Transformers Classics (Night Rescue Team Review)

in 2006, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Classics, Mini-Con

General Information:
Release Year: December 2006
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Price: $6.99 (Average depending on retailer)
Accessories: None

Images:

*Image from the official Transformers web site.

Tech Specs:*
“We bring light to the darkness.” Young and brave, these robots are fresh out of primary programming, and too inexperienced to ever be afraid. When there are other robots in danger, and nothing will save them except a foolish charge into the dangerous and unknown, it’s always the Night Rescue Team that gets called in.

Since the earliest days of the Transformers toy line, rescue vehicles have been an integral part of the Autobot army. The tradition that started with Ratchet and Prowl twenty plus years ago now continues with the Night Rescue team, a Mini-Con group consisting of Divebomb, Firebot and Strongarm.

Divebomb Review

Images:

Tech Spec Stats:

Strength: 6 Intelligence: 9 Speed: 8 Endurance: 6 Rank: 8 Courage: 9 Fireblast: 5 Skill: 8

Vehicle Mode:
Divebomb appears to be based on the real life Apache military helicopter. Many of the design elements of that vehicle are present including the long nose, the sensor pod mounted in front, engines on either side right under the rotor and weapon pods under its wings. Also, the rotor blades have the distinct shape of the Apache's blades with a slight widened angle at the end of each blade. The rear of the vehicle also has the distinct shape of the Apache, with its elongated tail, two fins out to the side and slight "bump" running along the top of the tail.

Overall details aren't all this little guy has. There are many smaller sculpted details. Along each wing are rows of circular details representing bolts. Each weapon pod on the underside of the wings has five distinct circles indicating where Divebomb would launch rockets. In total he has twenty of these tubes which makes him one heavily armed Mini-Con! There are smaller line details all over the figure including the fins on the back, the engine pods and the sides of the cockpit section.

The figure is cast in silver and metallic blue plastic. The front is mostly blue and the rear section is silver. The rotor blades on top are silver. The cockpit cover is painted silver, with the windows painted yellow. The edges of the rotor blades are painted bright orange and the section in between the two engine pods has an Autobot symbol painted on it. On the left wing is the number "77" painted in silver. On the other wing are the letters "T.M.R." in silver. From what I have been told these are the initials of someone at Hasbro and "77" refers to his birth year.

Under the front end of the vehicle is a Mini-Con Powerlinx point. This balances with the landing gear on the tail to even out the vehicle on a flat surface. Both the small and large rotors spin as well.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Swing the rear fins forward.
  2. Swing the outer missile pods back.
  3. Pull the underside of the cockpit section forward and swing it around.
  4. Split the tail section and swing it all the way around until each meets the section swung out in step three.
  5. Swing the missile pod sections (now the robot arms) down.
  6. Swing the section of the cockpit with the rotors up to reveal the robot head.

Robot Mode:
Divebomb certainly has an interesting robot mode. Tthe tail of a helicopter becoming robot legs is hardly new, but the rest of his form is rather odd. The arms can only bend out to the sides, and having the rotor on top of his head was an interesting choice. I can see its practical uses in battle - it would be quite difficult to get close to this guy with those blades spinning! The chest is fairly standard, with the top of the cockpit forming most of his body. The robot head is a fairly simplistic design of a visor eye with mouthplate. The engeine pods on either side of the rotors now look like shoulder mounted guns, with circles in the middle of each that look like gun barrels. Some of my favorite details are a series of pistons on the sides of the legs.

No new colors are revealed here. The robot eyes are yellow, contrasting nicely with his blue face.

Divebomb lacks articulation mostly thanks to his transformation scheme. I think on a larger Transformers figure they may have been able to put in leg and additional arm articulation.

I'm a bit torn on this figure. I love the vehicle mode and details. The paint apps are great and he certainly has a unique transformation. Overall I'd rate this as the weakest of the three in the set, but hardly a disaster considering he's a Mini-Con.

Firebot Review

Images:

Strength: 8 Intelligence: 5 Speed: 6.5 Endurance: 7.5 Rank: 6 Courage: 7 Fireblast: 5 Skill: 9

Vehicle mode:
As his name indicates, Firebot is a firetruck in vehicle mode. He has a somewhat futuristic appearance with an angled front end. The rear section is a bit more traditional, with ladders on the sides, panels that hide the sections with the fire hoses and a door on the sides of the vehicle. Running along the sides on top of the vehicle are guard rails - presumably to keep any firefighters standing on top from falling off. Along the top of the vehicle are several grooves inset into the sculpt, probably for traction. There are two cannons on the top of the vehicle. Your imagination can make these water cannons or more threatening weapons of some sort.

