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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Blackjack's review: Dirt Boss

Name: Dirt Boss
Allegiance: Decepticon
Sub-Group: Constructicon (sort of)
Class: RotF Scouts
Preliminary Name: Scrapper

Ah, Dirt Boss. Poor, poor Dirt Boss. While most of the RotF Scouts have the coolness factor that makes people want to buy them (i.e. Knock Out), that nostalgic factor (i.e. Rollbar), reinventing obscure-yet-popular-among-fandom characters (i.e. Ransack), wacky and amusing alternate modes (i.e. Ejector), or simply chock-full of G1 references (i.e. Dead End), Dirt Boss was not benefited by any of these. His name is not a reference from G1 or Beast era (not even RiD), his alternate mode is a lame ol' forklift truck, he won't be in the movie, his pain job looks ugly, so on and so on.

Oh, and his name is one of the weirdest in Transformer-dom. Dirt Boss went and passed without a ripple. He first appeared in Armada as one of the Skyboom Shield Mini-cons and he transforms into a car. He was pretty much sidelined in the show and the comics? Forget it. With Furman favouring Mirage... Another Dirt Boss appeared in the Cybertron series, a Decepticon monster truck. His toy wasn't too nice, and he had a very garish pain job. A show-only forklift-truck Constructicon named Dirt Boss appeared in Animated, but he got killed in his debut episode. Bummer.

Now this toy here is based on the Scrapper units from 2007's Transformers video game. While most of the drone units in the game were based on toy-only characters (Swindle, Payload, Longarm and Dreadwing), two are game-specific, and their names were voted upon by fans. Or so I'm told. Scrapper the forklift truck and Mixmaster the cement truck were the result. Scrapper's other preliminary names are Grapple, Erector and Hoist.

To see a pic of the vid-game Scrapper, here's a link: http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Scrapper_(Movie)

Apparently this toy is based on the Scrapper from the video game. Being a fan of the game and the Constructicons in general, I was excited when this was announced, because at that time the toy's preliminary name was Scrapper. Soon the name was changed into Dirt Boss as Scrapper's gonna be given a Michael Bay makeover in the upcoming movie. So Dirt Boss got stuck being a toy-only character. He would probably be killed off in some comic or other.

I got him purely out of curiosity (and the fact that the single Knock Out in my local store seems to be broken), and due to my love of Constructicons. Never expected him to be a good toy, not after seeing the stock pics. Well, I was proven wrong. He's no Dead End, but he's not a bad toy either.

ROBOT MODE

Dirt Boss is packaged in robot mode. Unlike the Cybertron or Energon series Scout toys, most of the ROTF Scouts have no accessories or projectiles. Some do make up for it by being fantastic. Does Dirt Boss fall into this category? Let's see...

Dirt Boss is quite poasable, and has quite a number of joints. Shoulder, elbow, wrist (sort of), forklift blade, thigh, knee and ankle. Regrettably the head is unable to turn around. I suppose I have to say something about the head. Unlike the lens head (or faceplated-head) featured in the game, Dirt Boss has an all-new original head sculpt, though I have no idea if this references anybody. The expression looks pathetic, though, like one of those strongmen waiting for orders.

Dirt Boss's colour of choice is a lime green. Not too bright, but unlike the Constructicons, Dirt Boss looks very bland. This is worsened by the fact that his secondary colour is a dull lavender that at first glance looks gray (it's actually more lavender-ish; compare it with his gray forklifts). Now pale green and gray don't really make an interesting paint job. If they'd used the game's orange and gray, it would've been so much better and brighter. To be fair, there are painted details, done is gold, brown and a little silver and red. Most of these paints are applied to his pathetic face, the chest's circular armature (spark crystal?) and the legs. However, for a transformer whose arms are the defining features (because, come on. The game's Scrapper is memorable for those forklift-sword combo attacks), the arm is sadly block-coloured lime green, which is a shame. There are molded details into the arms, but not even the fists get a paint job, leaving Dirt Boss looking like the swords are his hands from a distance. Sad, as I feel that with a well-thought paint job this toy could be much better.

VEHICLE MODE

It's a forklift truck. Dirt Boss looks slightly more compact compared to other Scout class figures, but the forklift compensates for it. The forklift, thanks to the joints from the arm, can move front and back. The forklift does not actually go up and down, though. Boo.

The paint job works better in the alternate mode, but that's only because there are more gray and pale lavenders in it. The canopy is cute, and there is a faux seat/driving wheel. Not that you can fit anything in there, but still...

Dirt Boss rolls quite well, but that's about it.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation 3/10 Way too easy. No challenge at all.
Durability 8/10 Rather durable, but the leg joints feel weak and might pop off easily.
Fun 7/10 Unlike Rollbar or Dead End, who at least have interesting bios, Dirt Boss is a non-entity. A generic power-hungry Decepticon, who looks like a Constructicon washout. Something like Heavy Load or Hightower. Still, when did we last have a forklift truck?
Price 5/10 When were transformers ever come cheap?
Overall 7/10 Its not so bad that I'll tell you to stay away from it. Dirt Boss' unique alternate mode might interest you, and he is rather fun to fiddle with. But ROTF have much better toys to offer.
 
 
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