Cliffbee.com: Bulletbike Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Bulletbike
Series: "European" Generation 2
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Combat Destruction
Alternate Mode: Motorbike with Sidecar



BIKE MODE
Height: 4.5cm Length: 8.5cm Width: 5.5cm

   A silver motorcycle with black tyres, fluorescent red wheels and a fluorescent red sidecar on the right side of the bike, which again has a black tyre and red wheel. The side and rear tyres actually share an axle and are both rubberised, while the front tyre is simply black paint over the red plastic of the wheel. His seat and small front windshield are also painted black, and for some reason there is a spray of grass green on his rear vision mirrors. This green is bizarre and random but subtle enough that it's pretty much pointless. There's a large factory applied sticker on the sidecar, consisting of blue and yellow stripes and the words "BULLETBIKE PM4".

   Yes, Bulletbike honours that wonderful tradition of Generation 2 - exposition. On the side of the sidecar he has G2 Decepticon symbol with the word "Decepticon", stamped in purple. Just in case you can't tell from the symbol which side he's on, I suppose. The purple blends in with the red really well, which is both good and bad. Good that the word isn't an eyesore, but bad because this is his only allegiance symbol, and you can barely see it.

   If you're wondering why he has "PM4" on his sidecar, well, he's a Powermaster. No, he doesn't come with a little dude that turns into an engine - that was the G1 Powermasters. The G2 Powermasters (of which there were four, hence the number) have pull back motors in them - which is why Bulletbike scored rubber tyres. The idea is that pull back and then place one of his guns into a slot on the sidecar, which releases the catch and sends Bulletbike scurrying along your floor. I recommend the floor over the table, since this pullback mechanism is actually quite powerful. And that's really all there is to the play value of the toy - so I'm glad it works well. Mine does tend to curve to the left, thanks to the front wheel being to the left rather than in the centre of the toy.

   Bulletbike's second gun can sit on top of the bike in a hole just behind the seat, if you feel the need, or can attach to the left side of the bike, in what will become a fist hole. There are some nice moulded details for such a simple toy - handlebars, a fuel cap in front of the seat and some engine sculpting on the sides.

   It's a pretty simple bike mode based around a simple gimmick. Yes, it's a gimmick that's been done before, but at least it works. I'm not totally sold on the fluorescent red, but it doesn't clash with the silver and G2 produced far worse colour schemes.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the guns, fold the bike up on top of the sidecar, swing the front half of the bike up to form his upper body. Split the windshield and fold the halves out to the sides to form the arms and reveal the head. Attach his guns - either one in each hand or one in a hand and the other in the hole now on his feet (the sidecar).

ROBOT MODE
Height: 10.5cm Width: 6cm

   A grey and fluorescent red robot with a black painted groin, red feet and head with silver everywhere else. Bulletbike has a blue face and black eyes, and it's almost a decent facial sculpt except for how _flat_ it is. The colours almost work - the red head is out of place amongst all that silver.

   But colour is the least of Bulletbike's problems. He's not so much a robot as a stalk. There's not even an attempt to split his feet, and his legs are nothing more than a single silver panel. The arms are short, stumpy affairs with big kibbly shoulderpanels on top, and sticking out behind his head is the front tyre. Oh, the price you pay for having a good pullback mechanism and asymmetrical vehicle mode. In Bulletbike's partial defence, all of the G2 Powermasters have crap robot modes - but his asymmetry gives him a good excuse.

   The good news is that the pullback mechanism is also available in this mode, since the sidecar is now his feet. There's actually a red plastic wheel under his toes, allowing him to roll fairly well. Mine zips along the floor looking like he's about to fall backwards at any moment, without actually doing so. He also rolls more or less straight in this mode.

   Articulation? I don't think so. This is a very lanky statue. The pullback mechanism and guns are it for Bulletbike's robot mode play value. So much of the toy has gone into the mechanism and vehicle mode he's lucky to even have robot mode.

   It's a pretty bad robot mode, although it's surprisingly symmetrical really. The right tyre (the bike rear tyre) sticks out more than the left side (sidecar) tyre, and there's a clip on the right of the feet which attaches to the bike itself, but otherwise he's balanced. The colours aren't so great but the gimmick works well - which is good since it's really the defining feature of the robot mode.

VARIATIONS

   None as such, although Bulletbike (along with the other G2 Powermasters) was not sold in North America. In Australia they sold with full tech specs (and the cards listed Hasbro's Rhode Island address) while in Europe they single line bios (and listed Hasbro's Welsh address).

OVERALL

   A fairly good bike mode, and the integrated sidecar is an interesting idea. The pullback motor works well in both modes, but the robot mode really suffers for it - this is one of the worst robot modes _ever_. If you like the pullback motor idea, he's the G2 Powermaster I recommend, due to the unusual design, but otherwise I'd recommend skipping Bulletbike - 3/10

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