Dark of the Moon Human Alliance Drag Strip with Master Disaster Toy Review
Release Date: November 2011
Price Point: $9.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Blade weapons x 2, Master Disaster action figure
Images: Image gallery of Decepticon Drag Strip & Master Disaster
As the "Dark of the Moon" toy line began to be revealed during the time frame of Toy Fair 2011, some interpreted the "Cyberverse" Commander series of figures as the heir apparent to the position held by the Scout Class figures, a major staple of the Transformers toy line since the days of "Beast Wars". However, Toy Fair 2011 revealed this to not be the case. Instead, the Scout Class is being enhanced and folded into the "Human Alliance" sub-line of Transformers figures. Originally this line focused on large scale "Alternators" style vehicles with human partners, all based on the movie universe. The concept has been expanded now to include new characters that work together on the battlefield. In some respects, this sub-line is a near realization of the "G.I. Joe and Transformers" toys fans have wanted for years.
Master Disaster is Drag Strip's partner and his sculpt suits Drag Strip's vehicle mode. He is dressed in an outfit that looks like a racing outfit, complete with some wrinkles on his arms, legs and torso that looks like fabric. His boots have flaps over the laces, all nicely sculpted in intricate detail. The entire figure is cast in a smokey grey translucent plastic, and because of that it can look almost like he has no detail. Look closely however and he appears to have Cybertronian glyphs on his outfit, all sculpted. There are three on the front and possibly one on his right arm. His head is a racing helmet with the visor down. The visor is painted black while he has a Decepticon symbol painted in purple on his back. I'm really happy to see these extra details because he would have been super plain compared to many of the other Human Alliance "partner" figures which generally have a couple of different colors painted onto them. The sculpted glyphs were a pleasant and unexpected surprise!
Master Disaster has thirteen points of articulation including three in each arm and leg. His wrists can turn, allowing his hands to grip a variety of handles on Human Alliance vehicles.
Drag Strip is a name that has gotten sporadic attention in the "Transformers" toy line over the years. He first appeared in the 1985 Generation One line as a member of the Stunticons, a team of land based Decepticons who merged into the giant known as Menasor. Over the years he would pop up here and there in the "Transformers" toy line, most recently a homage to the character was part of the Botcon 2012 boxed set. Now the live action Movie universe has gotten its own version of the character in the "Human Alliance" toy line. While not the same character as the G1 version, he definitely takes inspiration from his G1 namesake.
In keeping with some of his G1 roots, Drag Strip has a good combination of G1 like features with some of the elements you'd expect from a Movie era Transformer. The G1 elements are found on his arms, torso and legs. Each of those sections have areas made up of sections from the vehicle mode, giving them a sleek and smooth appearance. This is most evident on his torso and legs. The torso is made up of the front nose of the vehicle, essentially making his torso a cone. The lower legs have curved sections formed from the back of the vehicle, looking very un-Movie like in design, but very much like other generations of Transformers with more traditional designs. His arms are more blocky than most movie figures (which generally have jagged and complex looking designs) with some angled designs on them.
The more Movie universe like elements are found on the other parts. First the robot head has a very evil set of thin eyes and an extended mouthplate that comes to a point (reminscent of Beast Machines Mirage). The upper arms and legs have layers of mechanical designs on them. He also has two panels that protrude from the back, set vertically behind his head. These too have some nice, intricate line detailing on them. In another Movie-like design element, each of Drag Strip's hands only have three fingers instead of the more traditional five. The final touch that makes him more of a "Movie" universe character are his feet, which end in clawed toes instead of flat panels.
Drag Strip has a wide looking stance partly due to the way he has big wheels on his hips and partly because of the way his arms stick out to the sides, almost like the stereotypical image of a cowboy getting ready for a gunfight in a Western. Combined with the rather grim look on his face he winds up looking quite formidable despite being a Scout Class figure.
In homage to his Generation One counterpart, Drag Strip has three primary colors: yellow, silver and black. The torso, forearms, lower legs and a panel on his back are yellow. His thighs, upper arms and other smaller bits are silver. All of these colors appeared on the original Drag Strip. Additional colors are provided by paint applications including black details on his chest and a lighter shade of yellow on his legs. His back vertical panels are colored metallic purple and looks fantastic. As you'd expect, his eyes are painted red - the general color of Decepticon eyes in G1. Drag Strip has two blade weapons, each painted with a yellow base and a purple spray pattern going from the middle to the front. Overall he's got a nice looking color pattern and is instantly recognizable as a G1 homage.
