In the G1 days, Smokescreen was aptly named because he could put out a smoke camoflauge. His alt mode was a 4th generation Nissan Fairlady Z (or ZX for the americana), more specifically the early 80s 280ZX with the snubnose. He disappeared for awhile, then reappeared in Armada as a crane truck. This didn't seem fitting at all and you have to still wonder how that happened. There were rumors that he was making a return in Cybertron having his alt form as a sports car. However, the 11th hour had his mold name changed to Crosswise. Why is anyone's guess. Whether they planned this from the start or bowed to fandom complaints, Crosswise has been repainted and is now issued as Smokescreen.
Like Crosswise, Smokescreen's alt mode is a very slick looking sports car, reminiscent of the Bugatti EB110 concept from several years ago. The color scheme is true to G1 Smokescreens, with blue fenders and red on the hood, roof and entire rear section. He also has the white accent stripes and the #38 on each door. It all comes out looking very nice, especially since QC seems to have improved as of late. The gray tinted windows do a decent job of hiding the kibble behind them, as this is the only real disappointment with the Alt mode. You can see his head and hands in the cockpit. Otherwise, there is lots of nice details to be found around the whole vehicle. The grill is nicely done, the doors are for the most part great (except for a screw that holds his arm in place) and the rear end is also in good form. The engine/spoiler assembly adds the final touch to this mode, with a round port on top of the spoiler. This is to add the launching projectile for his gun, but it takes away from the alt form so for photo purposes I left the missile out. The missile itself is an oddity, looking like a flame ala Armada Starscream. I never cared for that effect, personally.
Insert the Cyber Key in the rear slot and twin missile launchers flip out from the back. Though the missiles aren't launchable, the racks are fabulously detailed. It adds to the look of the vehicle very well. Transforming this figure can be somewhat of a pain. The door sills clip on to the doors and you have to pivot both the sills and the doors a certain way or everything gets hung up. Fortunately, the sills are removeable. Also, the rear quarterpanels swivel, but usually pop off from their ball joints when doing so.
The end result is very pleasing, however. The red and blue motif still exists in robot mode, but some swatches of yellow appear, mostly in the pelvic area and above his forehead. The legs, which are completely hidden during alt mode, have some good detailing to them. The arms are also nicely done. The roof of the alt mode becomes a non-removeable shield worn on his left arm, but the shield can be positioned to some degrees. The door sills mentioned earlier diagonally stick out from his backside. The head sculpt, while lacking light piping abilities, is done pretty well. He has the 'goggle' look of Scattershot, but you can pretty clearly make out all his facial features, including the optic sensors behind his visor. One of Crosswise's draws was his wide range of poseability, and Smokescreen still carries that. As a bonus, the joints seem tighter than the Crosswise I previously reviewed.
His Cyber Key mode works the same here, except the missile launchers flip all the way over to his shoulders. The origina Crosswise figure was an overall great add to the line. This mold does have some very minor shortcomings but is a definite hit for the collection. Having this mold done as Smokescreen not only breaks from having to suffer from redecos of subpar molds, but brings us another nice G1 homeage as well.
|Reviewer||Michael Henry |
|Date||September 26th 2006 |
|Score|| (10 out of 10) |