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Review – Transformers – Cybertron – Downshift

Transformers have had a pretty low point in their life the last few years. Armada and Energon has some fairly weak toy design in terms of sculpt and articulation. Seriously, what’s up with Armada Hot Shot’s shoulders?

Still, Energon was better than Armada, and Cybertron has been better than Energon. Lately, Cybertron has even been better than itself. The toys are starting to receive joints that make sense again, they have all sorts of neat detailing, they have better alt modes, and better transformations.

One of the latest Transformers released to the market is Downshift. Now, you may remember Energon Downshift who was highly reminiscent of Wheeljack in design and colors. This version of Downshift shows homage only in head design. This 70s style muscle car Transformer more closely resembles Alternators Wheeljack than G1 Wheeljack. And so as far as I’m concerned, this toy can be Downshift, brother of Wheeljack, and Energon Downshift can take the roll of Wheeljack. Confused?

As mentioned, Downshift’s alternate mode is a 70s style muscle car. It’s not styled after any one car but shares elements of the Barracuda, Mustangs, Cameros, and others. It’s colored primarily green with black stripes, hood and soft top. There is some light detailing in the interior of the car as well but they don’t extend below the cut off between the top and body of the car.

The transformation isn’t too complex and the end result is slightly reminiscent of the older styled G1 cars such as Jazz and Prowl. Yet the transformation itself is not all that similar to those old toys. Downshift’s robot mode is pretty solid all around though cut joints in the arms as well as an unhindered neck joint would have helped a bit.

One aspect of the last several lines is gimmicks. Generally, many of the gimmicks involve sticking keys or smaller robots it some orifice on the larger robots to shoot missiles or open claws. Downshift’s cyberkey gimmick causes the grill of his car mode to open up into a sort of claw. It’s effectively neat, especially since it still works when the rear half of the car is folded downwards in robot mode, but it’s not particularly useful for anything cool. The better gimmick is the pair of shoulder mounted missile launchers Downshift includes. They not only give Downshift minicon hardpoints to use but they can be attached to the sides of the car mode for a heavily armed 70s muscle tank look.

Ok, yeah, sticking the launchers on the sides of the car is really dumb and ruins the look of the best vehicle mode ever in the history of Transformers.

Downshift is a really great toy and would make a great addition to any Transformer collection. You might even like it if you’re just big on 70s muscle cars.

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