Cliffbee.com: Sparkstalker Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Sparkstalker
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Cryptologist
Alternate Mode: Insect Monster



MONSTER MODE
Height: 6cm Length: 8.5cm Width: 5cm

   A crimson bipedal monster with a white tail, white forelimbs, a violet belly and grey wings on top. Sparkstalker has yellow mouthparts and eyes, which are about as random as a crimson insect monster. His upper abdomen is actually white, but there's a crimson backplate holding the wings, so he's more or less crimson at a glance. I'm not really a fan of the colour scheme, although it's not horrible. I can think of several better colours that would have been better than crimson.

   I'll come right out and say it - this is a poor excuse for an insect mode. Aside from the fact there are only four limbs, Sparkstalker has no abdomen other than a forked tail that tapers to two points. There's some vague organic sculpting on his legs, and the back edges of his head, but aside from the mouthparts there's very little here that really defines him as an insect. The front limbs are hooks, and look more like the vestigial wings some flies have than limbs. The wings are straight, angular, affairs, which really ruins the scant organic sculpt here.

   He sort of stands on his hindlimbs with his body sloping upwards. The forelimbs can swing up and down, which is really it for the poseability, although the body can lift up and down, as part of his main gimmick.

   The idea of the Firecons is that you can lift up the legs and roll them along on the belly, and sparks will spurt out of their mouths. Unfortunately the internal gears around which this gimmick revolves wear very easily, leaving the gimmick dead. Sparkstalker's mouth is almost inch from the spark ejection point anyway, so even if the gimmick works, there's not much action outside of the toy.

   This is more generic monster than insect, and it's not a very good monster at that. I do like the violet colour on his segmented belly, but that's really all I can appreciate. Otherwise this animal modes sucks.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold the tail underneath, swing down his head, swing the wingplates down to the sides, revealing the robot head and chest. Straighten his legs and stand him up.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 7.5cm Width: 5.5cm

   Sparkstalker has crimson limbs, a crimson head with a sky blue face and white torso. The head is actually a plate inserted into the top of his torso, which is a rectangular block. His face is actually fairly well moulded, with lips, a nose, an eyevisor and even a chin. The blue stands out against the crimson, which I don't mind even if it's a little out of step with the crimson and white.

   The Firecons have quite possibly the worst robot mode proportions of any Transformers. Ever. The arms are attached to the waist, and of course attach at the wrists. The legs attach to the sides of the central block, sitting directly below his hands, rather than below the torso. The back edge of the animal head sits above the rectangular central block, forming kibble. Rounding all of this out is the fact that's wider than he should be for this height, and wears the wings as arm kibble.

   There is no play value in this mode. Sparkstalker basically stands there looking weird. The colours are better than those of Cindersaur, sadly that's one of the few upsides here. The facial sculpt seems to out of place. Incidentally, Sparkstalker actually has a well written and interesting tech spec - which seems such a waste.

VARIATIONS

   Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, they went and released a purple and transparent fluorescent pink version in G2.

OVERALL

   It scares me that I still have another Firecon to review - along with the G2 versions. There's really nothing here that inspires me to recommend Sparkstalker. The best part of the toy is the tech spec - and I don't mean that in a Bludgeon kind of way, where a mediocre toy became a desirable one, but in a why bother writing a spec way. And hey, in G2, they didn't! This is a toy I can only recommend if it's free - 0.5/10

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