Cliffbee.com: BotCon (Animated) Wildrider Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Wildrider
Series: Convention Exclusives
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Terrorist
Alternate Mode: Muscle Car



MUSCLE CAR MODE
Height: 3.5cm Length: 18cm Width: 8.5cm

   A lead grey stylised muscle car with transparent red front & side windows, a painted red rear window and black on his tyres, engineblock and exhausts. His front bumper is painted red - a slightly darker red than the paint used on his rear window - and there's a purple stamped Decepticon logo in front of his engineblock, stamped over a purple and silver circle (something found on the other Animated Stunticons). I'm not really a fan of the different colours on his windows. Sure the original has red windows which are the same shade as his rear windows, but couldn't they have painted the other windows this same colour? Other than this it's a nice colour scheme, and it's definitely one that evokes the original Stunticon toy.

   Wildrider is a repaint of Blazing Lockdown, himself a retool of Lockdown. As with all Animated moulds, it's not aiming for realism, but this one's less stylised than many. The cabin is narrow and the engine way too big - there's no way a driver could see where he's going, but the general shape is still a muscle car. The spines on his roof, and hubcaps, convey a prickly, rogue character, as does the cowcatcher shaped bumper. The protruding engineblock and black chainsaw sticking out of his bumper are fun elements if wholly unrealistic.

   Play value is minimal, he rolls along and looks cartoony. The chainsaw blade at the front is detachable for a somewhat more credible vehicle mode. On mine at least, it doesn't clip in all that well in the first place. I've never sampled another (or a Blazing Lockdown) so I'm not sure if this is common to all Wildriders, or indeed the retool as a whole. Pushing back the top of the engineblock causes two cannons to flip out.

   A decent car mode with a colour set that does a good job of representing Wildrider - even if the shape here is vastly different to his original Ferrari form. The differing reds on his windows really hold this repaint back - frankly BotCon toys usually do a better job than this. The play value isn't great, but aside from the windows he display very well.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach the sides and swing forward to form his legs - one or both hips are likely to pop off. Detach the front, with the gun, and set aside as a weapon. Extend the legs, fold in the fenders to form hips. Rotate the taillights to form feet. Rotate the waist, split the rear and unfold the halves to become arms. Fold out the hands, lift up his shoulderpads. Open the chest, flip out the head and push the chest back in. The front piece is a compound weapon - there's a silver hook which deploys from underneath and two silver barrels deploy on either side. The weapon clips onto the outside of either forearm.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 19cm Width: 11.5cm

   A lead grey robot with red paint on his peeks and silver on his chest and shoulderpads. Wildrider has a silver head with red face. The reds used here are the darker one seen on his bumper, by the way. The hands & upper arms are also red while his eyes are painted magenta (which is easy to miss against the red face). Again there are silver spikes - on his shoulderpads and neck. There's a purple Decepticon logo on his chest, again over a silver & purple circle. The colours again match G1, although the red used here is almost a crimson, so it's not so close to the bright scarlet red used on the G1 toy. The silver on his chest does bring this colour scheme closer to G1, but between the very heavily stylised Animated design here and the red being off, the tribute isn't very obvious in this mode.

   While the car mode isn't overly stylised, the robot mode sure is. He's a caricature more than he's a robot. The torso is very slender, the arms are very slender, the neck is very think, tapering to his head. The hips are lizard hips - struts push out to the sides, and the legs attach to the outsides of these struts, The small, slender arms look even worse next to the long, bulky legs. I should also point out that the open hands only swing out to 45 - if you try to force them to go any further, they're likely to break.

   Wildrider is inordinately tall for a deluxe, which sounds like a good thing, but there isn't really any extra mass here - remembering that the torso is slight and the arms are slight. His height somewhat masks the misanthropic shape, but doesn't make up for it. The tapered head is a far cry from the iconic square peg seen on the original toy, incidentally.

   Wildrider may look like a cartoon character on acid, but he is quite poseable. The head turns about 20 each way while the shoulders, elbows and and hips are ball jointed. The knees are hinged, but the hinges are too far up the legs. He doesn't have big heelspurs, but with the huge legs and small torso and arms, his centre of gravity is low enough that he doesn't need them to achieve dynamic poses.

   His weaponry works well, the chainsaw looks pretty good and the barrels do a good job of making the engine look like a gun. The "gun" is meant to be a phlogiston-reactor flamethrower (of course?) so I guess it ejects flames from the barrels.

   A very ugly robot mode with weird proportions, a neck that most bouncers would be scared of and hands that aren't designed to transform properly. His poseability is fairly good and the hips don't pop open as soon as you look at them (which is the case on Lockdown). The weapon looks nice, but the robot itself just does not display well. The tribute is unusually weak for a BotCon toy - although to be fair there's very little G1-esque about this robot mode (and the FunPub guys usually get a list of moulds they can use.

VARIATIONS

   As mentioned he is a repaint of Animated Lockdown. Being a limited exclusive, Wildrider was likely produced in a single production run, making variants unlikely.

OVERALL

   A freaky robot form which is downright ugly, some poor colour choices in both modes and a mould that's not suited to the tribute make this a fairly mediocre toy. The mould itself has its problems and this is compounded here by some questionable aspects of the repaint - 4.5/10

"Transformers" and other indica trademarks of Hasbro and/or Takara.