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Dragstrip - Combiner Wars Generations - Deluxe Action Figure

Height: 13.5cm head height.

Articulation: 14 total points - ball-joint neck; 3 points each arm: ball-jointed shoulder, upper arm swivel, hinge elbow; swivel waist; 3 points each leg: ball joint hip, thigh swivel, hinge knee.

Colors: Molded yellow, maroon, purple, silver-gray, and black. Painted maroon, silver, blue-gray, and red(visor).

Accessories: GunSword, Plasma Energy Blaster.

Release Data: Released December 2014 at a suggested retail price of US$16.99.

Author: RAC

Ruthless Decepticon Racer

Ah, Dragstrip. Everybody's favorite Aerialbot, the jerk who endlessly brags about the races he's won in his racecar alt mode.

...wait a minute.

Just to further break up the Aerialbot monotony, we've exchanged Aerialbot #4, Air Raid, with the Stunticon Drag Strip. Let's see who notices!

As I mentioned in the previous reviews, Skydive is going to serve as the reference point for the things that all the Combiner Wars figures have in common, so click here to see that review!


Robot Mode

Dragstrip is a bit slimmer than the Aerialbots, owing largely to his alternate mode being more incorporated into his body. His arms actually form parts of the car and aren't just bits that end up hanging off the underside of the jet. So that helps from the outset. Originally Drag Strip was a mostly yellow car with a deep, maroonish purple head, but Dragstrip incorporates more of the maroon into the body. ...mostly successfully. The thighs are painted, but the tops do show through in some poses. But overall it's a good look, making for a much livelier deco than the original Drag Strip had. The silver patch on Dragstrip's chest is preserved as the Combiner Wars peg, where it was the engine block on the G1 figure. The head is... interesting. It's based off of the animation model, but the helmet is a bit sloped, kind of like Skydive. Luckily, Dragstrip is nowhere near as bulky as that, so the pinhead effect is avoided. The visor has a pair of red "tear" streaks down the cheeks, and the facial features are very compact. That's because the helmet seems to have a chin guard, as though it was a fully-enclosed racing helmet - but the chin guard is colored to match his face. This gives it a kind of odd, overdetailed Matt Frank/Derrick J. Wyatt look that I'm not sure I like.

Dragstrip has a better-integrated alt mode than the rest of Wave 1, but he does still have a racecar-nose on his back. It's one of the smaller kibble arrangements in the wave, and matches G1 Drag Strip's design nicely. Also, I can't help but notice that if arms were designed that pointed the other way, you could use the back as the front, and make a nice Mirage. Given that there are rumors that this will be the case as of this writing, it'll be interesting to see if this is how it's accomplished.

All the Combiner Wars Deluxes use the same set of jointing (and thus have this same paragraph): ball-joint head, swivel waist, and limbs with uniform points of articulation: ball-joints at the shoulder/hip, swivels at the upper arm/thigh, and single hinges at the elbow and knee. And all have closed blocky fists with 5mm-compatible sockets. It's not groundbreaking, but that's kind of good; since these toys have twice as many modes as the average Deluxe Transformer, the less that can go wrong the better.

In many ways you can tell that Dragstrip was designed after the Aerialbots; he very clearly benefits from the learning experiences of the first set of designs. All of his joints are very tight and he has no trouble holding a pose. Even his head ball-joint is super-tight, to the point of being a bit scary. Of particular note is the shaping of the shoulders, which allow Dragstrip to swing his arms straight out to the sides while retaining taller shoulders and a more streamlined body.

Transformation

Dragstrip also has the best feeling transformation of the Wave 1 Deluxes, feeling the most like a non-combining Transformer albeit still a pretty basic one. The waist does a 180, the thighs collapse into the legs (so much more elegant than the Aerialbots and their leg armatures), the arms fold down to the sides, the hood rotates 180 degrees and swings into place. It's engineering I'd have easily accepted even if the toy didn't have to have four separate modes.

Vehicle Mode

Same as it ever was: Dragstrip is a racecar somewhere generically between an F-1 and an Indycar racer. The tires are untextured because they're racing slicks, and the hubs and spokes are nicely painted as are the suspension parts. The backend suspension is sculpted into the back of the car in relief, but that's pretty much unavoidable for this design. There's not a full driver's compartment because it can only be so deep due to that big peg sitting just beneath it. But what's here is nicely detailed, as is the rest of the car. There's a fueling port, a very dynamic and recessed pair of rearview mirrors, and - perhaps most impressively -the 5mm peg on top of the car that's used to lock down the nose in robot mode is sculpted to look like a small camera of the type that modern racecars are peppered with. It's hands down the best looking of the four Combiner Wars wave 1 Deluxes, with Alpha Bravo a close second.

Accessories

Drag Strip's personal weapon was a "Gravito-gun" in G1, which was described as a gravity-enhancing weapon. Here he gets a gunsword of unspecified powers. Those were pretty popular in G1 too, turning up on more than a few toys. It's one of the best-looking as a short sword, and looks decent as a slick phaser-like weapon with a swept-back handle. That handle doesn't play super-well with his forearms, as it tends to butt into them, but it stays in his hand. It also makes storage a bit difficult since it's always jutting out of the vehicle mode at an odd angle one way or another. There are only three 5mm ports on Dragstrip's car mode, and the only one that allows for symmetrical and not oddly-angled storage is to have the sword pointing straight out the back.

Dragstrip's HandFootGun is the only one with a name: G1 Drag Strip had a Plasma Energy Blaster in vehicle mode, and the barrels were square like these, if longer. It has an extra socket beneath the barrels, relative to the other three appendage-guns, and pegs in on top of Dragstrip's camera. It's not a super-tight fit, but there's a notch taken out of the rear spoiler for transformation which also fits the thumb nicely. It helps to stabilize the Blaster, but it's still not as firm a connection as I'd like. As a hand or foot though, it's great, again sporting stiffer joints than any of the Aerialbots' accessories. And since two of the vehicle mode's 5mm sockets are on his shoulders, he can equip the gun as a shoulder cannon or shield very easily.


As An Arm

One thing to note about both limb modes: the part of Dragstrip's back end with the spoiler swings up and out of the way. You can attach the hand or foot either way, but this is necessary to keep the lengths of the limbs identical- which of course is especially crucial in the legs. So if your Superion or Ultra Prime seems lopsided, that's why.

Dragstrip pretty much folds his head back and waves his arms over his head to become a combiner arm. It's strangely attractive in its way, giving a silhouette that reminds me of a hooded cobra. You do have to adjust Dragstrip's arms relative to the shape of your torso-bot to get the maximum shoulder articulation. But there are no obstructions to elbow articulation, and the super-tight knee joints make for a good, strong elbow.

As A Leg

Transform the car's nose as if for robot mode, flip the head out of the way and turn the combiner peg up, and of course shorten the back end for symmetry's sake. Again, super-simple and super-solid.


Closing Remarks

Dragstrip is a great update of the character, and despite some face design choices and what I perceive to be item storage deficiencies, he is undoubtedly Excellent on the Figurereviews.com Non-numeric Rating Scale. He represents a variety of small but noticeable improvements over the Aerialbots, and if rest of the Stunticons turn out to be this good, then I'm going to be out a fair bit of money when they hit shelves soon. With all six main components of Wave 1 reviewed, I am comfortable declaring Combiner Wars a smashing success.

But of course, there's more...



ReviewerRAC  
DateJanuary 18th 2015  
Score 9 stars (9 out of 10)  
Reads6998
LinkCombiner Wars Dragstrip Gallery  


Combiner Wars Dragstrip Gallery Image Gallery


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