Cliffbee.com: Laser Rod Sizzle Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Sizzle
Series: Generation 2
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Street Warfare
Alternate Mode: Hot Rod



CAR MODE
Height: 5cm Length: 11.5cm Width: 5cm

   A charcoal black 1940s style hot rod with a silver engine sticking out of his hood, black plastic wheels and a silver grille. Sizzle has a transparent window - which wraps around the front and sides of the cabin, transparent headlights and two pistons sticking out of his engine block. There's also a transparent muffler on the back, which is the handle of his sword. Rounding out the colour scheme are some orange flames on the sides and red scale-like patterns on the doors, front fenders and roof, which prevents this car from being too dark. It's hard to complain about charcoal and black, so it's a good colour scheme. My only real complaint is that the orange paint ends abruptly when the rear section (robot legs) meets the cabin (torso and arms).

   Sizzle's car mode is for the most part low detail, but this is largely as a result of the general design of this car rather than a lazy designer. The lines are about right, and the robot mode parts are more detailed, proving it's not just a lack of effort. He does have some complex moulding on his engine block and spoked wheels painted on his tyres (in silver).

   He'll roll along on his wheels, although there's not a lot of ground clearance - which is to be expected of a street rod. The point of the Laser Rods is light up parts, so the action in this mode is contained within the clear pistons on his engine. There's a small pine green button just in front of the engine, and when you push it an internal LED lights up these pistons. The LED is a fairly powerful red colour, impressive under artificial light and brilliant in a dark room. Incidentally, he has front suspension (sort of, it's directly linked to the button), so pushing down on his hood will also activate this gimmick.

   It's difficult to really convey, but this really is a _cool_ car mode. Sizzle has elegance and style, and has an entirely different aesthetic to most car Transformers, which are more modern and angular vehicles. He's simple and stylish and the break in orange paint is really the only blemish.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Unclip the sword, fold out the back to form his legs and flip his feet out. Lift the bottom of the doors out to the sides to form his arms and flip the front down to form his chest. Place his sword in his hand. Lastly, you can detach a small black module under his chest and attach it to the back of his fist if you like. This module houses the LED, and will light his sword in place of the pistons on his chest. If you prefer, you can leave it in his chest, it wont interfere.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12cm Width: 7.5cm

   The charcoal is joined now by more pine green. His limbs and chest are black, while his thighs and head are pine green. There is some grey introduced on his groin and shoulder struts. Aside from the transparent sword, Sizzle has transparent eyes - and a pretty effective lightpipe. This is a very dark robot mode, yet strangely the colours don't scream "Decepticon". It's a nice colour scheme, and the dark colours really help the red LED stand out.

   The Laser Rods were amongst the first Transformers to attempt G.I. Joe level articulation. As with some other 1994 toys, Sizzle represents the Transformers' first foray into the ball joints that became the standard during Beast Wars. Sizzle has a metal T in his groin and ball joint in his waist (with a rubber band inside), as well as hinged knees and ankles. The elbows and shoulder have both hinges and swivels, giving them motion in two planes. Rounding out his articulation, the head turns right around. For the time, this sort of poseability was a _big_ deal - keeping in mind the best we'd seen previously was the Actionmasters. And the Laser Rods transform!

   The poseability in his ankles is the clincher in Sizzle's case, since it allows stability in a wide variety of poses, and gives him the ability to wield his sword in various cool poses. The sword itself lights up really well, again this is activated by the button now on his chest. Even with the light on, it lights up brilliantly, and the sword's shaft glows red.

   The sword itself has a jagged blade, like a stylised lightning bolt, which looks cool but wouldn't prove very effective in combat - you don't want your sword caught on stuff. But hey, since the angles provide surfaces for the red light to dissipate through, it's a good sword for a Laser Rod. The only other real issue with Sizzle's robot mode is a big chest, since it's front of the car, and sticks right out. I don't mind so much since it looks fairly good there, giving a car-themed robot mode, and the cabin on his back counterbalances it.

   A good robot mode with great articulation - even today, ten years on, most Transformers with car alt modes aren't as poseable, and a really effective LED gimmick. With the original batteries, no less!

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   A great toy that's still impressive ten years on, even alongside modern Transformers. While it's true that a lot of G2 Transformers were awful, the Laser Rods were generally pretty good, and Sizzle is the pick of the 1994 crop. Both modes look great, the play value is awesome and the light up gimmick hits it's mark. My favourite Laser Rod, Sizzle is definitely a toy I recommend - 9.5/10

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