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

Name: (Decepticon) Dropshot
Fuction: Artillery Specialist
Subgroup: Universe Voyager Vehicles


Dropshot is always fighting, even when no one else is. He takes every opportunity to pick a fight, and is always the first guy to throw a punch (or fire a missile). If the robot heís fighting with doesnít fight back, well, thatís fine with Dropshot. The way he looks at it, anyone who doesnít fight is a coward, and deserves a beating. Heís not really interested in having a reason to fight, and he doesnít care whether his side wins or loses, as long as he gets to pound on someone. Other Decepticons avoid him, unless there are Autobots around for him to pick on.

Wow, so his tech specs seem a little off. He has crappy endurance for a fighter, and a fairly low fireblast for a freakiní missile tank, but his speed is excellent. What the heck?

Anyway, Dropshot isnít a figure I initially planned on picking up, but when I saw the sheer amount of firepower he was packing, well, I couldnít resist. His character, therefore, is completely unknown to me. According to the tfwiki, Dropshot was part of the Military Team of Micromasters (ironic, considering his current price class) during G1. He also, apparently, appeared in Dreamwave Comicsí G1 series, briefly, and in IDWís Hardhead spotlight. Good for him.

This mold is also a redeco of Cybertron Defense Scattorshot, a figure that I do not have, so I canít tell if there are any differences between the two (besides color, obviously). I doubt that there are any mold changes, though.

Alternate Mode:

Dropshot is yellow. Not Bumblebee or Sunstreaker yellow, but a kind of weird off-yellow yellow. I think they may have been going for a desert cameo color, only without the cameo pattern...just, yellow. Although, Iím harping on it, I wouldnít necessarily say itís a bad choice. It does contrast nicely with the dark olive green, brown, and grey that appear in just the right spots to keep the yellow from being overwhelming. Still a wash (maybe black?) or an actual cameo pattern would have brought out some of the great detailing on this figure thatís otherwise lost in the yellow. On the other hand, the oddness of the color is the first thing that drew my eye as I meandered past the toy aisle, so perhaps itís effective marketing at work.

Anyway, past the yellow, the detailing on Dropshot is fantastic. His alt mode is an amalgam. A Multiple Rocket Launcher (NOT a ďmissileĒ launcher) mounted to a traditional tank chassis. Both parts are pretty convincing. The tank body is elongated to support the launcher, and has a nice plated sculpt. It also includes a cockpit area and (non-working) treads. Although the cowcatchers on the front of the tank are comparatively void of detail, they are attached to a convincingly sculpted hydraulic system. The launcher is just as finely detailed, plated and riveted with twenty-two (non-firing) rocket tips sculpted and ready for launch. A black Deception symbol appears on the top of the launcher, and on the side, where it precedes a fictional modal of launcher, DC02077. Iím not sure if this number is in reference to anything in particular, but itís probable.

The launcher can be angled upward to about seventy-five to eighty degrees from horizontal. Unfortunately, doing so reveals part of the robot body, and, more disappointingly, the robot head becomes clearly visible. Thanks to a clever bit of engineering, the turret can even rotate three-hundred sixty degrees. Two more point of articulation sneak in by way of the cowcatchers, which can rotate up and down. Wheels on the bottom of the treads allow the figure to roll, though not very well.

As a former Cybertron mold, Dropshot comes with a cyber key, joy. He has two features. Both are activated by placing a key in the slot on either side of his launcher. One side has a flip out ďtargeting systemĒ, a translucent purples square. This side also conceals a dual missile launcher that can be revealed by pushing forward the slider on the side. The missiles do fire, and with quite a bit of force as well. Inserting the key into the other side, reveals a big, honkiní cannon/flamethrower/laser/bringer of doom and sadness. Seriously, the thing is the same length as the figure! And finally, for those who like the Minicons, Dropshot has two Minicon ports (one on each side) at the rear of the tank body.

I really like this mode. Itís different, and pretty fun. There are a few marks against him. The first, as mentioned, is the visible kibble underneath the launcher. Another annoyance comes from his lack of storage space. Neither his rifle nor his cyber key can be stored on his vehicle mode, at least nowhere where they look good. His rifle can attach to the Minicon ports, but looks goofy, and his key can be chucked in the space right under the front of the launcher, but I hate the damn thing, so I hold it against him. Grrr. Even with all that, I remained impressed with this mold.

Robot Mode:

Dropshotís robot mode has no new colors. However, the colors he does have are completely rearranged. That yellow is removed to the extremes, his legs, his arm-mounted launchers, and around his neck. Otherwise, the core of the robot is chocolate with olive drab filled out by grey. A very nice change over.

His detailing, though different, also maintains a high standard. Heís a bit chunky, but looks appropriately tough. I particularly like the hydraulic abs. His head sculpt is also a point of interest. He has a visored helmet, and some goggles. The goggles end up looking strange, simply because one side has a green pupil, and from certain angles they look like they are his eyes, turning him a bit froggy. But I digress.

Although having good articulation, some of his points are in odd places. Each arm has four points (five if you want to count the wrist bend), and movement is only slightly restricted by his weapons. The lower body then starts with crotch rotation, though this joint is low on the body because of a engineering issue (a higher point would keep the turret from pivoting in alt mode). His legs have four points each as well; however, his kneeís swivel joint, which is actually below the knee, is severely hampered by some leg kibble, which in turn interferes with his kneeís ability to bend. A simple fix would have been to put the swivel at mid-thigh. This would have improved poseability immensely. His head can also rotate roughly forty-five degrees from straight, again due to a transformation issue.

Aside from being able to hold his rifle in either hand, the gun can also attach to the underside of his ďdeath rayĒ arm. All his other cyber key gimmicks are intact. In this mode, however, the missile arm has a faux trigger that flips right into his hand if his arm is straightened. His other weapon can actually be slid forward down the arm, which then allows another faux trigger to flip into that hand. This works even if the arm is bent. Besides the number of ways his weapons can be configured, it is to the figureís credit that the heavy, awkward weapons do not affect his poseability in significant ways, unlike a few other recent figures. *glares at Animated Voyager Megs*

I really like this mode, and think that itís even better than his alt mode. The only flaw of significance is that, once again, he has no place to store that damnable cyber key.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation: Fairly simple, yet very satisfying. 5

Durability: There are a few ball joints that have a tendency to pop off, and Iím somewhat skeptical of the strength of his gimmick system. Oh yeah, donít lose that bloody key! 8

Fun: His alt mode is unique and fun; his robot mode has good articulation and a crap ton of artillery. Hmmm. 9

Price: $20 Standard for a voyager, and great for what you get. 8

Overall: Although, not without his flaws, Dropshot has managed to convince me that he was definitely a worthwhile purchase. I may even pick up the mold again if they redeco him as a character I actually give a fig about (*cough*Warpath*cough*). 8
 
 
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