Cliffbee.com: Metro Squad Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Metro Squad
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobots
Function: Urban Protection
Components: Wheel Blaze, Roadburner, Oiler, Slide, Power Run, Strikedown



Wheel Blaze

TRUCK MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 4cm Width: 2.5cm

   A fluorescent yellow truck-half, Wheel Blaze is the front half of a fire truck, but aside from the unpainted strobes on his roof he's not really especially fire-truckish (if there is such a word). He has small black plastic tyres, twin white front windows and what look like water tanks just behind his cabin. He has some grey visible on the front, which is his exposed robot knees.

   While it's not unmistakably a fire engine, this mode has enough panels and other details (tanks, strobes) that he works as a fire engine, and it's clearly a distinct truck on it's own. I'm not totally sold on the yellow, but Wheel Blaze's vehicle mode is okay.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Flip the front over to form the legs, stand him up and position the arms.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5cm Width: 2.5cm

   The fluorescent yellow still dominates, but he now has a blue torso and head, light blue painted face and grey thighs (a feature shared with all his teammates). The rear wheels sit on his shoulders as kibble, and his arms attach lower than they should, since the wheels are in the way, so they're somewhat stubbly.

   His facial sculpt is pretty poor, the use of the light coloured paint isn't enough to stop him looking generic. Combine this with the poor arms and it's a forgettable robot mode, but he does have the strobes sticking out on his feet, so you don't want a kick from this guy. The dampening of the yellow is a plus also.

OVERALL

   Wheel Blaze isn't a bad toy, but he's forgettable. The bright colour is the only flaw of a reasonable vehicle mode, but bad arms and the generic face bring down his robot mode. He's really quite forgettable - 4.5/10

Roadburner

CHERRY PICKER MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 5cm Width: 2.5cm

   A fluorescent yellow cherry picker, Road Burner has a red cherry picker arm and black plastic ridged tyres. There's moulded detail, although as on Wheel Blaze it doesn't scream "fire truck". The front end is of course nothing but a blank panel with connections, so it's more of a trailer than a standalone vehicle - the back end is similar, with his robot head partly visible.

   The play value is limited to posing the arm and rolling him along. The arm swings at the base and has a hinge half way up, the latter is more for the robot mode - folding the front half up doesn't work so well since the basket can't swing. The base looks like it's on a rotating circular plate, but this is a moulded illusion.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Flip the front half down to form his legs, stand him up and position the arms. Chances are the hinge in the middle of the bucket arm will fold, you can swing the bucket down behind his legs or fold it up, in which case it's visible behind his head in robot mode.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5cm Width: 2.5cm

   A fluorescent yellow robot with a white chest & head and grey thighs, Road Burner has a silver face. The silver paint shows up his facial detail fairly well, but there's only so much since he has a mouthplate. The combination of white and yellow is not as bad as it might sound.

   His shoulders swing, and the attachment points are actually just behind the rear wheels on his shoulders. The hips and knees both bend, but the lower legs are a single piece so in reality leg posing is very limited. Despite the limited poseability, the arms work a lot better than his partner, and his face looks better.

OVERALL

   Nothing special, but Wheel Blaze's bucket arm makes him an interesting combiner half, and his robot mode is better than a lot of combiners - 5.5/10

WHEEL BLAZE & ROADBURNER COMBINED
Length: 8cm Height: 2.5cm Width: 2.5cm

   A long yellow fire truck with a red cherry picker arm and water tanks behind the cockpit. I can buy the yellow fire engine - they have those in Canberra - this thing is longer than it should be, since the two halves have to have four wheels each. If they'd managed to hide the extra length a little better, I'd be keen, but as it is this combination doesn't quite work.

Oiler

TRUCK MODE
Height: 2cm Length: 4cm Width: 2.5cm

   A blue longnose cab, with a big sleeping section behind the cabin itself, Oiler has light grey windows. While the moulded lights on the roof and smokestacks on the sides tells you he's a longnose, the fact that has only four wheels, and that the rear set do not hang out the back at all remind of an armoured car. Keep in mind that he's meant to have something attached to the back - such as Slide.

   The play value is limited to rolling him along on his black plastic wheels, and I don't expect any more. What I like about Oiler's truck mode is that he works both by himself and attached to another combiner, so overall it's a good mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Flip down the rear to form the legs, fold down the front to reveal his head, swing down the doors to form his arms.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 4.5cm Width: 2.5cm

   A blue robot with grey thighs and a yellow head, Oiler has a white painted face which is easy to miss amongst the fluorescent yellow plastic. Unusually for Micromasters, the majority of the robot mode is vehicle surface, as opposed to the underside of the vehicle. His chest is the cab, the arms ares the doors, and the smokestacks are on the outsides of these arms, the sleeping cabin is the legs. The downsides are that he's torso is small and his shins too bulky, but I can easily forgive both of these flaws since the smokestacks form giant cannons on his arms, which looks really cool.

   The poseability is the same as Wheel Blaze, and while his arms are connected at what would be his kidneys, the short torso prevents him from looking weird. The arms swing from almost vertical by his sides to horizontal, the truck mode position. The bets spot for posing is just below horizontal, a shooting pose.

