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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Seerus Nalaius' review of: Downshift

Name: Downshift
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Warrior
Sub-Group: NA
"If I can't beat ya' in battle, I'll beat ya' on the road."

Downshift is a fast and courageous young Autobot. He relies on speed rather than strength to get him out of tight spots when battling the Decepticons. Although he is considered a good soldier by Optimus Prime and Hot Shot, he has been warned about rushing into battle without a solid plan of attack. Hot Shot, especially, can relate to this headstrong young Autobot and has vowed to mold him into a mature and seasoned warrior.

It's about time there was a new Wheeljack figure, and I don't mean the Armada Wheeljack (interesting character, needed a more suitable coloring though). While having a different name, Downshift is Wheeljack in both robot and vehicle mode, so I already love this toy. Anyway, on with my review of Downshift.

Vehicle Mode:
Downshift's vehicle mode is a sleek, street racer, with a white paint job, with some red and green along the body. While different, this is obviously tribute to Wheeljack. The weapons are stored on each side of the car, much like Energon Arcee, and they attempt to look like the exhaust pipes. This only works for the shotgun, since the missile launcher is way too long. Also, the point for an Energon star is located on the back left wheel. While a unique place to put it, the point sticks out way to far and ruins the look of the car a bit, but I can forgive it. This is basically Wheeljack after all. All in all, I love the vehicle mode, and it is (along with Tow-Line) one of the best vehicles modes to come out of Energon yet.

Robot Mode:
First we remove the weapons for the sides of the car and pull the spoiler off of the back. Next fold the exhaust pipes on the back of the car (located beside the back wheels) down. Lift up and the sides of the car and pull them out a bit. Then lift the front doors, then pull up and slide them along with the roof down to the front hood of the car. Split the front of the car to form his legs next. Now open the dark brown doors near the front wheels and pull the feet out. Close the doors, then put the feet into the proper position. Next, pull the sides out and down the rest of the way to form the arms, and tilt them up just a bit at the elbow. Then just flip the back hood and against his back and you're done. Take a good look at Downshift. Again, this IS Wheeljack. Sure his eyes and sidelights may be red, but that looks much better in my opinion. Plus, like Tow-Line, he looks like he is ready to do some serious damage. The back of his head is transparent red plastic, so with a back light his eyes and side lights will glow. However there is a problem with his weapons. Yes they look good, especially his double barreled shotgun, but the have to be laid on their sides to be held in his hands, and that look horrible. The only other way to hold them is to mount them on the sides of the spoiler and have Downshift hold it in the middle, and that's even worse. I just have him hold the guns individually because the fact that Downshift (Wheeljack) looks good enough to overcome this annoying little problem. He's got good articulation, only his legs are limited by his stiff waist.

Transformation: 8 - A bit complicated, but it's possible without the directions.
Durability: 7 - The arms feel just a little flimsy, and the roof and front doors feel like they could come off if too much force is used, but they've held up so far.
Fun: 10 (7) - If you are a fan of Wheeljack like I am, then this guy gets a 10. If you're not a fan, or just want a good toy, then he gets a 7 due to the poor display of weapons and stiff waist.
Price: $10, good bargain, and definetly worth it.
Summary: 9 - A great toy for Wheeljack fans, decent for casual TF fans, but still worth the money spent. I don't regret his purchase, and hope to see Hasbro put out good Energon stuff like him and Tow-Line.

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