Cliffbee.com: ROTF Mudflap Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Mudflap
Series: Movie Tie-ins
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Chevy Trax Car



CHEVY TRAX MODE
Height: 5cm Length: 12cm Width: 5.5cm

   An ochre subcompact car with dark grey front and rear fenders, Mudflap's front end is also grey with silver headlights and a silver Chevy badge. The windows appear to be solid medium grey but are actually slightly transparent - if you hold Mudflap up to a window you'll easily see through his windows. The taillights are red with silver rims while the rear license plate is red with black text. His tyres are black with silver rings around the edge of the rims, while the wheels are black. The colour scheme is unusual for a subcompact - daring colours tend to avoid this class - but them he's based on a Prototype, which was done in metallic ochre. Either way, it's an attractive colour scheme than uses a colour rarely seen on Transformer cars. There are no Autobot logos visible here.

   Mudflap is a fairly realistic looking vehicle, which makes sense since he's licensed and based on something actually built. The detailing is good, with light grey side mirrors, a sculpted grille, lines of his roof and prominent door handles. There are a couple of blemishes in the shape of prominent screws in the back windows and some ochre robot mode kibble visible underneath the front doors.

   There's not much play value here. He'll roll and you can plug the missile underneath the rear bumper, but it sticks out, far too much to get away with being called an exhaust. The doors don't open, although the seams seem to indicate otherwise - trying to open the doors just begins the transformation.

   Along with his brother Skids, Mudflap represents a nice departure from the sports cars are so commonly used for Transformers. The subcompact class isn't sexy but is becoming common (heck, I drive one), so it's nice to see GM supplying some more "average" cars - this alone endears me to Mudflap's vehicle mode. The ochre is striking and the tinted window look is nice. Mudflap has a couple of flaws and is very static, but it's still a nice innovative choice of vehicle mode, making this a good vehicle mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

  

I'm not going to go through a fairly complex transformation with lots of twists and turns. The back half of the car ends up as a backpack while the arms fold out from within this half. The grille and headlights end up as his chest while the head folds out from the cabin, replacing the hood which forms part of the backpack. The legs fold out from underneath the front of the car (they're that visible kibble) and the front doors end up as wings. There's a large helping of shellformer here - most of the external car body ends up on his back. The front wheels (and the fenders) end up on his ankles while the rear wheels end up inside the shoulder joints.
ROBOT MODE
Height: 14cm Width: 9cm

   An ochre robot with a dark grey chest, dark grey shoulders and head, Mudflap has light grey knees and elbows. The deliberately uneven face has orange painted details and black eyes. There's a black stripe on his orange groin sporting a small silver Autobot logo, the only allegiance symbol Mudflap has. Again the ochre makes this an interesting and striking colour scheme, and I'm a fan of the two subdued colours here.

   Mudflap has a very distinct bodyshape, with shortish legs and a short torso, shoulders above his head and a huge hunchback (the backpack). Combined with the uneven head the overall look is that of a very simple creature. I'm not going to go into the controversy around the character, but the shape is something we've not really seen before on a Transformer (aside from his brother Skids of course). I don't mind it, but I'm not really a fan of the concept. His wings stick up on either side of the head, and largely save him for me, since they lessen the visual impact of the highset shoulders. Rounding out the unusual features, Mudflap's left arm is significantly longer than his right, and the hand bigger. It's not as pronounced as on X-Brawn, but it's instantly noticeable.

   Mudflap lacks any true gimmicks, but his larger left forearm incorporates a black missile launcher, which fires a single black missile. The missile is actually composed of the same transparent plastic as the windows, although the tip is thick enough that you can't see through it and the shaft also quite thick. There's are two "mech alive" features. The first sees two grey claws on the outside of his forearm close as the missile is released. It's hardly noticeable, though. The missile fires quite well. The second sees his head tilt forward and his headlights move when you press on the logo on his chest (thanks to christalcase for reminding me!).

   The poseability here is good although the waist tends to pop out of shape easily. His head, hips and ankles are ball jointed while the shoulders, elbows and knees are hinged with rotators. The waist is fixed (well, it can get out of shape, but doesn't rotate), the left thumb is on a hinge while the right wrist rotates. The left hand is stuck in an underhanded pose, by the way. The overall effect is good poseability and useful missile launcher which remains unobtrusive, but the waist gets annoying. The backpack doesn't help his balance - Mudflap has a tendency to fall backwards. Thankfully the ankles are poseable and the feet big. I should point out that the feet on some are placed on the wrong sides - the sides with the extra digit should be on the outside. It's easy enough to swap them over, thankfully I didn't have to.

   The odd shape takes the alien feel form the first movie up a notch, and it's not going to be too everyone's liking, but the detail on his head - and elsewhere - is at the high level we'd expect from the movie line. Mudflap has good poseability and a nicely done missile launcher. The wings are a nice feature, but the backpack is two thirds of a car. I like this robot mode, but it has flaws and an unusual shape, so it's not for everyone.

VARIATIONS

   The license plate text can read either "TRAX" or "MUDFLAP" (mine has "TRAX").

OVERALL

   An interesting Transformer with an unusual choice of vehicle mode and a nice colour scheme, but Mudflap's unusual robot mode will be the aspect that polarises opinion. His hunchback and uneven face are what dominates the toy, so if you don't like those aspects you'll find Mudflap isn't to your liking. Both modes have excellent detail and the missile launcher is well integrated, even if the effort to stow it in vehicle mode clearly fails. The poseability is robot mode is good as well, so if you like the idea of this toy, you should like Mudflap. He's controversial and not without his flaws, but the execution is solid - 8/10

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