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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
Robot Mode:
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Knightdramon's review of:
BT-02 Lambor

Name: Lambor
Allegiance: Cybertron
Function: Warrior

Ah, Lambor. How famous this infamous character is. When he was first featured in Transformers back in 1984, he was known as Sideswipe. One of the year 1 Autobot cars to be featured in the cartoon, he was primarily known for his interaction with his twin brother Sunstreaker. In the original cartoon, he didn't do much besides being one of the Autobots who got their rear fenders beat up by the Decepticons. However, his toy was one of the best back in G1. Based on a Lamborghini Contach, he was characterised for his transformation sequence, mainly the 'hood for chest, doors for arm shields' theme.

That mould was re-released several times in the following 20 years. Red Alert, G2 Sideswipe, Tigertracks and so on. In Japan he kept his original Diaclone name, Lambor.

Fast forward to 2003. Binaltech made a debut with a year 2 Autobot, Smokescreen. The figure was welcomed by the fandom, and this gave rise to expectations of even better moulds. The second figure in the Binaltech line is Lambor, back as a sleek car-but not a Lamborghini. This time he returns as a gorgeous Dodge Viper SRT-10!

Vehicle Mode

Taken right out of the box, Lambor can be easily mistaken for a model kit of the same size (till one has a look at the insignia). I've seen a model kit of the same car at a shop for collectors, and I've got to inform you that the only drawback on our friend here is that his storage department for luggage etc doesn't open. Following his G1 roots, this guy features rubber tires and die cast metal. The metallic parts are limited to the doors and the entire front section of the car, but they aren't coloured differently or something like that. The colour is a bright, vivid red that looks pretty well. As with Smokescreen, you can't tell the difference between die cast parts and plastic parts unless you touch it.

The interior of the vehicle is amazing, and all parts match the real thing (even if some of us Europeans never get to see this car up close, there are pictures on the net, heh). The side mirrors have reflective paint on them, but don't expect it to be really clear. A nice detail that could have been overlooked. The hubcaps are chromed, giving off a magnificent spectacle, being in the centre of rubber tires. I've heard about the chrome fading off for no reason, but that hasn't happened to me yet…

Moving up, the hood can be opened to reveal the engine block. That part matches the real thing as well, but the rest of the parts there don't. You can see blank space on the back and his heels while the hood is open. The Autobot insignia is on the convertible cover [which doesn't come up], giving away his affiliation.

The only aesthetic downside (at least in my opinion) is that the car is so round at the rear. That's how the real thing is, but…it just doesn't look that good.

Nevertheless, an excellent addition to your Autobot army, or to your model cars collection.

Robot Mode

I've got to say that while this is one of the worst moulds in the series, it's got the upper hand on about 90% of the stuff that was released with him that year, and it's even better than figures from the following year. What's wrong with his robot mode? Read on to find out.

I'll begin by briefly analysing the transformation theme: the hood comes up and the front section is separated to form the legs. His arms and head are stored in the rear part, which moves to back. His waist is then turned and voila, Lambor in robot mode. (I skipped many steps, but that's the general idea)

Just like Smokescreen, his robot mode tries to replicate his G1 look, and in a way, it's successful. His doors are the arm shields, his legs look identical to the cartoon model, and his head is an update of his old self. What's hinted but many fans seem to overlook is his chest. Sure, his windshield is there, but it kind of resembles the hood over the chest pattern. It's big, bulky and in a similar shape.

On the articulation department, he isn't a letdown. His arms are fully articulated, he has the same trigger finger movement as Smokey, and he has waist articulation. The head has a 360 degrees movement, thanks to a single ball joint. So far so good.

And we get to his legs, which disappoint as if there's no tomorrow. They can move to the sides fairly well, they can bend at the knees, but…they don't feature forward or backwards movement. In MP Convoy, his 'belt' is divided into parts that can move forwards (or to the side, or backwards, according to their original position), enabling his legs to feature that sort of movement.

What's more is that due to an awkward design, his heels have the front grill of the car attached to them, making it a must to have them positioned slightly sideways.

Lambor's engine block becomes his shiny-chromed gun, which doesn't look bad. His grip isn't as tight as you'd want, and there aren't any pegs to keep it in place, but that can be overlooked.

All in all, Lambor's still a great toy. If you want him for display purposes only, he'll fit you like a glove. There's always the Alternators version of the toy, at $20, excluding the die cast construction, the 'collector's packaging' and the character card. The only other difference is some odd blackwash on his chest (ugly!). Get this toy if you are a G1 fan, or just a completist. Mildly recommended.

Transformation: 6. He's very easy; my only gripe is how easy it is to scratch paint off the hood and front part of the car due to the way they're separated.
Durability: 9. Pretty solid, nothing seems prone to breaking. As usual, be careful of the fading of chrome and scratching the paint off the die cast parts.
Fun: 7. Let's see how many war poses you can strike with the limitation on the legs' articulation.
Price: 5. As I mentioned, he is the second figure that came out. This places him in the $50+ price range, sadly. Check to see if you can get him on a sale somewhere.
Overall: 8. Solid toy, excellent car mode, mediocre robot mode…looks great in car mode with other 1:24 cars. Preferable over other figures in the same price range at any time.
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