One might argue that as long as there have been Transformers, there have been knockoffs - starting with the Hasbro Transformers that were clones of Takara's Diaclone and Microman lines, but that is a story for another time. When it comes to KnockOffs (KOs) few of have gotten as much attention as the Korean Knockoffs that get things so wrong in such a marvelously right way.
What makes the Korean Knockoffs special are not just the gross inaccuracies and audacious liberties taken with colors, names and even accessories. It is the fact that many of the Korean KOs are over-sized reproductions of their Generation 1 counterparts.
These enlarged editions have been made for numerous figures. One of which, are the fan favorite Bluestreak mold based on the Datsun 280z. Like the G1 toys, these figures have been re-issued in varying color mixtures to depict characters such as Prowl, Smokescreen and Bluestreak - that we will be taking a look at here.
Even with the "Jet-Car" labeling on the box, the figure itself bears a "Z-CAR" logo on the bumper and a big "Z" on the figure's head sculpt to back it up. Much like other Korean KOs. The box is garishly colorful with big type and extraneous characters thrown in for good measure. The Bluestreak character art is a pretty good likeness with a somewhat appealing all-black color scheme. Note the word "Knight 2000" on the side of vehicle mode. Seems there is some kind of intent to confuse this with the K.I.T.T. - Knight Industries Two-Thousand car. A truly glorious WTF, in my book.
At the top left there's a label with a KO Astroboy looking character and with the label "ATOM" but next to that is a shield that says "A-TOM Deluxe" that could be a translation mistake or a confused distortion of the character's identity, or just stupid. The lower-right of the box features a human character that may or may not be a G.I. Joe reference. He's locked and loaded for WTF, no doubt.
Of all the Korean KOs made with this mold. "Z-CAR" manages to get the colors closest to the original with a decent mix of white, black and red color theme. They also managed to clone the shoulder missiles and rifle from the original G1 toy. What's totally off the mark is the addition of a big blue gun that bears no resemblance to a known Transformers weapon. Nor is it even close to the scale of the figure or offer any accommodation for holding or mounting it. Behold, the glory of Korean KOs with plenty of WTF to go around.
Believe it or not, the figure is not totally horrible. The plastic is decent. It feels solid and well cast for a toy this size. All things considered, it's transformation, articulation and posability are faithful to the original toy. But it ends there, with the main gaff being the figure is lacking any facility to attach the shoulder missiles, mine only came with one. However, its of no matter as there is simply no where to put them. At least the rifle sits well in his peg hand.
The figure looks best in alternate vehicle mode that is nicely black with contrasting white bumpers. The Z-CAR plate stands out accdented by a red dotted sticker mimicking the KITT scanner lights from the Trans AM, it seems. Yet, somehow they managed to copy that awful sticker on the back of the robot head that surfaces on the car mode in an unsightly manner, just like the original G1 toys. There is a vague attempt at decorating the legs / back windshield with some random sticker designs. A bit more WTF ensues when considering they went to the trouble to gold chrome the headlights. While there are plenty of shortcomings on other parts of the toy, like the total absence of a clear windshields and back windows.
So there you have its the unofficial Transformers Bluestreak KO'd into the KITT Knight Rider 2000. You simply cannot make this stuff up. WTF, indeed!