Cliffbee.com: Hotrider / Turbofire Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Hotrider (Non-US) / Turbofire (US)
Series: "European" G1/G2
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Supplies & Support
Alternate Mode: Pickup Truck



TRUCK MODE
Height: 3cm Length: 8cm Width: 4cm

   A green truck with black plastic tyres, a chrome engine block sticking out of the hood and some pink "splashes" on that hood. Both versions of the toy have transparent windows - Hotrider's are pink and Turbofire's are smoky. While pink windows might sound like a bad idea it works for Hotrider quite well, since it matches the pink on the hood. Granted, the pink hood isn't the best idea, but it does make Hotrider the only Axelorator with a good reason for the pink. I actually slightly prefer Hotrider's pink to Turbofire's smoky, since the red G2 stamping on his front windshield is a lot less obtrusive than the yellow one on Turbofire's. Either way, I like this colour scheme, even if it has that overly bright G2 feel about it.

   The tray is filled with robot mode bits, similar to Swerve's tray, but thankfully it's all green save for two pink stickers. The front has a big sticker above the bumper, and it has headlights and a grille. The tyres are ridged and the taillights and pinstripes on his doors are pink.

   Hotrider doesn't do much more than roll along in this mode, but then for a $5 toy I don't expect much more. My only real complaint is that the entire roof is green paint over transparent plastic and on one of mine (Turbofire) this paint has worn in places. Whether or not one version is more prone to this I can't really say without seeing more samples.

   I guess it really all hinges on how much you like pink. I do like the colour scheme, and both versions work for me, but the pink and green wont be everyone's cup of... oil. The chromed engine block is cool and while it's simple it's a nifty little truck mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the engine block by pushing it down and out. Swing out the rear to form the legs, which separate as they fold out. Swing out the sides to form his arms, flip up the head and swing the front of the truck down over his head to form the chest. Give him his gun, which is the engineblock.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 9cm Width: 6.5cm

   A green robot with red thighs, groin and forearms and a silver head. The eyes are the same plastic as the windows - Hotrider's pink eyes make for a great lightpipe whereas Turbofire's smoky eyes are a very poor lightpipe. The chest is the front of the car, with the headlights and grille across the front, while the front wheels sit behind his shoulders and the boots are the back of the car. The colour scheme is again good albeit bright, and Hotrider's easily the better version now thanks to the lightpipe.

   I like how there's a heavy emphasis on the car parts here, not a lot of late G1 "European" toys put stock into visible alt mode parts in the robot mode. All four Axelorators have chrome engine-guns, but not all have chests that work as well as Hotrider's. The arms are short and highset, but not to the point of being awkward. The chest protrudes quite a bit though, so I'd recommend lifting the forearms, which are on hinged elbows.

   The hinges allow 90 of motion in the forearms, and represent all of Hotrider's poseability. It's not much but it's standard for the time. Mind you, the static robot mode is part of the reason I appreciate the lightpipe on the European version of this toy.

   For what it is this is a decent robot mode, although the loss of the lightpipe hinders Turbofire quite a bit compared to his European predecessor. This is probably the strongest robot mode amongst the Axelorators. Incidentally, the addition of red reduces the impact of the pink, which could be considered a good thing.

VARIATIONS

   As I've already discussed, Hotrider is the non-US version, with transparent pink windows and eyes. Released at the tail end of G1, Hotrider was followed a few months later by Turbofire with the transparent parts now a smoky colour. Australia actually got both versions.

OVERALL

   Overall this is the strongest Axelorator, even if Skram has a nicer vehicle mode. Both modes have their appeal and the lightpipe in Hotrider is very cool. The colour scheme isn't for everyone, but if you get the chance to grab either version for $5 or less, this is a fun little toy - 6.5/10 for Hotrider, 6 for Turbofire

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