Cliffbee.com Combiner Wars Wildrider (Brake-Neck) Toy Review

Individual Review




Name: Wildrider (Brake-Neck for trademark reasons)
Series: Combiner Wars
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Sports Car



SPORTS CAR MODE
Height: 4cm Length: 13cm Width: 6cm

   A grey sports car with painted red windows and slightly brighter red running down the sides. There's also a patch of gunmetal paint on his hood. He sports black plastic tyres with silver hubcaps; the headlights are also silver. There's a Decepticon logo stamped on his hood - offset to the left for no reason other than to match the G1 toy (a nice touch). It's a pretty good deco and its quite clearly Wildrider. There's a wedge of red plastic on either side - the robot mode elbows sections. They mostly blend into the stripes on either side - certainly they're far less prominent than on his mould mate Dead End. It's a nice enough looking car and it's certainly Wildrider even if the rounded lines of this car are fairly different to the squarer look of his G1 Ferrari 308.

   Play value is about what you'd expect of a Combiner Wars car - the wheels turn and there are attachment points for his weaponry. Dead End comes with a purple hand/foot piece that is meant to double as a gun when he's not combined and as usual, it doesn't look very good attached to this car mode. The other weapon he gets is a silver club-like affair which looks like a muffler. It can attach to holes behind the front tyres or onto a hole on his roof... it works best on either side, but it doesn't look like any sort of weapon.

   Despite that red outburst on either side, this is a decent sports car mode. It's attractive and is very much Wildrider & those are enough to overcome those outbursts on his sides and accessories that don't really do anything worthwhile in vehicle mode. I like the attention to detail in painting the hood gunmetal over grey with an offset Decepticon logo - just as we saw on the G1 toy.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Unclip the undersides of the rear, fold out. Swing the back end over to form the boots; separate his boots and fold the undersides back in to form his shins. Press down on the centre of his roof to lift up the windshield and fold back. Unclip the front and pivot down to form his backpack. Fold down the chest plate, pivot up his arms, swing the fists out from within his forearms. Rotate the waist, give him his muffler-club and you're done.

   The joint that allows the windshield the windshield to lift out - well more correctly the panel on the roof that you have to press down - can require excessive force to transform from car to robot. It varies from toy to toy. My Dead End will happily transform, but it feels SCARY trying to get the windshield out on my Wildrider, and there are some stress marks on that you from the force I've had to apply (luckily they're only visible if you go looking for them). I've only partially transformed him into car mode for this review because... well I just don't want to further stress the plastic.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14cm Width: ~8cm (depending on pose)

   A grey robot with a silver chest, Wildrider has a red face along with red hands and thighs. His eyes are grey while his groin and kneecaps are black. There's some splashes of purple along with a small Decepticon logo on his chest. The colour scheme very much matches his G1 cartoon self - and it's fairly close to the G1 toy also (although that has a black head,) The red thighs are a departure from G1, but they don't really make him any less Wildrider. The head sculpt is unmistakably cartoon Wildrider with those wingnut ears they decided to give him. This robot mode drips Wildrider and looks nice to boot. Amusingly, this retool looks closer to G1 Wildrider than the original (Dead End) does to his G1 self, thanks to some colour choices on Dead End - not often that happens.

   Poseability is fairly standard for Combiner Wars. Ball joints in the neck, shoulders and hips - the neck joint is somewhat hindered by a transformation joint behind it but still useful. His elbows and knees have hinges and rotators. The feet are fixed in that slightly-spread pose. His ankles and wrists don't move but he gets a waist joint as part of his transformation. The muffler-club weapon can be wielded here and it works well enough as a melee weapon, but a gun (aside from the ridiculous hand/foot piece option) would have been nice. I'm not too critical of the choice of a melee weapon - they were trying for some variation and it works well enough - it's just that a ranged weapon would have been useful.

   A good robot mode that really nails the character thanks to an excellent head sculpt and thoughtful colour placement. While a melee weapon might not be the most versatile weapon, Wildrider's just nuts enough for it to credible as his main weapon.

VARIATIONS

   The Unite Warriors version has a different paint job, it's noticeably more G1 accurate - although it centres that Decepticon logo on his hood. There was also a G2 version - only sold in a giftset. He combines with the other Stunticons to form Menasor.

   As mentioned he's a retool of Dead End. More significant retools of the mould include Streetwise, Prowl, Smokescreen, Dust Up, Lightspeed, Unit-3 (BotCon 2016), Bluestreak & Flowspade.

OVERALL

   Two attractive modes, good colours which work both visually and in nailing this figure as Wildrider, along with good poseability make this a good toy. My main gripe is that joint involved in the windshield transformation - on my Wildrider it's a bit of an issue - and while I'm happily displaying mine in robot mode, it's a significant shortcoming - 8/10

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