Cliffbee.com: Prowl Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Prowl
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Strategist
Alternate Mode: Datsun 280ZX Police Car



POLICE CAR MODE
Height: 4cm Length: 11cm Width: 4.5cm

   A white 280ZX with a black lower section - basically draw a line through the doors to the front bumper, and everything below that is black. He has a chrome silver strobe rack on the roof, with two transparent red light blocks. This is a realistic Datsun, with transparent front and rear windshields and rear side windows.

   If you're keen, you'll notice he has Targa top lines on his roof, under the strobe rack - which are on the mould for Bluestreak's benefit. Basically, this strobe rack is the only mould difference between the two. Anyway, so he's got a Targa top painted over, but it's subtle and easy to miss. On his hood he has air intakes with are painted black, as well as a blue police badge symbol with the word "Diaclone" and a star. He also has this badge on the door, next to the word "POLICE" in white, above these on the white section are the words "HIGHWAY PATROL". He also has "HIGHWAY PATROL" just below the rear window.

   As with most Diaclone based Transformers, Prowl has die cast metal parts - his front section and the rear of the car are die cast, making him quite heavy, but also giving him a more solid feel. Mine has no paint chips, the paint is nice and thick, but doesn't appear at all brittle.

   The front headlights have blue stickers inside them, the rear license plate reads "POLICE", the taillights are orange and red, and even have the white reverse lights in the right spot. Prowl's rubsign is on his hood, which looks a little odd, but you can always remove it - he has Autobot symbol on his hood already.

   His wheels roll, but he doesn't have axles so he wont roll freely very far. As with nearly all Diaclone Autobots, he's got a spot in his cabin where you can fit a Diaclone driver. The inside of the cabin is pretty much just robot kibble, but it doesn't hurt his overall look.

   The only major flaw in this mode is fragility. The roof has a habit of snapping off - roofless Prowl toys are easy to find. Needless to say, this ruins the car mode. The Targa top relic is only a minor issue, the paint over it hides it quite well.

   All told, this is a pretty good police car, even if you're unlikely to see a police car this old. The finer details like the taillights and moulded doorhandles really work in his favour. He's unmistakably a 280ZX, and this was one of the better Diaclone car modes - as long as yours has a roof.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Pull out the rear section, flip it down and pull the two halves apart to form the feet. Lift the groin locking plate up, rotate the waist 180° and lock the groin again. Unclip the fists from the shoulders, swing the arms up from inside the front of the car, fold the front down to form the chest - the head should reveal, if it doesn't, fold the roof down onto his back and the head will fold up. Open the doors to form wings. Position the arms, give him his shoulder missile launchers and his rifle.

   You'll notice that Prowl's launchers are silver, while his chest and head are white. If you like, you can play musical launchers - I've given Prowl Smokescreen's silver launchers, given Bluestreak Prowl's silver launchers and given Smokescreen Bluestreak's red launchers.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 11cm Width: 9.5cm

   Prowl's robot mode is black and white - but then what else would you expect from a Transformer with a police car alt mode? Basically, his head, upper chest, upper arms, fists and lower legs are white, his groin, forearms and toes are black and his thighs and waist are silver, as are the missile launchers if you attach them. He has a silver face and red antennae, and aside from silver eyes his head is very show accurate.

   The chest is the hood of the Datsun, complete with headlights and Autobot symbol. His feet are the rear section of the car, the taillights are on his toes and the rear window has become the shins. The doors are now black wings, as mentioned - they stick out to the sides from behind the shoulders, but are far enough back that they’re not in the way of the arm poseability at all.

   While there's only so much you can do with black and white, the combination works very well for Prowl, thanks to clever use of silver as a supporting colour and good choices of colours on his face. The well-integrated Datsun bits also look good - the wings, wheels mounted on the back of his shoulders and detailed facial sculpt all work in Prowl's favour.

   Prowl's poseability is limited to his arms, which are very poseable for G1 - his wrists rotate, his elbows are hinged and there are two swivels in each shoulders giving them full motion. Adding to the play value is the missile launchers, which shoot chrome silver missiles maybe 6 inches. Ok, it's not great, but it's a feature. His gun, which is chrome silver, fits in one hand, but the barrel can rest on the other, simulating a two-handed grip.

   There's a lot of sticker detail on the black parts in this mode - the groin and the black inside his shins (behind the windows). All of these stickers are subtle enough that you don't really notice them, but they give him mechanical detail - Prowl without stickers doesn't look quite as nifty. His shoulders have more of the Diaclone police badges, and it works because he _looks_ like a transformed police car anwyay.

   This is a great robot mode, thanks to an aesthetically pleasing mould and good use of the colours. He has good poseability for a Diaclone, I can't really flaw Prowl's robot mode.

VARIATIONS

   Released originally in 1984, again as a Classic outside North America in 1990. The Classic suffers from paint degradation, the while paint over transparent plastic simply decays over time - meaning his boot door and the roof end up looking very worn.

   Rereleased again in 2002 by Takara in their Collectors Series, this version has rivets on the shoulders instead of screws (under the Diaclone badges). Hasbro promptly followed suit with their own reissue, this time with unchromed weapons. If you can, get the Takara reissue in place of the Hasbro reissue.

OVERALL

   Both modes are good - it's a great mould for the time - and Prowl is one of the more prominent characters from G1. If you like Diaclone G1 toys, Prowl is worthwhile. Considering how prominent he is, I'd recommend him to G1 fans, even if you already have Bluestreak and Smokescreen. He's probably the most cartoon accurate of the three toys - 8/10

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