Toy Review: “Transformers: Age of Extinction” Deluxe Drift

TFPreview

TF4_Drift_Robot_HeadNAME: Autobot Drift
ALLEGIANCE: Autobot
ALTERNATE MODE: Bugatti Veyron Grand Vitesse
CLASS: Deluxe
SERIES: M4: #006
CO-SELLS: Strafe, Dinobot Slash

AUTOBOT DRIFT used to fight for the DECEPTICONS. Now, he wields his swords against them, alongside the heroic AUTOBOTS!

When I first saw Drift at Toy Fair 2014, I was unimpressed. Part of it was my lack of affinity for the Generation 1 new character that was introduced a few years ago. Part of it was his goofy head design.

After getting the toy and playing around with it for a while, I admit it – my opinion’s changed. This is a solid toy. It’s not exceptional, but it’s more fun than I though it would be (and thought it had any right to be). ┬áLet’s dive in.

Drift in Package Gallery:

ROBOT MODE

TF4_Drift_Robot_WeaponsDrift is packaged in robot mode, and he comes with four dull gold plastic swords, two long, two short. He’s got a bit of a backpack from his roof and trunk lid, but there are hinges that allow it to be folded up so it’s not that distracting. You can peg any of the swords into the kibble behind his head for storage, although the way they’re positioned means he’d cut his hands on them if he tried to grab them. Personally, I like the look of the short swords behind him while he wields the long ones. In this configuration, he stands roughly 6 inches (15.24 cm) tall.

He is a mix of mostly two shades blue — a dark and light one — which stand out and almost shimmer in light. I don’t think this is a sparkly paint; rather, it’s the sheen of the plastic that makes them shine, especially the lighter blue. This light blue is on his thighs, around the wheels attached to his shins, on his lower chest and on his upper arms. The contrast between this and the darker blue is really quite nice. His chest is the location for the car grill with red dot (where the Bugatti logo is in real life)

Then there’s the head. Yeah, it’s a bit goofy, but the more I look at it, the more I like it. It’s not my favorite head design of all time, but it does give the character a distinctive look.

He’s got decent articulation – full rotating head, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, and ankles. His waist is locked in place due to his transformation. His joints all are tight, allowing for great posing, and in a nice touch, his elbows are ratchet joints which give a nice tactile feeling when positioning.

Drift in Robot Mode Gallery

TRANSFORMATION

Warning! If you hate “panel-formers”, then Drift probably won’t change your mind about them. He requires a lot of panels being pegged into place to get the car mode to look right. However, there are some nice little things about this transformation that I like.

I love how pieces swivel and rotate around his ankles and rear wheels. The spoiler and sidepanel flip up and out to be revealed. I like the hinging on his roof piece to expand fully and then rotate around to allow his front bumper to flip into place. A lof of the transformation seems intuitive after the first few steps.

But as I said, Drift’s a panel-former. Things have to be moved juuuuuust right for the panels to line up and peg together. Expect a bit of massaging to get things to align. In addition, the trunk on mine doesn’t like to peg down into place. I don’t see any pegs to keep it down, so it looks like using friction to hold it together doesn’t work.

VEHICLE MODE

TF4_Drift_Car_Front_LeftDrift is a fully-licensed Bugatti Veyron Grand Vitesse. This is probably the closest I’ll get to even a representation of this sports car, much less the car itself. In this mode, the darker blue covers the entire top and half of each side and the front. The lighter blue is the lower part of all sides, while the spoiler and top part of the rear are black, with silver taillights. Dark translucent blue windows, the black grill with red Bugattie logo, and silver headlights complete the look. It’s a sharp looking design, and once again, the colors are nice, although in real life the blues are slightly different allowing for more contrast. The dark blue here gets lost, but there’s only so much you can do with a toy.

TF4_Drift_Car_Autobot_SymbolIf you look closely, though, there is a faint Autobot symbol tampographed under the passenger side mirror. I missed it until I was writing this review. Because of Drift’s transformation, this symbol is unseen in robot mode, which is odd because you’d expect to see a symbol in that mode. Perhaps this is a plot point? Perhaps not.

TF4_Drift_Car_Bottom_Swords

 

I love the storage space here. His two long swords peg underneath, and his two small swords peg under his roof during the transformation. I didn’t quite understand this step in the instructions and had to ask someone else. Pay attention – that’s what Step 9 means, folks.

The rear wheels roll freely, but the front wheels seem to get stuck if you keep the swords pegged underneath. Remove them and then all wheels turn (albeit not on linked axles).

Drift in Bugatti Mode Gallery:

FINAL THOUGHTS

TF4_Drift_Robot_Front_LeftYeah, the panels frustrate me a bit. I don’t like it when a Transformer’s vehicle mode has parts misaligned or parts that don’t peg together. It takes away from the “Robots in Disguise” aspect. However, I do like the clever bits of transformation that are involved here. The folding and hinging of the backpack, the storage for the small swords, the rotating of parts — they make for a satisfying transformation. The posability of the robot makes up for the frustration of panel forming.

It’s a solid toy. Nothing overwhelmingly cool but it’s got some good play value.