OVERALL

   The vehicle mode looks cool, and works both singly and as a half, the robot mode has some flaws but the nifty arm cannons make that mode. He's my favourite of the six Micromasters in this set - 7.5/10

Slide

TANKER MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 4.5cm Width: 2.5cm

   Simply put, Slide is a white petrol tank on six black wheels - two rolling sets at the rear and one moulded set at the front (paint black), with the front two thirds of the platform made of grey plastic and the rear third white. He's not really a vehicle in his own right, since he's purely tank, but he serves his purpose as a cool vehicle-half for mixing and matching, since he's clearly a tank.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Swing down the grey sides pieces (the arms) to unlock the rear, which folds out to form the robot legs. Stand him up.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5.5cm Width: 2.5cm

   A white robot with grey arms and thighs, Slide has a painted blue face with a fairly low level of detail - not that you'd see it with the dark blue paint. The fact that his vehicle mode is so uncomplicated means that this robot mode is quite well proportioned. He does have a big backpack, the front two thirds of his tank, but he has a big enough footprint (which is a cross-section of the vehicle mode) that he's not back heavy.

   The hips swing, the knees have a common rivet, so the hips swing as one, but the knees themselves can swing independently. The shoulders also swing, and provide the only meaningful articulation.

OVERALL

   White and grey is kinda dull, as is the robot mode, the only real flaw is that his alt mode isn't a standalone vehicle. Still, the tank makes him good for combining, which is the whole point, I guess - 6/10

OILER & SLIDE COMBINED
Length: 8.5cm Height: 2.5cm Width: 2.5cm

   A petrol tanker with a blue cab section and a white tank on the back, this is a ten wheeled vehicle, with one set at the front, two sets in the middle (the centre set are false) and two sets at the rear. The combination works very well, although it rolls a little strange with eight rolling wheels. Easily one of the better combined modes of 1990.

Power Run

HOVERCRAFT HALF MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 3.5cm Width: 3cm

   Power Run is the front half of a passenger hovercraft, with a black cushion, white deck with small gold windows and a fluorescent yellow bridge. This isn't really much of a standalone vehicle, but he does sit flat, and could pass as some sort of boat, I suppose. There are no wheels on this vehicle mode, it slides along.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Flip the pointed nose of the vehicle over to form the robot legs, fold the bridge down backwards to form the robot head and position the arms.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5.5cm Width: 3cm

   Power Run has a fluorescent yellow torso, black arms, grey thighs, black knees and white feet. His head is yellow, with a big block on top - the bridge of the hovercraft, and the face is gold. The bright yellow overwhelms his face, which is a shame since there's actually a pretty nice moulded face, complete with visor, nose and mouth.

   The "arms" are painted black, since they're part of the cushion. Inside these sections are white moulded arms and hands, but they're so hidden the black cushion sections are the arms. The feet are the front windows of the hovercraft, which looks nice, both does mean his lower legs are a solid piece with a point between his knees.

   Poseability is what you'd expect - the hips and knees bend as one and the arms swing, although the joints are a little too far back, meaning his arm look weird if swing too high.

OVERALL

   The individual vehicle mode isn't really a separate vehicle, but it's good for combining since it's clearly half a commuter hovercraft. The robot mode has some good and some bad, overall it's decent but nothing special. His strength is in his vehicle & combined modes - 5.5/10

Strikedown

HOVERCRAFT HALF MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 3.5cm Width: 3cm

   The back half of a commuter hovercraft with a black cushion and the back end of the passenger section on the front of him, Strikedown has unpainted windows and white wheels on either side, in the middle of the vehicle. There's a big blue fan on the back for propulsion, it's a single cast piece and doesn't spin. Like Power Run, he's more for combining that standing alone, this is not a vehicle mode on it's own at all.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold the front down to form the legs, swing down the turbine to align the shoulders, position his arms and stand them up.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5.5cm Width: 3cm

   Strikedown has a blue torso and a blue head, including a white painted face with a fairly good sculpt ruined a little by the white paint, which looks a somewhat cheap. The turbine sits behind his head, which is a good effect. The arms, like Power Run, are black painted cushion sections with moulded arms hidden inside, but they're longer than his partners' and look a little better. The thighs are grey like the rest of this sets' are, and his lower legs are white with no real feet.

   The legs are too long and the torso a tad short, which wouldn't be so bad if his arms didn't stick out so much - the attachment points are too far back on the arms and with no feet to offset this is really looks bad.

   The hips bend as one, as do the knees, and the arms swing at the shoulders. If you lift the arms up and bend the hips, Strikedown can sit down in a realistic pose, so the poseability is more than a lot of the toys in this set.

OVERALL

   There's both good and bad here, his name makes no sense at all, his vehicle mode is nothing on it's own but contributes to the combining gimmick well. The robot mode is a mixed bag, and is instantly forgettable - 5/10

POWER RUN & STRIKEDOWN COMBINED
Length: 7cm Height: 3cm Width: 3cm

   A white commuter hovercraft with a black cushion, yellow bridge, blue propulsion fan and gold windows, this is actually a really nice vehicle. It's refreshing too, and it's the only mass-transit Transformer I can think of (Astrotrain and the Trainbots don't count since they're only engine cars), which is a refreshing change from sports cars and jets. The wheels are a bit random, and not really needed - it slides along anyway, but it's still a cool hovercraft and makes for a great mix and match set.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

THE SQUAD OVERALL

   The individual robots are a mixed bag, ranging from poor to nifty, and I'd recommend Oiler on his own - but the fact that two of the combined vehicles are good ones that mix and match well means I recommend this set. The fluorescent yellow fire truck is silly, but the hovercraft and tanker make up for it - 6.5/10

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