Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Deluxe Class Smokescreen Toy Review

in 2013, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Beast Hunters, Deluxe, Prime

Transformers Prime Beast Hunters

General Information:
Release Date: March 2013
Price Point: $15.99
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: "Shadow Quill" Armor, "Electronet" Launcher, Missile x 1

Images:

*Images above with asterisks and text below in italics from the Amazon.com:
This Autobot trickster strikes quickly, then disappears behind a black puff of magnetic smoke!

Predacons beware, because this Smokescreen figure is just the Autobot to take any of them on! He’s a tricky, sneaky robot warrior, and his Electronet launcher will make his enemies think twice before taking him on. Snap on his Shadow Quill Armor in robot mode for a super-stealthy attack, then convert him to sports car mode when he needs to make a fast escape. Keep converting him back and forth so his Predacon enemies can’t take him!

Figure comes with accessories. Deluxe Class Series 2 008 Smokescreen. Ages 5 and up.

Text from instructions:
Electronet Launcher

  • Generates a shadow field that makes SMOKESCREEN very hard to see or target.
  • Delivers powerful bioelectric shocks to enemies.
  • Can also be used as an electrified axe.

"Tales of the Beast Hunters" Chapter 10
With BUMBLEBEE injured and BULKHEAD near total shutdown, it's up to SMOKESCREEN to discover where these new and dangerous PREDACONS are coming from. Luckily the Autobot TRICKSTER is also a capable spy and soon he finds himself creeping through the shadows of a remote DECEPTICON lab. At first, he thinks the place is abandoned. Then he discovers a room lined with large glass chambers, each one filled with a strange, murky liquid and the vague outline of a beastly machine. Satisfied that he's discovered exactly what OPTIMUS PRIME needs to know, he turns to leave, only to find SHOCKWAVE blocking his way. "You should not have come here," the DECEPTICON scientist says, raising his laser cannon.

Continued in Chapter Deluxe 11 Voyager SHOCKWAVE (sold separately)

SmokescreenIn 2012, the young and brash character of Smokescreen was introduced to the "Transformers Prime" television show. Oddly, no version of this character was made into a toy in 2012 outside of Japan. Even in Japan, Smokescreen wound up being a redeco and retool of "Robots in Disguise" Knock Out. Now in the "Beast Hunters" toy line, Hasbro has introduced a Smokescreen figure that is a brand new sculpt intended to be the character from the start.

Robot Mode:
The "Arms Micron" Smokescreen figure did a good job of approximating the Smokescreen seen on the television show, but certain key design elements were simply not part of that sculpt including the "doors" on the back of the robot form, the large shoulder armor and the generally curved shape of the figure on parts like the legs and forearms. This sculpt however is new, allowing it to focus on taking those design elements from the CG model on the TV show and turning it into an action figure. In that respect, the figure succeeds very well. He has the general wide, heroic looking outline of the CG model from the show including key elements like the shoulder armor with overlappint layers, a chest panel that looks like parts of the car curved and warped over each other, big, curved forearms that look like he's wearing a long pair of gloves and even smaller details like rectangular notches on the insides of his thighs. The head sculpt on this figure is not the same head used on the "Arms Micron" version, instead, it is a new sculpt that features many of the same elements such as his high crest, "horns" and long face/chin. Perhaps the biggest difference from the CG model is the arm design, which has car parts hanging off the bottom of the forearms, something that doesn't exist on the CG model.

Where this figure departs from the TV Show CG model are the colors. I think it's fair to say that Smokescreen's colors are more "inspired by" the CG model, but not intended to reproduce them. His base plastic colors are white, gunmetal, black and clear plastic. White makes up most of the parts including the shoulder armor, head, chest, forearms, waist and most of the legs. The gunmetal is used on more of the internal parts and small section such as his elbows and the area behind his chest panel. In this sense he is mostly a match to the CG model (mostly, not completely thanks to small details like his hands being white on this figure, but grey on the show).

The paint colors on this figure represent the biggest gap between the CG model and the toy. Red, blue and yellow paint applications are used on this figure to give him color pattersn on everything from the head to the chest to the forearms and legs. The red color is very bold, popping visually off his forearms and knee armor. Blue is usually right near the red and his head has several blue details on them. However, almost all these details don't actually exist like this on the CG model, which uses more subdued amounts of blue with some light blue "glowing" details. He does have a splash of red on his shoulder armor, but that is not on this figure at all (the shoulder armor is unpainted). The colors used on this figure look great and really pop off the canvas of white plastic, but it's note quite "right" when you compare it to the television show model, and that's a shame. Perhaps the biggest oversight in my book is not coloring his iconic red horns on his head (which Takara Tomy did do for the "Arms Micron" version. I suspect the designers added in the red colors where they did to make him more diverse in color and thus not dull. Taken by itself, it looks good, but if you were expecting a wholly show accurate deco this figure will disappoint.

