Transformers Prime Energon Driller with Knock Out Toy Review

in 2012, Action Figure Review, Cyberverse, Decepticon, Playset, Prime

Transformers Prime

General Information:
Release Date: August 2012
Price Point: $19.99
Retailer: General release (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories:

Images:

*Images with asterisks* and text below in italics from The Official Transformers web site:
KNOCK OUT has spent so much time in the underground weapon design and cyber-surgery racket that he’s come to literally prefer being underground. For moving shipments of plasma fusers through AUTOBOT territory, there’s nothing better than the ENERGON DRILLER.

What’s more exciting than a Legion Class KNOCK OUT robot-to-vehicle TRANSFORMERS figure? A fearsome spinning drill vehicle for extra-dangerous undercover DECEPTICON missions! The ENERGON DRILLER vehicle fits your KNOCK OUT figure and up to 2 other figures (sold separately) for missions that take more than one robot villain to pull off. In regular mode, the vehicle’s drill spins when you roll it. But when AUTOBOTS attack, the flick of a switch changes it to battle mode. Then the treads pop out, the missile launchers deploy and the drill spins when you press the button! But the most amazing part of the ENERGON DRILLER vehicle is its glowing Energon booster. You can attach it to different parts of the vehicle to make it glow, or into a Cyberverse figure’s hand weapon (sold separately). It even plugs into a Command Class figure (sold separately) and lights up its torso! When you press the button to activate, it looks like Energon is coursing through for even more power! Amp up the TRANSFORMERS action with this awesome ENERGON DRILLER vehicle!

Vehicle comes with figure and 2 missiles. Legion Class Series 2 002 KNOCK OUT. Requires 2 "AAA" batteries (demo batteries included). Ages 5 and up.

The Transformers "Cyberverse" is about more than just creating smaller figures to represent characters you see on TV or the Movies. It's about creating a "universe" for these figures to inhabit. Transformers have had a long history of using larger toys with smaller figures to create settings for kids to imagine their Transformers inhabiting. Continuing this tradition, the "Transformers Prime" Cyberverse includes vehicles that become battle stations to offer up more to the "Cyberverse" play pattern than just simple transformations. One of the first vehicle/stations released for the line was the "Energon Driller", based on a vehicle seen in the animated series since the beginning. It was with these machines that the Decepticons mined for Energon under the Earth's surface. Included with this vehicle/playset is the Legion Class version of Knock Out, the vain Decepticon medic. This review will first take a look at Knock Out, and then the vehicle.

Knock Out Review

Images:

Knock Out

Robot Mode:
As I mentioned in my Deluxe Knock Out review, this is not an easy design to turn from an animation model into a toy. There are lots of parts that have to go from the sleek car mode to being larger (such as his shoulder armor) or flatter (such as the panels that form his torso). Given that, the best you can hope for is a good compromise that captures most of the crucial details of the character's CG model, and in that respect, the Legion Class version of Knock Out does a good job. The overall design is thin at the waist and legs but bulky at the top thanks to the front and sides of the vehicle mode making up most of that section. The sculpt also carries over several of the key design elements of the CG model including Knock Out's distinctive, long face (with high crest on the top of the head), his pointy knee armor and feet as well as designs on his waist area that look like parts of the vehicle mode folded flat against his body. The primary difference is really around the shoulder armor, which doesn't have the curved, wrap around design with vents on the inside seen on the show.

Knock Out is cast in red and black plastic. The red is a lighter shade that matches nicely with the color seen on the show. The black plastic is used for smaller parts such as the joints that connect his arms to the main body and the wheels of the vehicle mode. A lot is done with paint applications on this figure. Colors used include dark red, silver, gunmetal, white and red. For a Legion Class figure, I was impressed at how many different colors were used on this figure. The dark red is used for the details on his chest that carry over from the vehicle mode, but it's also used on his lower legs. Gunmetal is found on the front of his thighs and the grille section of the car (clearly visible here on the chest). His headlights are painted silver, distinguishing them from the grille. White is used to paint the face, and considering the color doesn't appear anywhere else in this mode, I was impressed the designers didn't try to go the easy route and use silver. A close look at the face reveals that red paint is used for the eyes, and it looks great. You can even make out the distinctive pupil in the eye, something the "Transformers Prime" television show uses a lot to give the Transformers expression in the show.

There are four points of articulation on Knock Out, each one a ball joint. These are located on his shoulders and hips. Like most Cyberverse Legion Class figures, Knock Out has hands designed to hold weapons with 3mm pegs. He also has holes on the sides of his arms that allow you to attach additional weaponry. To that end, Knock Out includes two weapons, both cast in translucent purple plastic. The first is a saw blade weapon, similar in design to the saw that Knock Out frequently transforms his own arm into on the television show. The other is a staff weapon with two prongs at the end, similar in style to the weapon included with the Deluxe version of the character. Each of these weapons have holes on the side which allow you to attach even more weapons to them. I grant you're not going to get a lot of posability out of this figure, but at the very least you can load him up with weaponry!

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the weapons if attached and set them aside.
  2. Connect the two legs together.
  3. Swing the back piece up.
  4. Push each arm down on the black hinge.
  5. Swing the feet up.
  6. Push the robot chest up to form the front of the vehicle.
  7. Push the arms in to form the sides of the vehicle.
  8. The weapons can be attached to the hole on the top or the sides.

