Cliffbee.com: Military Patrol Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Military Patrol
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Front Line Assault
Components: Bombshock, Growl, Dropshot & Tracer



Bombshock

TANK MODE
Height: 2cm Length: 5.5cm Width: 2.5cm

   A boxy green tank with grey painted treads and a grey plastic barrel on a green turret. There's not really much to this mode, but there's enough moulded detail to keep me happy, and he's clearly a tank. It's hard to argue with a green tank, so the colours are fine.

   Bombshock has more play value as a tank than most Micromaster vehicle modes. There are black plastic wheels under the treads, on which he can roll. Most Micromasters don't have a turret, so in a way Bombshock has an unfair advantage, which he uses. The turret turns right around and the barrel has a hinge at the base. Both joints are fairly tight, so posing is possible. The barrel has two "rest" positions - one at about 60 and one at 95, but the joint is tight enough he can point his barrel anywhere between 0-90.

   The only real flaw of this mode is a small hint of blue at the front - the robot knees. It's pretty subtle and the blue is close enough to the green that it doesn't bother me at all. A good Micromaster tank.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Bombshock's engineering is pretty much stolen from Brawl, except he's backwards. Rotate the turret to one side, flip out the front and then swing the turret back (you can also swing it back, so that his barrel sticks up in robot mode, if you prefer). Fold down the rear plate to form his chest and swing the sides around to form the robot arms.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5cm Width: 2.5cm

   Again primarily green, with blue thighs, waist and head, Bombshock has a white groin and white face, complete with moulded eyes, nose and mouth. It's a pretty good colour scheme, and an unusual combination for a Transformer (he's patriotic to Sierra Leone, it would seem).

   If you actually read my transformation steps, you'll notice I mistransform Bombshock. The standard transformation (treads at the front) gives his short grey treads for arms with high shoulders and fists buried within the arms. He looks about 10 times better if you swing the arms around so the treads are at the back. Firstly, it gets rid of the treads. Secondly, the arm proportions are a lot better. Third he has pseudo-digits on his hands on this configuration which are more visible than the hands inside the treads. Lastly, the colours work better, since the white and grey paints are a little incongruous together.

   As you might expect from a boxy tank, he's a boxy little bot, with wide boots and square shoulders. Considering that this patrol is meant to be a group of brutes, the bulk is fitting.

   Poseability is standard for a Micromaster - the shoulders rotate, hips swing as one and the knees bend independently. The bonus is that the barrel can act as a third leg in some poses, so his leg articulation is more meaningful than on many other Micromasters.

   As you can probably tell, I quite like Bombshock's robot mode. He's a cool little mean bot, and the colours work. All on the condition you mistransform him (c8

OVERALL

   Bombshock is my favourite toy in this set - in fact he's always been one of my favourite Micromasters. Both modes are good and the colours work. 9/10 with green arms, dropping to 7.5 if you give him tread arms.

Growl

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

   If Bombshock is the Micromaster equivalent of Brawl, Growl is surely the answer to Swindle. He's a brown jeep with a detachable cannon on top, although unlike Swindle he's got an enclosed cabin. He has black windows and black plastic ridge tyres, and the cannon on his roof is the grey plastic common to this Patrol. This colour scheme is reasonably good, it's major feature being the obviously intentional homage to Swindle.

   There's a little moulded winch between the moulded headlights, which is cool, and there are transformation hinges on his hood, which isn't - although so many Micromasters have visible hinges that I'm not going to hold this against him much. What bothers me a little more is the twin holes on each side - the shoulder joints and attachments for the cannon in robot mode. They're a necessary evil for his hand cannon, so I can deal with them, but they do affect the look of this mode.

   Play value is, like Bombshock's, fairly good for a Micromaster. He can roll on his wheels, and the gun on top rotates right around, as well as being detachable. There are little air vents underneath the gun which is nifty.

   It's a fairly good Jeep, and I'm happy with the play value. Plus it just screams "Swindle!" at you.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Guess what? It's identical to Swindle's, except his arms don't extend outwards. Remove the gun, swing the rear over to form the boots, flip up the hood and attach the gun to the hole on one of his hands.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5cm Width: 2.5cm (3.5 with gun)

   Following on from his Swindle Jeep mode impression, Growl now gets something resembling his own colour scheme. His arms and boots are brown while his chest, head and thighs are black. His groin and face are painted white. He has a big white eyevisor which hides the fact he has a moulded mouth, so the facial sculpt is disappointing, but the colour scheme is fine in itself.

   The arms actually swing at the elbows, the back edges of the front wheelbays become the upper arms and are part of the main block of the toy. So you can swing up the elbows, aiming his gun and revealing that it attaches to the outside of a moulded fist. The hips swing as one and the knees can swing independently. While he lacks the tripod Bombshock has, Growl is capable of sitting down.

   Overall, this is about average for a Micromaster robot mode, but the fact he has a gun makes him a fairly good toy. The solid cast shoulders are annoying, but the Swindle homage is cool.

OVERALL

   A good toy, and while his robot mode has some shortcomings, the detachable weapon - a rarity amongst Micromasters - scores points. A good Swindle clone - 8/10

Dropshot

ARMOURED TRUCK MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 4.5cm Width: 3cm

   A blue armoured truck with black plastic tyres and a double barrelled cannon on the roof, Dropshot is sort of truck that's designed for the thick of a battle - heavily armoured with slit-like front windows so grenades and such can't get in - he even has twin camera housings in front of the windows.

