Cliffbee.com: Mudflap Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Mudflap
Series: Cybertron
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Crane



CRANE MODE
Height: 7.5cm Length: 23.5cm Width: 6.5cm

   A light blue crane truck with twelve black wheels - in three clusters of four, Mudflap has a white crane arm, a charcoal cabin at the front end and extensive silver highlights. There's a crane-cabin at the back on the left, both this and the driving cabin at the front contain transparent green windows. The hook at the end of the crane arm is also transparent green. The paint job is fairly complex with silver in quite a few places, black painted (and sculpted) pneumatic hoses on the left of the crane arm and a stamped Decepticon logo on the roof of the crane cabin. The light blue, charcoal and white work fairly well together even if the transparent green is a little out of place (mainly on the hook). The central tray area underneath the crane arm has some visible robot kibble, mainly in charcoal and white, which breaks things up a little.

   Mudflap is a long, narrow and essentially flat truck - ignoring the crane assembly. This assembly dominates the vehicle as might be expected. There are sculpted support feet on either side, both in front of and behind the missile set of tyres. They're painted silver but can't extend and anchor the crane - in fact the panels they (and the tyres) rest on don't lock down. Despite the robot stuff visible just behind the driving cabin and in front of the crane cabin, the arm is dominant enough that this crane mode works well.

   There's a lot of play value here. All twelve tyres roll while the arm can extend to 28cm and lift up to 90 - there's even a piston underneath which extends as it raises. The platform at the back which anchors the crane assembly rotates through 360 on a ratcheting joint. The hook itself is fixed, however there's a keyslot on the right side of the arm - and the hook forms part of this key gimmick. Plugging his blue Planet Key (code: v6t7) in while the arm is extended will cause a transparent green sawblade to flip out (the hook is at the base of this, and flips up as the blade swings out). The blade is composed of a slightly flexible plastic - probably for safety reasons - and has moulded serrated teeth underneath (which are moulded onto the sides, so it's not actually going to hurt anyone). Plugging the key into a slot on the right side of the driving cabin will cause a missile launcher to flip out and forward on the left side. It's possible to leave the single transparent green missile in place while this launcher is stowed, although the trailing missiletip ruins the illusion somewhat so you may want to leave it out until this launcher is deployed.

   With solid colours, a lot of painted detailing and great play value, Mudflap has a strong vehicle mode. Granted there are some kibble issues here but the arm is a lot of fun with a successful and well integrated key gimmick while the missile launcher is a nice bonus. He's not quite as realistic as some Cybertron vehicle modes, but is generally fairly credible.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Okay I'm not describing everything here because it's very asymmetrical and tricky to really describe. The front and rear sections both split, with the front becoming the right arm and leg while the rear becomes the left. The missile launcher ends up behind his right arm and the crane arm behind the left. The central wheel section becomes a backpack - the torso and head is stowed under than area. There's a fair bit of kibble in the resultant robot mode, but it's a clever transformation nonetheless.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 17.5cm Width: 14.5cm

   A navy and light blue robot with charcoal here and there, Mudflap is mainly navy above the waist and light blue below it. His boots, groin and forearms are light blue while the torso, shoulders, thighs and head are navy. His knees are charcoal along with the kibble hanging behind his forearms. Mudflap has a silver face with transparent green eyes and a transparent green forehead - both had useful lightpipes. There are some metallic red painted details here and large white bands on his shoulders. This colour scheme is fairly good although I would have preferred a little more light blue - especially on the upper half. The metallic red is a nice touch. There are no Decepticon logos on this mode - well not without considerable posing.

   Mudflap's body is quite boxy, although he's not especially _bulky_, just very square as a result of the boxy shape of his vehicle mode. The notable exception is the head, which is angular but lacks the right angles prevalent elsewhere. There's a fair bit of kibble - the plates on his backpack ant the weaponry hanging off the back of his forearms. The weaponry is a little detracting but it's fairly clear that this stuff is not just junk - the use as weapons is apparent at a glance.

   Mudflap's missile launcher sits under the right arm, and deploys as an underarm launcher. The slot is actually on the inside of his forearm, so you'll need to drag the arm out to the side to release the launcher. The crane arm is pretty damn visible under the left arm, and makes a good melee weapon when _stowed_. The slot is on the outside and easy to access - extending the arm and flipping out the blade are simple enough, and give him a slashing weapon with an insanely long reach. Surprisingly Mudflap can extend this weapon without toppling over - his feet and heelspurs are large enough for him to stand while extending this weapon.

   Mudflap is fairly poseable for such a boxy toy. His head and waist both turn. His shoulders swing and lift out to the sides - these joints are ratcheting joints, allowing the left shoulder to support the considerable weight of his crane arm. The elbows are hinges with rotators above them. The hips swing and lift out to the sides (again, there are ratcheting joints) while his knees are hinged with rotators. The heelspurs can bend down while the ankles rotate. While it can take some work getting the positioning right - and he can fall in a loud heap - most poses are possible with a little work.

   A solid robot mode despite some fairly prominent kibble, Mudflap uses the crane arm as a feature _and_ play value while the poseability is good and the joints are well designed - I love the fact that the designer has set out to make sure this guy can carry his heavy weapon. The lightpipe is good and the colours decent if not great. Considering how long and boxy the vehicle mode is, this is a fine effort.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, although there is a yellow repaint from the movie line, also called Mudflap.

OVERALL

   Two solid modes, good gimmicks and great play value make this a worthwhile toy. Mudflap's gimmicks don't get in the way of his transformation, which is quite clever and interesting, and neither mode feels like an afterthought - which could be expected here. The colours are generally good and the articulation in robot mode is well executed. While the kibble in both modes is a minor flaw, there's less than you could expect in crane mode and the kibble is well utilised in robot mode - 8/10

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