Bolstering the Minicon forces a bit, the Race Team has left the starting gate. Perhaps, though, they should have stayed there.
Tech Specs (courtesy of Transformers.com)
Race Mini-Con Team
Quote: "Combine and defend!"
As single units these robots are fast and sharp, but their individual power is no match for their combined force. In the heat of battle, they can join together to form the awesome shield known as Skyboom - the only defense against the super-powerful Star Saber. This ability pits the Autobots and Decepticons against each other in a struggle for possession of the Race Team.
Strength 6.0 Intelligence 6.0 Speed 10.0 Endurance 7.0
Rank 5.0 Courage 6.0 Fireblast 4.0 Skill 7.0
Dirt Boss is some form of rally sport utility vehicle… I think. He is primarily gray with purple and yellow stripes on his hood and purple, yellow and black stripes near the rear tires. The windows are painted a dark green-blue color and there is a multicolored circle on either door with the number 7 in the center. There is also some yellow peeking through from the hinges used in transformation. And speaking of…
Pull the front half up and forward and flip out the feet using the incredibly hard to get to ledges on the insides of the legs. Swing the rear side panels up and down to form the arms and flip the head out from underneath the rear of the vehicle.
Standing taller than any other Minicon to date sans Perceptor, Dirt boss is disappointing. He swivels and the hips, knees and elbows but is limited in his range of motion due to the car parts on the legs getting in the way. His head and face are also completely yellow. This is, no doubt, because his head forms the post used for Skyboom’s shield. If you leave the forearms facing forward, Dirt Boss is reminiscent of a Rob Liefield drawing. And I don’t mean that as a good thing.
As a race car, Downshift looks very nice. He is mostly dark gray with some silver and light gray highlights. The bright yellow used on all the toys in this team makes up the spoiler and there is some visible on either side from the arms’ ball-socket construction. Downshift’s number is 3.
Swing the rear panels out to the sides and rotate down. Bring the remaining back section of the car down and split to form the legs. Flip up the little dark gray section on top to reveal the robot head.
While slightly better than Dirt boss, Downshift also disappoints. While the ball-sockets on the shoulders provide a good range of motion, he really can’t do much else. Like the Autobot Red Alert, his legs are meant to be spread apart and on such a small scale, it doesn’t work well. He also won’t stand very well if his arms are positioned forward too far. The entire face and front of the head is painted light blue, which stands out from the grays.
Mirage shares the same basic design as Swindle, the Minicon that comes with Starscream. I hesitate to call it a remold since there is nothing, outside of the transformation, similar between the two on a piece-by-piece basis. Mirage is primarily yellow with dark gray for the outside drivers area and a light gray painted seat. And for those wondering, he can’t double as a replacement for Swindle on Starscream’s cannon hard point as Mirage is too wide to fit between the launchers.
Pull out the sides of the car all the way back then lower the yellow portion down. Split the front of the car in half and lower the front fin section. Lower the spoiler to reveal the robot head and you’re done. You can also swivel Mirage at the waist to give him more robotic looking legs.
With the exception of the black and red detailing on his head and face, Mirage remains mostly yellow and dark gray. Like Swindle and unlike some of the other Minicons, he has some nice face detailing. Sadly, he has no articulation to speak of save for being able to point his arms outward.
Starting with all three Race Team members in vehicle mode split Dirt Boss down the center, unfold the yellow wings. Attach Mirage to the front end of Dirt Boss. Bring Downshift’s arms forward and rotate them so that the spoiler halves face down. Bring the spoiler halves up and attach Downshift to the rear of Dirt Boss. I find it easier if Downshift’s legs are split apart slightly and then pinch them close around Dirt Boss’ connector.
Skyboom looks, well, ridiculous. It’s a pile of car parts with an Indy racecar stuck on one end. It’s not passable as a jet and functions only slightly better as a shield. Even as a shield, it still looks silly. And honestly, would you want your alt mode to be a shield so some bigger robot can use your tiny body to protect him? Seems like a rather silly notion. Also, with Dirt Boss’ head as the peg that the Autobots and Decepticons use to hold Skyboom, the shield tends to flop around slightly.
Honestly, save your money for the other Minicon teams or the bigger TFs. With the exception of Mirage, the Race Team only looks good in vehicle mode. The robot modes of Downshift and especially Dirt Boss are disappointing and Skyboom is just plain silly.
|Date||September 6th 2002|
|Score||(5 out of 10)|