transformers" logo is set vertically on the right with the "Adventure" logo above it. The bottom features artwork of the character.
Big Drift represents a simplified figure for younger fans. That means less articulation than say, a Warrior Class figure and no accessories. What this figure does have however is fantastic sculpting and a nicely thought out deco.
From a sculpting perspective all of Drift's primary features are captured in this figure. This includes the horn details on his head and his "facial hair". The shoulders have the wide, armor with lines angling downward on the sides. The torso has a curved "X" design wrapping across from one side to the other. The middle part of the body features hip armor that comes down the sides over part of the thighs. The only part where some design is sacrificed are the lower legs, which are just made up of the rear of the vehicle in this form whereas other versions of the character have knee armor, actual feet and more detailed parts. From a sculpting perspective it looks great, especially for a figure aimed at younger fans.
Big Drift is cast in orange, black and silver plastic. Orange makes up most of the figure, with silver used on parts like the thighs and elbow joints. Black is found on the wheels. From a deco perspective it's actually surprising just how much paint there is on this. Outside of Japan, the simplified figures (including the Legion and One Step classes) generally get shorted on deco partly because they are not aimed at older collectors. However standards in Japan are clearly different as Drift has a bunch of paint details that really enhance the look of the figure. Black paint is the most heavily used color. You'll find it on the shoulders, the head, the chest, the arms, mid-body and lower legs. So pretty much most of the figure! Many of these areas are painted to match up with the animation model which offers a really nice contrast against the brighter orange color. Silver is used on the face. Light blue is used for the robot eyes and details on the chest. Red is used to paint the horns on his head, the edge of the collar and parts of the mid-body. The center of the torso features a scannable Autobot symbol for use with the Japanese Transformers app. Just looking back at this paragraph it amazes me how many colors this figure has. Color-wise it really looks fantastic.
The "Three Step Changer" designs are generally standard across the board. These figures are intended to be the bigger versions of the One Step Changer class with slightly more complexity. Like those figures however articulation is limited and there are no accessories, in effect making the transformation gimmick the primary play value of the figure. The forearms can move up a bit and the fists have 5mm ports but that's about it.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
Straighten out the arms. Pull the upper body up, then rotate it around. Holding the two ends, push them together.
Big Drift's vehicle mode is a beautiful piece of work. It looks just like the animation model jumped out and landed in front of you. It features all the key details including the high wheel wells, the bull-like horns in front, angled doors and a spoiler in the back. It's a very futuristic car design and I really like it.
This mode mostly shows off orange plastic with the wheels cast in black. Black paint is used from the front all the way to the sides of the doors. Light blue is used for the headlights and red is used for the "bull horns" in front, the side view mirrors, parts of the doors and the sides of the spoiler. The only thing the deco is missing is paint on the rear lights, a common issue with Transformers nowadays (really, most people probably don't care about this as much as I do). Overall the deco is gorgeous in this mode.
This figure is aimed at a very specific audience (namely younger fans), so most older collectors will likely want to skip it. That said I give this figure high marks for great sculpting and a really beautiful deco in both modes. I think Takara did a great job with this figure.