"Timelines" Lift-Ticket Toy Review
Release Date: June 18, 2015
Price Point: $79.00 (Two Pack with Burn Out)
Retailer: Fun Publications
Accessories: Crane arm/weapon
The theme of Botcon 2015 is "Cybertron's Most Wanted". This doesn't just refer to the story where the boxed set had a group of criminals in it, it also refers to toys that represent characters that fans have wanted for a long time - with a new spin of course. One of the story conceits of the Botcon 2015 comic book is the introduction of "Diaclone" inspired characters. Specifically two characters "Dia" and "Cline" (included with Sgt. Hound) are introduced as humans who control mechs with built in AI. This concept comes straight from the Diaclone toys that pre-dated the Transformers. One of these mechs is Lift-Ticket, a redeco of "Generations" Hoist. Check out my Hoist review (as well as my Trailcutter review) to get my initial thoughts on this tooling and sculpt. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.
For some this inspiration may seem out of the blue (okay, it totally is). However the "Diaclone/Microman" era of Transformers toys always held a special mystique for me. Back when I was a kid I saw these toys everywhere in the early days of Transformers. I remember seeing a huge "Diakron" display at Kay Bee (when Takara tried to market the toys on their own in the U.S.) and to this day I regret not having scooped up every red "Sunstreaker" and black "Ironhide" that I saw. It is for that reason that homages that tap into that era really hold a special appeal to me.
Lift-Ticket is packaged in vehicle mode inside a plastic bag with his instructions and tech specs. This is then packaged in an even larger bag since he comes in a set with Burn Out.
Continuing the theme of Diaclone inspired toys for Botcon 2015, Lift-Ticket not only uses the "Generations" Hoist sculpt, but it bases its colors on the toy that predated Hoist, the Diaclone 4WD Hilux Wrecker Type figure. The main color used on the Diaclone 4WD Hilux Wrecker Type was red (instead of Hoist's green color). Taking its design cues from that toy, Lift-Ticket is mostly red plastic in this form. The wheels, crane arm and the pod mounted on top of the vehicle are all black plastic. Red paint is used on the cabin section to match up with the red plastic on the rest of the vehicle. Taking even more cues from the Hilux, there are yellow and black hazard stripes starting from the front wheel well and then running along the sides of the vehicle to the rear wheel wells. Over the hazard stripes on each door is the word "Wrecker" in white with black outlines. This detail is taken directly from the Hilux as well. The truck bed section is painted yellow, calling back to the cage on the back of the Hilux figure. Instead of the cage found on the back of the Hilux, Lift-Ticket has a crane arm. This is cast in black but has yellow painted onto it. Rounding out the deco is silver on the front (including the headlights) and the rims on the wheels.
The color homage to the Hilux Wrecker Type figure is very faithful and I think it looks amazing. I love Diaclone-era inspired decos and this one is no exception. I'm also happy that it looks so dramatically different from Hoist even though no retooling was done.
Functionally there is one issue with the vehicle. The crane arm piece is miassembled on my copy of this figure. I cannot say whether or not this is a widespread issue or not (I didn't hear a lot of people talking about it the weekend of Botcon 2015). The issue this causes is the way it attaches to the back of the truck. Instead of fitting snug, the way the base of the crane arm is angled pushes it out slightly. The best solution would be to push the pin out, reverse the piece and then push it back in but for the purpose of this review and the photos above I'm presenting the figure "as is".
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Detach the crane arm and fold the arm halves together to form the weapon.
- Swing out the halves of the vehicle's rear section and swing them down.
- Swing out each of the robot feet.
- Swing the car door sections down, then swing them out.
- Push the front of the vehicle down to form the robot chest.
- Swing the robot arms up and clip the grooves on the silver piece to the side view mirrors.
- From the center of the cabin section, swing the robot head up and turn it around.
- On each forearm, push in the vehicle door panels and swing out the fists.
- The weapon can be attached to either fist, forearm or upper arms.
Lift-Ticket's robot form takes a lot of its color cues from the Diaclone 4WD Hilux Wrecker Type figure. His primary color is red, but several parts are either silver plastic or painted silver. The forearms for instance are painted silver where the original figure had vacuum metallized silver. His thighs are silver plastic in the same general area where the Diaclone toy had vacuum metallized silver parts. Solidifying the Diaclone inspiration is the black around the knee area which calls back to the raised black sections on the Hilux's legs. Like the Diaclone Hilux the area at the top of the feet are painted silver. Finally his mouthplate is silver with yellow eyes - another set of deco points inspired by the Diaclone "source" figure.
There are some extra details in this mode that don't necessarily rely on the Diaclone figure. The shoulder sections have yellow in them and you can see the hazard stripes from the top of the front wheel wells on his torso. The result is a color scheme that pays nice homage to the original Diaclone figure but also has some unique points of its own.
Functionally the figure has one weak point: the arms. The section where the silver panel against the shoulders connects to the side view mirrors is not quite tight, so if you move the arms up and down at the shoulder, they tend to dislocate from the side view mirrors but the silver piece does not rotate. Essentially the silver piece just sticks out slightly and the arm still moves without a problem. It's more aesthetically annoying than something I'd say "breaks" the functionality of the toy, but it's an issue I didn't really have with Trailcutter and Hoist. While the weapon misassembly causes issues in vehicle mode, here there's no problem at all and Lift-Ticket can hold the weapon just fine.
Lift-Ticket is a great idea for a figure. It's the perfect sculpt for a very rare figure and the deco is wonderfully executed. My issues with this figure are the misassembled weapon and the silver pieces on the shoulders. For the price you need to pay to get this figure, there shouldn't be such quality control issues. That said, I don't know if these issues are widespread, so it's possible this is a one off problem. I do like this figure and if you want to get it go for it, just be sure to check these two issues.