A pity they couldn't get a more suitable name for this guy. Smokescreen is a cool TF name, but it doesn't really seem right for a crane. Maybe he's capable of firing smoke bombs from his giant cannon.
Demolition Derby Mode: Liftor appears to be a fusion of a forklift, a snow plow, and a hot rod, a real Mad Max-ish conveyance. Orange, purple, black, and grey, with a blue stripe on his hood, he measures about 7 cm(2.75") long. As always with these Mini-Cons, the detailing on this toy is excellent. The rear section features exhaust pipes, roof lights, and large
headlights, the tires are grooved, and the blades on the lift are grooved as well. Liftor's faction symbol is located on his hood and his Powerlinx socket is on his underside. The plow blade can split in half to act as pincher claws.
Transformation: The rear of the vehicle flips out to form legs, arms unfold from the sides, plow and hood swing back.
Robot Mode: Liftor stands 5.5 cm(2.2") tall at the head. Mainly black, purple, and grey in this mode, with moulded fists, a crest on his forehead, an antennae on his left temple, and a large metallic silver plate over his left eye. Add an antennae on his right temple, and he'd look like Optimus Prime's baby. He's easily one of the most articulated Mini-Cons, with joints
at the head, shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees.
Overall, Liftor is one of the best Mini-Cons to date. He alone makes this set worth getting. 9/10
Crane Mode: Smokescreen is primarily bright orange, with grey for the crane, purple for his two hooks, red for his headlights and Autobot symbol, and assorted black, blue, and silver detailing. Whereas real cranes tend to be long and boxy, Smokescreen is compact and sleek. From front to rear, the vehicle measures just under 13 cm(5.1"). The crane arm measures about 13 cm as well and ends up jutting out in front a couple of centimetres. It can either rest on top of Smokescreen or elevate to a 50 degree angle, and can be rotated continuously in either direction. Rotating the crane also rotates the robot head, but you can manually turn it back around to conceal the face.
Smokescreen has a number of nifty features in this mode. The nylon winch at his rear unfurls to a length of 19 cm(7.5"). The hook can plug into a Mini-Con's socket, allowing to be dragged behind Smokescreen (must be kinda painful). By flipping a small purple switch above his right rear wheel, the winch quickly reels in as the wheels turn. Attaching a Mini-Con to the live hardpoint on Smokescreen's crane and then sliding it forwards converts it into a nicely detailed flip-out cannon that measures a whopping 25 cm(9.8") long. Pressing the blue button launches a single missile about a metre or so. The missile is moulded so that it fits into the launcher any way, without having to line up grooves or tabs. In addition, the Autobot symbol panel on the roof of the cab flips up to become a radar dish.
Transformation: Kind of a reverse of G1 Prowl/Bluestreak/Smokescreen/Jazz, in that the rear of the vehicle becomes the chest and the front becomes the legs. The arms are formed from the top of the cab.
Robot Mode: Smokescreen is roughly 12.5 cm(4.9") tall at the head, with the crane on his shoulder adding another couple of centimetres. His head is short and wide, with a metallic blue face slightly reminiscent of Gnaw the Sharkticon. His eyes are red and his expression grim. Although relatively small, his proportions make him seem like a real badass, brawler type and indeed the Armada comic reflects this. His metallic silver fists in particular are massive, as big as his head. It's just a pity that they're largely concealed by vehicle kibble.
Smokescreen is articulated at the head, shoulders(two joints), elbows(very limited), hips, and thighs. Liftor can attach to the dead hardpoint on his right forearm to function as a melee weapon. Despite lacking heal spurs, he stands very well, even with the crane cannon deployed.
Overall, Susp Sez: Smokescreen is a solid purchase. Solid vehicle mode, nice gimmicks, interesting transformation, and fairly decent robot mode. 8/10
"Strike hard, strike straight." -Smokescreen
|Date||December 11th 2002 |
|Score|| (8 out of 10) |