"Generations" War for Cybertron: Siege Race Car Patrol Toy Review

in 2018, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Generation One, Generations, Micromaster, Micromaster, War for Cybertron: Siege

Generations

War for Cybertron: Siege

General Information:
Release Date: November 2018
Price Point: $9.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Amazon, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

Race Car Patrol

Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:

  • Build the ultimate battlefield
  • Featuring classic G1 characters - experience classic G1 characters through the lens of the war for Cyber Tron: Siege story. The Siege line offers thrilling throwbacks to G1 toys and exciting play patterns for all generations. Fans will remember the iconic character combos of micro master action figures and kids will love the micro size and exciting team-ups!
  • Awesome conversion and combination into vehicle and weapon modes - the wfc-s4 Autobot race car Patrol 2-Pack includes roadhandler and swindler action figures. Convert the swindler toy into its race car mode in 5 easy steps. Convert roadhandler toy into its race car mode in 3 quick steps. Combine the figures to form the multi-mech Particle exhaust cannon weapon accessory. Simple conversion for kids and adults 8 and up!
  • Compatible weapon mode works with all other Siege figures - convert and combine the wfc-s4 Autobot race car Patrol action figures into the weapon mode and use it to weaponize deluxe, Voyager, and leader class Siege figures. (Each sold separately. Subject to availability.) multiple C.O.M.B.A.T. (Cybertronian omnifuctional modular battlefield Assault Tech) system weapon ports enable fans to attach the race car Patrol weapon mode to Siege figures and their vehicle modes in custom configurations.
  • Add battle effects with Fire blasts accessories

Build the ultimate battlefield with Transformers war for Cybertron siege figures. Siege plunges fans into the epic fight to survive on the final day of the Autobus and deception battle to control Cybertron. The deception resistance army and the Autobus counter-resistance fighters gear up with the universe's most advanced modular weaponry, including the weapon modes of combined micro master figures -- sentient Bots that combine to form weapons.

In 2018 the "Power of the Primes" line finished off the "Prime Wars Trilogy" which had begun with "Combiner Wars". To kick off a whole new G1 inspired series of "Generations" figures, a new line known as "War for Cybertron: Siege" started in late 2018 (with a planned wide release in 2019).

In the past few years, the "Generations" line has been paying homage to Generation One toys and characters in a kind of chronological order. First they went all out with Combiners in "Combiner Wars", then leading to Headmaster homages galore in "Titans Return" and last year's "Power of the Primes" focused on paying homage to Pretenders, and to a lesser degree, Powermasters. Following this pattern, "Siege" brings us homages to Micromasters. These small Transformers had varying origins in G1, but origins aside, these characters were represented as tiny Transformers who transformed into an assortment of vehicles. Whereas they were once packaged in four member "Patrols" (or six member "Squads"), "Siege"uses the Micromasters to fill in the price point previously occupied by the "Legends" class figures, featuring two Micromaster figures in one package.

Packaging:
The "Siege" Micromasters are packaged in a bubble attached to small card. The card features the same dramatic artwork style as larger boxes in the line. This includes a black background fading into a honeycomb pattern behind the figures. The right side features the "Transformers", "Generations" and Takara Tomy logos. The left side features a vertical chyron with an Autobot symbol, the alpha numeric code "WFC-S4" and the names Roadhandler and Swindler printed on it. The package art features the two Micromaters in vehicle mode since the figures are packaged in robot mode. The insert inside the bubble has the large "War for Cybertron: Siege" logo on it. It is dramatic and eye catching and I love how it looks on toy store shelves.

The back of the card features both characters in all three modes (robot, vehicle and weapon). It labels Swindler as having a five step transform while Roadhandler has three. The middle section features Hound holding the two in their combined weapon mode. Below that is a ton of legal information.

Roadhandler Review

Robot Mode:
Roadhandler could have just been one of many forgotten Micromasters over the years, but thanks to his appearances in the G1 Marvel Comic Books series, the character wound up being unexpectedly popular in the G1 era. That affection continues to this day, no doubt leading to him being made part of this set. Along with that affection comes a lot of design details that are borrowed right from the original Micromaster figure. among these details are:

  • The basic body design is the same, down to the front of the car on his back and the rear of the car forming his lower legs.
  • The head shape is the same, featuring a crest in the middle and two panels that sweep back on either side of the crest.
  • The shape of the chest is the same as G1 Roadhandler, with small panels angling downward featuring horizontal designs etched into them.
  • The hip area features two vertical lines on either side in front.
  • Each shoulder features two raised horizontal lines.
  • In a happy coincidence, a screw is used to hold the torso panel in place on both the G1 and "Siege" Roadhandler figures.

Roadhandler is cast in red and black plastic. Red was the character's primary color in G1, so this fits nicely with his G1 appearance. Yellow, blue, silver and black paint are used to fill in details. In many respects, the paint work on this figure outdoes his G1 counterpart in surprising ways. First, the entire torso and head are painted yellow. The face is painted blue, taking a cue from the G1 figure. There are several silver accents on the torso that I did not expect, but they are most welcome. Black is used on the horizontal lines on the shoulders and the lower legs. Overall, despite some differences, the figure looks like the G1 version of the character with extra paint detailing. For a figure this size, I was very impressed with the deco.

