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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Shrapnel Clone's review of: Street Action Team (Grindor, Highwire, Sureshock)

Generation: Armada
First Cartoon Appearance: " First Contact "
Motto: "Seek your true power."
Although they look ordinary, these three robots are keys to the MINI mission of all the MINI-CONS. They combine into a robot, showing the strength of teamwork. Their capabilities continue to grow over time, but their real power is in making others discover their true potential. The AUTOBOTS and DECEPTICONS see the unlimited power hidden beneath their innocent forms and struggle to possess them.

My very first Armada toys. I bought these at the Dutch Nederbotcon Convention, for a ridiculous amount of money. In the cartoon, these guys are the mascots of the Autobots, and the first Mini-cons to appear on Earth. They hang around with the children and try to keep them out of harms way.

Alternate Mode: A scooter!
No, I'm not kidding, he really is a scooter. And he doesn't look bad in this mode either, surprisingly enough. Sureshock is primarily bright orange, with a blue seat, yellow headlights, grey handlebars, silver wheel suspension, and exhaust port and black wheels. Detailing is okay, with breaks on the steering bar and part of a chain visible on the back wheel. The Mini-con symbol is on the left side of the vehicle. Sureshock is best used to activate features (like Megatron's knife), because a scooter mounted on a Transformer's shoulder doesn't exactly add anything. Play value is low due to the odd choice of vehicular mode.
Robot Mode: After a pretty basic transformation, Sureshock is now a mediocre robot - at best. The front of the scooter is now part of his arms, and aside from making Sureshock look ridiculous, it causes him to fall over if the arms are positioned wrong. The fact that he doesn't have proper legs doesn't help either. Sureshocks problems are partly explained by the fact that he has a third mode, in which he forms the legs of Perceptor. His head is blue with bulbous yellow eyes, and a crack runs right through the middle because of his transformation. He doesn't have much details in this mode except for the hands, which are moulded into fists. The handlebars of the scooter kinda look like two shoulder mounted guns, which is a nice touch. He looks better in his other modes, though.

Alternate Mode:Bicycle.
Most would say that's an awkward thing to transform into and I totally agree. Highwire has some good and some bad points: the two heads that are visible in vehicle mode are clearly of the last category. His robot-head is part of the headlight; the other one (which is used for the combined mode) is visible behind the saddle of the bike. A shame, because he looks quite okay in this mode otherwise. The essential parts of the bike are all there: chain, cogs, peddles, headlight (should have been painted yellow though), saddle. He might have benefited from a bit more colour though; he's mainly black and grey. Again, the play value is low due to the odd choice of vehicular mode. The powerlinx point is tough to use because of the location: it's in the centre of the closed frame, on the right side (left side sports a Mini-con symbol).

Robot Mode: This guy's robot mode took a little getting used to for me. The peddles of the bike have become the feet, and the fork has split into two arms. Highwire is still mainly grey and black, but now has a splash of red in the form of a visor and a white mouth cover. He doesn't look too bad to me, when directly viewed from the front; turn him around and you see a weird mesh of bike-parts, robot-parts and a large head dangling from his back. The guy is not the worst Mini-con out there; I think he looks much better than both Sureshock and Nightbeat (Side swipe's Mini-con). Highwire is best kept in vehicle-mode though.

Alternate Mode: Skateboard.
Unlike the other two members of his team, this guy's alternate mode is not new to Transformers; Actionmaster Jazz had a skateboard too. Grindor in board-mode is mainly dark blue, with a yellow front and silver engines in the back. The Mini-con logo in the centre, next to something normally only larger Armada Transformers have: a powerlinx plug. Yes, this Mini-con could theoretically enslave others. He also has the regular powerlinx point on the bottom of the board. Play value in this mode is low, because skateboards might be cool to ride, but not to transform into. Because Grindor is really flat, he might fit on some places on which taller Mini-cons look awkward.
Robot Mode: Easily the best of the three in this mode. While his skateboard-mode is a bit boring, this mode looks truly good. He has proper arms and legs, and a decent-looking, detailed head. Too bad Hasbro didn't use two colours for it though; it's completely yellow, which really doesn't do it justice. Grindor has details all over him in this mode; his chest is adorned with a grill-like structure (directly below a powerlinx-hole), and there are little protrusions on his arms, legs, hips and shoulders. Unlike the other two team-members, Grindor's appearance doesn't suffer much from his third mode. I think this guy is the best Mini-con released so far.

The combined mode of the three Mini-cons. Sureshock has become the legs of this tiny combiner, Grindor the middle and arms while Highwire is the head and a backpack. He's about 10 centimetres tall (4 inches), which is probably the smallest humanoid combiner we'll ever see. Perceptor is mainly black, blue, orange and grey, with blue eyes and some yellow parts like his chest and Sureshock's headlights, which have become part of the legs. The head looks like a helmet of some sorts, and the eyes look a bit like protective goggles. This, and the bike on his back, make Perceptor look like a sportsman of some sort. Technically, he has twelve points of articulation (two in each leg, three in each arm and two in the neck), but only the ones in the upper arms are actually useful. It's tough to make any cool poses with this guy. Perceptor has holes in his hands, but can't hold the Star Saber because they're too small. He'd probably fall over if it did fit, though. The hands are completely hollow on the bottom, and fit on powerlinx-plug, so you can make it look like he is grabbing on to something (like Optimus Prime's trailer, which is my favourite pose). Overall, I think this guy looks good, but the lack of poseability really is a disadvantage. I think Hasbro did a great job on the design though.

Transformation: 6 - pretty basic and straightforward. Can be puzzling for people who are new to Transformers though. Combined form might appear complex, but merging him is easier than it looks on first sight.
Durability: 5.5 - Highwire's peddles look quite fragile, as do Sureshock's handlebars. Some of the paint has chipped on Sureshock, and the plastic isn't too good quality on my Grindor (it's bubbly, not smooth like it's supposed to be). He can survive a 2 metre fall though (yes, it happened here).
Fun: 8.5 - I have trouble putting these guys on the table. Something about them makes me want to change them from small robots to Perceptor and back. Grindor and Highwire are pretty flat and generally don't get in the way when used to activate features on larger Transformers.
Price: 8 (US)/7 (EU) - At 7 US dollars per set, these guys are worth your money - if you are into odd Transformers. Some people will pass on these because of the alternate modes; bikes and scooters aren't really exciting compared to the mighty Land Military or Destruction teams. But these guys are, in my humble opinion, the best set Armada has shown us so far. They cost 10 Euros (about US $10) in the stores here in the Netherlands, and I still think they're worth it.
Overall: 7.5 - Kids will definitely love these guys. They are main characters in the show, unlike most other Mini-cons. Collectors should go out there and get them too, since they're only 7 dollars at Wal Mart. You probably won't regret it. Three reasonable to excellent looking bots, three vehicle modes that aren't the regular jets and cars, and a combiner to boot; What more could you want?
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