Released alongside the Air Military Mini-Con Team, this group of three rescue vehicles are all triple-changers: Vehicle, Robot, Weapon. This is a great Mini-Con gimmick in general, as they not only unlock special weapons, but add additional firepower themselves.
Vehicle Mode: Judicious use of translucent blue plastic makes Prowl really stand out in vehicle mode. He's a police car, but a very futuristic one, with exaggerated white "side bumpers" and a split spoiler. His paint apps are well done, with silver windows and red and orange lights, and there's a fair bit of detail in his mold. My one real complaint is his Powerlinx peg -- it's on his roof. Considering that Prowl is a "flip me over and you can see my entire robot mode" sort of Mini-Con, this makes it very difficult to attach him to most larger robots in car mode -- Thrust is the only one who really comes to mind here. Still, it's nice to see a police car mold back in the line.
Robot Mode: Hmm... his legs are done very Micromaster-style (as in, they look like the front half of the car more than they look like feet.) His arms are on socket joints, but lack elbows and the rear wheels prevent them from having a full range of movement. And his head... or lack thereof. His face, if you can call it that, is sort of painted somewhere underneath the car's trunk. There's no real head... his torso just seems to go all the way up, and the face is where you'd expect the neck to be. Odd indeed. Can't really find anything good to say about his robot mode, so I'll move on.
Weapon Mode: Now this is where the abstract nature of his robot mode comes in handy. In form, Prowl becomes a blaster rifle of some sort, with a grip (or magazine) just behind the barrel. Whether or not this actually looks like a gun depends on (A) whether someone is holding it and (B) whether you look too closely. Close-up, his face and hands are obvious, making this look like Prowl is doing contortion. From a bit of a distance, though, it looks like a gun (when being held as such). You've gotta use the handle, though -- it just doesn't look right when you attach it to a Powerlinx peg. Also, it only looks right from one direction (the "robot" side)... from the "car" side it doesn't look quite right as a gun -- though it does look pretty cool when the light shines through the translucent plastic, so it's a fair trade.
Overall: His car mode is strong, his gun mode is a mixed bag, and his robot mode is weak. Not bad, but I wish he had been done better. 6/10
Vehicle Mode Name: Okay, I've got to take a tangent here. Is it really that important for Hasbro to retain the copyright of a Go-Bots name? Or is this the best they could think of? I'm just saddened that a name like Inferno goes to a missle truck, while this cool little Mini-Con has to suffer. Okay, rant over.
Vehicle Mode: Show of hands, who has the Sixturbo team (original or reissue, doesn't matter)? Okay, look at Discharge. You get the idea -- skip to the next section. For the rest of you, Firebot is a squat, blocky, red fire engine with orange and silver detailing and some white near the rear. His has a translucent blue fire hose mounted above the driver's seat. There's no robot parts visible when you flip him over (always a good thing) and the metal grills on top look very realistic through a combination of texture and paint. My one major complaint is the same as for Prowl; his two Powerlinx sockets are on his roof. This is less of a problem, though, as (A) you can swivel them to the side if you have to, though it looks odd, and (B) he doesn't have robot parts on his underbelly, so you can expose it more freely. The blue fire hose really adds something and helps this fire truck stand out. It isn't flashy, but it shouldn't be -- it's utilitarian. Well done.
Robot Mode: Okay, those of you who raised your hands before, this is Discharge with Sireen's weaponry -- now skip to the next section. In English, that means his transformation is very Micromaster-like, much like Prowl. The fire hose hangs off of his right leg now, and can be positioned in front or to the side. What's truly amazing is how armed this robot is! His arms don't have hands, they have guns! His torso is lined with six missle launchers (painted, not functional). He has a translucent blue Heads-Up Display for firing these weapons mounted right in front of his face! It struck me as odd that a rescue vehicle would be so well-armed, until I remembered Sireen (an equally assault-worthy robot who becomes an ambulance), so I guess the designers remembered that toy as well.
Weapon Mode: Fold the arms down and then crack that fire engine in half, and you've got a genuine missle pod (Macross-style). Very cool. And his two gun-hands are pointing out as well. If you don't mind his face being exposed, you can even flip up his H.U.D. for extra targeting ability. With twelve huge warheads pointed in the direction of whatever happens to be offending him, I'd imagine Firebot actually has very few problems with people making fun of his name....
Overall: Though this Mini-Con deserves to be remembered by a better moniker, he should be remembered as one of the better ones released. His fire engine mode is well done and understated, his robot mode is tough and full of weaponry-related detail, and his weapon mode just rocks. I'm happy. 9/10
Vehicle Mode: Obsidian, anyone? Makeshift is a white dual-rotor helicopter with translucent blue wings and blades, along with some silver and orange detailing. I'm still up in the air about this mode... it has a cool color scheme, but it doesn't look quite right. The blades don't exactly look like blades, except when they're spinning. Still, there are no robot mode parts visible and his Powerlinx socket is where it belongs (on the bottom, under his cockpit). You can also rotate his blades to point toward the back and then fold them together, for a cool "spaceship" mode. So, in the end, I'm happy.
Robot Mode: With a similar color scheme (except for an extra splash of orange in the face), Makeshift looks good in this mode as well. His legs have the same articulation as Armada Megs, unfortunately, and his arms have no elbows... but they really can't help that. His forearms are taken up by the huge (relatively speaking, of course) gatling lasers from his Weapon Mode. I'm reminded of the exosuits that were guarding Zion, from The Matrix Reloaded. So he's handless... or is he? The lasers open up into three separate "fingers", for claw-like hands. So, are these claws or gatling lasers? I'd like to think they're both. At any rate, except for the huge laser claw hands, he's a very well-proportioned and appealing robot.
Weapon Mode: Well, you've already been spoiled a bit by the Robot Mode section, but here it is: He becomes a dual gatling laser gun. In this mode, the helicopter parts manage to move all the way to the back, where they're less noticeable. The two tri-barreled laser cannons can spin freely (of course), really adding to the gatling effect. With a little light shining on them, you can really imagine the energy flowing through them... and out of them, into their enemies' hides.
Overall: Not perfect in any mode, but quite good in all three. The translucent plastic helps hide the bulkiness of the helicopter blades and makes the gatling lasers look very dangerous. 8/10
The whole concept of Mini-Cons with a third weapon mode is a brilliant idea. I loved Leader-1 and Over-Run (and Crumplezone, even) because of it, and I love this team now. The triple-changing is well done and each Mini-Con stands on its own as a fun toy. I strongly recommend getting a set, and slapping some extra firepower onto every Armada robot you can!
|Reviewer||Reverend Pee Kitty|
|Date||June 26th 2003|
|Score||(8 out of 10)|