Cliffbee.com: Ice Cream van Skids & Mudflap Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Skids, Mudflap
Series: Movie Tie-ins
Allegiance: Autobots
Alternate Mode: Ice Cream van



ICE CREAM VAN MODE
Height: 7.5cm Length: 11.5cm Width: 5.5cm

   A pink and white ice cream van, the lower half is pink while the upper half is matte off white. There are transparent blue windows on the front half and painted blue windows on the back half. The back half is Mudflap and the front half is Skids, incidentally. The grille is silver while the headlights are transparent blue. On top there's a grey speaker and a white (not off white) soft serve swirl. On either side this van sports "Creamy ICE CREAM" on top, "MADE FRESH FOR YOU!" on the front fenders and pictures of ice cream cones on the rear fenders. There's au upside down red Autobot logo on the back while the tyres are grey with silver and pink hubcaps. The colour scheme is very much that of ice cream vans in Australia (especially Sydney), but I can't comment on the colours elsewhere. At any rate, this is certainly one of the most distinctive colour schemes we've seen on a Transformer alt mode.

   This van is rounded and old fashioned, as is often the case with ice cream vans. There are sliding windows at the back on either side (well, sculpted to look like they can slide. We don't get price lists or anything around these windows, but there wouldn't be much definition at this size anyway. The sculpt is good, from the speaker and swirl on top the wipers on the windshield to bumpers and door seams. As you might expect of a realistic ROTF vehicle, play value is limited to rolling the tyres.

   A risky idea, but one that's done well. There's no doubting what this is, and while pink is a colour Transformers designers tend to avoid, the pink and white suits here. The sculpt is good, the paint mask is appropriate if unusual and the two halves hold together well (despite the bio claiming otherwise). I doubt we'll ever see this alt mode revisited, but this one is very good so that's not really a loss.

TRANSFORMATION TO SKIDS ROBOT MODE

   Detach and set aside the rear half of the toy (Mudflap). Swing down the legs from within the van, fold down the front bumper. Rotate the waist, fold out the feet. Fold in the side windows, unclip the doors, swing forward to form forearms and pull out the fenders as shoulders. Fold the roof behind the windshield, fold back the windshield. Fold the hood right back, which will unveil his head. Push the hood ornament in and you're done.

SKIDS ROBOT MODE
Height: 8.5cm Width: 6.5cm

   A pink robot with white legs and forearms, Skids wears the silver grille as his chest while the blue headlights are on his shoulderpads. His feet and oversized right hand are dark grey while eyes are light blue flanked by silver. The doofy teeth are also silver. There is no Autobot logo anywhere on Skids. The colours are very... unusual, but they're a carry over from the vehicle mode. Well, the pink is - the white is a true white since most of the off white is a backpack of panels now.

   Skids is notably shorter than a scout, and bears the hallmarks of a shellformer. There's a fairly compact backpack of panels, as mentioned, while the forearms are sculpted inside the doors. His left hand is barely a hand, I actually wish both hands were oversized. The grille as a chest and fenders for shoulderpads are nice touches which reduce the shellformer look.

   Skids has great articulation limited by small feet and a backpack. The head is ball jointed along with his shoulders and elbows, while the shoulders and elbows also sport hinges. The right wrist has a hinge and his waist rotates. His hips are ball jointed while the knees are hinged with rotators. His ankles feature hinged and ball joints and while larger heelspurs would have helped here, the ankle joints are nice and tight. There's a wide range of poses here, but not a whole lot of real "action" poses thanks to balance issues. For a robot this small, the range is good.

   A decent little robot despite the lack of a weapon and a whole bunch of shellforming. His colours are unusual but the front of the van runs across the plane of his shoulders and this detracts from the colours a little. His articulation is excellent and while the heelspurs should have been a little bigger, it makes for a good robot mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO MUDFLAP ROBOT MODE

   Detach and set aside the front half of the toy (Skids). Open out the aside panel windows (back) and the "ice cream" panels (front). Pull out the small panels at the back (one bears that Autobot logo), unclip the lower pink half of the truck. Pull out the front pink panels to form arms, swing the rear fenders down to form legs, split the boots and clip the groin into place. Swing the small panels under the arms, rotate and clip onto the chest. Fold up the side panels on his back to form wings, fold out the oversized left forearm. At some stage in this process his head should flip out. If it hasn't, nudge the collar area and it will

MUDFLAP ROBOT MODE
Height: 12.5cm Width: 10.5cm

   Like his twin, Mudflap is pink and white, but with a lot of the off white this time. His torso, boots and forearm panels are pink, along with the left forearm and both hands. His collar, upper arms, groin, thighs and right forearm are true white while the head, panelling and feet are off white. The "Creamy ICE CREAM" text now sits on very wide shoulderpads and the Autobot logo is on the left side of his lower chest. Like his twin, Mudflap has light blue eyes and silver surrounding them - this time the whole face is silver. The addition of the off white makes this colour scheme a little less stark and a little more balanced, too - even it it's still quite unusual.

   Like his brother he's quite short, but being the boxy end of the van means that Mudflap is bulkier and a little taller. If anything he's more of a shellformer, but the panels that form features help the look here. There are false headlights on his chest, in an unpainted pink. The boots are very wide and protrude forward a little more than I'd like. As on Skids, the smaller hand is hard to pick out, although the giant pink hand is a little off so I'm not 100% happy with either (but neither is terrible).

   Again there is no weapon here. The backpack is less significant since the larger panels form wings by design. The swirl on his back is kibble but it's out of the way, small and light. Mudflap's head and shoulders are ball jointed while his elbows are hinged with rotators. His left wrist is hinged while the waist is fixed. His hips are ball joints and the knees are hinged with rotators. His feet can fold up slightly and he has better heelspurs than his twin, even if they don't quite reach down as far as they should. While the panels get in the way of shoulder range a little, he has a greater range of action poses thanks to the heelspurs.

   A small but bulky robot with a nice blend of pink and off white, Mudflap has rather unique test on his wide shoulderpad, which makes him visually attractive. While there's more kibble here, Mudflap also has a wider range of stable poses than his lankier brother. On the whole both are pretty much equal - Mudflap is also a good toy.

VARIATIONS

   There's a "Shanghai Showdown" pack containing a minor repaint of the twins, with some faux rust detailing, as well as a repaint of Demolishor.

OVERALL

   One of the more unusual releases we've seen in the entire Transformers line, the Ice Cream van twins aren't so much unusual because of the combining nature of this set - although we don't see that often, not because of the bright pink colour, but because it combines these unusual features with a unique alt mode. The ice cream van is very well done and while both robots are very much shellformers, they're both done quiet cleverly and both feature great articulation and some nice visual aspects. While the set isn't without its flaws (such as Skids' heelspurs), this is a great set overall. If you like the movie toys at all, grab this set - 9/10

"Transformers" and other indica trademarks of Hasbro and/or Takara.