Revenge of the Fallen Mudflap Toy Review
Release Date: June 2009
Price Point: $11.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Missile x 1
- On Card*
- Official Photo (Vehicle Mode)*
- Official Photo (Robot Mode)*
- Vehicle Mode
- Vehicle Mode (Side)
- Vehicle Mode (Back)
- Vehicle Mode (Forward view)
- Vehicle Mode (Angle view)
- Vehicle Mode (Rear view)
- Robot Mode
- Robot Mode (Side)
- Robot Mode (Left Side)
- Robot Mode (Back)
- Robot Mode (Close up)
- Robot Mode (Angle view)
- Robot Mode (Left arm)
- Robot Mode (Posed)
- Robot Mode (Firing missile)
- Robot Mode (Right arm)
- Robot Mode (Leg detail)
Images and text from Hasbrotoyshop.com:
Young but eager, MUDFLAP has wanted to be a full-fledged warrior under the command of OPTIMUS PRIME for as long as he can remember. He and his twin brother AUTOBOT SKIDS traveled for years to Earth, just in the hopes of joining up with their idols. Being on Earth with OPTIMUS PRIME and the other heroes of the Great War is a dream come true.
Recreate exciting movie scenes or stage your own living room battles with this AUTOBOT sidekick! This super-cool figure features MECH ALIVE gears that reveal a cannon in robot mode to take on DECEPTICON enemies! A firing missile gives you added battle power! Convert to vehicle mode to unleash a Chevy Trax concept car and race into action!
"Revenge of the Fallen" brought several well known concepts from Generation One to the big screen such as Combiners and the Matrix. However, one G1 concept that it used is a lesser known one: Transformers siblings. The two Autobots Mudflap and Skids are comical characters who are called the "twins" owing in part to superficial similarities in their appearance and their personalities. In this way, they are similar to G1's Sideswipe and Sunstreaker, who were also considered "twin brothers" but looked quite different in robot mode. This figure is the deluxe version of Mudflap. Previously I've reviewed his Fast Action Battler and Legends versions in addition to his Ice Cream Truck incarnation. This sculpt however is a different from any of the aforementioned toys.
In 2007, General Motors introduced several concept cars including the Chevrolet Trax. This "micro" SUV vehicle was chosen as the vehicle mode for Mudflap. Living up to its name, the vehicle has the tall appearance of an SUV with a wide front end and a proportionally tall cabin section. Since this is a licensed figure, Hasbro and Tomy were able to recreate the real life vehicle as best they could in this scale. Mudflap has several of the key features found on the real life Trax including:
- The large one piece front fender/bumper section with a Chevrolet logo cast in the center.
- The distinctive round, angled headlights lights.
- The cross hatch patterns inside the grille sections on the front end.
- Lines etched onto the top representing the vehicle's roof rack.
- The round tail lights with a wraparound cylinder on them leading to the sides of the vehicle.
- The sides of the wheels each have five spokes, much like the distinctive shape of the real life Chevy Trax.
There are a few differences from the real life vehicle including a small spoiler-like piece that hangs over the rear window on the top of the vehicle. There is also no spare tire piece mounted on the back of the vehicle. These are very minor details and hardly detract from the vehicle in any way.
Mudflap is primarily cast in orange metallic flake plastic. His wheels are black and the windows are a translucent dark grey (almost black) color. Interestingly, this is also the color of his missile, which in this mode sticks out the back of the vehicle acting as "exhaust", a nice touch. Grey is the primary paint color in this mode, making up a large portion of the front and back of the vehicle, with some running along the lower parts of the sides. This is based on the pattern of paint used on the real life vehicle and gives it another level of authenticity. Silver paint is used for smaller details such as the headlights and the Chevrolet logo on the front of the car. On the back you'll find silver outlining bright orange lights in the back. His license plate is dark red with black text saying "Trax", referring to the model of the car. This was the early production run. Later versions of this figure would have the word "Mudflap" instead.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Pull out the missile and set it aside for now.
- Lift the hood piece up.
- Pull the front and the back halves of the vehicle out, separating the vehicle's various panels from each other.
- Flip the vehicle over and pull out each robot arm from the underside of the car's back section.
- From the underside of the vehicle's front end, pull out each robot leg and straighten out the feet.
