Cliffbee.com: Dogfight Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Dogfight
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Aerial Combat
Alternate Mode: Fighter Jet



JET MODE
Height: 5cm Length: 12cm Width: 8.5cm

   A mid blue jet with light blue tail section and a light blue nose and light grey canopy. Dogfight is a somewhat distorted X-Z9 experimental fighter jet, with silver wing and front stabiliser stickers, matched by silver stickers on his tailfin. All six stickers have pink and blue stripes on them, and the largest pair on his wings have back-facing Autobot logos. The black blowtorch blasters stick out from behind his forward swept wings, and he has three black wheels underneath - which all spin. The colour scheme here is for the most part pretty good. The stickers make a difference, the blues work together. My only real complaint is that the rear block looks a little out of place against the darker blue of the wings and fuselage. I like the lighter thruster and tailfin, though.

   As a Triggerbot, Dogfight has little play value. The wheels all spin, which should be a given but some toys of this era actually miss out on that. The main gimmick is the auto-deploying weaponry. Pressing a blue button on the fuselage will cause the wings to fold over with a whirring sound. The wings end up pointing backward with the black guns deployed. This mechanism works well, since the wings are still wings and the guns are big, imposing and flush against the fuselage. His mechanism relies on internal gears rather than hard springs like some of the trigger Transformers, making it relatively durable.

   Of course, being a five buck toy, Dogfight is quite simple. There are some awkward angles on the fuselage and the transformation joints are quite obvious. I'm happy that the model of fighter jet is still obvious and that he has major features such as landing gear, a thruster and stabilisers. The low detail means he relies on his stickers for visual complexity - I'm not so sure he'd look good stickerless.

   This isn't really a very ambitious jet mode, but the colours are decent and the gimmick works well. It's actually slightly better than you'd expect of such a cheap toy.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Extend the front to form his legs, lift up the nose. release the wings, fold up the tail section. Fold away the front landing gear and stand him up. The landing gear joint is quite cleverly done, although on the whole this is a very simple transformation.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 9.5cm Width: 8.5cm

   Again twotone blue, with the lighter blue on his trunk and thighs with darker blue on his boots and arms, which incorporate the wings. His face is painted a matte red over very simple features. The silver wing stickers are visible and the Autobot logos are right-way-up on his arms as a result. Aside from the choice of matte paint on his face, this colour scheme again works well.

   Dogfight's proportions are pretty poor. The boots are a single piece, the arms are little more than the inner edges of the wings - although there are subtle moulded fists at the ends (which are visible yet not readily apparent in jet mode). The head is attached to the chest and the back of the plane just sits behind the head, being very kibbly.

   Most of the proportion problems are a result of this being such a cheap, simple toy, but some of the problems are also laziness in design. I doubt it would have been too much effort to get the back of the plane to fold back further - one extra joint would solve it. There are screws in the middle of his thighs, which looks really bad, and I can't see why they aren't on the back of the thighs. There's a rack of three missiles on the right side of his head and a sensor array (similar to Soundwave's shoulder cannon) on the left, but both are solid cast with the trunk and left unpainted - great features that aren't well used at all.

   Poseability is non-existent. Having said that, the mechanism has two internal catches, allowing for the gimmick to work here, which is nice. Pressing the button - now on his back - will cause the arms to lift up to 90, revealing the under-arm guns. While it works well, the fact that this represents all the robot mode play value is disappointing, and while the guns are cool, they preclude arm poseability and the way they're designed the arms are little more than wings anyway.

   This robot mode is overly simple, with no poseability and bad proportions, but there are some really nice features. I find this mode frustrating since the basic aesthetic is good - the wings, underarm guns and head-mounted weaponry are all great ideas that are dragged down by the toy's cheapness.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   The plane mode is fairly good considering how simple it is, but the robot mode really suffers thanks to this simplicity. The trigger gimmick works well in both modes - which is I suppose the point - but it's not enough to save Dogfight from his crappy robot mode. In a way Dogfight is typical of what killed the G1 line - most of the effort put into this Transformer is focused on the gimmick, and not enough on the Transformer itself - 4/10

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