Transformers Movie (2007) Dropkick Review

in 2007, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Movie (2007)

Transformers Live Action Movie


General Information:
Release Year: September 2007
Retailer: General release (Wal-Mart, Target, Toys 'R' Us etc.)
Price: $10.99 (Depending on retailer)
Accessories: Cover/Claw weapon

Images:

Tech Specs:
DROPKICK didn't want to come to Earth, but MEGATRON made him. He'd rather stay home on CYBERTRON, sitting in the dark and being angry, but MEGATRON has him hauling materials all over this lame planet. He doesn't even know why the AllSpark is so important, or why the AUTOBOTS need to be getting in his way all the time. He just wishes everyone would leave him alone. Still, while he's here, he might as well blow some stuff up. That's always fun.

Strength: 6  Intelligence:Speed:Endurance: 9
Rank: 3  Courage: 5  Firepower: 5  Skill: 4


Packaging:
Dropkick is packaged on a standard card with wrap around bubble used in most of the movie line deluxe figures. He has artwork of his head and neck in the lower right hand corner. On the back, the figure is shown in both modes. Curiously, they describe his weapon by saying "Bed cover converts to capture claw!" but it just points to his arm with no weapon in it. His cosells are Bumblebee (Concept), Longarm, Final Battle Jazz, Recon Barricade and Payload.

Dropkick comes late in the 2007 movie line as one of the many Decepticon reinforcements from Cybertron. Unlike Swindle or Dreadwing he does not use the "one big eye" aesthetic, rather he is an original design that mixes old and new aesthetics into a new sculpt.

Vehicle Mode:
Many of the vehicles in the Transformers Movie line are based on real life vehicles. However, each figure made based on a real life vehicle such as Bumblebee involves a certain amount of licensing and extra money changing hands. As such, Hasbro set out to create a subset of figures for the line that became vehicles that could be something you can imagine seeing on the street in real life, but not branded to any one company. Dropkick is an example of this. His transform is a low riding pickup truck, a type of vehicle that has become more popular in the past decade or so with magazines and web sites dedicating entire sections to them. Unlike the comparatively enormous Topkick that Ironhide transforms into, this type of pickup truck is generally smaller and true to its name, the tires and body frame are set in such a way that it looks like the bottom of the truck is going to touch the ground any second. The result is a visual exercise in contrast. Common sense tells you that the vehicle should be on high tires since that's how most traditional pickup trucks are, but this defies that expectation and looks good while doing it.

Such custom trucks generally involve a lot of customized work, and in the case of Dropkick there are definitely signs of some nice custom work. The hood has a raised section in the middle suggesting a torqued up engine. The front grille section is particularly wide and tall with a wide front bumper and an array of six lights in front. The back has an added flourish: a spoiler attached to the cover of the rear section. Smaller details aren't neglected however. The front grille has lots of minute detail and the side doors have edges that flare out as well as door handles and sideview mirrors. The rear section has a space sculpted for a license plate and an indentation in the center representing a handle.

Dropkick is mostly cast in silver, purple and black plastic. Three colors of translucent plastic are used for the windshield and lights. The windshield and headlights are cast in a smokey plastic while the lights in the center are cast in a dull yellow plastic. The rear lights are cast in translucent red, something I always like to see since it takes a bit more effort and cost than simply painting a sculpted detail red.

The true beauty of this vehicle mode is the color scheme. Purple paint (which sadly, comes out looking a bit too blue in photos) is used to form a large Decepticon symbol that starts at the edges of the hood and goes all the way to the top of the cabin section and down to the side windows. It's a really nice effect that hasn't been done on any Transformer I can recall at the moment. Running down the sides are purple stripes starting at the door and going back to the end of the car.

