Age of Extinction Deluxe Autobot Drift Toy Review

in 2014, Action Figure Review, Age of Extinction, Autobot, Deluxe, Movie (2007)

Age of Extinction

Drift General Information:
Release Date: May 12, 2014 (Online); May 17, 2014 (Stores)
Price Point: $14.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Accessories: Long Swords x 2; Short Swords x 2

Images:

*Images and text below from The Official Transformers Web Site:
Autobot Drift used to fight for the Decepticons. Now, he wields his swords against them, alongside the heroic Autobots!
Convert, arm and attack with all the Transformers action you can handle! This Autobot Drift figure is a high-powered fighter whether he's in robot mode or Bugatti mode. With a sword in each hand, he'll be a match for any enemy in robot mode. And when he converts to super-fast Volkswagen Bugatti mode, no enemy can hope to escape him! Keep converting him back and forth so he can handle whatever his foes dish out!

  • Includes figure and accessories.
  • 2-in-1 Autobot Drift figure converts from robot mode to speedy sports car mode and back.
  • Volkswagen Bugatti mode.
  • Includes blaster.
  • Changes in 16 steps.

Drift was a character first introduced in the IDW Comic Book series of the same name. Some fans hated him, others loved him. Regardless, Hasbro forged ahead and created an action figure of the character as part of the "Generations" line. Now the character is joining the live action movie universe. Based on his file, it looks like he even retains some of his origin as a former Decepticon who joined the Autobots. He is also one of the more traditional vehicular Autobots in the movie as opposed to the Dinobots, who are taking center stage in much of the promotional material for the film.

Robot Mode:
I noticed in my review of "Generations" Drift that the character took some design influences from Japanese culture between his sword and samurai like elements. However, he was mostly a modern looking robot with a very modern and scifi looking vehicle mode. For the live action movie incarnation of Drift, the designers went the other direction and took inspiration from ancient Japanese armor. Several elements reflect this inspiration:

  • The head design looks almost like a human face with crests flaring out at angles and in the center. This resembles a Kabuto complete with parts that wrap around the back to the sides.
  • On the sides of each arm are layered, rectangular armor panels that resemble Sode.
  • The chest looks like it is just the front end of Drift's Bugatti vehicle mode, but look closer and you'll see elements of Dou, the traditional chest armor - complete with "strap" details leading to the shoulders.
  • Attached to each thigh is an armor piece with rectangular panels layered on top of each other. This resembles Haidate. They even have small notches that look like where one armor plate attaches to the other.
  • Drift's feet are designed with two toe like protrusions in the front. This design is reminiscent of the footwear worn by Samurai known as kogake.

Drift isn't just a bunch of Samurai armor bits. He has plenty of more traditional Transformers style detailing. His mid-body has curved mechanical looking parts that look like they could be parts of the vehicle mode wrapped aorund his mid-body. His mid-body area even features the Bugatti symbol which resembles a stylized "B". The arms and legs have plenty of details ranging from springs on the ankles to varying shapes on the lower legs. The sculpt is quite intricate and there is a lot to catch your eye.

Addressing another aspect of design, it cannot be denied that Drift is considerably smaller than previous Deluxes from the past four to five years. You only need to put him next to his "Generations" counterpart to see a clear height difference. It's a bit jarring and sad to see, but the realities of cost cutting and the high cost of raw materials is definitely making its presence known. My goal here is to focus more on what this toy is as opposed to what it isn't, but this deserved being mentioned.

Drift is cast in dark blue, black, clear and translucent blue plastic. Most of the figure is dark blue with smaller parts like the feet cast in black. The clear plastic is found on the back of the figure and the translucent blue is used for the eyes. Paint colors include metallic blue, gold, black and red. The metallic blue is used on several of the "armor" sections such as those on the arms and thighs. It is also used on the outline of the Bugatti parts on the chest. The gold is used for his head, making it look quite ornate. The grille on the chest is painted black. The red color is found on the inside of the grille. I think the colors look great, especially the metallic blue. You wouldn't think 'blue on blue' would look particularly good, but the metallic, light color works very nicely against the dark blue plastic. At the time I'm writing this review there hasn't been an official trailer or images featuring Drift, so I can't comment on how this deco stacks up to the CG model.

There are nineteen points of articulation on this figure. This includes five in each leg and four in each arm. In a bit of a surprise move, several of the joints on this figure have notches giving a "ratchet joint" feel instead of the hinges and ball joints typically used on Deluxe Class figures. This gives the figure a very solid feel when you pose it and when you move the joints.

Drift is armed with four swords, two long, two short. Each is cast in gold plastic. Unlike Japanese swords that are typically seen in pop culture, each of these swords is shaped with a straight edge leading to an angled end. There are some nice designs towards the hilt and each sword can fit into one of Drift's hands. For the swords he's not using at the time, you can attach those to the panel on his back using the pegs on the side of each sword. The smaller swords store better than the larger ones, but it is possible to store either of them in the ports on his back.

Drift has a very cool robot mode. The detail is fantastic and I like the Samurai inspiration.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the swords from the hands.
  2. Attach the small swords into the back piece with the blades pointed down.
  3. Swing each robot foot up.
  4. Behind each lower leg is a small panel with circular details on them, swing these up.
  5. Push the side panels with the rear wheels down.
  6. Straighten out the legs and push them together.
  7. Straighten out the robot arms.
  8. Rotate the back piece around.
  9. Pull the panels for the hood and the back of the car out on the back panel.
  10. Swing the robot chest up, which will also push the robot head back into the chest cavity.
  11. Push each robot arm up.
  12. Swing each armor panel on the upper arms down, connecting them to the rear wheel well sections.
  13. Push the top panels down, be sure to insert the tab on the rear panel in the middle under the spoiler section's base.
  14. The long swords attach to the 5mm holes on the bottom of the vehicle.

Vehicle Mode:
Drift transforms into a Volkswagon Bugatti Veyron, a high end car that has a two million dollar price tag. It's an exotic, sleek and powerful car, all factors that make it ideal to serve as the vehicle mode of an Autobot warrior. The Bugatti has a very distinctive shape, with an arch in the front where its grille is leading out to a smooth and rounded body shape. The sides are inset a bit and there is a high spoilers on the back.

This figure replicates many details from the real life vehicle including its distinct rims, headlights and even engines in the back. Smaller details appear too including gas caps on the sides, a small oval on top of the grille and the Buggati symbol on the back of the vehicle. Being a licensed vehicle, it's no surprise that Drift is so nicely detailed. No doubt Volkswagon made sure their licensed product looked good in plastic!

This form shows off mostly dark blue plastic, with black used for the rear section and wheels. The windows are clear plastic. Metallic blue paint is used for sections that wrap around the grille and then run along the lower edge of the vehicle all the way to the rear wheel well. This mirrors the real life vehicle used for the movie. Silver is used to paint the headlights and the rims. That is one detail that differs from the real life vehicle. On the real life car, the rims are painted light blue, not silver. Still I'm happy to see them painted at all. The vehicle looks great overall.

Final Thoughts:
Drift is a well made, highly detailed and cool looking figure. There's plenty of play value and I dig his unique look. Really, the only thing that works against the figure is its relative small size (when compared to other Deluxe figures including his own predecessor). Even with that factored in, I still recommend this figure.