Vehicle Mode:
Knock Out's vehicle mode follows the design of the CG model from the television show pretty well. The front grille has the distinct design seen on the show where the middle of the grille is separated by a piece of armor. His headlights have the distinct double circles inside and the sides of the vehicle have a beveled section towards the rear wheel wells. It even has the distinctive "L" shaped grooves on the hood that are part of the Knock Out vehicle mode design.

Red is the main color here, with the black wheels all clearly visible. The windows on the front and sides have been painted black, but the rear window (and lights) are left unpainted. While his dark red pattern is seen from the hood to the top of the cabin section, it's not found on the sides of the vehicle as it was on the Deluxe version. Still, given how much paint there was in the robot mode, I'm not going to quibble over details that you generally don't find in Legion Class figure vehicle modes anyhow.

Knock OUt has three connection points for weapons. One is on the top of the car, the other two are on the sides. If you use the weapons included with the figure, you can attach even more weapons to them, giving Knock Out one huge arsenal!

Final Thoughts on Knock Out:
This is one really nicely done Legion Class figure. It represents the character well while also allowing for some good play value. I was especially impressed with the robot mode deco. Overall a great figure on its own.

Energon Driller Review

Images:

Energon Drill Mode:
The design of the Energon Drill follows the television show model pretty closely. The primary feature of the vehicle is the gigantic drill in the front, full of spikes and curved blades. This leads to the rear section which includes a platform for the pilot to stand on. On either side are the sections with treads.

The Energon Drill borrows some more details from the TV show model including angled panels on the sides of the driver section. Other cool details include vents on the panel in front of the driver section, layered details on the rear section and a sculpted Decepticon symbol on the button that activates the vehicle's light up feature.

The vehicle is cast in several colors. The primary color is black, used on the bulk of the panels forming the treads and center section of the vehicle. In between are smaller parts cast in red. The drill itself is a combination of translucent purple plastic, silver and rubbery silver plastic. The rubbery parts are used for the front end, which is understandable since it is sculpted with a very fine point at the end. In the show, the vehicle is mostly shown as silver, black and purple, but the shades are very dark and generally it's pretty simple (and blends in with the Vehicon troops). I prefer having a variety of colors instead.

Paint details are done in silver and purple. The colors are used all over the vehicle. This includes the drill, which uses purple and silver in alternating areas. The vents, Decepticon symbol and blade details near the driver's section are painted silver. More purple paint is used on the base of the platform where the driver stands. Overall, the colors work out really nicely. They visually link the Driller to the traditional Decepticon colors and it looks great.

The treads are not functional. Instead, there are two large wheels with rubber on them towards the front (near the drill). Push it forward and the wheels turn, causing the drill to spin. In addition to this feature there are several places to attach additional weapons to the vehicle:

  • The panel in front of the driver's area has a "C Clip" bar to allow a weapon to be attached.
  • On either side of the driver's section are two 3mm holes for Cyberverse weapons and one 5mm peg for standard weapons like those included with Energon or Mech Tech figures.
  • On the tread sections there are three bars to connect "C Clip" weapons and one 5mm hole and one 3mm hole.

In addition to the extra weaponry you can attach, the Energon Driller also has an "Energon Booster", which looks like it's meant to be a power booster in case a Transformer needs extra energy. This attachment is designed to plug into the back of Commander Class figures from the line. When you light it up, the translucent plastic lights up as well, giving it a "powered up" look. You activate the light by pressing the button with the Decepticon symbol on it. This booster can also be plugged into the base of the drill to light the base of the drill up. In an undocumented feature, you can flip open the panel on the top of the vehicle to stash the wire inside.

Transformation to Battle Mode:

  1. On each tread section, swing the side panels down.
  2. Pull the large red tab on the back of the vehicle back, this will cause the sides to move out at angles and missile launchers will flip out.
  3. On each missile launcher, swing the handle grips back.
  4. On the driver's area, there are four blade like details connectd to controls/pegs. Pull that up to reveal a viewscreen.

Battle Mode:
The Energon Driller's Battle Mode is really just a slight variation on the Driller Mode. Each of the tread sections is now set out at an angle and it has formed a different station allowing the vehicle to hold two more Transformers. They can hold on using the handlebars on top of each missile launcher.

Each missile launcher has a hole at the base that allows you to attach 3mm weapons. Unfortunately you kind of lose two weapon connection points since you swing the side panels down. You can move them up of course, and a figure can still stand inside the station. Each missile is spring loaded and launches by pressing a trigger on top. The drill spinning mechanism still works in this form making the vehicle an even bigger threat!

The parts revealed in this mode are mostly black, but the ends of the launchers are translucent purple. The missiles inside are translucent yellow. Some extra purple paint applications appear on the viewscreen in the driver's station. It sounds like the vehicle needs more paint apps from a text description, but really there are so many varying colors on this vehicle it looks great just the way it is!

Final Thoughts:
This is a fantastic playset. The Knock Out figure itself is cool and the vehicle nicely represents a vehicle right from the show. I dig the sculpt and the colors used, which are a bit more varied and bright than what is seen on the television show. Highly recommended!