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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Cliffjumper's review: Deep Cover

Name: Deep Cover
Function: Special Investigator
"There's a thin line between catching a criminal... and becoming one."

An investigator attached to Cybertron's capital city police force. Dispatched to Earth with his brother Clampdown, with whom he shares a common program architecture, being born of the same-generation product line. He performs solo infiltration/investigation missions, making much use of his image projection, parabolic antenna and size-reduction functions, the last of which can shrink him down as far as 1/40 normal size. Deepcover carries many secrets within him, a fact that sometimes shows in his tired expression.

Though it's more likely that the mould is tired. Deep Cover began life in 1983 as the 15th release in the Diaclone Car Robot series. This was initially released in red and yellow. In 1984 the first version became the Autobot Sideswipe. The following year Takara were winding down Diaclone in preparation for the arrival of Transformers in Japan, and a black version of the mould was chucked into the Powered Convoy Giftset. Come 2003, the yellow and black schemes were both reissued as Transformers to tie in with the Transformers Collection reissue of Sideswipe (or Lambor, or whatever). The former became Tigertrack, an exclusive mailaway with the Figure King magazine, while the latter became Deep Cover. Deep Cover was only technically available in a two-pack from eHobby with Clampdown (who was based on the Patrol version of the same mould that had been used for Red Alert), but as with the other TFC 'Premium' tie-ins he was boxed separately.

Okay, you can wake up now.

Alternate Mode:
So Deep Cover turns into a Lamborghini Countach. It's a nice car, rendered in black, though the blue front grille is a bit awful. The stickers are minimal, but include gold police badges. Judging by the bio and the universal understanding that black = secret, he's meant to be some sort of undercover police car. So why the secret police car has big gold badges on is something of a question. These don't seem to be from the Diaclone, so it's the first real sign of eHobby losing it.

Physically, the mode is good looking and sturdy (the Countach is one of the sturdiest Car Robot moulds), and the mainly-black is basically sound, but sadly the detailing throws it off.

Robot Mode:
The robot mode's much better. Articulation is close to non-existent, but Deep Cover looks very swish. The mould has a fine robot configuration as it is, but the black and dark blue really gels nicely this time around, mainly because there's enough of the blue so it doesn't look like a mistake, plus enough white to break it up a little. The stickering is nice and subtle this time, not too overdone (though it's a shame the mould doesn't present any feasible places for a cop badge that would be hidden in car mode to go - maybe on one of the forearms?), but adding some detail to the barren areas.

The biggest problem Deep Cover is that he'd be a little redundant compared to the Generation 2 version of Sideswipe - while the dark blue looks good, the bright red details on the G2 figure have a lot more impact.


Transformation: 4 - not particularly tricky, or all that diverting.
Durability: 8 - very good for a Diaclone, with no obvious weak points, though obviously he won't stand up to young 'uns.
Fun: 5 - there's nothing to really make him stand out against any other Lamborghini variant.
Price: ? - no idea what the second-hand price for one of these is, but unless it's cheaper than that for either G1 or G2 Sideswipe in the same condition, it's not worth it.
Overall: 5 - very difficult to rate. If for some bizarre reason, this is the easiest version of the Lamborghini for you to pick up, get it now, because it's a nice, if unspectacular, mould with two decent modes and some nice detailing. However, it doesn't have the nostalgia value of G1 Sideswipe, or the sheer swagger and impact of the G2 version, and those two will be enough for all but the most manic collectors (especially as the G2 version
is only different in a couple of places, and superior to boot). For Diaclone fans, it's a cheaper alternative (the police stickers weren't factory-added if I remember correctly, and will come off if they were) to a rare figure, and for Autobot car fanatics it's someone to swell the ranks, but everyone else can probably live without him.
 
 
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