Transformers Generation 2 1993 Drench Toy Review

in 1993, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Color Changers, Generation 2

Generation 2

General Information:
Release Date: 1993
Price Point: $12.99 (Approximate depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Kay Bee Toys etc.)
Accessories: Water gun/blaster/spoiler

Images:

As the "Generation 2" line began to reach its mid-point, Hasbro continued experimenting with different types of features on the figures to make them more appealing as they had in the past. While transformation was still the toy's primary gimmick, there seemed to be a focus at the time on adding "something else" to the figure as well. In 1993, a sub-group of Transformers were introduced known as the "Color Changers" (which pretty much described their gimmick, but more on that below). Drench was one of the Autobots belonging to this sub-group. He should not be confused with the Autobot of the same name who was also a Color Changer, but only released in European markets.

It's probably worth saying that when reading this review, it's important to realize that in 2013, I'm reviewing a toy that came out about twenty years ago, so the standards that I usually hold figures to are a bit different when it comes to something of this era. It is through that lense I recommend you read this review.

Vehicle Mode:
Deluge's vehicle mode is based on the Mazda 787B Sportscar. These are rare vehicles built for special events, giving Drench an exotic look in this form. The designers managed to replicate a lot of the Mazda's features including:

  • The front end slopes down with a depression in the middle and raised headlights on the sides set under curved covers.
  • The driver's section is an oval pod in the center.
  • Each wheel comes very close to the top of the wheel well section, both of which (front and back) are very thin.
  • Looking at it from overhead, you'll find the sides towards the back are slightly raised.

Drench isn't an exact replica of the Mazda however. He is missing the distinctive curved side view mirrors mounted on the front of the vehicle on the real life version. Also, the entire rear section has a spoiler that are basically two big cannons sitting on the back of the car instead of the thin spoiler used on the real vehicle. The spoiler/cannon section is of course part of the whole "Color Change" water firing gimmick and they had to put it somewhere. To me however I like the design because it looks like Drench has a couple of gigantic boosters on his back, which gives him a very "scifi" look. I also like the idea that he can fire his weaponry in vehicle mode as well as robot mode.

The plastic colors used on this figure are translucent grey, green, black and yellow. The translucent grey part is used for the entire front section of the car, but the top is mostly painted with dark green color changing paint. The parts left unpainted are the windows and headlights. The rest of the car is green with black wheels and the weapon/spoiler on the back is yellow. Drench features several paint applications including black stripes running from one side to another in thick and thin bands from the front to the beginning of the vehicle's rear section. There is gold paint on the ends of the cannons, however there is a variant of the figure that did not have gold on the ends (which came first is hard to say at this point).

Like most of the figures of its time, Drench uses stickers to add a ton of detail on. A lot of these stickers use gold foil as the base color, with assorted designs on top. The front end features a bird-like symbol in green. On the sides above the front wheel wells are purple circuit patterns. Other stickers have numbers or letters on them such as the number 8 on the sides or the word "Turbo" in green on the sides of the rear weapon. A circular sticker on top of the vehicle has the G2 Autobot symbol (based on Optimus Prime's head design). Stickers may be a bit passé by today's standards (though the "Arms Micron" line brought them back in Japan) but for it's time this was a great way to get a lot of detail into the figure at a relatively cheap price and they do have a kind of gaudy charm to them.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the yellow section from the rear of the vehicle and set it aside for now.
  2. Swing the sides of the vehicle out.
  3. Swing the middle section of the vehicle's back area down to form the robot legs.
  4. Swing the front end of the vehicle down.
  5. The weapon can be attached by using the pegs on the sides to connect with the holes on the inside of each forearm.

Robot Mode:
Drench has a funny looking robot mode, and I mean that in the nicest way possible. Keeping in mind we are talking about an alien robot here, he doesn't have to necesarily match the proportions of a human being, but wow is he top heavy. Compared to his legs, which are set very close together, his chest and arms are really wide, giving him a rather uneven look from top to bottom, yet somehow it works. He looks strange but it's cool partly thanks to the rather fluid nature of his design. His chest panel is sleek and curved, leading to some more blocky waist/thigh pieces before ending again with curved lower legs. This continues the sleek look of his vehicle mode into the robot form nicely. In addition, I like his head sculpt with the antennae sticking out to the sides at angles. He also looks like he could really dish it out in hand to hand combat with his large forearms.

Where the functionality of the figure fails a bit (and not much really) is once you attach the weapon. If his legs are completely straight, he'll flop right over because the weight of the weapon and his arms is really too much for him to hold. Instead, you have to carefully bend his legs just a tiny bit and he'll look like he's leaning back a bit (ok, he is leaning back a bit) but at least he'll be able to stand and point the weapon forward. It's not ideal, but frankly I've never seen it as a huge compromise in design, just an oddity. By today's standards however this would be a rather epic fail so I'm being generous and remembering how I felt about this as a younger fan when I first got it and it never bothered me that much.

Drench shows off the new color of light blue plastic on his waist/thighs section. The head is painted blue with silver on the face. The eyes are translucent for light piping. His entire chest panel has dark green color changing paint on it. Hit it with warm or cold water and it changes color (though I believe heat works better). Drench has four points of articulation, the arms and legs. Again, by today's standards that's terrible but by the standards of the time that's about right.

Final Thoughts:
Drench isn't an ideal "Transformers" figure, nor is he really a great example of what Hasbro could produce at the time. However I think he has a great looking vehicle mode and a cool robot mode (weapon issue aside). Of the four Color Changers he's probably my second favorite after "Gobots". Recommended, but with all the caveats mentioned in this review.