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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
Robot Mode:
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Detective Barricade's review: Samurai Prowl

Name: Prowl (Samurai)
Function: Autobot Spy/Ninja/Samurai
Sub-Gtoup: Animated Deluxe class

ďThe road to enlightenment is paved with deactivated enemies.Ē

With Lockdown returning again and again to plague the Autobots, Prowl is determined to take him down, once and for all. To combat the Decepticon bounty hunter, he upgrades his body to its ultimate limit, adding weapons and armor until nothing Lockdown can do will stop him.


Galactic Powers and Abilities:
- Dedicated to the defense of the weak.
- New armor can deflect blades and high-intensity lasers.
- Can disable most machines with a single blow.

Animated Prowl was released as part of the first wave, along with Cybertron mode Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, and his rival, Lockdown. He was impressive. Then "A Fistful of Energon" aired, showcasing him with a set of converting samurai armor. At the end of the episode, Prowl sacrifices the armor to save Detroit. But, in "Five Servos of Doom", Prowl earns a new set, which seems like it may be permanent. So obviously the fans want the armor, and Samurai Prowl is born. How does this version compare to the original? Read on to find out...

Alternate mode:

Prowl is a futuristic police super-bike in alt mode, just like the wave 1 version. But now, the bike itself is retooled to be much more show accurate with a new cowling, lights, and the chevrons pointing forward in this mode. In fact, over 80% of Prowl has been retooled from the original in some way. Most of this is for the better, with the exception of the shuriken, which are molded shut. Fortunately, the originalís fit on perfectly if you have it. He also comes with the sidecar/samurai armor, which tabs in two places on the right of the bike. It looks quite snazzy! All of the translucent plastic is now electric blue, with some circuit detail in the windshield, but otherwise has the same colors as the original.

Robot mode:

Samurai Prowl converts essentially the same as the original, so I wonít cover it. Most of the changes to the mold are visible in this mode. His head is smaller for the helmet in Samurai mode, the gauntlets are entirely new and have tabs for the wheel blade. The thigh panels have been shortened, thus freeing the knee from it previous obstruction. The jump jets now swivel up to accommodate the armor. And he gains two new points of articulation in the thighs due to the new swivels below the ball joints for the hips. Overall, he seems to be a little more accurate to the show too in robot mode. And, he can still wield the shuriken of the original in his hands as well as the traffic light flail if one wishes.

Samurai mode:

Now is where things really get interesting! Raise Prowlís arms up, and swing the jump jets as high as they go. Pull the wheel off and flip out the blade. Unfold the sidecar, attach it to the back, and adjust the pieces to form the armor. Attach the wheel to one of his arms, and plop the helmet over Prowlís head. Itís a little more tricky getting the armor off, but not too much.

He may sacrifice any meaningful head articulation, (the helmet is attached to the armor by an arm) but the Samurai mode is beautiful. Sadly, for whatever reason, the wheel doesnít split like it does on the show or in the stock photos. There isnít even a hint of a connection for both halves inside. The articulation is about the same, just hindered a bit by the armor. He can be a little more tricky to balance in this mode, too. But overall, itís a small price to pay for this epic piece of engineering!

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation: 6 The armor unfolds gracefully like origami, but otherwise is the same as the original.
Durability: 8 He feels sturdier than the original. Anything liable to break will pop off and on again.
Fun: 10 Ninja? Awesome. Samurai? Awesome. Ninja and Samurai? Thatís EPIC!!!
Price: 10 Same price as the original, but with a better accessory.
Overall: 10 What? You donít have this yet? Go get it. Yesterday!
 
 
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