Cliffbee.com: ROTF Brimstone Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Brimstone
Series: Movie Tie-ins
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Motorbike

Thanks to fatbot for loaning me Brimstone for this review (I have since acquired Brimstone).



MOTORBIKE MODE
Height: 5.5cm Length: 12cm Width: 3.5cm

   A metallic blue & "Hasbro" grey biker's motorbike, Brimstone has metallic green flames on the various blue elements. The grey is restricted to the mechanical aspects of the bike, making this a rather realistic colour scheme, but I wish they'd opted for a more interesting shade than this same, tired, grey that Hasbro are so fond of. The tyres are black with silver painted rims while the saddle is also black. There's gold on the headlight & a silver Decepticon logo stamped on the right side of the front wheel forks. Aside from the choice of grey, this is a great colour scheme.

   Brimstone's bike mode is essentially kibble free, although from the back you can see his robot head, tucked away behind the saddle. There's a lot of detail on the sides - engine & chain and the like, while the wheels are well sculpted. There are brake calipers on the handlebars, rounding out a good level of detail.

   There's not a lot of play value here, but then at a scout pricepoint I don't expect a lot. The wheels both roll and there's a kickstand on the left side. The kickstand is quite expensive in it's construction, complete with a rivet at the hinge, but it swings out rather than down so it's not all that useful - to be honest, Brimstone leans and stands as well without it being deployed. I find the front forks lack a "natural" position - they hinge midway and have another hinge at the attachment point, and it's hard to know what position they're meant to be in.

   Generally this is a good bike mode but there are some minor details that hold it back. The colour scheme works well, the sculpt is excellent and the lack of kibble is impressive. The kickstand is much ado about nothing and the front forks aren't built as well as I'd like. Still, they're getting really good at making realistic bike modes.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Split the front wheel & forks, swing the halves out and right back, so that each fork becomes an arm. Split and unfold the engine block down to form legs. Unclip the saddle, pivot both the head and the base of the saddle up, fold down the grey bar over his head onto the chest. Rotate the forearms and fold out the hands concealed within the mudguard.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12cm Width: 8.5cm

   A spindly grey robot with a black tyre at the core of his torso, blue forearms with black hands and a blue head with a silver comb-like mouth and red eyes. Aside from a wash of green on his shoulders and the sparing blue on his arms, there's not really a lot of colour here, although that silver Decepticon logo is on his left shoulder now.

   While the transformation is quite simple in the end, this robot mode is an unfolded bike and suffers somewhat for it. The hands are tiny and hand to discern and are overwhelmed by the rotors formed when the front wheel split. Granted he pulls off the alien look of the movie toys nicely, but also looks something like a Star Wars droid done in Hasbro grey. There is some kibble now, with the handlebars floating awkwardly above his shoulders and those rotors floating where his hands should be.

   The play value is decent, with his head, shoulders and hips all ball jointed. His waist can rotate, but you've got to unclip the saddle from his back so I wouldn't recommend that option. The knees are hinged and his feet fixed in place, but with useful heelspurs. The elbows bend backwards only, but you can rotate the arms just below the shoulders, which brings the rotors out to the outsides of his forearms and gives Brimstone proper elbows. Considering how poor his hands are anyway, I'd recommend this option. It seems the guy who took Hasbro's stock photo (which I've used) agrees with me.

   A somewhat disappointing robot, due in no small part to the hands. Okay, so we have a useful fix for that, giving him rotors as weapons in place of hands, but the other thing that holds Brimstone's robot mode back is the excessive use of dull grey on such a spindly robot. The rotors are actually kinda cool, and end up adding to the play value here, but that doesn't quite excuse the mangled attempt at hands.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   Someone at Hasbro likes Transformers motorbikes, because we've seen a lot of them lately. And they're getting better and better at making them. Brimstone's transformation _is_ amazing, but the robot mode does suffer for it - especially his arms. The choice of grey used here really hurts in robot mode, where he looks far too generic. He's still a reasonable toy, and the engineering is impressive for a scout, but I'd recommend waiting for the inevitable repaint, and hope it misses out on Hasbro grey - 6.5/10

"Transformers" and other indica trademarks of Hasbro and/or Takara.