Cliffbee.com: Tank Drone Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Tank Drone
Series: Beast Machines
Allegiance: Vehicon
Function: Ground Attack
Alternate Mode: Cybertronian Tank




TANK MODE
Height: 5.5cm Length: 12.5cm Width: 5.5cm

   A twotone grey and dark metallic blue tank, Tank Drone's muted colours are surprisingly tasteful for Beast Machines - a line that saw a lot of inappropriate usage of transparent plastics. There is a fair bit of transparent red plastic on the body of the tank, but it's dark and used sparingly. The centre of the tank is chrome silver, along with the barrel of the turret. The missile itself is transparent red with a bronze tip. The missile launcher turret actually its on the right side of the tank like a shoulder cannon, while the robot head sits in the middle of the tank, towards the back. So while it might be a non-sentient drone, it's face is visible in tank mode. Rounding out the colours we have a light orange spark crystal on top of the turret - which fits in with the bronze quite well (although drones don't have sparks). The use of dark blue, red and grey really makes this vehicle mode work visually, even if it's clearly not an actual tank.

   Not that Beast Machines saw any realistic alt modes anyway... and in this case the toy is based on Tankor's animated version rather than an actual tank. The idea is a Cybertronian tank and this is exactly that. The missile launcher cannon works for Tank Drone in it's own way, too.

   The tank rolls thanks to four wheels underneath the tread pods, and there's a gimmick attached to the rear right wheel, which has a rubber tyre on it. If you push down on the back of the turret you'll complete a chain of gears and the rubber tyre will spin the missile launcher inside the turret. As it spins, the internal trigger will fire the missile about half a metre. You'll have to make sure you attach the relevant tread pod properly or this mechanism won't activate. The turret is on a spring, so it wont press the gears together unless you hold it down. This is a good thing - you can roll the tank along without worrying about the missile randomly ending up behind the sofa.

   A good tank mode overall, Tank Drone has great colours and a meaningful gimmick. My only real complaint is the fact you have to get the tank mode just right or the gimmick won't work. I suppose a spare missile would be nice, but that's probably asking too much for a basic, and I don't see where it could be stowed tastefully.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Flip up the front tread pods and unfold to form the legs. Rotate the waist so that the treads themselves become the shins. Swing the rear tread covers down to the side, flip out the claws at the back. Rotate the arms down, fold the panel supporting the shoulder cannon back and fold the head down onto his shoulders.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12cm Width: 9.5cm

   Again twotone grey with blue, with the red slightly less prominent. The torso is chrome silver while the groin, thighs, shoulders and claws are grey and the forearms, head and treads (ie lower legs) dark grey. There are dark metallic blue shoulderpads which extend down to the outsides of the arms - becoming shields, while the turret is now a giant shoulder cannon on Tank Drone's left shoulder. The front of this launcher is chrome silver and the missile's tip bronze, so these are the colours you notice in robot mode. The colours are still quite nice, but with a lot more of the greys and less blue, it's a little dull compared to the tank mode.

   The styling of this robot mode is unmistakably Beast Machines. From the simple face to angular torso to the treads in lieu of legs, Tank Drone is very much a Vehicon. It's a pretty well laid out robot mode for a drone - the simple face, giant cannon and treads give the robot mode a mindless destruction feel. As mentioned, there are claws in place of hands while the default position of the knees is bent _forwards_, so that the treads slope forwards. It all contributes to Tank Drone looking like a piece of machinery rather than a living entity.

   The missile launcher is still functional, although now you have to spin the gear underneath the back of the cannon to activate it, since the other half of the mechanism is on the right wrist (and plainly so). The launcher is so big it really forms the centrepiece of this mode - which is fine, since it's suited to an attack drone.

   The poseability is decent without being anything special. I'd almost call it slightly disappointing for Beast Machines, but I'm willing to make some allowances since it's by nature such a blocky toy. The neck, shoulders and hips are restricted ball joints while the elbows are hinged and the waist swivels. The knees are ratcheting with slots, so you can change the positioning but have to lock them into one of three positions. In truth the knee poseability isn't really much of an issue since Tank Drone would be rolling along on the treads - it'd only matter if you wanted to place him "rolling" over obstacles. So while most of the joints have some movement, none have full motion.

   It is possible to create a legged robot, if you rotate the lower half of the toy and straighten the knees by one notch. Along with the missile launcher and articulation, it gives Tank Drone some play value.

   On the whole this is a great looking robot mode with a nice big missile launcher that works well. The design aesthetic works really well for this toy, since it really looks like a drone - and it's meant to be a mindless minion of Tankor. A little more poseability would have been nice, but there's enough to keep me happy.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, although Stockade is a repaint of Tank Drone.

OVERALL

   Aesthetically, this toy is excellent - both modes look great and it really works as a minion of destruction. The missile launcher works well in both modes, although it can be tricky to line up the mechanism in tank mode. The only real flaw is a relative lack of poseability in robot mode - but this toy looks so nice I don't care - 8.5/10

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