Transformers Generation 2 1994 Toy Reviews: Sizzle

in 1994, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Generation 2, Laser Rods

Transformers Generation 2

General Information:
Retailer: General (Toys 'R' Us, K-Mart, Bradlees etc.)
Price: $12.99 (Depending on retailer)
Accessories: Sword

Images:

Many credit the Beast Wars toy line with the introduction of high posability into the Transformers toy line. However, the experiments into giving Transformers a more dynamic range of movement began years before Beast Wars was on toy store shelves. One of the subgroups of Transformers that introduced good posability into the Transformers line were the Laser Rods.

Aside from their posability, Laser Rods had LED's that could be used to light up their engines in vehicle mode and their swords in robot mode. This is a feature that would go on to later be used in the Laser Cycles and even in Armada Optimus Prime.

Vehicle Mode:
Sizzle's vehicle mode is an old style hot rod. Part truck and part muscle, this car has a very classic, throwback look to it. It's high from the back to the windsheild, then it dips down at the front, with the car being fairly thin and sleek the whole way down. The front grill is really nicely done, with emphasis on being vertical instead of horizontal. The engine sculpted into the hood is really nice looking, and pressing the green button in front of it activates the LED underneath. I like the way the button was integrated into the design of the engine rather than being a separate piece like it is on Electro.

Dark gray (almost black) is the primary color for the vehicle mode. There are orange details on the top and sides of the vehicle which resemble fish scales. They're nice spaced out in patches. Along with the vehicle's thin form, it really does bear a slight resemblance to an odd fish (albeit, a mechanical one). On the rear of the vehicle (on either side) there are strong orange details in a pattern streaking up at an angle. This is a really nice deco that is not blinding or garish, but works well against the dark pallete of this toy.

The Laser Rods were notable for one other innovative feature: the ability to store all their weaponry in their vehicle forms. Though this had been done with some G1 toys such as the Pretenders, this was a case where the weapons were integrated into the form of the vehicle, something which would become a standard practice for Transformers down the road.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the sword from the underside of the vehicle.
  2. Swing the rear of the vehicle back and down.
  3. Flip the robot feet out.
  4. Flip the car over and you'll see the robot arms, swing them up and to the sides.
  5. Detach the LED from the underside of the car and connect it to the underside of one of the fists.
  6. Fold the front of the vehicle down to form the robot chest.
  7. Attach the sword to either fist.

Robot Mode:
Sizzle is one mean looking dude in robot mode. The dark colors really do a lot to help project his image. Both the robot head and the upper legs are dark green, his waist and shoulder joints are light gray. This helps project his rough n' tough image, along with his visor eyes and mouthplate face.

Sizzle's robot mode is mostly composed of parts already visible in vehicle mode, but he still looks nice. His arms are sculpted with lines, cylinders and grooves to give them detailing, and the upper legs have a lot of lines that keep it from looking ordinary. Having the engine right on his chest looks cool too, looking the heart of this mechanical warrior.

The sword that Sizzle wields has a rather unique design. It is made out of translucent clear plastic, allowing the light piping to work nicely. However, instead of just being a rod or broadsword, the end has a jagged pattern that looks like a drawing of a thunder bolt. This is really neat and sets the weapon apart from the other Laser Rods.

Sizzle has fourteen points of articulation in this form, something unusual at the time. What's fantastic is that this includes four points of articulation in each arm. Not only can the arm move up and down, but it can swing out to the side or rotate on a joint on the upper arm.

Unfortunately, the Laser Rods suffered from one common flaw, which ironically, was part of their play value. The upper and lower body sections of Laser Rods were held together with, what was in essence, a thick rubber band. What was neat about this was that it allowed for you to turn the figure at the waist, let go and have it "swing" its sword at an enemy. The problem is that rubber will eventually dry, crack and break. It would have been better to have just made the middle joint a regular joint, but this was a time of experimenation, and since no other Transformers since have been made this way, the designers obviously learned their lessons.

Final Thoughs:Like the other Laser Rods, I like Sizzle a lot, but the problem with the central body construction puts a big black mark on it. I do recommend the toy, but be aware of the potential problems described above.