Cliffbee.com: Downshift Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Downshift
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Security Agent
Alternate Mode: Toyota Celica



CELICA MODE
Height: cm Length: cm Width: cm

   A white early 1980s Toyota Celica Hatchback, Downshift is one of the Diaclone based Autobots you're more likely to see on the roads - many are racing cars or fairly rare production model vehicles. Downshift has dark blue windows, black rubberised tyres, chromed wheels and a black front bumper. There's a taillight strip sticker on the back, and indicator stickers on the front bumper. Rounding out a simple yet very effective colour scheme we have an Autobot symbol sticker on the left side of the hood.

   Downshift is one of my favourite Diaclone car Transformers, as far as vehicle modes go. Apart from being one of the more recognisable vehicle models, it was one of the few was that sold here in Australia. This Celica has moulded doorhandles, rear indicators and pop-up headlight seams. There's a petrol cap on the right side and the hood seam is moulded also, and there are also moulded pinstripes down either side. Unlike the other Omnibots, Downshift lacks transparent windows, but the visual impact of the dark blue paint is great, so I don't mind at all. In truth, it looks like his windows are simply tinted, which seems appropriate for a Celica.

   The wheels turn, although as with all Diaclone cars, Downshift doesn't roll very well. Like his Omnibot mates, he has an attack mode, and his is the best of the three, in my opinion. The doors fold out to the sides to form missilepods and a hatch on his roof lifts up to form a gunmount. The handgun slots into the gunmount while his shoulder missiles plug into the missilepods, and the three weapons are all chromed. While it's not exactly a third mode, this is a pretty good attack car mode, the chrome weaponry looks good.

   Easily my favourite of the Omnibot car modes, partly because the Celica is simple yet realistic and partly because I like the attack mode. The painted windows could count against this vehicle mode, but for me there's more than enough to make this a good car mode. The colour scheme is simple, yet it works thanks to minimal colouring, and even then the splashes of colour are for appropriate things like the taillights.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Extend the front of the car, swing the bumper up and split the front to form the feet. Fold the doors down, pull out the rear fenders and rotate down to his sides to form the arms. Fold back the rear windows as a hood, which will reveal the head. Attach the missiles to either side of the hood (OK, so they're not quite _shoulder_ missiles), give Downshift his handgun.

ROBOT MODE
Height: cm Width: cm

   Again largely white, although his hands, shoulders, groin and head are black while the face is silver. Downshift's forearms and shoulderstruts are die-cast metal while the weaponry is chromed silver. The rear tyres sit on the outsides of his arms. There are red and yellow stickers on his forearms while the Autobot logo is now on his left shin. The face is a simple but well defined affair with distinct eyes and nose and a carefully sculpted mouthplate. Again the colours are straight forward but effective.

   Short and stocky but not badly proportioned, Downshift wears the roof and windshield as his chest, while the hoot forms his shins. The front bumper is his feet, it's only really his arms and head that are robot-only areas here. The doors sit behind is arms sort of like a cape, but they're more or less concealed by the arms.

   Downshift's poseability is probably the weak point here. The shoulders can lift up to the sides and rotate, which is actually fairly good for a Diaclone, but the jointing is all part of his transformation. The missiles on his hood can be raised and lowered to aim, which adds something in the way of play value. To be honest, my only real complaint is a lack of heelspurs. Camshaft has some fold out heelspurs so that he wont rock back on the front wheels and fall backwards, and Downshift would benefit from something similar. While he'll happily stand with his front bumper touching the table, it doesn't take much for him to rock back (although he often simply rocks back, without falling over). At any rate, Downshift stands a lot better than the rather unstable Overdrive.

   A good robot mode with lots of Celica elements, and Downshift's poseability is fairly good for a a Diaclone - even if he cheats. The colours are simple and effective (the guy behind Transformers: Universe should really take a look here). While it's a tad stocky, Downshift's robot mode is my favourite amongst the three Omnibots.

VARIATIONS

   Early versions of Downshirt had the word "Celica" printed on the taillight sticker as a licence plate.

OVERALL

   The best Omnibot in my opinion. From what I've heard, Hasbro decided to limit this trio to mail order since the quality wasn't as high as the other Diaclone cars, but Downshift is better than many of the general release Diaclone based Transformers in my opinion. Both modes are well designed, the colours are simple and effective while the play value is good for a small Diaclone mould. If you only get one Omnibot, Downshift is my recommendation - 9/10

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