Another one of Generation One's favorite characters returns. Well, sort of. ;-)
Though the package names him Downshift, it is clear for all G1 fans that this Transformer is heavily influenced by none other than Wheeljack, one of my favorites from G1. So having him back is a real treat and I have been looking forward to this Transformer for a long time. Was he worth the wait? He sure was!
Like Wheeljack, Downshift is a race car. I do not know what type (or even if it resembles any type of race car)as I know nothing of race cars. I do know this is one sweet looking vehicle. It has a low silhouette and everything about it sleek. The window section appears to be a little too small but that is no big deal. It is interesting to see that the Autobot spark crystal is in the left aft wheel. I wish they had found a better place for it but it is an intersting idea.
I really like the red headlights and the doors who open at the top. The doors are not big enough for a flight mode such as Armada Wheeljack had but it looks cool. Then there are the tailpipes. They give this vehicle a realistic look. One can also imagine them being weapons. Though Downshift is no inventor, Wheeljack was and since I see this Transformer as Wheeljack he will certainly have equipped himself with smokescreens and oil slicks.
But Downshift has more weapons to his disposal. A rocket launcher which seems to be standard for Transformers nowadays and a weapon that looks like a shot gun. Ever since I saw Arnold as the Terminator, IÂ loved shot guns so this weapon is quite a treat to me. It looks like it packs a punch. "Hasta la vista, baby!" Both weapons and the missile are in translucent red which looks awesome. They can be attached to the posts behind the front wheels or on the posts in the aft section.
Downshift is mostly white in vehicle mode. The headlights and windows are translucent red and there are red tailights. There are red and green stripes on the vehicle. The hub caps and read "window" are gold and the spoiler is black. A silver powelinx symbol can be found on the right of the vehicle.
Detailwise Downshift had just enough detail to make him look cool. The front grille looks nice and there is a "gear" around the front posts for the weapons. The wheels are also of an intersting design. In all an awesome vehicle mode!
In robot mode Downshift is also a definete tribute to Wheeljack. His head just screams Wheeljack as it has got a similar mouthplate and crest on his forehead. The eyes and "ears" are translucent red which looks awesome. It does make Downshift look "evil" seeing how in G1 all Deceptions had red eyes. Perhaps blue would have worked better for the eyes but it would not have matched the overall colors of the vehicle. So red is a really good alternative.
What I really like (next to the head) is that they gave the chest the same colors as the vehicle mode. Wheeljacks chest was formed by the top of the car and all though Downshift has a different transformation it is cool to see that the designers really wanted him to look like Wheeljack and therefor copying Wheeljacks chest design. I also like the sulpted in Autobot symbol. Very impressive work indeed.
Another Wheeljack influence, the aforementioned tailpipes which I liked so much are now shoulder weapons which is neat as Wheeljack also had a shoulder weapon. One can alos put the weapons in the posts on the shouldersÂ The other set of posts is now on the lower legs which is a good place as well.
Downshift's spoiler is a weapon base in this mode. Both weapons attach to it allowing Downshift to hold both weapons in one hand. Together with the other posts Downshift can mount 8 weapons! Very impressive indeed. The lower door sections (for lack of better term) are on the arms and stick out a bit. Naturally with a little imagination those are lasers or stabbing weapons. ;-)
Articulationwise Downshift does not dissapoint, he has 9 points of articulation. All the basics, his heard turns. His arms bend at the shoulders and elbow and the legs turn and the knees bend.Â All is good there.
Colorwise, not much changed allthough there is a lot more gold that has shown up. Though not a Wheeljack color, it still looks nice though I think I would have preferred gray.
Naturally Downshift has two Powerlinx modes allowing him to Powerlinx with any deluxe Autobot. His instructions mention Tow-line wich matches with Downshift in terms of color. The other deluxes do not color coordinate well, sadly. But with Checkpoint and repaint Prowl on the way that will soon be remedied.
Anyways, Downshifts "pants" mode is very simple the robot mode but with the shoulders, arms and head swung back. The articulation is retained but there is a lot of kibble but that is common for the Powerlinx modes. In any case, a very nice pants mode
The upperbody mode is a truly different mode with a fun transformation which results in an even more fun shirt mode. This mode is awesome and (one of) the best Powerlinx mode so far. The chest still looks like a Wheeljack chest and the "shoulders" which are formed by the aft sections of the car allow for weapons to be mounted there.
The articulation is also very good because the arms used to be Downshifts legs. And there is not too much kibble so there is no problem with it getting in the way. And awesome mode.
Downshift is a perfect deluxe sixe Transformer. He has awesome vehicle mode, a really cool and versatile robot mode and an terrific upper body mode. Add to that his great weapons/accessories and the fact that none of the modes show hints of the others and you have an awesome toy. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Downshift, (unless you love to complain) so go get him right now! Extremely highly recommended!