Series: Generation 1
Alternate Mode: Dune Buggy
Thanks to Goktimus Prime for loaning me Joyride, making this review possible (I have since acquired Joyride).
DUNE BUGGY MODE
Height: 6.5cm Length: 15cm Width: 8cm
A teal dune buggy with crimson fenders, a grey engine bay, brown plastic and dark blue windows. Joyride is unusual for a G1 toy - it's rare to see so many pastels on one toy. Still, the colour scheme isn't as bad as it sounds - the teal is far more dominant than the crimson and the brown is close enough to black for the tyres to end up looking okay. Plugging in Hotwire gives Joyride some dark blue (which matches the windows fairly well) and chromed gold, while the grey handgun can plug into his roof. While I wouldn't call this a great colour scheme, it's okay - and about as good as I'd imagine you could get out of the colours used.
The moulded detail ranges from really good to really shoddy. There are suspension pegs on the front wheels and above the rear wheels, floodlights just behind the engine and which details on the front bumper. The engine bay, sans Hotwire, is almost devoid of detail - the meagre yellow stickering can't hide the fact that this is just a flat grey area. I can deal with the fact that this area had to be flat, but some seams or at least an engine-themed sticker would have been easy enough. The tyres have sculpted treads which is nice, although I can't help but wish for mesh on the windows.
The wheels don't roll very well, even though Joyride is large enough to have proper wheels. The design would have allowed a front axle, instead we have front wheels that hardly roll. The gun plugged into his roof looks pretty good and can swing around to the sides, allowing Joyride to take aim. Hotwire plugs into the engine bay on the front of the car, which is of course the whole point of the Powermaster line. I wouldn't say this provides much play value since Joyride's car mode looks so much better _with_ Hotwire (I wouldn't bother taking him off in this mode).
A disappointing car mode, and not because of the weird colours. The unorthodox colours are used quite well and there's some good sculpting here but the front of the car looks really bad without Hotwire plugged in. The wheels barely roll - Joyride's worse than most G1 Autobots in this respect. While it's not a horrible dune buggy, the flaws are so avoidable that I can't help feeling shortchanged.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
As with all Powermasters, you're meant to plug in the engine before you transform Joyride. If you don't have Hotwire, press a brown button just in front of the windshield. Fold down the front to reveal his head, flip out and rotate the rear to form his legs. Rotate the cabin around to form his chest, stand him up, position the arms and place the gun in either hand.
Height: 13cm Width: 8.5cm
There's more crimson now, on his arms and thighs. The torso and kneeguards are teal while his head and boots are grey (along with the gun). Joyride has large yellow eyes and while his face is unpainted, the detailing comes out pretty well in a light grey plastic. The brown is now relegated to his back, which is just as well since the teal and crimson now have a balancing act to perform. Surprisingly, these two colours balance out quite well, and if anything the colours work better than they did in buggy mode. There's an Autobot symbol sticker on his groin (which was on the hood in buggy mode, actually).
This robot mode feels quite blocky, although it's just as blocky as most other "Master" toys around the same era. Joyride's arms are large and blocky, sitting right next to his torso with no gaps - only colour separates them. Compounding this, the shoulder joints actually sit above the top of his chest, on either side of his head. The cabin as his chest looks good, the face is fairly detailed and the gun is quite intricate, so there are some great aesthetic elements here. The teal rear spoiler now forms a kneeguard - covering up most of the grey boots. The boots are a single piece with a nicely sculpted false seam between the two sides, although I'm not sure why they bothered since it's covered by the single-piece spoiler.
There's not too much play value here. The arms swing and the elbows bend maybe 80°, allowing Joyride to lift his gun. The poses available aren't that dynamic, what with the arms hugging the side of his body. Still, at least they gave Joyride two arm joints. Hotwire will only sit on his back here, so the arm articulation is all we have.
Despite the flaws here, I'd call this Joyride's better mode. It displays well, and that awful patch of grey is now on his back. The arms really needed to separate from his torso a little and the kneeguard is a little annoying, but neither of these flaws actually ruin the robot mode. Sure he could have been better, but there were far worse robot modes in the 1988 toyline.
Hotwire's robot mode is pretty good, since the dark grey of his head and chest works well with his dark blue limbs. His eyes are red and his mouth is hidden in a life-suit sort of chest extension. He's not much more than a companion for Joyride of course, but does his job.
Recoloured as Ranger in Japan. Aquastar is a repaint of Hotwire, sold separately.
Probably the blandest of the Autobot Powermasters, which is ironic when you consider the colours used here. The buggy mode really needs something on the front - similar to Slapdash's add-on engine piece. The robot mode needs more work on the arms, although it's on pretty much par with the robot modes of the others. With some minor work on the buggy mode, this would have been a much nicer toy - 4/10