"Bumblebee" Nitro Series Dropkick Toy Review

in 2019, Action Figure Review, Bumblebee Movie, Decepticon, Energon Igniters, Nitro Series

Energon Igniters

General Information:
Release Date: February 2019
Price Point: $19.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Target, Walmart, Amazon etc.)
Accessories: Energon Igniter Core

Dropkick

*Images and text below from Amazon.com:

  • Transformers: Bumblebee -- energon Igniters Nitro series dropkick action figure
  • Energon Igniters core included in pack activates driving action – fun play for kids ages 6 and up
  • 7-Inch-scale figure that features classic Transformers conversion – for Best results See instructions
  • Convert between robot and helicopter modes in 12 steps
  • Harness energon Igniters Tech and unleash the power Within

The lifeblood of Transformers robots, Energon fuels the epic action on earth and beyond. Now, imagine harnessing the Transformers energy source with Energon Igniters figures. Convert this Energon Igniters nitro series dropkick figure between robot and helicopter modes in 12 steps. Then plug the Energon Igniters core included in pack into the vehicle and push down to unleash flying action. This dropkick figure stands at a 7-inch scale with eye-catching detail. The Energon Igniters core unleashes the power in all Energon Igniters figures (each sold separately). when dropkick spots enemy Autobots below, he wastes no time making his move. He swoops down from overhead, spinning his propellers at full speed with the power of Energon. Harness Energon Igniters Tech and unleash the power Within. Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro. Includes Transformers: Bumblebee -- Energon Igniters nitro series dropkick figure, Energon Igniters core, and on-box instructions. Figure scale: 7 inches. Ages 6 and up. Warning: CHOKING HAZARD - small parts may be generated. Not for children under 3 years. Caution: hair entanglement may result If child's hair comes in contact with moving parts of toy. Adult supervision is required.

In September of 2018 Hasbro launched its "Bumblebee" toy line based on the live action movie. Much of this toy line was aimed at a younger audience, relying on the "Energon Igniter" gimmick. More complex and detailed figures for the movie would be folded into the "Studio Series" and "Masterpiece" lines instead. The "Energon Igniter" gimmick was spread across several classes of figures including the "Nitro Series". The "Nitro Series" figures are larger figures (about 7 inches/17.78 centimeters tall) with relatively simple transformations akin to the "Robots in Disguise" 3-Step Changers but with more steps and a different gimmick. The gimmick largely revolves around the "Energon Igniter Core" accessory. When you press the button on the top of the Energon Igniter Core down, it causes a wheel on the bottom to roll. This piece can be used on figures labeled with the "Energon Igniter" logo across size classes.

When Dropkick first arrives on Earth in the "Bumblebee" Movie he takes on the form of an Earth-based muscle car. Later in the film he also scans a Bell AH1 Super Cobra helicopter and takes on the helicopter as his third form, making him a Triple-Changer. While the previous figure in the "Bumblebee" line represents the muscle car, this figure represents the helicopter mode.

Packaging:
The Nitro Series figures are packaged in a box that wraps around the figure but has most of it open with no bubble or protection around it. This is similar to the 3-Step Changer packaging from "Robots in Disguise". The background on the packaging has a large Decepticon symbol for Blitzwing. However the package art on the lower right side shows Bumblebee in a fighting pose. The right side features a vertical Transformers logo with the "Energon Igniters" logo near it. To the lower left side of the packaging is a render of Barricade in vehicle mode with the Energon Igniter Core attached. The packaging uses yellow, black, blue and light yellow colors, making it very distinctive from many other toys on shelves (including other Transformers figures).

Accessories:
Dropkick includes an Energon Igniter Core. This "core" features a rubber wheel on the bottom. When you press the grey piece, it preps the wheel to spin. Let go and the wheel spins, propelling this figure and others in the line forward in vehicle mode. This piece is cast in translucent red and solid grey plastic. Some silver is painted on the sides (unlike the Energon Igniter Cores released with smaller figures).

