Cliffbee.com: Rescue Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Rescue Patrol
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Search & Rescue
Components: Fixit, Red Hot, Seawatch, Stakeout



Fixit

AMBULANCE MODE
Height: 2cm Length: 4.5cm Width: 2.5cm

   A white ambulance with red stripes down either side, a blue windshield, as well as blue front windows and strobes and the word "AMBULANCE" on either side in red lettering. Predictably, Fixit is a white van whose design incorporates elements seen previously on Ratchet and First Aid. The rear side windows and back windows are moulded although unpainted, and there are door handles, head & taillights and even front indicators, which is quite impressive. Fixit has more paint in this mode than most Micromasters, which is necessary to make him an ambulance.

   The play value is of course limited to rolling him on his plastic wheels, but as we'll see he rolls better than any of his teammates. The level of detail - better than First Aid - makes this a good ambulance mode, even if there's nothing particularly interesting in the choice of alt mode itself.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold the front forward, flip the legs back. Stand up and pose. It's a simple transformation even for a Micromaster

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5.5cm Width: 2.5cm

   It should come as no surprise that Fixit's white (boots, arms, hood) and red (torso, head and thighs), since those are the colours First Aid and Ratchet sport. He has a dark blue groin and a dark blue face, the paint obscures most of the sculpt on the latter. Aside from the black tyres on his shoulders and shins, that's it for the colour scheme in robot mode. His head is wrapped in a white hood (the front of the van), and Fixit's head sports little red horns which look pretty cool and give this robot a different feel to either Ratchet or First Aid, which is a good thing.

   Poseability is quite limited, although not really worse than a lot of other Micros. His shoulders rotate, the hips bend together and his knees swing independently. The knee joints are pretty much useless, since they swing back only 10 or so and swinging them forward looks really bad - the shins protrude in front of his knees and look ridiculous if his knees are bent.

   Despite the problematic knees Fixit still looks decent, thanks to a good colour layout and nifty horns on his head, which remind me of Sunstreaker's giant cheeks. The knees are his main weakness, with the obscured facial sculpt also a flaw.

OVERALL

   The best of the set, since the ambulance mode is impressive and the robot mode is charming despite some flaws. The transformation is a little too simple, but this doesn't really bother me on this scale. 7.5/10

Red Hot

FIRE TRUCK MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 5.5cm Width: 2.5cm

   A red fire truck with a white ladder mounted on top, blue windows on the cab and a blue strobe rack on top of the cabin, Red Hot has six black ridged tyres - two at the front and four at the rear. This is a fairly standard fire engine, and there's only so much that can be done colourwise. The middle set of tyres are moulded and painted black, while the front and rear sets are actual wheels, with silver rivet hubcaps. The black non-hubcaps of the middle set look out of place, but otherwise the truck mode looks good. Considering some of the detail on this mode (such as hoses moulded onto the sides), I'm actually surprised these hubcaps weren't better done.

   Red Hot has the most play value of this set - the ladder's base rotates 360 as well as a hinge at the base that can swing right over. There's a second hinge midway that will swing up only. At the tip he has twin nozzles, which are obviously deliberately meant to work as cannons also. It's possible to rotate the ladder, flip it over and give Red Hot a giant white twin cannon instead of a ladder! The dead middle set of wheels ruin any hope he has of rolling - he slides along.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Flip over the cabin to form his legs, stand up and position the arms.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5.5cm Width: 2.5cm

   Red with white chest, face and thighs, Red Hot has a blue head and blue groin, along with a liberal dose of blue paint on his boots (windows and strobes). The black rear wheels sit on his arms and dominate the arms but somehow manage to not ruin the look of the arms. His facial sculpt is fairly good but in white it's a little sterile. It works better than Fixit's drowned out sculpt, but some colour in the eyes would still have been nice.

   His shoulders rotate, the hips bend together, and actually allow him to sit down. The knees bend independently, but the actual hinges are halfway down his boots so knee poses are effectively out. The cannon on his back can fold up over his head, either flush with the top of the robot proper or high above, resembling an assembly line robot arm. All told, Red Hot has the most versatile robot mode of the set and looks quite good.

