Cliffbee.com: Flattop Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Flattop
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Dcepticon
Function: Naval Warfare
Alternate Mode: F4 Phantom & Aircraft Carrier



JET MODE
Height: 2cm Length: 6cm Width: 4.5cm

   A burgundy and grey F4 (think Fireflight) with a black canopy, Flattop is more burgundy than grey - the central stripe of the toy and the wings are burgundy while the outer stripes of the fuselage are grey, along with the single bombs under each wing. There are black wheels underneath the tail and a burgundy post underneath the nose in place of front landing gear. This is a simple colour scheme and the black is kind of lost on the dark burgundy, but the colour placement is certainly more interesting than on most Micromasters. The colours work well for a Decepticon, so despite the lost canopy I'm happy with Flattop's colours.

   The rear wheels turn, although not well. It doesn't really matter since the front lacks a wheel, so I suppose the fact that the rear wheels are real when they don't need to be is a plus - although the lack of a front wheel is a drawback. The post at the front allows the jet to anchor to Flattop's aircraft carrier, so at least there's a reason for the lack of a front wheel.

   The robot mode limbs more or less sit underneath the jet, and while the arms are well hidden as the bombs under his wings, the robot legs are fairly obvious underneath the tail, with only the rear wheels hanging off to hide them. Otherwise it's a decent F4 for the size.

   Flattop has good colours and the unusual choice of jet model is a plus, but there are some annoying features here that stop this from being a great jet mode. Of course, it fits in well with the "trailer" which is the whole point of this plane mode.

AIRCRAFT CARRIER
Height: 3cm Length: 12cm Width: 6cm

   Theoretically, this is a "trailer", but in reality the jet sits on top of this aircraft carrier. The top is a somewhat chopped up grey platform with a runway running from the portside bow to starboard stern. The runway is marked by black broken lines on either side. There is a black control tower on the starboard stern, which is made of a matte black plastic rather than painted like the black lines. Most of the hull is burgundy save for the giant cannons on either side of the boat. This colour scheme is sensible and more or less realistic for an aircraft carrier, and contrasts well with Flattop himself.

   The flight deck is chopped up by rotators towards the stern, which are part of the transformation. There are some seams here and there and some moulded flight deck lines. Towards the stern two black plane-mode wheels are visible, but you don't really notice them. Overall it is a rather compromised aircraft carrier, but the idea is a lot more appealing than the crappy trailer that Roughstuff comes with, and breaks up the monotony of this group (the other three are all trailer trucks). This is only the second aircraft carrier in the Transformers line and dollar for dollar this is all over Broadside.

   There are three small black wheels underneath this boat, allowing it to roll on a table, and two small hole son the flight deck allowing Flattop himself to attach, either parked on lined up on the runway. I don't expect much more that this from a Micromaster, so I'm pretty happy with this play value.

   Sure, it's limited, but for the pricepoint this is a useful accessory for Flattop that adds to his play value. The choice of aircraft carrier pretty much guarantees that this vehicle will be interesting, since they're rare amongst Transformers.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Lift up the tail, folding it right over, which will also turn over the nose and canopy. Fold back just the tail to form his back, stand up Flattop, swing back the wings which will pretty much complete the transformation, short of posing his arms.

TRANSFORMATION FROM TO AIRCRAFT CARRIER TO INTERSTELLAR JET

   Swing down the control tower, lift up the carrier and fold out the plane's tail and remove the side guns. Swing out the wings, fold down the front wheel. You can lift the safety bar and sit Flattop down, or stand him on the open cockpit. Reattach the gun, this time they sit on the wings.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5cm Width: 3cm

   Again a mix of burgundy and grey, Flattop's torso is burgundy down the middle and grey on the sides with burgundy shoulder joints and head. His face is red with a mouthplate and simple eyes. The limbs are grey, with the black wheels on the outsides of his ankles. It's a decent colour scheme although the red face gets a little lost amongst the burgundy. A little less grey would have made things a tad more interesting.

   This robot mode is very different to that of Micromasters, thanks to his unusual Transformation. The colours don't follow the usual layout, so while the grey might not be great, at least he's original. The bodyshape isn't as chunky as many Micromasters', indeed the arms are tubular with pointy shoulders, since they're bombs in his fighter mode. There are moulded hands on his arms, which are hidden in jet mode. Flattop is one of the few Micromasters with dedicated hands, incidentally.

   The arms attach at the elbows, so I'd recommend against lifting his arms right up, although as long as you don't go past about 15 his arms look okay. The hips bend as one and he can actually sit down on his own. This poseability is about average for a Micromaster, and allows him to interact with his ride-in-plane.

   Despite some flaws this is an impressive robot mode for a Micromaster. The fists, atypical bodyshape and ability so sit down are all plusses, and they outweigh the badly-attached arms and simple face. The robot mode is novel enough to make the robot itself worthwhile without the aircraft carrier.

INTERSTELLAR MODE
Height: 3.5cm Length: 15cm Width: 11.5cm

   This plane is defined in the tech spec as an interstellar jet, which is an attempt to justify Flattop getting two distinct plane configurations. A small open cabin jet seems like an unlikely space ship, but hey, if Shockwave's gun mode can fly in space I'm willing to accept it.

   Anyway, this jet is a wide burgundy affair with swept back wings similar to those of a Boeing airliner - they even sprout from the bottom of the fuselage. There's a black wheel just in front of the cockpit, which is for the boat mode. You don't really see it amongst the burgundy, thankfully. The safety bar is also black, and it does a pretty good job of keeping Flattop seated (since he can't clip in while seated). This jet has twin burgundy tailfins and tailwings.

   You actually get a couple of options here. As mentioned, you can sit Flattop down, or stand him up. While he's able to clip in if standing up, it looks a lot more natural if he's sitting. You can also attach the grey side guns to the tailwings, and they actually look really there (better than on the wings).

   This is a really nice jet mode, and I'm not just saying that because it's more natural than the battle emplacements some of the Micromasters get. The wheels all roll, the guns work well in either configuration and it looks good with Flattop riding in the cockpit. It also _looks_ like a jet, not a jumble of parts moved around to form a jet shape.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   A really nice set, the Micromaster itself is worthwhile and the aircraft carrier is a great extension. Sure, there are some limitations at this size, but this is easily one of the better executed Micromaster playsets. The aircraft carrier is an unusual choice that only increases the appeal in my opinion. Definitely recommended to Micromaster fans - 8.5/10

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