Tow-Line - Energon

As of this writing, Tow-Line is a yet-to-be-released toy from the Transformers Energon line. This review will cover the test shot of this figure. It is possible that mold changes may be made to the toy before the final version sees mass release. Also, this test shot came with no accessories, so those will not be covered.

Vehicle Mode

Tow-Line is molded in three different shades of green: a dark green for the bulk of the toy, a light green for the front and rear bumpers, back doors, interior workings, wheels, and treads, and a dull green for the front wheel struts. The front windshield and surrounding area are molded clear with a purple Autobot symbol stamped just below the actual windshield. Tow-Line measures at 4 3/4" long, 2 1/2" wide, and 2 1/4" tall. All four wheels roll independently.

There is a lot of nice detailing in vehicle mode. There is a ladder on either side, decorative windows, headlights, rear windows, door handles, and an Energon port on the driver's side window with a gold Autobot logo within at about a 50 degree angle. Weapons ports abound as well, one on either side of the van in the rear and on the right-center of the roof. Unfortunately, none of the weapons of other Energon toys I have fit in those holes. This, I would hope, will be rectified in the mass release.


To transform Towline into robot mode...

  1. Pull the side panels down.
  2. Remove the upper portion of the van from the bottom.
  3. Fold the rear door panel down.
  4. Bring the treads from underneath down and forward so the struts are at about a 45 degree angle and the wheels on the treads face down.
  5. Flip the front wheels down and back for support.
  6. Raise the front windows up.
  7. Swing the arms out to the sides and rotate the forearms down.
  8. Raise the roof so that the fronts point up and flip those tips back.
  9. Rotate the hips down and forward so the pelvis is flush with the windshield.
  10. Raise the middle of the remaining roof up, flip up, and slide forward.

Robot Mode

In robot mode, Towline resembles what Ironhide and Ratchet might have looked like were they made 20 years after the Transformers were first released. I have no doubts that the homage is intentional, from the windshield-chest to the Mobile Autobot Repair Bay or M.A.R.B., though I don't know if that's what the official name for that part of the toy will be. He doesn't hold together too well where the hips meet the torso. Hopefully, that will be addressed for the mass release.

Tow-Line measures 5 1/4" tall and has a good amount of articulation. He has ball-socket joints for his shoulders, elbows, and hips. His knees band and he can rotate his head at the neck. The most striking part about Tow-Line is his face's resemblance to the Autobot symbol. It does seem to be inspired by the slave brand and gives him a very unique and rather cool look.


The M.A.R.B., at it's tallest, stands at 2 3/4". There are a lot of details molded into the panels and base of the platform with what appears to be three laser barrels on either side. There are what appear to be five weapon ports on the platform. Three run down the center and there's one on either side panel, carryovers from vehicle mode. Near the front is a Powerlinx connector to which any Powerlinx Autobot can connect. It looks a little silly that way, almost like a centaur-inspired robot mode.


Tow-Line can Powerlinx to other Autobots by wrapping his rear legs behind his head, similar to Inferno. Each foot has twin-lasers that flip out from underneath them to give him some firepower in this mode. There doesn't appear to be a lower-torso mode for Tow-Line, at least nothing that looks good.


This Tow-Line test shot is a fun toy. The homage to G1 characters, unique transform, and detailing are all very nice. The green coloring is actually not that bad on the toy, certainly better than what I've seen the final colors will be.

ReviewerRichard C. Mistron  
DateJune 15th 2004  
Score 8 stars (8 out of 10)  

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