Smokescreen has seventeen points of articulation in this form. This includes three in each arm and four in each leg. He even has waist articulation, yay! The back of his head is cast in translucent orange, allowing for some light piping through his small eyes. Being part of the "Beast Hunters" line, Smokescreen has been given gear to fight or trap beasts (I'm using this term rather loosely I confess). The first is a piece of armor known as the "Shadow Quill Armor". It's really a creative name for a piece that winds up attaching to small tabs on the sides of his torso and just creates a cage that goes over his head in a curved shape, with spikes at the end, the supposed "quills". His other "beast hunting" weapon is attached to his missile launcher. He has a small black missile launcher which has a silver missile attached to it. To that you can attach a net, creating a weapon for Smokescreen to "launch" the net/trap missile. Both of these pieces are made out of a rather soft (kind of gummy) metallic blue plastic. They don't look that great in all honesty, so I'm very happy they can both be detached and set aside without detriment to the figure.

I have to say however that these extra bits of armor were given some thought. The net attached to the missile can also be rolled up, using a tab on one side and a gap on the other, you can link the ends together. On the back of the figure is a hex shaped piece that allows you to attach the net to the back of the figure for storage. In a bit of creative license, the net is also described as an "axe" in the instructions, presumably using the weapon missile and launcher as the handle. I'm still not a huge fan of the accessories, but at the very least they were given plenty of thought.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach all accessories and set them aside for now.
  2. Swing the front panel of each lower leg in.
  3. Swing up the robot feet against the gap created in the step above.
  4. Swing the robot heel pieces against what will become the back of the vehicle.
  5. Connect the two legs together.
  6. Rotate the body around at the waist.
  7. Swing the chest panel down.
  8. Swing the doors on the back down so they connect up againts the rear of the vehicle.
  9. Swing the robot head down.
  10. On each door, swing up the windows.
  11. Swing the shoulder armor pieces forward and connect them together to begin forming the front of the vehicle.
  12. On each arm, swing the panels on the forearms out to the sides.
  13. Extend the hood panels forward.
  14. Swing the arms in at the shoulder joint and rotate them around, then connect the car pieces together.
  15. Push the sections with the arms down, push in the front wheels to straighten them out.
  16. Push the shoulder armor pieces together to form the front end of the vehicle.
  17. The "Quill" armor can wrap around the front of the vehicle and the missile launcher attaches to the top.

Vehicle Mode:
Smokescreen's vehicle mode is inspired by the McLaren MP4 12C. Like that vehicle, he has a very curved shape from front to back, with the sides of the front part curving upward. The sides lead to a curve that winds up right in front of the rear wheel well. Like the racing variant of the real life vehicle (the GT3) this version has a big spoiler in the back (but it's not the same spoiler as the real life vehicle). Even smaller details such as the tear shaped headlights are present, but enough has been changed that it's not an exact reproduction of that car for licensing purposes. It's still a really cool looking vehicle and it does a good job of reproducing the CG model which does have a lot of the embelishments such as the spoiler.

The vehicle winds up showing mostly white plastic and the wheels are black. The cabin cover section is clear plastic and his headlights are translucent yellow with dual headlights sculpted underneath in white. Red and blue paint dominates the vehicle, with a blue line running down the center of the front and the sides of the top. On the sides, red and blue form a curved pattern on the doors with the number "38" outlined in red (a homage to G1 Smokescreen who had the same number on his doors). Blue paint is over the rear wheel well and the sides of the spoilers have red on the sides. To cover up some of the clear plastic on the cabin section, white paint is used to paint the top (with the aforementioned blue lines on top of the white).

Unfortunately, due to the budget constraints being inflicted on the toy line nowadays, a lot of paint decos are lacking or not accurate to the CG model. For instance, the blue line on the center of the front end is actually a design with a lighter blue in the middle and an Autobot symbol on the show, but here it's just a flat blue line (the "Arms Micron" version made an accurate sticker of this). The pattern on the doors is close to the design from the show, but it actually has a checkerboard pattern on it (which again, the "Arms Micron" version did replicate via a sticker). Also the CG model has silver on the sides of the wheels and the spoiler has blue lines on top. None of this is present on this figure. I really love the way this vehicle looks, and had these details been present the vehicle would have looked amazing.

The "Quill" armor slips over the front and with the missile launcher on top Smokescreen does wind up looking like an "armored" vehicle like the other Deluxe Autobots, but he's less "animal" like despite the spikes than the others. Here it becomes apparent the sides of the "Quill" armor has slots on the sides to fit the missile into. My personal preference is removing all the extra bits and letting the sleek form of the vehicle stand on its own, but that may just be me. I'm super happy we fans have the option.

Final Thoughts:
Smokescreen is a really cool figure. I dig the sculpt a lot, but the paint job needed a lot of work to be excellent. I am very happy this is essentially the CG model in plastic form with optional "Beast Hunters" weaponry instead of making it a permanent part of the sculpt. Recommended more on the strength of the sculpt than the deco.