"Transformers Universe 2.0" Dropshot Toy Review

General Information:
Release Date: August 2008
Price Point: $21.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Missiles x 2, Cyber Key, Rifle

Text from Hasbrotoyshop.com:
DECEPTICON DROPSHOT is always fighting, even when no one else is. He takes every opportunity to pick a fight, and is always the first guy to throw a punch (or fire a missile). If the robot hes fighting with doesnt fight back, well, thats fine with DECEPTICON DROPSHOT. The way he looks at it, anyone who doesn't fight is a coward and deserves a beating. Hes not really interested in having a reason to fight, and he doesnt care whether his side wins or loses, as long as he gets to pound on someone. Other DECEPTICONS avoid him, unless there are AUTOBOTS around for him to pick on.

Insert the activation key and unlock all kinds of cool features in both robot and vehicle modes! This battle-ready DECEPTICON figure features a flip-out cannon and slide-out missile launchers with firing projectiles in robot mode! Convert the mighty robot figure to a mean, green missile tank in vehicle mode and activate the rotating turret! In either mode, this fierce-looking DECEPTICON DROPSHOT figure means businessare you ready?Robot-to-vehicle figure comes with two hidden weapons and an activation key. WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD. Small Parts. Not for children under 3 years.

Well, this is annoying. Some time ago as many of my long time readers know, I had to transfer my web site from one server to another, and it seems during that time I lost my review for Cybertron Defense Scattorshot, the figure that Universe Dropshot is based on. But you, dear reader, deserve a full on review so unlike most of my redeco reviews, this review will be a full on review of the figure with some notes about what changes have been made to the figure from its previous release.

Dropshot is not a new name to the Transformers universe. Originally part of the Generation One continuity, the character was a Micromaster who transformed into an armored vehicle with a dual barreled weapon mounted on top. Aside from his name, there's not much visually linking the two characters together. His tech specs have the same numbers and general "personality" of the Military Patrol team from G1, of which G1 Dropshot was a member, so it seems like at the very least the designers had G1 Dropshot in mind when creating this figure.

Vehicle Mode:
Dropshot's vehicle mode is based on the TOS-1 Buratino rocket launcher tank. This fearsome looking vehicle is of Russian design and is very striking looking with its tank based body, large rocket launcher section mounted on top and claw like pieces in the front. The general shape of Dropshot is very close in design to the real life TOS-1. The tank body has treads on either side lined by panels running along the side and there are claw like scoops on the front end, which are present in some variants of the TOS-1. The shape of the rocket section on top is similar to that of the TOS-1 as well, having a six sided shape with angled sections on the top edges.

While inspired by the real life vehicle mode, there still has to be a robot of Voyager Class size squeezed into the vehicle, so many features were exaggerated to allow for either a more dramatic appearance, robot parts or both. The vehicle is very much elongated from the TOS-1. In terms of proportions it's much longer. This is most notable if you look at the treads. The real life vehicle has six wheels on each side with one smaller one towards the back while Dropshot has nine wheels running along each side. The claws in the front are much larger than the ones found on the real life TOS-1 and the rocket firing mechanism is much longer in proportion with the rest of the vehicle.

There is quite a bit of sculpted detail on this figure, something all the "Cybertron Defense" figures had in common. On the front section are several raised sections, some looking like hatches to instrument panels and the one on the right looks like the area where the drivers would sit. The rocket launcher itself has raised, circular details resembling bolts running around the forward edge of the vehicle. Raised ridge lines abound on both the rocket launcher along with triangular shapes and rectangular shapes. The sections towards the back of the rocket launcher where the Cyber Key attaches look like an interface port of some sort with details that are wide in the back and narrow as you look forward. On the sides of the tank portion are several raised panels that look like armor including the panel with an "X" on it seen on so many military vehicle Transformers. Perhaps one of the most impressive details sculpted into this figure are the twenty two rocket tips pointing out of the front of the rocket launcher. That's a whole lot of firepower in addition to the weaponry that gets revealed by his Cyber Key mechanism.

Dropshot's rocket launcher can turn in a full circle and angle up and down. Angle it upward and you'll see that the robot arms are actually holding the rocket launchers up, a clever way to give them additional articulation and work the robot parts into a functional part of the vehicle. Dropshot comes with the Earth Cyber Key, which is an interesting choice since that's not the key Scattorshot came with. I'm guessing the idea is to tie him more to Earth and being a "real life" military vehicle.

Look at Dropshot from the back and you'll notice he has two Cyber Key slots on the left and right sides of the rocket launcher. Plug it into the right side and the side panel flips open and reveals a giant cannon. Insert the key into the left side and the side panel flips out to reveal a missile launcher. You need to manually slide the missile launcher forward to extend it to its full length. Pressing the trigger on the newly revealed sections on the left side launches the missiles. Even with these weapons deployed you can still rotate the rocket launcher around and position it up and down. It's a really super cool action feature that looks great and is fun to boot!

