"Bumblebee" Power Series Dropkick Toy Review
Release Date: September 2018
Price Point: $9.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Target, Walmart, Amazon etc.)
*Images and text below from Amazon.com:
The lifeblood of Transformers robots, Energon fuels the epic battles on Earth and beyond.
Now, imagine harnessing the Transformers energy source with Energy Igniters figures. Convert this Energy Igniters power series Dropkick figure between robot and sports car modes in 4 steps. Then plug the energy igniters core (not included) into the vehicle and push down to unleash driving action. This dropkick figure stands at a 5-inch scale with eye-catching detailing. Look for the Energy Igniters Core sold with Power Plus series and Nitro series figures (each sold separately).
On the prowl, Dropkick weaves through the streets in pursuit of his Autobot target. When he spots his mark, he revs his race car engines and blasts off with a surge of speed.
In September of 2018 Hasbro launched its "Bumblebee" toy line based on the live action movie. Much of this toy line was aimed at a younger audience, relying on the "Energon Igniter" gimmick. More complex and detailed figures for the movie would be folded into the "Studio Series" and "Masterpiece" lines instead. The "Energon Igniter" gimmick was spread across several classes of figures including the "Power Plus Series" which consisted of figures that were roughly 5 inches (12.70cm) tall with very simple transformations. Unlike the figures in the "Power Plus" series, the "Power Series" do not include the "Energon Igniter" accessory, meaning to utilize this figure's full potential you need to get the "Energon Igniter Core" accessory from another figure.
Among the first of the Power Series figures is Dropkick. This is a Decepticon being introduced in the "Bumblebee" movie. That said, there was already a Decepticon named Dropkick in the 2007 movie toy line, but he did not appear in the film. This Dropkick figure shares the same basic design as the "Power Series" Hot Rod figure so you will definitely want to check out that review. It is tough to say which figure is a redeco/retool of which as both came out at the same time.
It would be very easy to mistake the Power Series figures for One Step Changer figures. They are roughly the same size (slightly bigger actually) and packaged on a wrap around card similar to the One Steps from previous lines. The front of the packaging has Bumblebee cross armed with the "Energon Igniters" and "Transformers" logos on the right. The wraparound part in front shows the figure in robot mode with the "Transformers Bumblebee" movie logo and the character's name. The figure itself is in vehicle mode resting on a plastic tray.
The back of the packaging has the four step instructions on the left with photos of the figure in both modes in the middle. On the right side the vehicle mode is shown off utilizing an Energon Igniter Core to activate its extra weapons. The packaging primarily utilizes yellow, beige and black colors, making it very distinctive from previous Transformers lines which tend to focus on more stark white and black colors for the background.
In the trailer for "Bumblebee", it is revealed that Dropkick and his partner Shatter are triple changers. Each features both a ground and aerial mode. This figure is based on his "muscle car" ground mode. However this is the same vehicle form as Hot Rod's, featuring more Chevrolet Chevelle and Plymouth Barracuda inspired details than those from the AMC Javelin (which is what Dropkick actually transforms into in the film). There is one significant change made to the sculpt to make it look more like the vehicle from the film. The hood section has been changed to now include a fierce looking engine in the middle. This goes a long way since this is one of the most distinctive features on Dropkick's car mode.
Dropkick is cast in blue and black plastic. Black and silver paint is used to paint in details such as the front end of the car, the engine and a "skull and crossbones" style design on the back using a Decepticon symbol in place of the skull. Black is largely used on the top and rear section of the car, which brings the deco more in line with the car used in the film.
Being part of the "Power" series of figures, you can take an Energon Igniter Core and push it into the back half of the vehicle. This causes the back panels to swing out to the sides and for the windshield piece to flip up. This reveals two huge cannons that are painted red. Then press the button on the Energon Igniter Core and the vehicle rolls forward using the motorized wheel on the Core. It is a fun play pattern and it adds a level of "transformation" to the figure.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Flip the vehicle over.
- Swing the center panel up.
- Swing the sides out to form the robot arms.
- Swing the front ends of the car forward to form the feet.
Dropkick's robot mode features significant retooling from the Hot Rod version of the sculpt:
- The head/chest panel is a brand new piece. The head is based on the design from the film's CG model complete with a round "helmet" section and a "Y shaped" face.
- The chest/torso panel has detailing from the CG model, though very simplified. For instance, the chest has a shrunken down version of the car's front end on it, but in the film this section is broken up a lot more with more mechanical bits sticking out.
- The legs are different than Hot Rod's. The armor on the sides do not have the same distinctive groove as Hot Rod's and the lower legs feature a rectangular panel with circles inside (based on details from the CG model in the film).
I was very impressed by how much retooling was done for this figure. I only expected the head/chest panel to be different. Changing the legs was a nice touch.
This mode features both blue and black plastic. In this mode, blue paint applications help fill in details such as the armor panels on the legs. The eyes are painted red, giving them a nice, evil look.
There are eight points of articulation on this figure, but four of them are just hinges that swing the shoulders and legs out to the sides, so they are not particularly useful. The forearms can swing up and down and the fists each have 5mm ports, allowing Dropkick to hold weapons from other figures.
Given that this figure is set at the same price point as One Step Changers, I was very happy with it. The retooling was done well. I think the Energon Igniter Core compatibility is fun and adding a couple steps to the transformation (and the forearm articulation) both help make this figure move more towards a traditional Transformers figure than just being a One Step figure with no articulation. For fans of a certain age group I think this is a very fun toy to have (especially if you have the Energon Igniter Core from other figures!).
- Cool vehicle mode (even if not screen accurate).
- Really nice robot mode deco.
- Very nice, detailed sculpt.
- While it looks like a One Step Changer in package, it is a bit more complex and detailed than that size class.
- Limited deco in vehicle mode.
- Limited articulation in robot mode.
- Emphasis on a gimmick may turn some fans off.