Cliffbee.com: Sports Car Patrol Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Sports Car Patrol
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Decepticons
Function: Advance Assault
Components: Blackjack, Detour, Hyperdrive & Roadhugger



Blackjack

CAR MODE
Height: 1.5cm Length: 5cm Width: 2.5cm

   A black production model hatchback, Blackjack is probably the least "sporty" of this group, but he's still close to the mark. His windows are painted gold while the wheels are, unsurprisingly, black. The colour scheme is perhaps a little mundane, but it works for him. My only real complaint about black is that it drowns out some nice detailing here, such as pinstripes, doorhandles, indicators and pop-up headlight seams. The rear window has a moulded wiper, which does come through since it sits next to the gold window.

   The wheels roll of course, but on mine there's no point since his knees are loose and any downwards pressure will partially transform the back of the car. I did get him second hand, so I'm not going to condemn the toy when the previous owner is probably to blame.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold down the centre of the bonnet to form his chest and reveal the head. Flip the back of the car over to form his boots. Stand him up.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5.5cm Width: 2.5cm

   Again very dark, Blackjack's black is joined blacky purple on his head, groin and thighs. The gold is still visible on his boots, and we even gain some gold on his face. The gold face is definitely a positive too, since the gold brings out the facial sculpt well, and the sculpt is great for a Micromaster.

   The front wheels and headlights sit on shoulder-pillars while his bonnet forms the chestplate. Unlike some (mainly later) Micromasters, this isn't a problem for Blackjack. Sure, he has shoulder pillars, but his arms still feel like arms and the shoulder joints don't look like they're too low. What's more the chest doesn't stick out further than it should. His shoulders rotate while his hips bend as one allowing him to sit down and the knees hinge independently.

OVERALL

   A nice little toy, Blackjack's main drawback is his car mode's detailing being lost amongst the black plastic. Still, the colour scheme is good in both modes and the gold face on the robot mode really makes this guy work for me - 7/10

Detour

RACER MODE
Height: 1.5cm Length: 5cm Width: 2.5cm

   A lemon yellow le-mans style racer with a grey capsule-like cockpit, Detour is the only track-specific car in this set. The yellow is bright without being awful, the dark shade of grey paint provides a nice foil, saving Detour from being garish. His tyres are black of course, although he doesn't roll so well since he rides very low.

   it's quite obvious that this is meant to be a curved, sleek, aerodynamic car, and as such Detour doesn't have as much detail as Blackjack. Still, there are engine vents behind the cockpit, which has some seams, and there's a subtle spoiler at the back. Detour also scores some front headlights which are easy to miss on the curved front fenders.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Identical to that of Blackjack.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5.5cm Width: 2.5cm

   How do you make a Transformer that's yellow and mid blue yet not garish? You copy Detour, that's how. The yellow dominates here while the blue features across the top of the chest, the face, groin and thighs. His face is a matte red with an eyevisor, nose and mouth. The very back of his grey cockpit sits on the boots and works very well as curved feet. The designers of later lines (G2, Armada) could learn a lot from the simple, unfancy colour layout that uses a relatively dull blue to offset the lemon yellow of this toy - toys like Gobot Soundwave or Powerlinx Red Alert simply have too much going on for the bright colour schemes to work.

   The arms sit close to his torso, which revolves around a compact chestpiece formed from his bonnet. The arms have small shoulder pillars, which I like since the tolerance is lower on a yellow toy than say.. oh a black one. The moulded arms inside his doors are readily visible even if they don't protrude much. His shoulders rotate while his hips bend as one allowing him to sit down and the knees hinge independently.

OVERALL

   The star of the set, Detour is a very good Micromaster with clever engineering and smart use of colour. It's almost hard to appreciate how good he is since no members of this patrol are bad, but if you put him next to a weak Micromaster, Detour shines (and not because he's yellow!) - 9/10

Hyperdrive

CAR MODE
Height: 1.5cm Length: 5cm Width: 3.5cm

   A mid blue car with grey windows, Hyperdrive shares both plastic and paint colour with Detour. A boxy yet sleek sports car, Hyperdrive has black tyres, a protruding front bumper and small hinges visible on the bonnet. The bumpers are well moulded and he has pop-up headlight seams, but Hyperdrive is relatively low in detail for this group.

