Beast Machines Transformers Toy Review: Motorcycle Drone

in 2001, Action Figure Review, Beast Machines, Vehicon

Beast Machines Transformers

Name: Motorcycle Drone
Function: Vehicon Mobile Infantry
Motto: "Run'em down!"

The most maneuverable of the land-based Vehicons, each Motorcycle Drone is a lethal adversary to all Maximals. Commanded by Vehicon general Thrust, each Motorcycle Drone is capable of extreme speeds and amazing handling. Outfitted with enormous amounts of firepower - weapons capabilities include firing energy pulses by spinning front tire while popping a wheelie. In robot mode, one arm functions as a rapid-fire energy pulse weapon, the other a grappling hook.

Strength: 6.5  Intelligence:Speed:Endurance: 8
Rank: 5  Courage: 8  Firepower: 7  Skill: 7.2

One of the first Vehicons introduced in the Beast Machines television series was the motorcycle drone. Although they would later be placed under the command of the Vehicon General, Thrust, they were originally just mindless drones controlled by Megatron directly. Although the original Thrust toy was met with enthusiasm, this version brings us a toy that closer resembles the drone shown on the television show.

Vehicle Mode:
In vehicle mode, motorcycle drone is a (you guessed it) Cybertronian motorcycle! Whereas the original Thrust toy seemed to aim towards a more sleek appearance, this toy aims more towards looking powerful. The drone's main colors are silver and red, with copper detailing. The other significant color is translucent yellow, used for the Spark Crystal and the exhaust pieces coming out of the exhaust pipes. The color scheme works well, and looks more like the colors used on the show than the more purple color used in the deluxe Thrust. The yellow adds a powerful contrast, a reminder of the power that this Vehicon is capable of.

For a basic sized toy, motorcycle drone has a fair amount of detail. The eyes on the "head" of the motorcycle are thin and evil looking. The section connecting the front wheel to the main body is nicely detailed with coils, tubes and other such mechanical details. Rather than being narrow, small tubes like the Thrust toy, motorcycle drone's exhaust tubes are large, powerful looking cylinders that look like they can funnel a lot of power. You can also turn the "head" side to side and at certain angles, have it look upwards.

Motorcycle drone has one powerful and sleek looking vehicle mode that fits the look and feel of its animated CGI counterpart.

Transformation to Robot Mode:
Begin the transformation by swinging out the exhaust pipes from the central body. Separate the sides of the rear section (two red flaps) and swing them out as well. Fold down the rear piece that you just detached the two red flaps from. Now swing the back tire to the side. Move the front tire section down so it takes the place of the rear wheel. Swing and fold the rear wheel so that it is in the back. Rotate the top half of the motorcycle "head" around and move the head up. Fold the ends of the arms (the red part which the ball joint is attached to) down. Swing the side panels up. This completes the uni-cycle version of the robot mode. If you wish to have him standing, split the wheel in half and swing them to the sides to form feet.

Robot Mode:
Motorcycle drone's robot mode carries over the same colors as the vehicle mode with no surprises. One of the best touches from the transformation is the manipulation of the motorcycle head to better resemble the robot head seen on the television show. Also, contrary to earlier pictures of the toy (which was mistransformed), motorcycle drone does have a chest, and a smooth one that better resembles the one on the television show (you may recall that the deluxe Thrust had the motorcycle "head" attached to his chest, it could be removed however). Also, whereas the deluxe Thrust had one tire splitting and folding to the sides, motorcycle drone actually has the rear tire on his back, just like the television show CGI model.

Motorcycle drone's right arm can be used as a missile launcher. Press the Spark Crystal and the yellow flame missile fires. If you extend both ends of the arm out and then launch the missile, the two sides clench together as if capturing something. Some have said that the arms on the Motorcycle drone look like the "Spark Capture" devices used on Beast Machines, and I am inclined to agree. The other arm does not fire the missile, but it does hold an extra, just pull it out and place it in the launcher on the right arm to rearm the motorcycle drone for combat.

In robot mode, Motorcycle drone has nine points of articulation. Although the "uni-cycle" tire can split to become feet, there is no real posability for this part of the toy. A side effect of having the large arms is weight. There is not enough counter-weight on the back of the toy to make up for the two arms, so if you try to stand him with both arms up, the toy will fall over. It is best to have his arms down to the side or resting on one of the arms.

Thrust and the Motorcycle drone are not easy designs to do, but Hasbro did a good job on both counts. This toy is nice because of its price point and show accuracy. Highly recommended. A-