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

Name: Tread Bolt
Fuction: Guerilla Attack
Subgroup: Universe/ Classic 2.0 Voyager Vehicles

“Walk softly, but carry a big gun!”

Tread Bolt is a ghost. Though he is an aerial ace, his real talent lies in stealth. Special sensor-refractive armor renders him invisible to all but the most sophisticated detection technology. Silent, super-precise lasers let him take out enemy spotters before they can shout a warning. More than a few Decepticons have been blown to pieces before they ever even heard him coming. He has alienated a lot of his fellow Autobots, because when he’s not sneaking up on Decepticons, he creeps around scaring the heck out of anyone he can find.

Originally part of the Autobot Micromaster Air Patrol Team, Tread Bolt returns as a Voyager redeco of Classics Jetfire. He has only appeared in fiction once during Spotlight: Hardhead. Fortunately for him, his bio is amusing and his paint scheme looks good. Plus, he’s a redeco of a fantastic mold.

Alternate Mode:

Like Jetfire, Tread Bolt turns into a Cybertronian jet (though it seems to have borrowed design elements from the F-14 Tomcat). The figure is packaged in its “super-mode” which consists of the booster pack and side missile launchers. Removing both elements and flipping up the tail-fins creates the figure’s normal vehicle mode. Both modes look good, and the optional configuration adds some play value.

Detailing is tops. Plenty of grooves, rivets, intakes and whatnot to give the appearance of a finely tuned machine. However, there are a few rough edges where the plastic is a bit ragged. The paint is also fantastic. Done in a style similar to the Blue Angels aerobatic squadron, Tread Bolt is largely blue with yellow highlights. Black, instead of being the detail color, here shows up on the forward part of the booster and a bit on the cockpit guns and missile launchers. Grey and a light chocolaty brown serve as filler, and a smidgen of orange appears on the rear of the booster pack. Both his missiles and cockpit are a smoky translucent brown. A silver tamographed “air defense” and Autobot logo complete his deco. Very nice.

All of the mold’s action features are intact. His landing gear flips out smoothly, his missiles fire well. The cockpit guns are a bit tight but are mobile. Most importantly, the mechanism on the booster pack that allows his big guns to flip forward is completely intact and looks great.

Aside from the rough edges on the plastic, the clips holding in the booster pack in the missile launchers aren’t quite as tight as on the original mold. They’re not loose enough that anything falls out, but the pack droops noticeably, and the missile launcher rattle. Overall, though, the mold has held up well.

Robot Mode:

Like his vehicle mode, Tread Bolt’s robot, and “super”, mode is technically identical to Jetfire’s, leaving only differences in coloration. Tread Bolt has a blue and yellow core, milk chocolate (non-edible, but if they did...) and black limbs, moving away from the body, and grey for hands and feet. His robot face is blue, with a black helmet and yellow antenna. However, his “super-mode” helmet, in a departure from Jetfire, is colored completely differently. The helmet is mostly gunmetal, with black stripes and a smoky brown visor. The hitch is that the underside of his wings are plain blue, which detracts slightly from the overall scheme. Fortunately, they can be kept in the swept back position (pictured) where they are out of the way.

His articulation is pretty typical for a voyager. This mode does have some oddities though. The swivel joints for the knees and elbows are both below the respective joint. Not really a problem for the legs, but the elbows joints severely limit his poseability. The cannon on his booster pack also gain the ability to swing forward over his shoulders in this mode.

All joints seem just as tight as Jetfire’s, making this mode nearly flawless.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation: Straightforward but complicated enough for a large figure and very satisfying. 3

Durability: Aside from the looseness of his clips, he seems just as sturdy as Jetfire. 8

Fun: The base of the figure is well done and the optional armor pieces greatly add to the playability. 10

Price: ~$20 USD. The Jetfire deco is going for about $30-40. Both are reasonable for the figure, though Tread Bolt may lose a few points to name recognition (or lack thereof). 8

Overall: If you missed out on the parent mold, this is a fantastic substitute (not for the character though). If you already have Jetfire, the many different configurations allow Tread Bolt to feel like a different figure. Even if that doesn’t fool you, Tread Bolt is still a fantastic redeco of a great mold. 8
 
 
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