Robot Mode:
Since this figure only transforms from a robot to helicopter, this sculpt represents a slightly stripped down form of the CG model seen in "Bumblebee". There are a lot of details either carried over or inspired by the CG model used in the film. This includes the distinctive head sculpt, the helicopter cockpit forming a chunk of the torso, complex looking mechanical details on the arms and bits of the car mode (specifically the rear section's halves) forming the front parts of the lower legs (the rear lights from the car mode are clearly sculpted in there).

All that said, this design is missing some key features including the car doors hanging over his shoulders and the turbine behind the head. Even given that however, I have to say I really dig this sculpt. In some ways he reminds me of what a live action movie version of Rotorstorm would look like. That's a plus in my book even if not screen accurate. There are lots of small details worked into this figure as well including the many panels that make up the robot face and machinery on the forearms. From a sculpting perspective Dropkick may not be 100% screen accurate, but he is a good looking 'bot.

This figure is cast in grey, gunmetal grey and dark blue plastic. These were the key colors of the character in the film. The way the colors are distributed differ from the CG model but the designers definitely tried to duplicate what they could. For instance, the legs have some blue on the outer armor sections and the rear lights from the car mode are filled in with red tampographs (which I almost swore were stickers, but a gentle clawing at the edges did not peel). I really like this deco, even if it is not screen accurate.

There are eight points of articulation on this figure. This includes ball joints on the shoulders and elbow articulation. The elbows actually have two hinges on each side, most likely to accommodate the transformation. The legs can swing out to the sides and in, but that is more of a function of the transformation than articulation. Each fist has 5mm ports, allowing you to attach weapons from other figures into his hands.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  2. Swing each forearm up over the upper arms.
  3. Swing the back piece up, covering up the head.
  4. Rotate each leg so the inner legs face out to the sides.
  5. Swing the legs back part way.
  6. Swing the rear halves of the helicopter mode out, then push the legs together.
  7. Swing the front panels from the lower legs forward, tabbing them in to the corresponding slots on the hip joints.
  8. Swing the robot feet back.
  9. Swing the machine guns down and tab them in to the tabs on the sides of the lower leg panels.
  10. Swing the robot arm sections down.
  11. Swing out the two halves of the rotor blades.

Vehicle Mode:
In the "Bumblebee" Movie, Dropkick transformed into a Bell AH1 Super Cobra in his aerial form. Sometimes Hasbro and Takara Tomy will try to fudge the vehicle mode a bit by taking the on screen vehicle and approximating its appearance in some way. For Dropkick however, the designers seem to have just gone running in another direction as fast as possible. Instead of a helicopter that looks like its origins were in the 60's, this one looks like a modern day, almost futuristic helicopter. The angled cockpit section, the machine guns in front, the wings on the sides and the rear section are all unique to this figure. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I will say that despite not being screen accurate, the helicopter looks cool and powerful.

The grey color from the robot mode makes up most of this form. Black plastic is used for the rotor blades and machine guns. Some blue plastic shows in the front and middle area. The red on the cockpit windows also takes center stage here. On both sides of the tail section are Decepticon symbols with wings printed in black. The vehicle looks very "clean", but the deco is nice given the size class.

Push an Energon Igniter Core through the back section and two panels will swing outward. These panels will reveal additional blasters and turbines! Push the grey button/tab on the Igniter Core and it will send Dropkick rolling forward into battle.

Final Thoughts:
Dropkick may not be the most screen-accurate figure out there, but he does look great and he's fun to play with. The transformation is surprisingly fun for a figure of this class and I do enjoy the Energon Igniter Core feature. Recommended!

Pros:

  • Nice sculpt.
  • Nice deco in both modes.
  • Fun action feature.

Cons:

  • Could use more articulation (knees would have been great).
  • Not super-screen-accurate (but still looks cool).