Finally! I have been on the look out for these for since September. Then on a rainy Saturday morning there was Railspike, Midnight Express & Rapid Run sitting the shelf at Target right next to the new RiD Galvatron figure. Score! It felt good to bag my goodies and go home. So, here's a review of Railspike. The first of the three RiD Trains that I will be reviewing and posting here.
Railspike is the leader of the Bullet Train team. He is courteous, polite and intelligent - but don't let his gentlemanly manners fool you into thinking he's not cut out for battle. He can lock, load and fire the rocket launchers on his shoulders like any true warrior. To bring down the enemy, he uses a sonic umbrella that emits ultrasonic waves as it rotates.
Quote: "Most kind of you to surrender."
The Railspike figure comes in the standard long rectangular box frequently used in the Deluxe boxed figure line. This time it is decorated with the Robots in Disguise theme which I rather like. It's cool. Not too cool. Some of the Transmetal 2 packaging in the Beast Wars line was a little over the top for me. Cut the taped strip on either side to open the box. Inside, Railspike is mounted to a slanted cardboard base with a yellow-sunburst print on it. Three of the standard issue twist-ties hold him in place. The train looks really nice sitting on the cardboard base. If you didn't take him out to play with, this would be a great wayto display Railspike. Due to the figure' relatively simple shape, pretty much just a rhomboid, it took about 10 seconds to free it from the base. Just turn it over. Loosen the twist-ties and slide him right out. There is also a laser weapon secured with two ties. It comes off just as easily in the same fashion.
Though I may have described Railspike as having a simple design as a bullet train. This is still a really great looking Transformer. Of the three trains, I like this one's color scheme the best. The white and dark blue theme works well in train and robot mode. The train is pretty long at about 8" in this mode. The sides of the train are white with a large red logo on the left side of the cab and a blue "500 Cybertron" logo on the right. This is the only figure of the three that includes an actual clear windshield. The tinted clear plastic windshield combined with a hint of neon green beneath creates a decent pseudo-lighted effect. The underside of Railspike reveals eight tiny white wheels , 4 front & 4 back, that roll only on smooth flat surfaces.
Transforming Railspike is pretty straight forward. Starting with the legs, you may need to pull kind of hard to extend them out far enough to reveal an extra set of leg joints. The figure I got was really stiff. You know, the kind of stiff where you wonder if the plastic might crack or break. After a bit of gentle wiggling I was able to get his legs properly extended and posed so he could stand. For support, Railspike has front and rear foot extensions. The two sets of rear wheels flip out 90 degrees from the leg to form the front foot extensions. Similarly, a short square block flips down behind the leg to provide added support to the 6.5" tall figure.
Pulling the cab section apart is a bit trickier. Because the two front sections snap together so tightly, not a bad thing, I had to apply a bit of pressure to get them to separate. I fumbled a bit with unfolding the two front sections till I realized you have to pull the cab section out first. The cab section extends to reveal the head of Rail Racer. Which must explain why Railspike is the only one with a clear windshield. With the cab out of the way, Railspike's head pops up from his spring loaded hiding place within the body torso. The Rail Racer head folds out, down and back in to form Railspike's chest plate. Spin the two wedges that form the front sections around 180 degrees to expose the top limbs. Both arms extend from the interior sections. With two articulation points in each of the arms, there is plenty of possibility for this figure.
Railspike is a formidable opponent in robot mode. Again, he looks good in the darker blue and contrasting white colors. Standing at about 6.5" tall the figure is slick and slender looking without being flimsy and hard to pose. For the most part his legs will only hold two or three positions. Even with the added mobility offered by the extra leg joints, I was only happy with him in the half running type pose like you see on the font of the box. With both legs fully extended he holds up well, but you have to point his hip joints outward to get him to stand properly. To me, it looked too much like he was squatting in that position. Likewise for Railspike's head, good looking paintjob and the red eyes are a nice touch. Unfortunately, the figure' head movement is rather limited. Only turning about 45 digress from side to side.
One of the really nice things about Railspike is the weapon he comes with. This one comes with nifty laser cannon (sonic umbrella) that actually lights up. Pressing the button at the base of the gun triggers a small red light inside the weapon barrel. While its nothing like a real laser, come on Hasbro! The illuminated device does provide some enhancement to the item. I though it was a more constructive use of electronics than the gimmicks frequently employed to light up the figure' eyes or produce some audible noise.
I waited a while for this guy. No thanks to Amazon.com. I placed an order last summer expecting to get the Trains in September. Now that I have Railspike, I am just a bit disappointed by the somewhat limited articulation of the figure. However, as a Transformer, and one that is originally from a Japanese mold, I really like the figure a lot. Bullet trains are just too cool not to have a Transformer or three modeled after them. Add that these figures combine into the massive combiner, Rail Racer and they get my recommendation as the best combiner figure set in the RiD series yet. If you get any of the trains, get Railspaike.
Stay tuned for reviews of Midnight Express, Rapid Run and Rail Racer coming soon.
|Date||December 3rd 2001 |
|Score|| (9 out of 10) |