Cliffbee.com: J-Four Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: J-Four
Series: Car Robots (Robots in Disguise)
Allegiance: Cybertron
Function: Autobot Sonic Railway Patrol
Alternate Mode: E-4 Max bullet train



The Anglophone version, Midnight Express


TRAIN MODE
Height: 3.5cm Length: 236cm Width: 3cm

   J-Four's a rather long affair, being a locomotive. He's white on top and blue on bottom with a yellow dividing stripe. Most of the toy is actually a transparent plastic - the cockpit, side doors and windows are all transparent - so most of the colouring is actually paint. The colour scheme looks pretty good from the left, the right hand side he has a few screws visible which somewhat ruin the view a bit. Towards the rear of the carriage the words "Max Cybertron" are printed in blue (which a yellow shadow).

   It's not all smiles, but it's still a good train mode. Like his brothers he rolls well & freely. There's a block of white plastic which hangs on the back before the coupling hook (it's the left foot), and bits of yellow and blue show up on the otherwise white roof. The only other problem he has in this mode is a slight tendency to split along his seams, the robot legs want to fold out. Otherwise it's a good train mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the coupling hook on the back of the train. Grab the centre section and pull up until it clicks into place, then pull the front and back sections right out to become the legs. Remove the missile launcher hidden inside the back half of the train. Looking at it from the train's left, fold the legs back and then swing then down. Pull the left foot down and spin it 180 degrees. Fold the foot up, unfold the wheel truck from underneath, rotate it and fold it back. Fold down the truck on the left 90 degrees, pull down spin 180 degrees and fold out the foot proper.

   Fold down the blue panel on his chest to become the groinplate, push down on the back of the panel on the train's roof, swing the panel 180 degrees to reveal his head. Swing the head up, turn it around backwards, push it down so he's looking behind and then turn it back to the front. You don't actually have to turn it backwards before bringing it forwards, but the ball joint at the base of his neck is a lot looser than the swivel joint at the top of the neck, making the swivel joint hard to move without a fulcrum - in this case the back of the torso.

   Lastly, pull the arms down out from under the shoulderpads. Position the arms, add weapons.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 18cm Width: 19cm (maximum - this will vary according to position of the arms)

   J-Four is all about legs in this mode. He has _huge_ shins and big feet, and his shoulderpads aren't exactly small either. The reason for this is that he forms the waist & legs of JRX. The legs and feet _are_ JRX's and the shoulderpads become a tunic of sorts on JRX. The end result is a rather oddly proportioned robot mode for J-Four.

   Colourwise, J-Four looks pretty good in this mode. The head, shins, groin and forearms are blue. He's got white feet, a white chest and white shoulderpads. The upper thighs, waist and upper arms are grey and the lover thighs black. He has painted yellow kneecaps on his shins, yellow elbows, a grey face and hot pink eyes for some reason.

   Overall, it's not a bad robot mode, but it's not a great one. The colours are nice, the shoulderpads are a nice idea but the shins are simply enormous. He's also got a rather narrow torso - the waist & groin are as wide as the thighs. The feet are assymetrical, the right foot being the cabin of the train, the left being the back of the engine.

VARIATIONS

   Released in RiD with grey painted windows with the name "Midnight Express".

OVERALL

   Well, the biggest thing holding J-Four back is JRX. So much of him goes into JRX's legs that J-Four's robot mode is really no more than an afterthought. Which is a shame because he does have some nice features. I have to admit this toy has grown on me since I got it - and I only got it because I had J-Seven and J-Five and figured I may as well complete JRX. But it's still one of the crappier Car Robots moulds - 6/10 as a JRX component, 5.5/10 as a standalone toy

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