There are seven points of articulation on this figure, which is quite a bit for a "micro" sized figure. His shoulder and hip joints are ball joints and surprisingly he also has waist articulation! The ball joints are small, so it is very easy to pop the joints off by accident. If you do, just reattach them.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  2. Push the arms into the sides, using the tabs on the arms to connect to the corresponding slots on the sides.
  3. Swing the front of the car over the head.
  4. Swing the lower legs up to form the rear of the vehicle.

Vehicle Mode:
The original Roadhandler transformed into a Pontiac Firebird, specifically the 80's model of the vehicle. This Roadhandler figure continues that tradition. Perhaps the most distinctive, "Firebird-esque" detailing are the headlights, which are set at angles in the front and feature two on either side. The cabin section also has a distinct shape similar to the Firebird. Of course, the details were changed just enough to avoid licensing issues, but it still looks very close to the real life vehicle and very cool as a result.

This mode mostly shows off red plastic with black deco on the cabin section and rear window. A tampographed Autobot symbol can be found on the left side. Part of me almost wishes that deco from the robot mode (such as the shoulder details) were sacrificed to give his mode more deco either on the headlights or the sides of the wheels, but it is not a deal breaker by any means.

Swindler Review

Robot Mode:
Aside from a couple apperances in the G1 Marvel Comic book and being part of the G1 "Micromaster Zone" story, Swindler did not make much of a splash in G1 so you can be forgiven if you are wondering "Who?" or thinking of this guy. That said, I always dug Swindler because of his name and distinctive G1 vehicle mode (more on that below).

In G1, many Micromasters had a simple transform: the front of the car became the robot torso, the arms were formed by the sides of the vehicle (with sections sticking up on top of the shoulders) and the back of the car would become the legs. Swindler was a prime example of this design, but the designers changed it up a bit for this version. The big difference is the torso. The front of the car swings onto the back on this figure instead of forming the front of the torso. It appears this decision was made due to the weapon mode peg being situated under the front of the car. If this were to fold down over the torso section, it might stick out a bit. This could have been solved by creating an opening on the chest for the peg, but that may have over-complicated the design. In an effort to make sure the loss of G1 accuracy was worth it, there are some cool designs worked into the torso including two circles on either side of the chest and layers of detailing that looks like armor and what appears to be a faux peg above the waist.

The rest of the figure is heavily based on G1 Swindler. This includes his head, which has a crest in the middle and visor eyes. His arms have pylons that extend up on top of the shoulders and the rear of the vehicle form the legs. There are some extra details on this figure that don't show upon the G1 version. For instance, the forearms have ridges on them that were not found on G1 Swindler's arms.

This figure is cast in a really nice, shiny silver plastic with black plastic used for the wheels. Blue paint is found on the head, chest and shoulders. Black paint is used for the windows on the lower legs. The face is painted yellow. These colors are all based off the G1 version of the character and they look great.

There are seven points of articulation on this figure. This includes ball joints on the hips and waist articulation. The ball joints are small, so it is very easy to pop the joints off by accident. If you do, just reattach them.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  2. Swing the front of the car up and tuck it in between the two shoulder pylons.
  3. Swing the lower legs up to form the rear of the vehicle.

Vehicle Mode:
The original Swindler was a DeLorean in vehicle mode. This vehicle form seems to use the DeLorean as a springboard for a design that does not require licensing. The general shape is very similar to the DeLorean, including a thin, rectangular front end and a hood section that angles up to the windshield. The middle to back is very different however. It does not have the "gull wing" style doors, nor does it have a cover over the rear window. Still, you can see where the G1 inspiration came in and it is a neat looking little car.

This mode shows off the silver color really nicely. The wheels are black. Each window is painted black and there is an Autobot symbol tampographed on the left side. I'm really happy all the windows are painted since Hasbro was skipping windows here and there for years on figures. It would have been easy to cheap out on this figure but they did not do so.

Weapon Mode

Unlike their G1 counterparts, Roadhandler and Swindler can each transform into a "weapon mode". Swing out the rear of the vehicle on each, then swing down the pegs under the front of the car. Using the pegs, you can connect each weapon to the other by connecting the peg to the ports on the torsos. Unfortunately, this leads to the figures wind up in a rather...awkward position so I tend to prefer keeping them separate to be used as individual blasters. There are ports on the front of each weapon that allow you to attach Blast FX from the Battlemaster figures like Firedrive. The weapon modes look a lot better when you attach the FX, for sure.

In an unintended bit of functionality, the pegs also allow you to attach these two figures to larger ones in vehicle mode, resembling the Mini-Con power ups from the "Armada" series. Of course, this works in weapon mode as well. I think I enjoy this (unintended) functionality more than the combined weapon form.

Final Thoughts:
The original Race Car Patrol was one of my first Micromaster sets back in G1 so I have a fondness for these characters. Seeing these new versions makes me very happy, but I do wish their fellow Race Car Patrol members were on the roster to be released (they do not appear to be at this time). While their weapon modes are less than ideal, the vehicle and robot modes are great! Recommended.

Pros:

  • Sculpts and deco both pay homage to their G1 counterparts very well.
  • Really nice deco on Roadhandler in robot mode.
  • I have an affection for Micromasters (and Mini-Cons) and it is great to see them back in a "main line".

Cons:

  • The combined weapon mode looks rather awkward.
  • The ball joint parts pop off fairly easily.