"Generations" Studio Series Dropkick Toy Review

in 2019, Action Figure Review, Bumblebee Movie, Decepticon, Deluxe, Generations, Studio Series

Studio Series

General Information:
Release Date: August 2019
Price Point: $19.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Amazon, BigBadToyStore, Entertainment Earth, Target, Walmart etc.)
Accessories: Arm blaster

Dropkick

Official images and text in italics below from Amazon:
Arriving on Earth in 1987, Dropkick disguises himself as an AMC Javelin and begins his search for Autobot criminals.

This Studio Series 46 Deluxe Class Transformers: Bumblebee Dropkick figure converts from robot to car mode in 26 steps. Remove backdrop to showcase Dropkick in the Decepticon Arrival scene. Figure features vivid, movie-inspired deco and detailed accessory. Includes: Transformers Studio Series 46 Deluxe Class Dropkick figure, accessory, removable backdrop, and instructions.

  • Studio series Deluxe class – deluxe class figures are 4.5-Inch collectible action figures inspired by iconic movie scenes and designed with specs and details to reflect the Transformers Movie universe.
  • 4.5-Inch scale Dropkick figure – Figure features vivid, movie-inspired deco and detailed weapon accessory inspired by the film. The figure is highly articulated for possibility.
  • Big screen inspired - Figure scale reflects the character’s size in the world of Transformers: Bumblebee. Figure and packaging are inspired by the iconic deception arrival scene.
  • 2 iconic modes – Figure converts between robot and 1974 amc javelin in 26 steps. Perfect for fans looking for a more advanced converting figure. For kids and adults ages 8 and up.
  • Pose figure with removable backdrop - removable backdrop displays dropkick figure in the Deception arrival scene. Fans can use the backdrop and pose their figure in the scene with their own style.

Introduced in the 2018 Bumblebee movie, Dropkick was one of two Decepticons to come to Earth in search of Autobot fugitives. This character has already had a few figures released, reprsenting the character in a variety of way. First there is the "Power Series" version, a more gimmick-based, fast transforming vehicle. Then came the Nitro version wich reminded us he could also transform into a helicopter in the film. Later there would be a Studio Series figure that transformed into a helicopter. This figure represents the form he first takes on when he arrive on Earth: a 1974 AMC Javelin

Packaging:
The Deluxe Studio Series figures are packaged in boxes similar in size to the boxes used for "The Last Knight". The boxes are vertical rectangles with a large window in the front. Instead of the lighter colors of "The Last Knight" boxes, this box takes a more "Generations" style approach, using a black background and a vertical "Transformers" logo to the right. Above that is the "Generations" logo. Reflecting the new, unified approach to the Transformers toy line both Hasbro and Takara Tomy's logos appear on the front of the packaging. Towards the lower part of the box is the logo for the specific film the character comes from. To the left is new package art with blue borders. The packaging also has package art on the side and a large collector number designated to each figure. In Dropkick's case he is number 46. The idea is that you can line up all these figures on a shelf to show off the collection numbers. It's a neat idea and has kept me from tossing out the box so far.

The back of the packaging shows Dropkick in both modes along with the logo for the Bumblebee Movie. It also describes his transformation as having 26 steps. Off to the side is the official "Chrysler Licensed Product" logo. Towards the bottom it shows you how you can take the cardboard insert from the inside of the packaging and use it as a display base and background for the figure. Dropkick's background is the area he and Shatter land on when they arrive on Earth. Towards the bottom are the cosells for this figure: Drift and Constructicon Hightower. Below that is all the requisite legal information for the figure.

Robot Mode:
When Dropkick and Shattere arrived on Earth, they first took on alt-modes based on muscle cars. Later, they would also scan aerial forms, effectively becoming Triple Changers. However, there was a brief period in the film where they only had the one car-based alt-mode, and it is that version of Dropkick that is represented by this figure.

Of all the versions of Dropkick released as a mass market toy (thus far), this is the most accurate to what was seen on the screen. At the same time, this is one of the most traditional looking Transformers designs. Going back to G1, several Autobots had robot modes with the front of the car forming their chest and the car doors forming "wings" in the back while the rear of the vehicle became the legs. Dropkick utilizes this basic design just like his on-screen counterpart.

Unlike the more blocky G1 designs of old, Dropkick features several armor pieces which are curved and sleek looking including his shoulder armor and thigh armor. The head sculpt looks fantastic, featuring a curved helmet section and a "Y" shaped face area with scary looking eyes. There are some fantastic mechanical details sculpted into various parts of the figure including his chest, arms, waist and lower legs. From a sculpting perspective this figure represents the character from the movie beautifully.

