Cliffbee.com: Flame Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Flame
Series: "European" Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Troubleshooter
Alternate Mode: Lamborghini Countache

Thanks to Tiby for lending me Flame for this review.



COUNTACHE MODE
Height: 5.5cm Length: 15.5cm Width: 7.5cm

   A yellow Countache with transparent blue windows, black rubber tyres and mid blue wheels, Flame has red stickers on the doors and hood, which are - appropriately - flames. There are also red stickers on the spoiler and he has some chrome silver on the the wheels. The blue wheels are rather out of place here but the flame stickers suit and the stickers are fairly simple, so this colour scheme works okay overall.

   The use of rubber for his tyres is nice - and unusual for a toy this late in G1. The chrome is fairly sparse but is also unusual for this era. He's fairly low on detail and the wheels are too small for the body of the car, which makes Flame look simpler than he actually is. The low detail makes him look fairly cheap - verging on a knock-off. There's a rather large (and as a result of its size, unsightly) hinge between the hood and the windshield.

   The play value is okay here. The rubber tyres roll quite well. You can plug his carmine red sword into a hole on the roof, although this is more for storage than as a weapon. It can plug into holes on either door, which is a little more weapon-like. The roof and windows lift up, revealing a cabin in which you can seat his mini Energon figure as a driver. None of this is especially impressive, although it does spice things up a little. Flame is a repaint of Laster from the Victory line in Japan, and that toy also came with a shield - which is absent here.

   A very simple and fairly underwhelming car mode. There's nothing here to get excited about aside from the rubber tyres, but the make and model is easy to pick which helps. The colour scheme works well enough but the tyres don't look right and the blue wheels are just weird. More detail and a decent way to use the weapon would have gone a long way here.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the driver and weaponry, set aside. Split the rear and rotate to form legs, stand him up. Fold back the front of the car onto his back, swing down the chestplate, insert the mini figure, close the chestplate which will cause the face to slide up into the head. Give him the sword.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 16.5cm Width: 7.5cm

   Again based on yellow, Flame has a carmine torso and head, grey thighs and hands, a silver face and bright orange eyes. There's a red sticker with an Autobot logo, central on his chest. The colour scheme works okay, aside from the orange eyes which clash badly. Most of the generic stickers here are solid red and some silver - carmine red would have worked better, but this is a fairly minor thing.

   Flame has a simple car mode and a simple transformation. So it's almost fitting that his robot mode is uncomplicated. The sculpt is just as spartan as the car mode, despite almost everything visible here is from the underside of the car, so the designer had a blank slate.

   The play value is again pretty minimal. The Energon figure offers a nice gimmick, and the toy really relies on this gimmick, failing to capture the imagination as an actual Transformer. The arms swing and this is all Flame gets in the way of meaningful articulation. The sword can plug onto either wrist or in either hand.

   The Energon figure itself, which is unnamed as far as I can tell, is essentially a scaled down version of Flame - the limbs are Yellow and the body and head carmine red. The face is silver, with silver eyes this time, and is well sculpted. The arms swing and the legs move as one, allowing it to sit. It has more poseability than Flame himself.

   The best robot mode amongst the Motorvators, however it's still big and simple. The colours are okay but with some bad choices and the detailing is disappointing. It's a poor robot mode with almost no play value - articulation is almost absent although his weapon offers some play value.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. Flame is a repaint of Laster, using a red instead of black. This toy was not released in North America.

OVERALL

   More than anything else, Flame suffers from being far too simple for his size. The sculpt, articulation and transformation are underwhelmling, although I'm glad the model of car is very easy to pick. The colour scheme is a nice idea, but isn't quite focussed/. The brain gimmick is okay, but isn't enough to make the Transformer work. Maybe for curiosity's sake, but otherwise I can't really recommend Flame - 4/10

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