Drag Strip has fifteen points of articulation in this mode. Some of the points are problematic however. His arms can move on a ball joint at the shoulder but the arm sections connect to the torso via tabs that insert into matching grooves on the shoulder armor. This does not hold particularly tight so they have a tendency to fall out, causing his arms to flop out to the sides a bit. It's not a horrific flaw, but it is a one worth noting. Another point of articulation that is a bit problematic is the head, which is able to turn side to side but you have to fiddle with it a bit since it can rest against a panel behind it.
On the underside of each of the halves of the vehicle mode's front end are rods for "C Clip" weapons. He comes with the aforementioned blade weapons that attach nicely and can be positioned any number of ways since they rest on a ball joint. You can of course attach other C Clip weapons here as well. While his hands are sculpted in a slightly open position, they do hold standard 5mm peg weapons.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode
- Detach the blade weapons for now.
- Swing the robot feet back.
- Pull the robot arms out to the sides.
- Swing the robot head forward into the chest.
- Straighten out each robot arm and then connect the two forearms together to form the front of the vehicle.
- Straighten out each leg and then swing it forward.
- Rotate the lower legs outward so the curved part faces out to the sides, press them in to form the sides of the vehicle.
- Swing up the rear spoiler.
- On the spoiler, swing the black panels down so they are vertical, forming the sides of the spoiler.
- The blade weapons can be attached to the C Clips on the front of the vehicle.
Like his G1 counterpart, Drag Strip is an F-1 style racing car in vehicle mode. He has a low profile, a front end with extensions and a curved rear section with enough room for one driver in a curved cockpit like area. Unlike G1 Drag Strip however, the vehicle is more rounded on the sides and has more open space on the front end. The vehicle looks really cool and with the blades attached he looks extra fierce.
All the colors from the robot mode carry over here, but now the yellow parts are consolidated, making him look even more like his G1 namesake. Some new details are revealed in this form. His front extensions have a bit of purple on the sides, painted in a nice faded pattern that leads to the yellow. On the front nose is a triangular black detail with a yellow bird-like emblem painted on top. A smaller version of this bird appears on the left side of the vehicle behind the driver's seat against the black section. It's not an overly complex color scheme, but it looks really nice and it pays proper homage to the source character.
Master Disaster can be seated inside the driver's seat. It's a bit of a challenge to get him to sit nicely and "hold" the steering wheel but it can be done. You'll note when you put him in there that he's quite out of proportion with the vehicle itself. He should be smaller (or the vehicle should be larger) but it still manages to work. If you don't want to use his blade weapons, you can attach other C Clip weapons to the front end. I have to say he looks pretty awesome with some ballistic weaponry on the front, like something out of a Mad Max movie or "Death Race"!
Transformation to Shield Mode (from vehicle mode)
- On the spoiler, swing the pieces on the side up.
- Flip the vehicle over and swing up the purple panels. You'll have to angle them slightly so they're not overlapping the rear wheels.
- Attach each of the blade weapons to the purple panels you just moved in step two.
Drag Strip's shield mode is reminscent of the shield formed by the Armada Race Team. In this case however it is one composed piece instead of being made up of three individual Mini-Cons so it's much more solid. This mode allows you to get a good look at the detail on the purple panels that are only partly featured in the robot mode. I really like the way the blade weapons attach to those panels, giving the shield a sleek look. There's quite a bit of sculpted detail on the purple panels and the blade weapons including tubes and grooves in angled shapes.
Unfortunately the way the shield can be held by other characters is a bit weird. Towards the front end of the vehicle (on the underside) are two pegs. You can swing them out and attach them to 5mm holes on various Transformers. What's weird is that all the sculpted details that look nice wind up against the Transformer, meaning the end result is it looks like a Transformer picked up a car to protect itself, which I guess he is but it would have been neat if it was reversed so the sculpted details faced forward. Another logistical issue that bugs me a bit is the fact that the shield has a big hole right in the center where the driver's seat is. One well placed shot and Drag Strip makes for a pretty ineffective shield. Then again, I guess who wants to be a shield anyway?
Drag Strip is one a cool figure in two of his modes, bu the shield form is quite disappointing. Still, I would be lying if I said I didn't like this robot mode and vehicle mode, and I really dig the homage. This wouldn't be my first choice of Human Alliance figures to recommend, but if you want to bolster your Decepticon forces this would be a good addition. Recommended with some reservations.