First in a series of Micromaster Combiner reissues, SixLiner returns. Originally released in Japan around 1992 in the Transformers: Battlestars line, the Autobot SixLiner fought with Star Convoy and his other Autobot brethren against the evil Super Megatron.
Each SixLiner component is packaged in the identical boxes similar to the Takara SCF line. Thankfully, they aren't random like the SCFs as there is a small hole in the front of the box with a number 1 through 6 showing through.
In addition to the individual toys, included in the box is a component to help assemble SixLiner along with a small brochure featuring the instructions and bio for that individual toy along with a short story.
The Steam Locomotive, Diego is mostly black with gold and white trim. A red Autobot symbol is emblazoned on the front of his cow-pusher and there is some red peaking through at the top of the engineer station. He rolls very well and hides most traces of being a robot in disguise. Transformation is easy enough. Simply flip the engineer station 45 degrees back and position the arms to your liking. In robot mode, Diego has all the standard Micromaster articulation; shoulders, hips, and knees. He's a bit more colorful in robot mode with his gray upper legs, orange torso with gold highlights, and silver painted face. Too bad he has a huge chunk of train sticking on top of his head.
The Tôkaidô 100 line Bullet Train, Spark is mostly white with blue and yellow trim and black windows. His robot feet and head are visible in this form, so he's not the most convincingly disguised Autobot. His transform differs from the rest in the you bring the rear part of the train down 90 degrees and flip up the head and arms. Spark loses most of his color in robot mode where he's all black and white with just his head and neck area having any other color; red, yellow and silver for his head, highlights and face respectively. He has standard articulation, though his design hinders his knee joints.
The bright orange and gray TGV train is Alan. He's my personal favorite out of the group with his white trim, black windows. He rolls exceptionally well too. There's just something this design that I enjoy. His transformation is the same as Diego's, so I won't repeat myself. In robot mode, Alan adds black to the color mix as well as the red from the wheels hidden from view in his train form. His face is reminiscent of Jazz, so that's probably why I like his moreso than the others. Adds a little personality to the toy.
The white and green Tôhoku 200-2000 line Bullet Train you see next is Lief. As with Spark, his robot mode geet are visible in this form. Also, mine doesn't appear to want to stay aligned properly in train mode. Just look at the picture to see what I mean. Standard transformation and articulation. Lief's robot form has a red torso and black upper legs, which almost don't seem to match his white and green train mode. Still, he's a nice looking 'bot.
What kind of a name is Joe for a Transformer? I'll tell you, it's the type you'd name with a Super Hitachi 651 Line Limited Express Train alternate configuration. Joe is mostly white with gray highlights running along the bottom and black painted windows. Blah blah transformation. Blah blah articulation. In robot mode, Joe strikes me as the most plain looking of the group. Still mostly white with a gray chestplate and some red and blue highlights, he's just rather unexciting looking.
Lastly, there's Night, the EF66 Blue Train. Night offers the team some variation in color in that he's all blue with white, gray, and yellow highlights accompanied by black windows. He has the typical transform and articulation, so color and physical design are the only things new Night offers. he looks a little impressionable in robot mode, has an almost Shockwave-like visage. Still, he's pretty nice looking in robot form and, as stated earlier, adds a nice color variance to the team.
The parts that combine the individuals into SixLiner can also be used to form weapon components that can either attach to or be towed by the trains. These are not documented in the instructions but are a feature of the original release. Attach the pelvis piece to the top of Diego to form the Mega-Techvolt. Combine the torso piece to either foot to form the Wingard. With the other foot, place the rifle into the toe peg and attach the fists to either side of the rifle and the head, facing down, to the rear of the rifle. This forms the Gripper Probe. Depending on the foot used, any of the trains can be used to tow the Wingard or Gripper Probe.
Combine the large orange and black pieces. From their train forms, open the front latch on Joe and Night. Insert the right foot onto the back of Joe and the left onto Night. Attach them to the Mega-Techvolt to form the legs. From their robot modes, swing Alan and Lief down at the upper torso, bringing their robot arms with them. Attach the fists to either and then attach the arms they've formed to the pegs on the Wingard. Place the rifle into either hand. Swing Spark's arms up slightly then bend him forward at the knees and slide him into place in the center of the Wingard. Attach Diego to the peg on SixLiner's back and bend his upwards to hide his robot mode. Lastly, attach SixLiner's head atop Spark's.
A splendid blend of six trains, SixLiner is now ready to fight the evil Decepticons... or whoever. A more unified color scheme on the individual units might make him look more appealing in his combined form, but he's far from atrocious in appearance. Unlike the other Micromaster Combiner reissues, SixLiner is capable of better arm movement at the shoulders as nothing really gets in the way unless you forget to bring Alan and Lief's arms down when transforming them into the arms. SixLiner's head can also turn and pivot slightly, making him able to produce a few more poses.
SixLiner is a nice set and relatively inexpensive considering the prices the original versions once fetched. If you like trains, Micromasters, combiners, or all of the above, you owe it to yourself to pick up SixLiner.
Thanks to Doug Dlin and Rik Ruff for providing the train model names and for assisting in determining which train went with which name.
|Reviewer||Richard C. Mistron|
|Date||October 21st 2003|
|Score||(9 out of 10)|