Timelines Botcon 2011 Drag Strip Toy Review

in 2011, Action Figure Review, Animated, Botcon, Decepticon, Deluxe, Stunticon, Timelines



General Information:
Release Date: June 2011
Price Point: $315 (for club members), $385 (for non-club members), $210 (Loose sets)
Retailer: Botcon 2011 Exclusive (Sold in boxed set and as part of a loose set)
Accessories: Swords x 2


Drag StripBotcon 2011 celebrated a Transformers series that many feel was too short lived. While still controversial, "Transformers Animated" remains a favorite among a significant portion of fandom, making it the perfect subject for Botcon 2011's boxed set. The set features five figures, each based on one of the Generation One Stunticons. One of the more unexpected choices in this set was the "gender" change of Drag Strip from a loud mouthed "male" character to a well, loud mouthed "female" character. I won't get into a debate on Transformers gender here, but suffice it to say that Drag Strip is intended to be a "female" Decepticon, something that is rare in any Transformers universe.
Oh, and yeah, I know the name "Drag Strip" combined with a "gender" switch opens the door to all sorts of jokes, but I'll leave those to the comdians.

Part of the reasoning behind this "gender" switch is the sculpt that was used to create the figure. Drawing on the G1 Stunticons for inspiration, the Fun Publications crew took a look at all the "race car" styled characters and gave them a once over to see who could be used for certain characters. While G1 Drag Strip transformed into an F-1 style race car, it was decided to use the super sleek and thin looking Arcee sculpt to redeco into the "new" Drag Strip. This review will focus on the changes made to this sculpt for this release. Check out detailed review of Animated Arcee in the "Transformers Animated" toy review section.

Vehicle Mode:
While both are "female", Arcee and Drag Strip have extremely different color schemes. Arcee was mostly a metallic flake pink color, but Drag Strip is mostly cast in flat, yellow plastic. This makes up most of the front, sides and the spoilers on the vehicle. The cockpit section is translucent black plastic while other parts such as the wheels are cast in black. This base yellow color is very deep in tone, but it is not the exact tone as G1 Drag Strip. Instead, it is a bit brighter, keeping in tone with the "Animated" series palette. One additional color that only peeks out in this form is translucent red, which you'll see sticking out the back in the form of her sword handles.

Paint applications are applied in dark red, silver, purple, yellow and black. The red makes up the outer edge of the spoilers an dlines that run from the base of the spoiler halves to the front of the car. The panels on either side of the cockpit are also painted red. A touch of silver is found on the front of the vehicle where the deco design simulates headlights. It is also foun don the outline of the vents at th base of each spoiler half. Yellow paint is used on the back of the vehicle for stripes behind the cockpit. On top of the cockpit cover is the Stunticon symbol designed for Botcon 2011. The symbol is a purple and silver circle with a Decepticon symbol in the center which looks great, like something right out of a professional sports car race.

The figure looks great in this form and her colors definitely harken back to G1 Drag Strip. Clearly the red stripes on yellow plastic is inspired by G1 Drag Strip even if they don't match the exact same shades. I am actually glad the designers went with a flat color instead of a metallic flake one as it gives the figure a different feel than Arcee, even though the two are the same sculpt.

All of the wheels on this mode work great and the spoiler pieces connect just as tightly to Drag Strip as they did on my Arcee figure.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the spoiler wings and set them aside for now.
  2. Push the front end of the vehicle down a bit.
  3. Split the front half of the vehicle.
  4. Swing out each half to begin forming the robot legs.
  5. Swing up the robot foot pieces.
  6. Rotate the lower legs arund so the front wheels are now facing up.
  7. Rotate the grey tubes on either side of the cockpit so they point down.
  8. Swing the cockpit cover down.
  9. Rotate the lower body around at the waist.
  10. Swing the panels on the sides of the lower robot legs in.
  11. Swing the sections with the swords in them back.
  12. Swing the robot arms out to the sides.
  13. Reattach the spoiler wings to the sections with the swords in them on her back.
  14. The swords can be pulled out and placed in the hands of the figure.

Robot Mode:
There were no mold changes made to the Arcee figure for this release, so it is a huge compliment to Drag Strip's design to say that it looks almost nothing like Arcee. Thanks to a fantastic color scheme, Drag Strip stands on her own as a unique individual.

The same colors found in vehicle mode are found in robot mode, but in different proportions. The back packs, chest, waist/hip area and lower legs are all cast in yellow. The arms, neck and thighs are cast in black. In this mode, you see a heavy contrast between the types of finishes put on the yellow and black plastic parts. The yellow plastic is flat, with a matte like appearance. The black plastic is much more shiny like you will find on most Transformers. Red translucent plastic is found on the head, where it makes up a chunk of the back of the head, creating a nice "light piping" effect. This plastic division is good, but the paint applications are what come in to really make this figure outstanding.

The same paint colors seen in vehicle mode are used for this mode. Red stripes are found on the back pack portions behind her torso facing forward. I give high marks to the designers for painting these sections as they were left unpainted on Arcee. Having the stripes there offers more detail and continuity with the vehicle mode. There are also red stripes on her chest and legs. The head and the packs on her hips are painted dark red, with a matte finish similar to the yellow paint in vehicle mode. What impresses the heck out of me are several black lines used to draw out details on the robot head down to the lines that separate sections of her face on the sides from the middle area. For its own part, the middle section is painted blue. More black paint is foun don the waist area and the robot feet. On Drag Strip's chest is the Stunticon symbol also seen in robot mode set in the center.

The paint scheme on Drag Strip is really awesome. The black lines on the face are really unusual on any Transformers figure and shows how the Botcon exclusives are always designed with the aspiration of offering more paint applications than their retail counterparts, which Drag Strip definitely counts as having!

All of Drag Strip's joints are tight and the swords fit into her hands perfectly and lock well into their storage slots.

Final Thoughts:
Drag Strip is a fantastic redeco. Any time a mold is given new colors with no mold changes, it's easy to just see it as its base character in different colors. Here, Drag Strip is distinctly a character all her own here and looks great. Keep in mind this is not a cheap collectible, but it is highly recommended!