   Hyperdrive appears to be a smallish car, yet sits higher than the other members of this group, so he tends to roll a little better than his teammates - which is ironic since he's meant to be the worst driver of the patrol. He's probably my least favourite car of the set, although he's by no means poor.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Flip the back over to form his boots, fold up the bonnet onto his back and stand him up.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5cm Width: 2.5cm

   Like Detour, Hyperdrive is a mix of blue and yellow, with blue arms and boots, yellow chest, thighs and head. The face and groin are painted matte dark blue, which hides the good detail on his face but saves the yellow from being too much. The feet are the grey rear window. Hyperdrive is the stockiest robot of this set, he's short and wide with doors that sit out to the sides, giving some clearance between the arms and torso.

   The bonnet forms something of a backpack which is slightly visible although not really a problem. His chest is fairly well moulded save for a rather obvious screw on his waist. His poseability is similar to that of Detour and Blackjack although his arms can't lift above the horizontal.

OVERALL

   His car mode is the weakest of a good set but his robot mode is still quite good. Solid but unspectacular, Hyperdrive is a good Micromaster overshadowed by some of his teammates - 6.5/10

Roadhugger

CAR MODE
Height: 1.5cm Length: 5cm Width: 2.5cm

   A purple sports car with a raised rear, Roadhugger has sky blue windows and black tyres. There are hinges on his bonnet which don't stand out as much as those of Hyperdrive, partly because the purple is fairly dark and partly because Roadhugger has a higher roof. The detailing includes pop-up headlight seams, doors, bumpers and a grille underneath the front bumper. He even has boot seams, which is pretty impressive.

   The dark purple and light blue provide an interesting contrast which might bug some, but otherwise it's hard to find anything bad here. Mine is incredibly loose but then I got it second hand (and my Japanese version is nice and tight, anyway). Like Detour he rides quite low, so he doesn't roll so well on his tyres.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Identical to that of Hyperdrive.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5.5cm Width: 2.5cm

   There's a lot of black introduced on Roadhugger's robot mode, in fact only his arms and boots are purple, along with a rather visible backpack that sits awkwardly above his head. The groin and face are silver, and the feet are the curved rear window (hence blue). Roadhugger's face isn't as well defined as those of his teammates, since he has a mouthplate and the silver eyes are dominated by his black forehead.

   On either side of his head Roadhugger has triple-squares, sort of like the seeker air-intakes. In themselves, these work quite well, but the awkward backpack that sits on top of his head & these shoulder stacks sort of ruins the whole illusion. The knees don't quite straighten, although it looks like it wouldn't have been much effort to mould them right - as it is they reach about 170 and stop, so Roadhugger is in a permanent semi-squat, which is moderately annoying. His poseability is the same as that of Hyperdrive.

OVERALL

   The weakest member of the set thanks to some robot mode problems, however Roadhugger has a nice car mode and I actually prefer him to Hyperdrive since I like the car mode. The robot mode could easily have been better, which I find really frustrating. Still, Roadhugger's car mode saves him from being a bad toy - 6/10

VARIATIONS

   None as such, although this set was recoloured and sold in Japan as Cybertrons (Autobots) under the name Super Car Patrol.

THE PATROL OVERALL

   Ranging from the flawed yet still appealing Roadhugger to the excellent Detour, the Sports Car Patrol is one of the better Micromaster sets out there. I suppose the appeal might be slightly reduced by the fact there are so many Micromaster cars, but if you're a Micromaster fan, or a fan of the Marvel comics (which featured this set), then I'd recommend the patrol - and even if the set overall doesn't appeal, grab Detour - 7.5/10

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