Cliffbee.com: Tracks Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Tracks
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Warrior
Alternate Mode: Chevy Corvette



CORVETTE MODE
Height: 3cm Length: 11.5cm Width: 4.5cm

   A blue 1970's model Chevrolet Corvette, Tracks is typical of the Diaclone based Autobots. He's a fairly realistic Corvette, with rubber tyres and chromed mag wheels. His front windscreen and side windows are clear plastic, the rear window is painted black. He has a little panel on his roof which lifts up to insert a Diaclone driver - the doors do not open.

   He has a large flame motif sticker on his hood, with an Autobot symbol as a centrepiece. This sticker is really the only deviation from the blue, and I think he's the better for that - there's not too much happening to overwhelm this colour scheme.

   There's not really much to complain about in car mode - it's a very nice car mode. There's some robot bits visible along the sides under the doors and a hole on back for his missile launchers, but then he has moulded headlights and taillights as well as doorhandles!

   I'll admit I've always preferred this older style of Chevrolet to the newer styling that Freeway has, but car model aside it's still a good mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO FLYING CAR MODE

   Swing down the arm & wing assemblies on his underside, bring them out to the sides, swing the arms in alongside his doors. Attach the missile launchers and missiles, clip his gun onto the underside.

FLYING CAR MODE
Height: 5cm Length: 11.5cm Width: 13cm

   It's unusual for the Diaclone toys to have an attack mode - even then usually it's a base formed from an unused part of the alt mode (Ironhide, Optimus Prime). This is a nice addition, it adds to the coolness of what's a pretty decent toy anyway. It doesn't have the stabiliser fins of the cartoon Tracks, but the fact they used it in the cartoon is a plus in my book anyway. With the asymmetric gun on his underside, it can be tricky to get this mode to sit flat on a table. Otherwise this mode is a good thing.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE (from car mode)

   Pull forward the bonnet which will split to form the legs. Fold the feet down from underneath, swivel his waist 180. Swing down the arm & wing assemblies on his underside, bring them out to the sides, swing the arms in alongside his doors, slide his fists out. Fold down the spoiler to reveal his head. Attach the missile launchers and missiles onto his spoiler and give him his handgun.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14cm Width: 13cm

   The blue is complimented by black and white in this mode, which works quite well. His shoulders, chest, the sides of his legs and his feet are blue, his thighs & shins, groin & arms are black and his head, sternum, waist & wings are white. His face is red, which doesn't look out of place, in fact it serves to make the face the centrepiece of his shoulder assembly, which extends over his head like a hood. Colour aside, his face isn't that similar to his cartoon incarnation, since the toy has a mouthplate.

   With the wings pointing out from behind his upper arms and the twin missile launcher sitting on top of his hood, Tracks' robot mode is quite decorative. Like his other modes, it's a sweet looking mode. The missiles and their launchers are white. They don't shoot very far, but then this is a good thing since the missiles are small and hence potentially easy to lose. I'm actually using my old Classic Tracks to write this review rather than my new TCS one, and it's launchers's springs are worn - the missiles keep falling out and being so small, are hard to spot on lighter surfaces (such as my carpet).

   As mentioned, the missiles shoot. Adding to the play value is the poseability. His elbows can swing up, his waist swivels and his shoulders swing out, allowing him to shoot to the side. His missile launchers attach to a black plate which attaches to the hood on posts, allowing you to individually target the missiles up and down, which is a nice addition. Not as poseable as some Diaclones, but by no means the worst.

   Like his other modes, Tracks has a good robot mode. It looks cool, the colours work and there's play value. The only real drawbacks are the face that doesn't look like his cartoon face and somewhat short thighs. But then his shins are die-cast which makes up for the last one for me.

VARIATIONS

   Originally released in 1985, again released as a Classic (outside North America) in 1991. This Classic, like others from the same era, suffers from the breaking down of paint on clear plastic (in his case on his roof & doors, or robot torso). Released in 2002 by Takara in the TCS line. Additionally, in 1985 there was a red version sold by Milton Bradley in Europe - this colour scheme was his Diaclone one, and was later used in 2002 in Takara's eHobby exclusive series as Road Rage, although it's worth noting she is a different character.

OVERALL

   If you haven't worked out by now that I'm a fan of Tracks you're not paying much attention. All the modes look great, the simple fact he _has_ an attack mode is a plus. He has the detail you'd expect of the era, with rubber tyres and die cast to boot. The colour scheme is good and he features pretty heavily in the cartoon, which will increase his appeal for a lot of people - 9/10

"Transformers" and other indica trademarks of Hasbro and/or Takara.