"Generations" Combiner Wars G2 Dragstrip Toy Review

in 2016, Action Figure Review, Combiner Wars, Decepticon, Deluxe, Generation Two, Generations, Stunticon

Generations

Dragstrip General Information:
Release Date: March 2016
Price Point: $99.99 (in a boxed set with Blackjack, Brake-Neck, Breakdown, Dead End, and Motormaster)
Retailer: Limited Release (Toys R Us, Target, Amazon, Walmart etc.)
Accessories: Hand/Foot/Weapon, Sword/Blaster

Official images and text below in italics are from HasbroToyShop:
Menasor is driven by one thing and one thing only: a desire to obliterate the enemy. He attacks Decepticons – on the ground or in the air – with all-out force.

Convert, attack and destroy with this incredible 7-in-1 Menasor Collection Pack! There’s a whole force of Decepticons in this pack and they’re spoiling for a fight with their Autobot enemies. Whether these sneaky Decepticons are in robot mode or vehicle mode, they’ll attack with everything they’ve got! And when that’s not enough, they’ll combine to form a massive, unstoppable Menasor figure! Maybe the Autobots could defeat Motormaster, Decepticon Dragstrip, or Dead End alone. Maybe Breakdown, Brake-Neck and Blackjack won’t be enough to stop the Autobot advance. But when they combine, Autobots beware! Dominate the Transformers battle with your Menasor Collection Pack!

Includes 6 figures, poster, collector card, poster, accessories, and instructions.

Back in the 90's Hasbro made an attempt to revive the then-failing "Transformers" toy line be re branding it as "Transformers Generation 2". This line took old sculpts and new sculpts and mashed them up into one line of figures. However, "Generation 2" only lasted a few years before Transformers took a sharp left turn and was reimagined as "Beast Wars". Along the way several figures that were solicited were never released. However in some cases the figures did make it to the production sample stage, and that's where the "Generation 2" Stunticons come in. At Botcon 1994 attendees received a carded Breakdown figure from "Generation 2", part of a set that would never see mass release. To illustrate how excited fans have been for this set, a 2015 ebay auction featured a complete set of these Stunticons out of package and wound up earning over $26,000!

For those not looking to spend the price of a car to buy a set of Stunticons, it was announced last summer that the "Combiner Wars" Stunticons would be relased in G2 colors! Retailing around $99.99 this set was most readily available at online retailers such as BWTF sponsor Bigbadtoystore and other stores such as Target and Toys R Us. Some stores such as Toys R Us in Canada had these at physical retail locations as well.

While this set did come in one big boxed set I've decided to divide up my reviews of this set into digestible chunks by team member. I think this is a bit more organized and also keeps you from having to scroll forever through one gigantic review.

The sculpt used for this figure was originally released as the G1 themed Dragstrip. Later it would be released as the Autobot Mirage. With only two releases prior to this Dragstrip's base sculpt has the distinction of being one of the least reused sculpts in "Combiner Wars" so far. Check out those two previous reviews to get the full lowdown on the sculpt. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

Packaging:
The "Menasor Collectors Pack" is a really impressive looking set. The box is large and rectangular, intended to be displayed horizontally. The front uses the black background seen on most "Generations" packaging with the red "Transformers" logo set vertically on the right. The middle section has new artwork featuring Menasor in his G2 colors. This is not the same art used for the first "Combiner Wars" release of this character, it is new art. Overlaid on top of that are small thumbnail images of all six Stunticons and the words "Combiner Wars Menasor" below that. The back of the packaging features a large photos of Menasor fully combined with a brief write up on the character.

Open up the box and you slide out a huge, clear plastic tray with all the Stunticons in vehicle mode. The accessories are all placed near the member they belong to. Also included in the package is a cardboard envelope with the instructions and a print inside. Unlike Superion, the print included for this set does feature the G2 based artwork. I love the presentation of the figures on a big tray and the idea of including a print is really cool.

Accessories:
This set includes both of the weapons included with the first version of this sculpt. His smaller weapon is a sword that doubles as a blaster. Even two releases after the original I find this weapon odd since there is nothing resembling an actual weapon barrel. I just wind up imagining that the blade can fire beams of energy but I much prefer the weapon as a sword. This weapon is cast in metallic teal, calling back to the G2 Drag Strip's weapon which was cast in blue. The other accessory that goes with Dragstrip is the hand/foot/weapon piece. This piece is cast mostly in metallic teal with the joint for the thumb piece in a darker shade of blue. All the joints on this piece are still nice and tight.

Vehicle Mode:
Over the years a few samples of G2 Drag Strip (note how his name is two separate words, not one) have leaked out via ebay so fans have gotten a look at the color scheme for this figure prior to this. However his color scheme varied a bit between loose and packaged samples. When the designers worked on this figure, it appears they decided to use a packaged sample as their point of reference.

