Cliffbee.com: Power Core Combiner Searchlight Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Searchlight
Series: Power Core Combiners
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: CH-47 Chinook Helicopter



HELICOPTER MODE
Height: 5cm Length: 12cm (16.cm maximum rotor length) Width: 5.5cm (9.cm rotorspan)

   A grey chopper with some royal blue and mid blue elements, Searchlight has black painted windows at the front and darker grey rotors on top. There are red Autobot logos stamped on the sides while the number "2015" is stamped on the rear stabilisers in bold black lettering. This colour scheme naturally integrates the mid blue which is common across this line - and does so better than on many toys in this line, where the presence of the blue is jarring. The grey itself is the much-maligned "Hasbro grey" which is used an awful lot, but it makes sense on a vehicle such as this.

   This chopper mode isn't actually a licensed chinook - but it's meant to resemble one. There are blue pontoons on the sides and enlarged blue engines at the back. The fuselage is shorter than it should be and the rotors are proportionally bigger than they should be. Curiously, the front rotor has four blades instead of the three found on chinooks (and the rear rotor). The rotors are actually interchangeable. There are stabilisers on the sides towards the front - yet another aspect which diverges from the actual chinook. The top of the fuselage, between the rotors, is a bit of a mess with arm segments visible, but otherwise this is a well laid out vehicle mode.

   The play value here is fairly limited, which is I guess to be expected. The rotors both spin, although they get in each other's way somewhat. There are no wheels underneath, just moulded bumps on which he rests. The bundled Minicon, Backwind, can plug into a hardpoint underneath the cockpit, providing a pair of... well... searchights - yellow lights painted on a transparent green undercarriage attachment. Backwind also provides retractable hooks on arms (the Minicon's arms). While it provides some play value, this undercarriage attachment also prevents Searchlight from laying flat on the table, but you can lie him on the edge of the table, with the Minicon attachment hanging over the edge - and his centre of gravity is back far enough to ensure that Searchlight won't fall off. Both rotors will spin nicely if you tap them - provided there's enough clearance between them.

   An attractive little chinook-esque helicopter with nice colours and a useful little Minico attachment providing some decent play value. The finer details are generic and not especially realistic, but the broad strokes define this alt mode surprisingly well.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Unclip the rotors, pivot out to the sides to form arms. Split the front, fold the halves out to the sides, rotate the side panels so that the arms move forward and the front pieces back, which will align the shoulders and reveal the head. Flip the rear out to form the legs, fold up his feet and you're done.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12cm Width: 7cm

   A grey and royal blue robot, Searchlight has a blue torso, blue head and blue forearms (with the grey rotors, and their bases, attached). His feet are also blue while there are blue shoulderpylons tipped with the mid blue pegs common across this line. There are also mid blue pegs on his knees. Searchlight has some yellow painted on his chest while his forehead is painted gold, his face silver and his eyes a dark metallic blue. It's a good colour scheme and one that very subtly resembles that of his G1 namesake, although I'm not sure if that's deliberate.

   I like the chopper elements here, even if Searchlight is a little kibbly. The rear stabilisers on his shins and rotors on the outsides of his forearms are interesting features which look good on this mode. The chest is somewhat generic and his facial detailing is lower than I'd like, but the chopper elements give Searchlight an attractive layout - as do the shoulder pylons.

   The play value here is really all about the Minicon, but there's some poseability. His head turns while the waist is fixed. His shoulders and elbows are ball jointed with extra hinges in both joints, although the shoulder hinges really do nothing except create a gap between the arms and torso. The hips swing and lift out to the sides while the knees bend - this hinges is a little lower down the leg than it should be - and there are rotators in the thighs to compliment these hinges. The ankles are hinged, the feet have heelspurs. The poseability is decent for a scout, although the front halves of the chopper behind his legs do get in the way a little.

   The rotors form natural melee weapons on his arms, although you can remove them if you prefer. There's a black peg which can lift out of his chest, and Backwind can attach as a chestplate - albeit not a very convincing one. Backwind's also capable of forming a gun, again it's not especially convincing and doesn't hold together well at all.

   While the Minicon doesn't really combine well with Searchlight, this is a decent robot mode otherwise. The colours work, the visual elements work well and the poseability is decent. While there's nothing spectacular here, Searchlight's robot mode is solid and looks good.

BACKWIND

   An ape-proportioned transparent green robot with yellow searchlights on his knees, Backwind has black thighs and a silver face. His powerlinx port is in the centre of his chest. The transparent green is a little gaudy and moreso when combined with the suitably subtle colours of Searchlight. The hooks on the ends of his hands are a nice touch, and I actually like the shape of this robot - for a sidekick. Still, he doesn't add a whole lot to Searchlight.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   Searchlight features two nice modes, some nice play value, good colours and decent poseability. Backwind has a decent robot mode, poor colours and a really unfortunate name. Sadly, Backwind's alternate modes don't really work - his robot mode is the only aspect that really works, but as a bonus add-on he's okay, and Searchlight is still a solid scout anyway. Recommended if you liked the Cybertron scouts in general - 7.5/10

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