   Dropshot doesn't directly copy anyone, but being a blue truck with twin cannons and green as a secondary colour, he's clearly inspired by Onslaught - although his colours are a lot brighter. He has a pretty good sculpt, including re-enforced side windows, lots of hatches and such and air vents on the sides and roof.

   As seems to be a theme in this Patrol, he has more play value than most Micromasters. The wheels roll and the cannon rotates all the way around. Unlike Onslaught, he can't tilt the barrels up and shoot into the air, but then he's well suited to urban battles anyway, and wouldn't really need ground-to-air capabilities for those. The sculpt suggests the barrels are meant to lift up and down, though.

   Again a nice little vehicle, although the blue is a tad bright. I like the choice of vehicle - it's something different and it's well done considering the scale.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Flip the rear out to form the boots, fold the front down to form his chest.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5.5cm Width: 2.5cm

   A blue robot with green thighs, shoulderblades and head with a red groin and red face, Dropshot's colours don't work so well. The blue and green are fine, but too bright to really work with red - Bombshock's white would have worked a lot better. The red paint is too thick to really show the level of detail in his face, which is a shame. The front wheels sit on his shoulders, and being black don't really stand out, which is a good thing with the red already standing out. This is a colour scheme that would have been a lot better had they gone for a neutral paint instead of the red.

   Dropshot has big boots, with a big footprint even by Micromaster standards. They also have tiny heelspurs to help him stand up - the cannons on his back are a fairly heavy backpack. He suffers from too high shoulders and short arms, but unlike Bombshock, you can't easily fix it. The good news is that the moulded forearms are clearly visible, unlike Bombshock's. His thighs are really skinny, which is accentuated by the giant boots. It's not awful, but does look weird.

   Dropshot has standard Micromaster poseability, identical to Bombshock without the third leg. The arm posing is compromised by the bad arm proportions and shoulder joints at the _back_ of the arms.

   This is a robot mode that should have been better. The colours, arms and to a lesser extent, thighs all hurt Dropshot. There's nothing really great saving him it, unfortunately.

OVERALL

   Good vehicle mode, great choice of vehicle, but a robot mode that's forgettable. I still like him, largely for the vehicle mode and as a compliment to Bombshock, but he's a flawed toy - 6/10

Tracer

HELICOPTER MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 5.5cm Width: 5cm

   A black Apache style helicopter with light blue windows and a four grey rotors, Tracer breaks the Combaticon theme, since he doesn't really resemble Vortex at all. Black dominates, and his colour work fine. Sadly, the colour scheme is the strong point of this mode.

   Tracer has wheels on either side just below the stabiliser wings, but someone forgot to put something at the rear, so he can either flop forward or flop backward (he tends towards the latter). This is a pretty bad design flaw, it would have been possible to add a hidden leg under his tail or something, so I'm not really terribly impressed. Add to this that the robot legs sit on either side of the tail shaft looking like kibble and Tracer's chopper mode isn't so good. Oh, and the tail doesn't actually clip in, and can flop around.

   Play value? Well he can flop around, but not roll since he has only one set of wheels. The rotors can spin, but don't seem to anchor as well as the physically identical rotors on Blaze Master of the Air Patrol, so you have to be careful or they'll fall off.

   A mediocre chopper mode, thanks to the legs being kibble and the lack of anything to hold his tail up. The latter is particularly annoying since it would have been so easy for the designer to fix.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the rotors. Swing the legs down and fold up the tail. Rotate the nose down to form his chest and attach the rotors to either elbow.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5cm Width: 2.5cm (3cm with rotors)

   A primarily black robot, with brown thighs, a grey rotorblade weapon on one arm and white groin and eyes, Tracer would have a pretty good colour scheme if he had good proportions. His head is crammed between the shoulder swivels, so he has a hunchback, meanwhile his lower legs to the outsides of his knees, which looks _really_ bad. It's made even worse by the fact his tail stub, on the same fulcrum, is between the knees, so he doesn't really have a gap between his thighs.

   Tracer has a mouthplate rather than mouth, but it doesn't really matter since it's black next to a black chest and you have to strain to see. The white eyestrip works fairly well, giving him a suitably evil look. The rotors are a good melee weapon, although they'd be better if they attached to his forearm rather elbow. The shoulders rotate up to about 130, but the legs don't have any real poseability since the tail has a habit of getting in the way.

   In truth, this is a forgettable robot mode, that's only partially saved by the colours and attempted melee weapon.

OVERALL

   The loser of the lot, Tracer has two bad modes, although his colours are pretty good and the melee weapon is a good idea. Having said that, Blaze Master's actually works, so Tracer doesn't have a monopoly on the concept. The only notable thing about Tracer really is robot mode weapon - he's only of only three Micromasters that has one 5/10

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

THE PATROL OVERALL

   Bombshock and Growl are very good Micromasters, Dropshot has a good vehicle mode and forgettable robot mode. The less said about Tracer the better, but the others manage to carry the set. This is one of the cooler Micromaster Patrols, and I love the Combaticon tributes in this set. If you like Micromasters, I really recommend this set, and even if you don't, I still recommend Bombshock - 7.5/10, 8 if you get the set without Tracer

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