Dropkick is made up of a very rich, metallic blue plastic with some smaller parts cast in black. His windows (visible on his back) are clear plastic. Silver, gunmetal grey and red are used to paint in details on most of the body. The doors on his back however use a large amount of blue, black and white paint since they need to fill in details for the doors. Dropkick was not exactly super colorful in the film, so these colors do a good job of representing how he looked. If I were to add any detailing it would be a wash of gunmetal or a similar color over some of the machinery details, but that's about it.

This figure has seventeen points of articulation. I am being generous in my count as I'm counting his ankle joint and foot as two different points, even though they do not dramatically add to his articulation. All the joints on my copy of this figure are nice and tight. Dropkick includes a cannon that attaches to his arm. Swing in the fist on either arm and you will see a tab. Attach that tab to the slot on the back of the weapon and it looks like his arm has "transformed" into the weapon, just like in the film!

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the weapon if attached and set it aside for now.
  2. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  3. Turn the figure around and lift up the back piece and fold out the car's cabin cover panels and the smaller panel with the rear lights on it.
  4. Lift up the chest section, then rotate the panel the head is attached to around to begin forming the front of the car.
  5. Swing the front of the car and the doors back.
  6. Swing the black waist/mid-body section forward.
  7. Pull the blue section with the arms attached up.
  8. Swing the parts of the front wheel wells out to the sides.
  9. Swing each fist into the forearms, then swing the panels with the wheels forward.
  10. Swing the arms up, then swing them down at the shoulders. The wheels should be facing outward on both sides.
  11. Swing the rear wheel well panels on the back of the lower legs out.
  12. Gently pull out the rear wheel well sections and then rotate them down.
  13. Swing the waist/mid-body panel against the lower legs.
  14. Swing the feet up. They should partially overlap the waist/mid-body panel.
  15. Push the rear wheel well sections in.
  16. Swing the sections with the arms up and push it into place, forming the front wheel wells.
  17. Swing the hips/legs section up under the car's cabin section cover.
  18. There are tabs on the robot legs that fit into corresponding slots on the underside of the car's cabin cover. Push the legs into place (this may take a couple tries).
  19. Swing the rear wheels back into the rear wheel wells.
  20. Close the doors, tabbing them against the sides of the arm panels.
  21. Attach the weapon to the spoiler in the back by sliding it on.

Vehicle Mode:
I love licensed vehicle modes in the Transformers line. They often result in some beautiful vehicles and Dropkick is no exception. In the Bumblebee Movie Dropkick transforms into an AMC Javelin, a muscle car that was already out of production by the time of the movie. It features a thin front end, thick tires and a distinct, angled spoiler in the back. Despite its muscle car designation, the main body of the car is actually relatively thin and sleek looking. Old or not, this car is one eye catching vehicle! This sculpt has a lot of the smaller key features seen on the big screen. These include:

  • An engine sticking out of the hood, complete with three small circles in front.
  • A pair of horizontal and vertical headlights in the front grille.
  • Under the grille is a panel that comes up at an angle towards the middle of the car.
  • The back section has four distinct rear lights, two on each side.
  • Under the rear lights are exhaust pipes.

The vehicle mode sculpt is awesome but you do see some robot bits sticking out in the front and back. In the front you can see a bit of the robot head while at the rear you can see parts of the robot feet. These are not deal breakers at all in my book. These parts have to go somewhere. Overall the sculpt looks great!

The deco on this figure also incorporates a lot of the on-screen CG model's colors. The vehicle is mostly blue from the front to the doors. The top and rear are black. Silver and red details are painted onto sections like the headlights and the engine for additional detailing. On both sides, the number "13" is found in white on the doors while a skull and crossbones symbol is found above the rear wheel wells. These details come directly from the film and they look great!

Slide the weapon onto the spoiler and you wind up with Dropkick looking like he has a giant rocket booster attached to the back of his vehicle mode. This is both silly and fun. It also kind of calls back to his Power Series counterpart with the idea of extra parts sprouting out of the vehicle mode.

Final Thoughts:
Dropkick is a fun figure that looks great in both modes. Sure he's not a Triple Changer, but he does actually represent how the character looked (briefly) in the film so I'm okay with that. The transformation is also very unusual and fun. Recommended!

Pros:

  • Excellent sculpt in both modes
  • Licensed vehicle mode that looks cool, formidable and screen accurate.
  • Good deco.
  • Very unusual transformation that really leans into the "puzzle" aspect of Transformers toys.

Cons:

  • Some fans are going to wish this was a Triple Changer, but I don't think it can realistically be done with anything smaller than a Leader Class figure.
  • The transformation can be a bit tricky when tabbing in certain parts.