Cliffbee.com: Smolder Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Smolder
Series: Power Core Combiners
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Fire Truck



TRUCK MODE
Height: 4cm Length: 9.5cm Width: 5.5cm

   A brick red truck with black at the front and black tyres, Smolder has brown windows and white detailing on either side including "FIRE" on either door. There's a transparent orange stroberack on his roof and white Decepticon logos on either side, complete with their own flames. It's a good colour set but the execution is a little sloppy, with a few black outbursts here and there, along with the obligatory blue-that-doesn't-belonf of this line - thankfully it's limited to the back end of the vehicle.

   Smolder is a truck, but not a fire engine - he's more a paramedic's van with a car-like front and boxy at the back. It works well enough, still, aside from the gappy blue area at the back. The detailing is fairly complex. but much of that detail is quiet generic. Still, there are sculpted taillights & headlights (painted silver) nestled within the bullbar moulded on the front. There's what looks like a roofrack and some diamond lattice on the roof, along with a hardpoint. There's an awkward gap at the back, where the robot head is visible.

   The play value here is all about attaching Chopster in gun mode to the hardpoint on top, which works fairly well. This transparent amber weapon has twin black gatling guns and a main cannon. The four plastic tyres roll, although not well.

   A decent truck mode, but Smolder still has some notable flaws here. The colours & paint job generally work and there's some nice detailing. Chopster combines with him well, but the gap at the back, combined with the obtrusive mid blue are significant negatives. It's not a poor vehicle mode by any means, but it is limited.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove & set aside Chopster. Split the rear block and pivot out to the sides. Lift up the bullbar at the front, swing out the mid blue connectors hidden underneath. Split the front and flip over to form his legs, fold down the feet. Fold up the panels on the sides of the rear, swing down his forearms,

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12.5cm Width: 10cm

   A red robot with black feet, kneecaps, thighs and forearms, Smoulder has a black head with a gold face. The chest is painted silver while along with Deception logos on either shoulder. The mid blue blocks are visible on the outside of his knees and top of his shoulder pylons. The transparent orange strobes are now on his shins. The colour scheme again works, and this time the application fits in nicely.

   Smolder has massive shoulderpads, formed from the halves of the rear section. The front of the truck is now his shins, and provides some truck here. The torso is actually surprisingly rounded on this otherwise blocky toy. The arms are quite long, and while they're a little awkward he manages to get away with it thanks to the big shoulderpads.

   Smolder's play value is centred on Chopster, who can plug into his hand as an axe of onto a retractable black post on his chest as a chestplate. The chestplate is messy at best but the axe is pretty good, thanks to axe blades on both of Chopster's shins, painted red on the edges. Granted the axe is a little gappy, but it's a large weapon and it _works_ as an axe. Poseability is mixed. The head turns, the waist is fixed. The shoulders swing and lift out to the sides while his elbows are hinges with ball joints. The hips swing and lift out to the sides while his knees bend, but do so lower than they should and the feet are fixed. The end result is great arm poseability - for using his sword I guess - and poor leg poseability. I'm just glad that the good poseability enhances his weapon.

   A good robot mode despite awkward leg jointing and long arms. The colours work and the visual layout works, with some truck elements present. The weapon works well although the less said about the chestplate option, the better.

CHOPSTER

   A transparent amber robot with black thighs & arms, Chopster has an asymmetrical black face and red on his pointy shins. The main cannon sits on his back, behind his head, while the gatling guns are now his arms, and the barrels work surprisingly well as hands. The robot mode is pretty good considering he turns into a decent axe. Poseability is nice since he has ball jointed shoulders and his, although his knees just bend,

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   A good set despite a few shortcomings. The gappiness of the rear of his vehicle mode, long arms in robot mode and poor chestplate option available on Chopster. It's a good set once you ignore the chestplate option. It's unusual for a "fire" themed vehicle to be a Decepticon, but for me that makes him more interesting. While the PCC line doesn't hit the heights, it's a good set with a clever Minicon that fits him well. Recommended if the concept of this line interests you at all - 8/10

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