Cliffbee.com: Suiken Toy Review

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Name: Suiken
Series: Japanese Generation 1
Allegiance: Cybertron
Function: Plains Warrior
Alternate Mode: Electric Passenger Train Engine Car



TRAIN MODE
Height: 3.5cm Length: 10.5cm Width: 2cm

   A small dark green electric driving trailer carriage with red stripes along the sides and a red front. Suiken has a silver roof and green windows along the sides (within the red stripes). The nose and front of the stripes is composed of red plastic while the rest of the stripes are painted. There's a rubsign on the roof just behind the nose, and an indent to boot.. Underneath there's a black power block, which is actually the (well stowed) robot arms. The colour scheme is fairly accurate, although the roof is green in real life, and while the red is quite bright the green is dark enough to make sure Suiken isn't overly bright.

   The Trainbots are Diaclone moulds, so Suiken is meant to fit a Diaclone Driver. Rather than having a proper cockpit, he stows his driver (well, the Diaclone version does) inside the front section. You can open it out, the sides fold down, and put a Diaclone driver in there. It's pretty silly, but doesn't really matter since he no longer comes with the driver.

   There are two sets of doors moulded into the sides of the train mode, two crew doors at the front and rear passenger doors. The bogeys are visible on either side, and are black plastic (they're identical on all four limb Trainbots), and have die cast wheels, that are train wheels and not just flat surfaced wheels. These wheels roll, and will roll along on the tracks supplied with the Diaclone giftset (which I have, sans drivers).

   Considering the small size and the age of this mould, it's actually a really nifty little train mode. The detail is impressive, and I like the fact that he's a real train model - and looks like it. The train model itself dates from 1958, making Suiken somewhat dated, but I'm not really sure if I should hold that against a toy that was first produced in 1980.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the crew cabin section, fold out the sides to flatten it out into his backpack. Extend the rear section to form the legs. Fold out the arms from underneath the carriage, swing them up (if you don't, they'll interfere with the waist), rotate the waist 180, attach the wings as a backpack if you like (you can leave it off you like, I suppose). Give him his handgun.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 8.5cm Width: 5cm

   Suiken's now a combination of green, black and silver. His shins, feet and groin are silver, his chest and thighs are green, and his arms are black. His head is red while the face and antennae are painted silver, and his head has a pretty decent level of detail, with a cool eyestrip along with mouth and nose. His shoulders, well, the chest panels to which they are connected, are shiny blue stickers, the left one has "153" on it. His head is actually mounted inside a recess on the block that is his torso - he has green shoulder towers. The colour scheme works fairly well for the most part, although the bright red head sticks out amongst the rest of the toy, which is subdued.

   There's a groove between his shins, which are a single piece, and the shins are just the roof off the train, but are fairly well hidden on his train mode. The legs don't really have any articulation, his his shoulders rotate, so he has some articulation. They can also swing inwards, although it's cheating since this is part of the transformation.

   Suiken's only allegiance symbol is the rubsign now on the outside of his left wing, which isn't obvious. His poseability is quite limited, and the colour scheme is a little muddled. I like the idea of the backpack becoming wings - even if they are very kibbly wings. I don't think this robot mode works as well as that of Seizan (who shares the transformation), since the darker colours here hide some definition, but Suiken still has his charm.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of as such. He is based on a Diaclone toy of the same colour scheme, so if you find one without a rubsign indent it's likely a Diaclone. The Diaclone has a weak launcher built in, which "shoots" (releases) the front section. There's a longish post on the front to accommodate this. 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

   Probably my least favourite of the four limbs of Raiden, mainly due to the dark robot mode. Still, Suiken's train mode is both realistic and detailed. Considering the prices that Trainbots tend to fetch, I wouldn't really say that Suiken is worthwhile unless you're after Raiden. A decent little toy if you can manage to find him for a good price - 5.5/10

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