Cliffbee.com: RiD Prowl Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Prowl
Series: Robots in Disguise
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Lamborghini Diablo Police Car



DIABLO MODE
Height: 3.5cm Length: 12cm Width: 7cm

   A white Diablo police car with black along the bottom of the sides and black bumpers. He's got transparent windows and transparent red strobes on his roof. He has the Japanese word for police on his doors in black text. Prowl is essentially a variant of Mach Alert from Car Robots, hence the Japanese text, which is borrowed from Mach Alert's paint mask. Odd that they chose to add an Autobot symbol to the front of his hood but leave the Japanese text on the doors for Anglophone markets.

   This is a pretty realistic car mode. The proportions are good, the wheels are chromed and the tyres are rubber, he has front indicators painted on the front _and_ sides, rear indicators painted on the sides, transparent red taillights, two sets of twin exhausts at the back and rear vision mirrors. Heck, this toy has _seats_ moulded into the undersides of the robot feet inside the cabin!

   While most police departments probably aren't funded to the point they could use Italian sports cars for their fleet, this is a realistic colour scheme for a police car. It's also a great colour scheme, and the painted details like indicators really make this a paint job you can appreciate. The moulding is excellent, too. The only downside is the Autobot symbol on his hood - well the fact it's interrupting the black inverted widow's peak that Mach Alert had.

   His spoiler has tips that fold up to reveal attachment points for his weapons. If you point them forward they become flamethrowers or missile launcher, if you attach them backwards he's got rockets. He also rolls quite well on his wheels, but you've got to make sure the chestplate is folded up properly for this to work.

   Overall, this is an excellent car mode. In fact it's difficult to flaw - the placement of the ensignia is the only thing that gets me, but I can let that slide.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Pull out the sides, lift up the roof. Fold up the front section, exposing the legs. Unfold the legs, slide the section to which they attach in, fold the front section up and the roof down again. Fold the chest down and push in, position the mufflers upwards or out to form chestguns (whichever you prefer). Spilt the rear section, fold the sides out to form the shoulderpads. Position the arms, as well as the shield on the left arm. Rotate the shins 180, swing down the feet and rotate forward. You can put his guns on his right forearm or attach them to the tips of his spoiler (ie on the shield) on his right arm.

   I've heard people call this mould a "shellformer", but it's more than just unfolding panels. Aside from that, this isn't a mould with panels hanging off it everywhere.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12cm Width: 14cm

   Wider than he is tall, Prowl's robot mode is white, silver and blue with transparent smokey plastic. White still dominates, but he has blue shins and a blue groin, grey upper arms and feet and a transparent torso. His head is white with a silver face. His shoulder panels, as well as the chest, are transparent with lots of silver painted details. His hip panels, formed from the car doors, are white. It's a good colour scheme, I'm impressed with the way they used the blue. Oh, he has an Autobot symbol foil stamped onto his chest, which is the only red in this mode, and it looks great. The surrounding chest sculpt looks like an engine block, which is a nice touch.

   Lanky and poseable, Prowl does have some car kibble, but it all serves to enhance the aesthetic. The doors are hanging off his hips, but give his legs plenty of clearance. The shield attached to his right forearm is the engine cover & spoiler, and the shoulderpads are the rear fenders. The shoulderpads look cool, the hip pads the sides form look decent, the shield is nice, too. It'd be nicer if you had the option of detaching it, but it's attached with a metal post through it's joint. Still, the joint gives it meaning since he can do stuff with it, rather than just have it as kibble.

   This toy is really poseable. His head turns, he has ball joints at his shoulders, and swivels below his shoulderpads on his upper arms. He has two joints on each elbow giving full poseability, as well as the joint on the shield's attachment point as mentioned. His hips and knees are ball joints and his ankles have _two_ ball joints each! So yeah, this guy's pretty much a contortionist. He's reasonably top-heavy, since the car bits are almost entirely above his waist, so while you have to balance him, he has a wide range of poses available, and the twin ball joints in each ankle mean you can find a way to make him stand up in the vast majority of poses.

   The wide array of poses, the missile launchers, shield and chest guns give Prowl a _lot_ of play value in this mode. Add to this a good colour scheme and a great moulding and this is a good robot mode, hampered really only by minor balance issues and the fact the shield can't detach.

VARIATIONS

   Mach Alert, who aside from the previously mentioned lack of an Autobot symbol in car mode, has slightly clearer (ie less smoky) transparent plastic. He's also spawned a recolour within RiD (which is a Car Robots repaint redone). Sideswipe and Sunstreaker, the 2003 convention exclusives, are slight retools. There's also Inferno, the fire chief car from the TF:Universe line of repaints.

OVERALL

   When the Car Brothers came out in Japan in 2000, Mach Alert pretty much blew every previous Transformer that had a car mode off the road. RiD Prowl carried this exceptional mould into the Anglophone markets. A great colour scheme, great poseability and awesome attention to detail. Even the recent Binaltech hasn't surpassed this mould in terms of what you get for the price (since BT toys cost 3 times as much). I'm not a fan of the Autobot symbol on his hood, but it's his only real flaw - 9.5/10

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