Cliffbee.com: Groundshaker Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Groundshaker
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Field Commander
Alt Mode: Spyplane, Assault Vehicle



PLANE MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 6cm Width: 5cm

   A pine green Spyplane with a red window at the front, silver and yellow stickers on the wings and tailfins - the latter have Autobot symbols on them. Groundshaker is a repaint of Whisper from the Air Strike Patrol, with added stickers. This plane mode is pretty good for a Micromaster plane - there are stabilisers on the sides, wheels under each wing and a false front wheel underneath the fuselage, just behind the cockpit (which is close to the nose). The tailfins slope inwards, making the Autobot symbols quite prominent. This is a decent colour scheme, although it's nothing special. The coolest part for me is the Autobot symbols - something few Micromasters sport.

   There's not really any play value here, but then Groundshaker's play value is in his base. There are jets moulded on the back of the plane and the grey underneath doesn't stick out at all. Overall this is a decent little jet mode, even if the name doesn't match at all. There is a reason for the name - but this mode isn't it.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold up the wings and flip up the nose. Extend the fuselage to form his legs and stand Groundshaker up.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5cm Width: 2.5cm

   A grey and green robot with a red face, Groundshaker's two main colours are very close to one another, which makes him a little drab, and the fact both colours are dark doesn't help. Still, the colours do work well together - what he really needs is a lighter face (the red is fairly dark). The facial sculpt is pretty good but the dark red paint doesn't really bring it out. The torso, head and thighs are grey while his arms and boots are green.

   There are double missile racks moulded on either shoulder, which flank the head and give Groundshaker some weaponry - not that they actually fire. The shoulders swing, the knees bend as one and the hips swing as one. The leg joints don't really offer any poseability however, so the arms are his only meaningful articulation. While this is kind of disappointing, Groundshaker's real point is to man the battle station, and all he needs for that is arm movement.

   A middle of the road Micromaster, Groundshaker's robot mode is nice enough without being at all spectacular. Some light colours would have made him more exciting, so I am a little disappointed with his dark face.

ASSAULT VEHICLE MODE
Height: 10.5cm Length: 17.5cm Width: 13cm

   A midnight blue ground assault vehicle, called "ATV" in his tech specs. This thing is _huge_ compared to Groundshaker himself. It has six grey wheels, with the rear pair larger than the others. There are large grey twin cannons on either side and another, bigger, grey cannon sticking out from the right side of the open cockpit. Inside the cockpit there's a yellow stand on which Groundshaker himself stands - and he can just see over the lip of the cockpit, which gives you some idea how massive it is compared to the Micromaster. There are a few mesh-patterned stickers, including a big one on the sloping front, which sports a large Autobot symbol. The blue doesn't quite match Groundshaker himself, but the grey does and the combination of dark grey, blue and green is pretty good.

   This is a really nice vehicle. There's a _lot_ of mould detail that comes out surprisingly well considering the toy is so dark. There's mesh here and there, taillights, air vents and even two big industrial fans behind the cockpit. The guns are all detailed, and since each has two barrels each, this thing can fire six rounds at once. It's now plainly obvious why he's called Groundshaker - it's big, lumbering and armed to the teeth.

   The side cannons can rotate right around while the central cannon lifts up maybe 40. The smaller barrel on top of the central cannon can turn around independently, if the cannon is horizontal it'll go right through 360. The wheels are ridged so rolling him along a hard surface will be noisy and the thing will rattle. It's not quite shaking my table, but the illusion is close enough considering the relative sizes of the desk and toy.

   For a vehicle mode the play value here is pretty good. The scale of this vehicle is impressive for a Micromaster accessory, and it suits Groundshaker well. I really like this "ATV" mode, even before it transforms.

TRANSFORMATION TO BATTLE STATION

   Detach the side cannons and the smaller gun on top of the main cannon. Fold the back down, then the sides. Lift out the two slender black support arms from the front panel, then flip it over to form a helipad-like platform with the two struts slotting onto the red base. Lift up the red console at the back of the base, attach the side guns on either side of this console. Slide the main cannon back and attach the smaller cannon to the front right corner. You can stand Groundshaker behind the main cannon or on his yellow stand, or place him in jet mode on the raised platform.

   Lastly, attach the two ramps. The "standard" one attaches to the right side, while the other ramp (which is unique to Groundshaker) attaches to the front.

BATTLE STATION
Height: 9cm Length: 28cm Width: 22cm

   The blue has unfolded to form a platform that is largely red, save for the left side, which is a hollow blue recess. There are two yellow platforms, one raised at the front and the other the flat stand in the middle of base. The rear is yellow but still part of the flat platform. At the very back of the toy is the red console. There are some black struts and four grey weapons, and of course the operator, Groundshaker, who is green. It's a pretty nice colour scheme, and finally there's some light colour in the set.

   This base is big enough that you can place four or five Micromasters on it. One can man the giant cannon, another can operate the rear console. One can sit on the front platform and other can sit in the left side recess. If you place a couple more on in vehicle mode, you could get the number up to eight or nine.

   Most of the red platform has a steel grip look about it, and there are also seams and road markings and such. The main cannon can still lift up and down and you now have the option of swing it side to side as well, while the three other guns can again rotate in their new positions. Next to the black stand of the main cannon is a moulded red engine block, which is a nice touch. The ramp, gun and platform on the right side (and recess on the left) suggest you're meant to view this base from the right side. Mind you, the left doesn't look bad, but it's clearly the "back" side.

   Impressive for a battle platform, with four guns, lots of places to put Micromasters and an extra ramp compared to most Micromaster bases. There are a lot of pieces with can be lost, but otherwise this is a great battle station, and an excellent compliment to Groundshaker.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, Groundshaker is a repaint of Whisper as mentioned.

OVERALL

   Groundshaker himself is no more than a solid Micromaster, but his ATV/Battle Station is great, and his mission in life is to take charge of the base. The assault vehicle is my favourite part of this set, and both the ATV and battle station modes are detailed and fun to play with. Strongly recommended for Micromaster fans - 8/10

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