Instead of his yellow color from the previous incarnation, this version of Dragstrip shows off metallic black plastic in this mode for both the shell of the vehicle and the wheels. G2 Drag Strip also traded in yellow for black so this matches his G2 incarnation nicely. The driver's section was gold on G2 Drag Strip but here the designers have painted it yellow. The middle of the vehicle's front end and the sides are all painted metallic blue. This is a call back to the blue used for the front and sides of G2 Drag Strip, though on the sides of the G2 figure he had his name printed on the toy instead of a fill in pattern. The spoiler has some rectangular details on it meant to emulate the checkerboard pattern on G2 Drag Strip's spoiler, however this figure lacks the red rectangles that figure had. The section right in front of the driver's section has a G2 Decepticon symbol in silver and purple, roughly matching the G2 version of the character. Some additional paint details are done in silver. You'll find it used to paint the rods that connect the vehicle to the wheels and the sides of the wheels.

Overall the vehicle mode looks great. I do kind of wish the designers had run with the checkerboard pattern on the sides of the vehicle instead of just blue fill in paint, but the choice of metallic blue looks good and mitigates any sense of loss I may have from that detail being left out. I noticed on my copy of this figure there was a small silver "splash pattern" on the front, right side wheel but not on any of the others. The pattern actually looks very cool, resembling a car driving on a wet road. I'm sure it was just an accident at the factory.

The hand/foot/weapon piece can attach to the peg behind the driver's area. The sword/blaster attaches to the ports on the sides of the vehicle. Both fit nice and tight so don't worry about stability issues.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
  2. Swing the sides of the vehicle out.
  3. Pull the rear of the vehicle back.
  4. Split the rear half of the vehicle to form the robot legs.
  5. Rotate the front half of the vehicle around.
  6. Swing the front of the vehicle back.
  7. Push the robot head into place on top of the chest section.
  8. Rotate the front of the vehicle around, swing it down and connect it to the peg behind the driver's section.
  9. Swing each robot arm up at the shoulders.
  10. Swing out each hand inside the forearms.
  11. The weapons can be attached to his shoulders or fists.

Robot Mode:
When the G1 combiner figures were released for G2 the stickers included with the original versions were removed, so a lot of detail and color was lost in the process. G2 Drag Strip is no exception. The original G2 toy was pretty plain in robot mode with most of his detail coming from the sides of the arms and head. Otherwise he was mostly just black plastic.

For this modern day version the designers seemed to have decided to use the original G2 toy as a starting point, but they also made sure this version had more detailing. His main color is still black but blue plastic is used for his head, shoulders and thighs. Yellow plastic is used for the Combiner attachment piece that mkes up the center of his torso. The yellow is a callback to the gold used on G2 Drag Strip's torso. The splash of yellow (along with the teal weapons) also helps reinforce the rather offbeat color pattern that dominates this boxed set.

Silver paint is found on the head, face, arms and lower legs. The eyes are painted red and a G2 Decepticon symbol is tampographed onto the left side of Dragstrip's chest. Overall the strength of this deco is the way the brighter colors contrast against the darker ones while using unusual color combinations. It's not 100% "G2 accurate" but I'm okay with that.

All the joints on my copy of this figure are nice and tight and he can hold his weapons tightly.

Transformation to Arm Mode (Starting in robot mode):

  1. Detach all weapons.
  2. Transform the fist piece into the hand. Flip out the four fingers that are sculpted together, then swing the thumb up to the side you want to form.
  3. Push the lower legs together.
  4. Rotate the lower body around (as if you were forming the vehicle mode).
  5. Rotate each arm around, then bend the elbow joints at the top, curving the arms inward.
  6. Swing the silver piece in the chest up (this is where it connects to the larger figures).
  7. Attach the fist piece to the port under the feet.

Note: if you want to adjust the length of the limb, you can swing the section with the spoiler up, revealing another attachment port for the hand/foot piece.

Arm Mode:
The more I look at it, the more I really like Dragstrip's arm mode. I really like the way the arms can be positioned to add a bit of extra length and design flair to the shoulder area. Since the joints are tight on my Dragstrip figure he manages to hold up Viper in weapon mode without a problem. The ratchet joint that connects him to a torso figure works without a problem too.

Transformation to Leg mode (Starting in vehicle mode):

  1. Detach all the accessories.
  2. Straighten out all the limbs.
  3. Push the lower legs together, then push them up.
  4. Rotate the lower body around (like you are forming the vehicle mode).
  5. Straighten out each arm, then push them into the sides.
  6. Rotate the robot head around, then push it back.
  7. Swing up the silver piece in the chest.
  8. Attach the foot piece to the bottom of the robot feet.

Note: if you want to adjust the length of the limb, you can swing the section with the spoiler up, revealing another attachment port for the hand/foot piece.

Leg Mode:
Looking at this leg mode for the third time I have to say it was a really nice design touch to have the front end of the vehicle mode fold on top of the knee area. It winds up looking like some type of high impact knee armor. From a functional standpoint I have no issues with this figure in leg mode.

Final Thoughts:
I really like the colors on this figure. It's very different from its predecessors and it pays homage to the original G2 Drag Strip nicely. I do wish however that the designers had pushed the checkered flag design a little more as it would've added a bit more to the "G2-ness" of the figure. He's not the strongest of the set, but Dragstrip is not a bad addition by any means.