OVERALL

   The ladder-cannon really makes Red Hot a fun Micromaster, but I wish the middle set of tyres had at least scored painted hubcaps. Neither mode manages the visual appeal of Fixit, but he's more fun to play with - 7.5/10

Seawatch

HYDROFOIL MODE
Height: 2cm Length: 5cm Width: 2cm

   A mid blue hydrofoil with a charcoal deck and yellow windows on the bridge, Seawatch looks like a police launch - the sort of boat that would patrol an urban harbour. He has a tailfin at the back which looks a little too much like a sports car spoiler and foils on sides on which he rests. There's a pretty good sculpt on this hydrofoil and the colours work very well.

   Seawatch's play value is almost non-existent. There is a single blue wheel hidden under the stern, but the bow has no wheel - the wheel rolls as he slides along on his foils. Seawatch is very unusual amongst Transformers in having only _one_ wheel (functional or not) - the Firecons are the only others that I can think of. Adding to this that he is one of only two hydrofoils (Waver is the other), he's novel if nothing else.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Flip the stern over to form his legs and fold back the bow to reveal his head. Stand him up.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5cm Width: 2cm

   A charcoal and blue robot, Seawatch's torso, thighs and head are charcoal while his boots are arms are blue. The groin and face are painted red, he has a mouthplate rather than mouth but his face is better defined than those of Red Hot and Fixit thanks to the colours. His brow is angular and grilled - it looks like the visor of a medieval knight's helmet! For some reason I really like the look of his arms. Maybe it's the foils on his shoulders making him look powerful (well, in scale). The knees stick out, thanks to the quasi-spoiler being there. On balance this is a good robot mode aesthetically, despite the knees.

   Articulation is standard - shoulders rotate, hips bend as one and knees bend independently. Like Red Hot he can sit, although the kneecaps mean he looks much better with his knees bent, and feet dangling - I have Seawatch sitting on the edge of my desk as I type. There's not really much else to his robot mode, but for a Micromaster that turns into a boat I don't expect anything more.

OVERALL

   It's an odd choice for a Micromaster, but the unusual alt mode helps make Seawatch worthwhile. Both modes are good without being especially memorable. He has no real flaws other than the kneecaps, but lacks the coolness of Red Hot or Fixit - 7/10

Stakeout

POLICE CAR MODE
Height: 2cm Length: 5cm Width: 2.5cm

   A charcoal police car with white painted windows, a red strobe rack on his roof and black tyres. Unusually for a Transformer police car, this guy is just a regular sedan and not a sports car - a refreshing realism missing from the range of sports police cars before him. The colours work well for a police car, and he has the word "POLICE" in white lettering on the hood and sides, preventing the car from being too dark.

   Stakeout is a mix of some sloppy moulding - such as two big hinges in front of the windscreen - and nice details, such as moulded headlights complete with parking lights. The knees are awkwardly visible on the back, yet they moulded a front license plate and door seams on the sides. None of the negatives wreck this car mode, but they're enough to stop it from being a good car mode, sadly. The play value is predictably limited to rolling wheels.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Very much as you'd expect - fold the rear over to form his feet, flip up the front and stand him up.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5.5cm Width: 2.5cm

   A blue and charcoal robot, the torso, head and thighs are blue while the arms and boots are charcoal. Stakeout has a silver groin and silver face with well defined nose, mouth and eyevisor. The eyevisor has a law enforcement look about it, which impresses me. Stakeout's face is the best of the set, but his height and lankiness make him the black sheep of the set. The face combines with good colours to make him visually appealing.

   I should point out that Stakeout's not exactly out of proportion, it's just that his lankiness is incongruous with the rest of the set, since Fixit, Seawatch and Red Hot are all fairly stocky. Stretched thighs don't ruin the toy, but count as a flaw, and for me at least he's the odd out one, since I _like_ the stockiness of the other three.

   Articulation is standard - shoulders swing, hips bend together and knees bend independently. Like Seawatch and Red Hot, he can sit down, and with such long thighs he's able to dangle his feet over the edge of the desk like Seawatch. At least the thighs come in handy somewhere, I suppose.

OVERALL

   By no means a bad toy, Stakeout has a fairly good car mode with some shortcomings and robot mode that's mostly sound, but which just doesn't fit this patrol. On his own he's worthwhile, and the fact that he transforms into a police car that police departments could actually afford is a bonus 6/10

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. In Japan, this set was bundled with Countdown.

THE PATROL OVERALL

   One of the most consistent Micromaster sets, despite the varied vehicle modes. The weakest link isn't really all that weak and three of the four really work well together, with Stakeout not quite fitting. If you plan on buying any Micromaster sets, this is a good place to start - even if it's not the best set the line has to offer - 7/10

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