On either side of the vehicle you'll find a Mini-Con peg sticking out to the sides. While these pegs do not activate any action features, it does allow you to attach Mini-Cons to give Dropshot an extra bit of power (or firepower depending on who you link up). These pegs are also sized to allow you to attach Dropshot's rifle against the sides as well. Not only does this provide convenient storage for the rifle, but it adds firepower to boot!

While G1 Dropshot was mostly blue, using that color would have made him far too much like Scattorshot. Instead, the designers went with a brighter color scheme with a military theme. Most of the vehicle is cast in a dull, light yellow color. This includes most of the panels on the tank and rocket launcher portions of the vehicle body. Grey plastic is used for the treads and in smaller sections such as the robot arms under the rocket launcher you'll find a combination of military green, silver and brown parts. The claw scoops in the front are cast in silver while the sections above it are military green. Color decos are done in black, silver, different shades of brown and yellow. Some of the paint matches plastic parts including the brown and yellow. For instance on the back of the vehicle towards the bottom is a section painted the same shade of yellow that most of the figure is cast in. Silver is most prominantly found on the tips of the rockets inside the rocket launcher. Black is used mostly on the rocket launching mechanism. On the right side, there is large black Decepticon symbol while the left side has a smaller Decepticon symbol and "DC02077" next to it. The "DC" stands for Decepticon, and the "02077" is a reference to the birthdate of the designer who created this deco scheme for the figure.

I find the yellow color really interesting as it seems to hint at a desert type color scheme while the green and brown colors indicate a more traditional military color scheme. I find myself a bit conflicted about it. Part of me actually likes it a lot, but part of me thinks it's rather odd. Either way, I can't say it sucks and it is rather well done for what it is.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the Cyber Key or rifle if attached.
  2. Swing each claw end in the front out.
  3. Pull the rear tread sections out and rotate them around and connect them against the front tread halves.
  4. Split the rocket launcher in half and swing the arms out.
  5. Flip the robot fists out from the forearms.
  6. Swing the robot head up and forward.
  7. Split the robot legs.
  8. Attach the rifle to one of the fists.

Robot Mode:
It is important to keep in mind that Dropshot's design is actually that of Cybertron Defense Scattorshot, so his head sculpt and body design had influence from the original version of that character. The distinctive "goggles" on the brow and dual ridges on the to of the head and the design of his chest with parts angling down and towards the center all hint at Scattorshot's previous incarnation. What's nice is that these details work for almost any Transformer since they are fairly generic.

The overall shape of this character is quite an upgrade from the first Scattorshot. His torso/waist and arms are fairly generic (in general shape) but the legs and the rocket launchers mounted on his arms are quite impressive. It was a really smart move to have the rocket launchers split up to allow each arm to contain a self-contained weapons system. The legs are very strong looking thanks to having the treads on the sides and the large clawed feet.

Aside from the overall shape, there are a ton of sculpted details on this figure. The head sculpt has a very detailed design with complicated looking "goggles" on the brow and tiny details resembling a chin-guard and tiny notches here and there. The main body has some cool details including triangular shapes towards the top of the chest, a large square in the center with an "X" detail in the center. Large tubes curve from the front of the middle of the body and wrap around to the sides. There are a lot of smaller details that I appreciate such as raised circular sections on his shoulders, layered armor plates on his forearms and overlapping armor on his knees. This figure is a prime example of how the classic Transformers "blocky" aesthetic can still have a ton of detail.

In this form a lot more of the brown, silver and green colors show up. The section from the torso to the waist is cast in brown plastic. His arms are a mix of silver, brown and green while the legs have silver on the thighs and feet. With the plstic pieces, the design is very smart, alternating colors to keep him visually interesting. The arms are the best example, with the shoulders being green, leading to brown joints underneath, then to a silver hinge and brown elbow piece. That then leads to a green forearm and silver fists. The legs share a similar pattern with silver thighs, brown knee joints and yellow lower legs leading to silver feet. A light brown paint is used on the back ends of the rocket launchers and parts of the goggle on the robot head. Yellow is found on the top of his chest. Black and light green details fill in details on his head. Silver paint is found on the circles on the shoulders as well as the tubes in the middle of the body. The lower legs use green paint on the knee armor. While the vehicle mode colors left me a bit conflicted, the robot mode color scheme looks fantastic. I really like the military overtones with heavy contrast with the yellow.

Dropshot has twenty points of articulation in this form. This includes four points of articulation on each arm and five on each leg. I really like the fact that despite his head being on a hinge joint, it can still turn side to side. He's also very stable thanks to many of his joints being ratchet joints. His Cyber Key gimmicks both work in this mode as well. However, in this mode the parts that swing out go right against the arm, and small handles fit into his fists. Since both his fists are taken up in this form, the Mini-Con pegs on his legs allow you to attach his rifle on his leg. Also, when you activate the right arm weapon, you slide the entire rocket launcher section forward for optimal positioning. All of the joints on this figure are still tight and the Cyber Key gimmicks work very well.

Final Thoughts:
This sculpt is one of my favorites from the Cybertron and Galaxy Force toy lines. It has fantastic play value, inspiration from a real life vehicle and interactive ability with Mini-Cons. This is a super fun figure and I highly recommend it!


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