Slide the silver knob on the back portion back and the rear door folds open, allowing Dropkick's claw to deploy in this form. I'm not sure how much offensive value this would have unless you were tailgating the guy, but I can see how this would be an effective tool to grab onto someone who needed a tow or something. The cover is removable, and I was pleasantly surprised to see details sculpted into the interior of the storage section in the back of the truck. If you look at the cabin, there is even an indentation sculpted in for a window. A really nice job.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Remove the back cover and slide out the claw.
  2. Swing the sides at the rear of the vehicle out.
  3. Swing the robot legs and waist piece down.
  4. Swing the front wheel sections up, the doors will swing forward.
  5. Split the center of the grille section and then swing each half out to the sides.
  6. Split the halves of the windshield and swing each piece down.
  7. Swing each lower leg forward, then down, positioning them so the feet are flat.
  8. Swing out the heel pieces and the small "claw" like piece on each foot.
  9. Swing each robot arm all the way back so the long part they hinge on folds back and the shoulder sections connect to the main body.
  10. Swing each half of the grille against the sides of the arms and swing the dual barreled blasters down.
  11. Swing the rear halves from step 2 up and against the back.
  12. Swing the cabin cover back to reveal the robot head, angle each of the antennae near his head back.
  13. The weapon can be placed in either hand.

Robot Mode:
Dropkick is a wonderful blend of traditional Transformers aesthetic and the "panel on machinery" look of the movie. He leans more towards the latter, but there are some fairly classic elements in place. His robot head is not designed like many of the other "video game" Decepticons. Instead of a big eye in a tube shape, his head is more ofa regular robot head with a helmet section, visor eyes and a mouthplate. His shoulders have pieces of the car mode hanging off of them while the forearms are very rectangular and solid looking. The rest of the robot however is very much in line with the movie look. Perhaps the most striking features are the various parts of the truck on the top giving him the look of having several bits of armor over a smaller body frame and his legs which angle backwards, similar to Starscream and Barricade.

Where Dropkick really copies the look of the movie is his chest. There you'll find a lot of tech details that look like parts of an engine stretched out, reminding me a lot of some shots used in the movie of Optimus Prime's transformation where you saw tubes, gears and coils all moving as his body stretched out and formed his robot mode. On top of this section are the halves of his windshield, which thanks to clever design actually split here so each half covers a part of the chest. Despite its traditional influences, his head design is rather unique. The top parts have flattened sections that flare out to the sides while his mouthplate is rather curved instead of being angled. On either side of his head are antennae angling up and out to the sides a bit. They're really interesting designs that get mirrored a bit on his feet which also have small antennae like pieces that angle upwards on the sides.

Other small details of note include his upper arms which are designed with a curved piece connecting the upper portion to the elbow with some nice armor plating designs. His waist piece is sculpted to look like its made up of several parts from the front of the car including headlights and the grille, a really neat design. Second to the chest design, my favorite design elements are the legs from the knees to the feet. I'm actually amazed how much detail is worked into those parts including tubes, pistons, gears and small cut designs like lines and circles. Frankly, I'm just amazed how much sculpting detail was put into this figure. It's a deluxe size but has enough detail to make it an Ultra in other Transformer lines.

Dropkick's vehicle mode colors carry over even to the newly revealed pieces. Most of his torso and waist are silver plastic. Other parts such as his upper arms and thighs are cast in black. His forearms and lower legs are cast in dark grey. Purple, silver, metallic blue and black are used for color details. They're used sparingly, which is nice. For instance the black and silver are used here and there on his torso (including a really nice silver Decepticon symbol in the center). The metallic blue is used on line details on his mouthplate, which surprised me since they could have just used the regular silver instead of going for another shade. While the mass market version of this figure is mostly purple, the shade border lines on blue. At Botcon 2007, a much more purple version was on display in the Hasbro case (I helped set the case up and was able to compare two different Dropkicks side by side). These were most likely earlier production samples as I have yet to see any reports of a super-purple version out in stores.

Dropkick has thirteen points of articulation. I'm not counting parts that can move such as the antennae on either side of his head since they're not really parts of any limbs. Due to his transformation scheme he doesn't have waist articulation, but trust me, you won't really miss it. Between his really interesting look and his weaponry, Dropkick is a formidable looking robot. He has dual blasters mounted on each forearm, and the cover of the truck bed becomes a claw weapon that is huge. On a side note, flip the claw weapon over and you'll see even more sculpted detail, which surprised me since they could have easily left it simple but instead chose to sculpt in details like tubes, cross hatch marks and machinery.

Final Thoughts:
Dropkick is one of my favorite deluxe sized figures in this line. The amount of detail put into him is extraordinary and he has a weird look that fits right in with the movie line. Add to that a really cool vehicle mode (and deco to boot) and he is highly recommended!