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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Kamen's review: Oil Slick

Name: Oil Slick
Fuction: Anarchist Road Warrior
Subgroup: TFAnimated Deluxe Vehicles


“Fear is my ally.”

Vehicle to vehicle combat is something all Transformers are skilled in, but with Oil Slick, it’s a particular specialty. He knows more about how to disable and destroy a vehicle than almost anyone else in the galaxy. He knows that if he can break down the robot inside, the vehicle will come screeching to a halt. Canisters attached to his sides dump special chemicals that unlock the deepest fear of any robot exposed to them, while at the same time rotting wheels and burning through axles. Once the vehicle mode is destroyed, Oil Slick moves in close to finish off the enemy with his chain weapon.

Galactic Powers and Abilities:
Talented Chemist
Trained in Circuit-Su with Prowl
Immune to chemical attacks


Alternate Mode:

Oil Slick marks the addition of the second motorcycle to the Animated line-up. Unlike his counterpart Prowl (and the majority of other bike-formers) Oil Slick transforms in to a chopper.

While he starts off with typical motorcycle detailing, the gas flap, exhaust pipes, gas and speed dials; however, like many choppers Oil Slick’s alt mode is highly customized. Spiked protrusions line the fork and the saddle packs, giving the bike a dangerous edge and also giving the figure some attachment to Lockdown who featured spikes on his alt mode as well. The side of the bike is decorated with a black wing-like design, a welcome reprieve from the cliche flame-job. Finally, a ram skull mounted on the front of the bike completes the bad-ass/outlaw image often ascribed to choppers in popular culture.

Like his design, Oil Slick’s colors are customized with shades of gold, yellow, green, and black. The colors more than anything seem to have been chosen to speak to the “evil chemist” aspect of the character. Green, the dominant color, is a dark sickly hue, especially when contrasted against the urine yellow coloring of the main body and the tarnished gold highlights. Black, as usual, fills in some of the minor details, aided by off-white for the handlebars and ram horns. Although the colors are somewhat gross, they work well with the figure.

Aside from rolling wheels, the figure’s saddle packs can be raised for the cylinders to attach, and the front of the bike and be moved slightly from side to side. Otherwise, it sits nicely without need for a kickstand. Like other deluxe bikes, smaller figures can ride.

The only major fault of this mode is that the ram’s horns and the handlebars are both made from horribly soft plastic. Otherwise, a job well done.

"Attack Mode"

Um...yeah. Moving on.

Robot Mode:

If his alt mode has nods to the classic bad-boy motorcycle gang, his robot mode continues the allusion. His legs below the knee are sculpted to resemble cowboy boots, complete with spurs and steel toes. The wing emblems on the bike come together to complete a bird tattoo across his chest, just below his Decepticon symbol. And, though it may be a stretch, the parts on his shoulders and hands hint at a leather jacket. Past the biker aesthetic, Oil Slick is extremely lithe, his body pinching to wasp thinness at the waist.

Aside from his colors which do not change, his chemical fetish appears in the figure’s head sculpt. The face is long, the nose large; otherwise, the head is covered by a black SCBA hood, and the entire head is encapsulated beneath a translucent green Hazmat protection bubble. He is missing the actual breathing apparatus, which I think would have given the figure a more creepy feeling. No big loss though.

Oil Slick’s articulation is typical for the Animated line: ball-joints at shoulders and hips, hinge-joints elsewhere, pin for the head. Thus he has a nice range of movement, and his large (somewhat movable) feet and spurs give him a solid base. The only joint the is sorely missed is one at the waist, but considering the thinness of the figure especially at the waist, the omission is understandable.

Two barrels included with the figure become his weapons. One simply opens at the top. I guess that’s where he keeps his “elixir”. His other barrel splits apart at several points to reveal a chain (what other weapon would a biker use, eh?). Although it can drape about his body in various positions, the barrel pieces make it look daft in nearly any position (also note that the chain is nowhere near as long and thin as it appears on his packaging). Props to the designers for giving him such a unique weapon, however.

There’s not much wrong with the figure apart from dubious weapon choices. The soft plastic present in his alt mode also appears in his fingers. Some of his joints are a tad loose. But these are minor complaints against an excellent figure.

Transformation: Quite clever, but not difficult 3/10

Durability: Everything is solid, just be aware of the soft plastic parts and keep them away from heat. 8/10

Fun: Oil Slick looks great and is quite enjoyable to play with 9/10

Price: $10 USD

Overall: As the only figure out who hasn’t appeared on the show, Oil Slick is a novelty. A fantastically sculpted, wonderfully articulated novelty. Yeah, his weapons aren’t particularly thrilling, but he knows karate, yo! 8/10
 
 
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