Cliffbee.com: Spy Streak Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Spy Streak
Series: Robots in Disguise
Allegiance: Vehicon
Function: Aerial Reconnaissance
Alternate Mode: SR-71 Spyplane

Thanks to Sofaman for loaning me Spy Streak for this review.



PLANE MODE
Height: 4cm Length: 13cm Width: 9.5cm

   A dark green spyplane with some ochre bits and orange wingtips and nose, Spy Streak sports an ochre spark crystal mount on top - housing a green spark crystal. The cockpit is silver and there's some transparent yellow on his tainfins. There are sculpted plane lines on the fuselage, which is washed with a rust coloured paint. The paint wash is really nice, but it doesn't come out all that well on such a dark base. I'm not entirely convinced by the whole green and ochre spyplane thing, but this is a tasteful colour scheme nonetheless.

   I should point out that he's not actually an SR-71, rather a very close approximation. Close enough, certainly, to pass for one at first glance. Being a Beast Machines toy, it's meant to be a Cybertronian vehicle, but the designer's inspiration is obvious. I don't mind one bit, since it's a nice plane model to use as inspiration. There's a yellow Vehicon logo stamped on his right wing, and one underneath his left wing for some reason.

   Spy Streak has no wheels underneath, instead he has two large transparent yellow missiles under his cockpit, with rounded silver tips. There are two pseudo-wheels at the back and a ridge on the missile launcher, so he will happily rest on a flat surface.

   The spark crystal holder is actually the trigger for both of the gimmicks of this toy. Sliding it forward will cause the two sides of the cockpit to part and push forwards and out to the sides. If you keep pushing, eventually it'll hit an internal trigger and fire the missiles, then spring back into position. If you push the missiles in while activating the claws, the claws will click into an open position and hold there. The two halves of the nose itself are actually serrated, so the claws have teeth! Yeah, so it's a little silly, but it's fun and works well. The missiles fire with some force, so pay attention where you aim them, or they'll end up behind the sofa on the other side of the room. It seems that the firing mechanism requires a lot of work on Sofaman's Spy Streak, much more than on my Nightcruz.

   As mentioned, there's a lot of detail in the mould - which is to be expected of Beast Machines. At the base of the tailfins he has thrusters, and the rust paint wash give him a battle hardened look. The wash is uneven, too, as you'd expect from the wear on military hardware. It's just a shame it's so hard to pick out.

   Lots of detail, two good gimmicks and overall good colours make for a nice spyplane mode. The paint wash is sadly underdone, but otherwise I have no complaints here.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Swing the wings out and back to become the legs, with the wingtips becoming kneecaps and the tailfins on his calves. Flip his feet up, split the claws from the missile launcher on his underside, and bring the claws down to become his left hand while the missile launcher assembly becomes his right hand. Slide the yellow chestplate up to reveal his head.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 10.5cm Width: 10cm

   Again mainly dark green, Spy Streak has ochre upper arms, a silver forehead and ochre thighs, while his chestplate is transparent yellow, along with his eyes. There is a lightpipe, but it doesn't work all that well. He now has pointy orange kneecaps, with the Vehicon symbol on the inside of his right kneecap. The paint wash doesn't really need to come onto play here and we've lost the brighter green of his spark crystal, so I'm calling this the better half of Spy Streak's colour scheme.

   Okay, so his hands are kibble rather than hands, but this is a deliberate design choice. Spy Streak has a giant claw for a left hand and a twin missile launcher - with missiles that come up to his chest - for his right hand. You might notice that the trigger on the underside of the claw is nowhere near the missile launcher in this mode. It still activates the claw, but no longer activates the missile launcher. On the underside of the launcher are two small ochre tabs, right next to each other, which activate the missile launcher. The reason for two tabs is so that each missile can be fired independently, although with the tabs being as small as they are, it's easier to just activate both.

   Spy Streak has excellent articulation - his head turns, the shoulders rotate and lift out to the sides, his elbows, hips and knees are ball jointed and his ankles hinged. The arms are very heavy - about 1/3 the mass of the toy, but the feet have built in heelspurs and with a little care, he can be made to stand in a lot of poses.

   Without any colour issues and a more useful launcher, this is Spy Streak's better mode. The two gimmicks being separated makes it easier to control them and gives him big, powerful looking, weapon arms. The poseability is great, which adds to the play value in his gimmicks.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, although as mentioned Nightcruz of RiD is a repaint, as is TFU Fireflight.

OVERALL

   Spy Streak is a great toy that I didn't properly appreciate during the Beast Machines era (which is ironic considering how many crappy Maximals there were). The colours are nice and the paint wash is a great idea - even if it doesn't quite work. The gimmicks are simple yet fun, the robot mode has lots of play value. I'll admit I slightly prefer Nightcruz, but one way or the other I'd recommend this mould - 9/10

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