Firebot is cast in brown and red plastic. The forward section is cast in brown, but painted red with metallic blue windows. The cannons on top and the wheels are also brown. The guard rails running along the sides are painted gunmetal grey. On the left side of the vehicle are the letters "T.M.R." and the number "77" along with an Autobot symbol painted in red. Mirror details are found on the other side minus the Autobot symbol.

The cannons on the top of Firebot can swivel around to face the back, the sides or the front. The Mini-Con Powerlinx point is on the underside of the vehicle, right in the center.

Overall this is a really nice looking vehicle mode. While simple it is nicely detailed and has just the right amount of paint applications to look good.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Swing the cannons on the top of the vehicle forward.
  2. Split the front of the vehicle and swing each half out to the sides.
  3. Swing the rear of the vehicle up, then down to form the robot legs.
  4. Swing the front halves of the vehicle down to form the arms.

Robot Mode:
Firebot is one determined looking guy in this form. The design is probably the most "normal" of the three members of this team. His shoulders look broad thanks to the front end of the vehicle mode splitting up to turn into the shoulders. His head design is fantastic, with a high crest and severely angled eyes. He looks like he has nothing but determination on his mind! The lower arms are sculpted nicely, with angles and curves and sculpted fists. His legs are (not surprisingly) bulky and large, so they provide good balance. Each leg reveals details not seen in the robot mode such as squares and rows horizontal lines on the upper legs.

Firebot retains his vehicle mode colors here. His eyes are painted metallic blue and his arms are brown. His upper legs are actually cast in red plastic, but painted brown to break the monotony of the red and stay true to the brown on his arms.

Firebot has eight points of articulation in this form. This includes two on each arm and leg. His cannons from the vehicle mode wind up on his lower arms here and they can still swivel around easily.

Firebot is easily my favorite Mini-Con of the group. He looks great in both modes and having the cannons on his arms in robot mode was a good idea. An excellent example of a well made Mini-Con.

Strongarm Review

Images:

Strength: 6 Intelligence: 8 Speed: 7 Endurance: 7 Rank: 4 Courage: 7 Fireblast: 6 Skill: 6

Of all the members of this team, Strongarm is perhaps the one that fits the name of the team the best in appearance. Being a police car the rescue part is self-explanatory. His design is a sleek police car with a curved front end. One can easily imagine him having some high-end engine that allows him to chase down evil-doers on the highways. The front end in particular has a nice grille designed for ramming and there are two headlights on each side with curved covers. On the top of the cabin are the sirens, each side sculpted with three sections.

What makes Strongarm a "night" rescue 'bot are his colors. The figure is cast mostly in black plastic. The front grille section is painted silver and there is an Autobot symbol tampographed on the front of the hood. On the sides are the letters "RR" inside an oval shaped cog design with the words "Police District" printed above a solid line. All these details are painted in silver. The siren is painted metallic blue and red (left and right sides respectively). It's a simple color scheme, but it fits the character. Truth be told all I would have added is some color on the windows - but then that would subtract from their "tinted" look.

Strongarm has two Mini-Con Powerlinx points on either side of the vehicle's undercarriage. the wheels roll and that's about it for functionality (it is just a police car after all!).

Transformation to Robot mode:

  1. Swing the front end of the car forward.
  2. Swing out the lower half of the vehicle's rear section.
  3. Twist each half of the vehicle inward.
  4. Swing out the sections of the vehicle under the words "Police District" to form the robot arms.
  5. Swing the middle section up so the front of the car becomes the chest and the robot head is visible.

Robot Mode:
I have to admit, the designers were really aiming for some unique designs with this team. Strongarm's transformation is unusual enough that his robot mode looks somewhat odd, yet interesting. The robot head design is really nicely done - with a multi-level central crest section that somewhat resembles a policeman's cap. The chest design is an interesting take on the "car front forming the chest" design going back to G1. Due to the way he transforms, his arms and legs angle outward slightly. This actually looks pretty cool. He has that look reminscent of anime robots standing ready for action.

Color-wise there are no real surprises here. The eyes are painted red and that's about it.

Strongarm has seven points of articulation in this form, but that includes his legs bending sideways, so they're not all exactly practical. The arms can swivel out and bend at the elbows however so that's something. Like Divebomb he's hardly perfect, but by the standards of a Mini-Con he's interesting and looks good in both modes.

Final Thoughts:
Two funky sculpts and one really strong one make up this team. Divebomb and Strongarm are kind of strange in their own way, but they're also interesting both in their appearance and transformations. If you just want straight forward, very posable Minis, this set may not be for you. But if you want something interesting, this is the set for you!