- Straighten out each leg's lower hinges, and rotate the wheel wells so they do not obstruct the feet.
- The top panel of the vehicle has a rectangular piece in the center, push that in, then swing the windshield piece up.
- Rotate the lower body section around.
- Swing the robot head forward.
- Rotate the feet so they face forward.
- Swing the car doors up on the silver hinges so they are on either side of the robot head.
- Swing out the small grey parts near the headlights.
- Connect the tab behind the robot head to the hole where the missile was stored in vehicle mode.
- On the back, swing the hood piece up against the windshield.
- Plug the missile into the left arm.
You can probably tell by the steps above this is a rather complex transformation. It's actually quite a frustrating one and turning this back into the vehicle mode perfectly is near imjpossible as all the panels d onot line up one hundred percent precisely very easily. I managed to do it a couple of times, but it took fifteen minutes of fiddling with the figure before it worked. This is a severe weakness of the figure in my opinion. There's a line between "fun and complex" and "frustrating" and this figure crosses that line, runs a mile ahead, stops for a drink and then keeps going until it disappears into the horizon.
Mudflap's design reminds me of a troll or some type of organic creature out of fantasy rather than a robot out of science fiction. With his ugly head design (I'll spare you, dear reader, another rant on that), a large upper body out of proportion with his relatively thin and small legs and feet that look like they have claw-like toes, he definitely does not fit the conventional mold of what a Transformer looks like. Indeed, I would venture to say he pushes the boundaries even for the extreme movie designs. This is both a good and a bad thing at the same time. I like the idea of giving Transformers unconventional forms, and using mythological creatures as the basis for these forms is hardly a new practice. However, whatever brute force or power is implied by his large upper body and huge left arm is quickly dispelled by his cartoonish head design, and by cartoonish I don't mean "G1 Transformers", I mean "Garfield and Friends".
While I may criticize the design, I have to say that many parts of this figure look great, and take their inspiration from the CGI model. Most impressive is the way the panels on his upper body break out. It makes for lots of parts to fiddle with, but it does give the sense of the way Transformers in the movies convert, with car panels separating, revealing machinery underneath. His arms and legs also have a great deal of sculpted detail on them. One of my favorite sections are the thighs, which have hinges, wires and raised armor panels all sculpted in one piece. His forearms have similar levels of detail and really do look fantastic on their own.
In this form, non-metallic orange, grey and silver plastic show up. Since so much of the robot mode is hidden in vehicle mode, it really does feel like a big reveal, which is nice on a visual level. His head and several parts of his chest as well as smaller parts like his shoulders are dark grey. Orange is used on parts like his feet, thighs and forearms. Silver can be found on alternate robot parts such as his upper arms and lower knees. Paint applications are minimal in this form. You'll find orange paint used for detailing on the head and some gunmetal color on his forearms. While this doesn't sound like a lot of detail, what works for the figure is the way the alternating plastic colors are used. They manage to keep the figure from looking monotonous at any point and the color design works well.
Mudflap has twenty three points of articulation in this mode. This doesn't include all his various panels which can be moved around. His left arm has finger articulation on the upper row of four fingers and the thumb and each leg has four points of articulation. What I will say is that the articulation (and indeed the play value) can be hampered somewhat by the tendency for the tab behind the head coming loose, especially if you swing the arms in and out on their shoulder hinges. Having the "shell" of his vehicle mode on his back also hampers articulation, so his legs can't really move back much either.
Mudflap's left arm has a missile launcher built into it, firing the "exhaust smoke" missile from the vehicle mode. If you press his chest panel in, his "Mech Alive" feature is activated, with the head bobbing up and down and the headlights moving in and out. To be honest, I have no clue what purpose this serves other than to make him look like he's nodding like a pigeon. I guess it does make him look "alive" but I think turning gears in the arms or legs would have served the same purpose and looked less silly.
What's sad about Mudflap is that there are a lot of parts that look great in robot mode, and he has a nicely sculpted and colored vehicle mode. The problem is, in this case the sum of the parts is not all that great. I really think the transformation needed to be more well thought out and less comnplex so that the vehicle mode would come back together better after you transform it for the first time. While I love fiddling with Transformers, this is a bit too much fiddling for my tastes. Not recommended.