Cliffbee.com: Shouki Toy Review

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Name: Shouki
Series: Japanese Generation 1
Allegiance: Cybertron
Function: Trainbot Leader
Alternate Mode: Bullet Train Engine Car



TRAIN MODE
Height: 3cm Length: 13cm Width: 2.5cm

   A small white bullet train engine car with blue stripes down the sides and along the bottom (including the snowplough). Shouki ha s a silver roof and while there are are some connecting pegs on top, he looks like a realistic enough bullet train for his size. Shouki is the original 0 Series Shinkansen, which is the iconic bullet train which I suppose makes sense for the leader of the group. There' a black wraparound sticker on the cockpit window, white windows along the sides and a rubsign (with indent) towards the back of the roof, where the real 0 Series would have a pantograph.

   As with most Diaclone based Transformers, Shouki has a cockpit - inside the train's cockpit, which splits open to the sides. There are three sets of doors moulded into the sides of the train mode, crew doors and front and rear passenger doors on either side. Shouki has a front bogey (which is the same as those on the limb Trainbots) and single set of wheels at the back (one has been sacrificed for Raiden, I guess). The wheels are die cast, and are train wheels and not just flat surfaced wheels. These wheels roll, and will roll on tracks if you have tracks of the right gauge.

   There are quite a few realistic details in the sculpt, aside from the doors and windows. There are headlights on either side of the nose, vents alongside the top edges and panels on the roof covering engines.

   Overall this is a good train mode, even if there are connectors on top, a set of wheels missing and a notch on the back (for Raiden) breaking up the realism. Shouki does well to overcome his shortcomings, with good colours and detailing. As a train he's one of the better trainbots, with good colours and a smart choice of model.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach the front and set aside. Swing the blue panel underneath the train up onto the right side, which will become his chest. Extend the ends of the passenger section and swing down to form his legs, fold down the ends of the roof to form arms. Flip up his head, open the driver cockpit and attach the front section as a backpack. Give Shouki his gun and you're done.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 8.5cm Width: 6cm

   Still white, blue and silver although the colour balance has shifted. Shouki's chest and head are blue along with much of the boots, which are a mix of blue and white. The white is now limited to these boots while his arms, shoulderblades and face are silver while black thighs round out this colour scheme. There are some silvers stickers on his chest and some blue ones on his shoulders. The white backpack sticks up behind his head, adding about a centimetre to his height. This is a good colour scheme which has been kept simple, and the simple colours combine well.

   Shouki, as the leader of the set, forms Raiden's chest and as a result has a lot to do when combined. The end result is that the robot mode has fairly bad proportions. He's short and wide with stubbly arms, while the backpack helps him keep up with his teammates. There are some upsides - Shouki is one of two Trainbots with distinct legs and has the best arm poseability of the team. The shoulders swing and the arms can lift out to the sides, and while the joints involved are transformation joints, the end result is the same. The rubsign is now on the outside of his right hand, and is the only allegiance symbol here.

   To be honest this is the weakest robot mode amongst the Trainbots, despite the colours. Shouki does have a good excuse - he does more to make Raiden work than most of his teammates. In fact he and Kaen do most of the work, and Kaen wears a big plate on the back to do his thing while Shouki has to fold up into a chest block. I don't hate this mode, but Shouki looks a lot better in train mode.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of as such. He is based on a Diaclone toy of the same colour scheme. The chestplate, which attaches via a pin-based hinge, clips onto the Diaclone version without a pin. The Diaclone version, which is what I have, also lacks a rubsign indent. He was reissued during the Japanese G1 era, and while he came in a different box I'm not aware of any changes made to the toy itself. Any variants would no doubt fetch a silly price.

OVERALL

   The weakest trainbot overall, since his robot mode is easily the worst amongst the set. The train mode is a lot better, but the entire set have good train modes. The train mode is quite satisfying, but unless you're after the entire set I wouldn't say Shouki is worthwhile on his own - especially at the prices Trainbots can go for - 4/10

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