"Generations" Combiner Wars Prowl Toy Review
Release Date: August 2015
Price Point: $14.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Hand/Foot/Weapon, Shotgun
Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:
The Autobot military strategist is a critical part of Optimus Maximus. If his strategic skill can successfully combine with the courage of Optimus Prime, it would make Optimus Maximus almost unstoppable in battle. Combine and convert for awesome Transformers action! This Prowl figure brings his double-barreled blaster to the fight when he’s in robot mode, and he converts fast to police car mode when chasing down Decepticons is the primary objective. But he can also become an arm or a leg when the battle calls for you to build a truly hardcore Optimus Maximus warrior! (Other figures sold separately.) Whatever mode your Prowl figure is in, he’s going to bring maximum carnage to the battle! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.
The theme for the "Generations" segment of the "Transformers" toy line in 2015 is "Combiner Wars". The focus will be on updated versions of Combiners from the past (with some new elements thrown in for good measure). The idea is to take lessons learned from the Bruticus released a couple years ago and create better Combiners featuring a Voyager Class central body piece with Deluxe sized limbs. To spice things up a bit, some of the Legends Class figures released for "Combiner Wars" will be able to serve as weaponry for the combined giants.
The late summer of 2015 brought about a new wave of figures that fans had been speculating on for months. When a picture of Optimus Maximus' artwork leaked with a limb that looked like a yellow version of Sunstreaker, fans suspected the Stunticon molds would be given new decos and retooling as Generation One Autobot characters. At Botcon 2015 this theory was confirmed as Hasbro announced two waves of redecos and retools of the Stunticon molds representing Autobots from the 1984-85 period of G1.
Prowl is part of the first wave of these Autobots. It's been a while since we've had a Prowl figure in this scale (though homages are out there) so it's cool to have the chance to get him in this class again. This time, Prowl is based on the Protectobot Streetwise sculpt, so check out that review if you haven't already. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.
The packaging for this wave of the Deluxe "Combiner Wars" figures is significantly different then the first wave. The first wave was a typical bubble on card, with the character art printed onto the card and a separate trading card featuring art from the "Transformers: Legends" mobile app. The back of the cards contained a ton of multi-lingual information with photos of the figure and a diagram of a Combiner made up of four Aerialbots and Dragstrip.
Starting with wave two of "Combiner Wars", the packaging changed significantly. Now a comic book was packaged with the figure, so the card became longer and the bubble on the card wrapped around the edges of the card to offer stability and security. The comic book features an exclusive cover featuring Prowl's artwork. The figure is in robot mode inside the packaging, making for a dramatic presentation. The back of the card has a brief bio of the character along with the requisite safety information in multiple languages.
One of the most interesting points of this new packaging style is the back of the comic book. It features a full page bio of Prowl written from the perspective of the the Autobot psychiatrist, Rung. It really helps give more color to the character's personality and even references some of his old G1 profiles. However, it strays away from some of the more controversial actions of the character from the IDW Publishing titles. Overall the packaging for "Combiner Wars" wave two and beyond really stepped things up compared to wave one.
Prowl comes with the same accessories as Streetwise. This time out the hand/foot/weapon piece is cast in silver. A lighter shade of silver paint is used to color most of this piece including the middle and weapon barrels. The joints on this piece are still nice and tight. The other accessory (a personal favorite of mine in the line) is the shotgun which is cast in the same white plastic as the figure. This accessory is unpainted.
When this figure was first announced, I have to say I was unsure how well it would work. One of the biggest design elements I worried about was how well this figure would serve as Prowl without his iconic "wing doors" or the "car front as my chest" design that has been around since G1. Would a new head sculpt be enough? Well, I was happy once I had the figure in my hands that it was indeed!
This figure features a brand new head sculpt based on Prowl's many appearances throughout the years. His "helmet" section has high crest in the center and parts of it wrap over his cheeks and extending out from the central crest are two "horns". His face has a very flat, even toned look to it (rather than an angry flip-your-table over look) which is kind of cool since this character is meant to be a logical one. He looks like he's seriously thinking about something, but not particularly irritated by it. The head sculpt is solid and it goes a long way in helping this figure stand apart from Streetwise.
The rest of the body on this figure is the same as Streetwise. At first I didn't think this would work out so well, but looking at the design more carefully the chest does look like a shrunken down version of a vehicle's front end - especially the way the bottom of the chest panel has angles pointing downward. The rest of the body is generic enough that it can serve as a body for almost any Transformer so it works out as well.
Prowl is cast in white, black and silver plastic. White is the dominant color, making up much of the head, arms, chest and lower legs. Black plastic is used on the top of the chest, elbow joints, parts of the arms and the thighs. The silver makes up the rest such as the waist/hip area and his knee armor. This combination of colors works nicely. The colors contrast strongly and reflect the "black and white" nature of the character.
Paint applications are done in the colors you would expect for Prowl, namely black, white and red with metallic light blue tossed in for good measure. The horns on his head are painted red and there is a red Autobot symbol on the center of his chest. His eyes are blue and look almost translucent though the figure has no light piping. Black is used for angled trip on the edge of his chest armor, simulating the look of the G1 figure (and many Prowl figures that came after). The metallic light blue on his legs may seem random, but this is in fact a call back to G1 Prowl who had the rear windows of his vehicle mode on his lower legs. If you look at the color of the windows in vehicle mode, it's the same color. This is a nice extra touch that really helped make the figure for me.
All of Prowl's joints are just as tight as those on my copy of Streetwise. He can hold his weapons with no problem and the new head sculpt moves around just fine.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
- Straighten out the arms, legs and head.
- Swing out each front panel on the lower legs.
- Swing the legs up, then connect them together in the middle.
- Rotate the waist around.
- Swing each fist into the forearms.
- Push each arm down.
- Swing the lower leg panels closed.
- Swing the front of the car forward.
- Swing the robot chest panel up to cover the robot head.
- Swing the windshield piece down.
- The weapons can be connected to the sides and/or top of the vehicle.
Streetwise's vehicle mode was a perfect choice for Prowl since they both transform into police cars. This time out the main color of this vehicle is a bright white with black wheels. Black paint is used to color the front of the vehicle, with two curves coming up to a distinct point in the middle of the hood - a design element carried over from G1 Prowl. This black paint also runs along the side of the vehicle on the lower half of each side. The G1 call backs don't end there however. On each door are tampographs with the words "Highway Patrol Police" with a blue shield and yellow star inside. These are directly inspired by stickers from G1 Prowl. This looks awesome and I was very happy to see this detail worked into the vehicle.
More details are done in red, specifically the lightbar and an Autobot symbol on the hood. The light metallic blue color seen in robot mode appears again on each of the windows including the rear window! I was very surprised by this since most Transformers leave this detail unpainted nowadays. Rounding out all these details are the headlights, which are painted silver. This is a near perfect deco and is only missing two elements: the rear lights are unpainted and the rims on the wheels are unpainted. Even with these two elements missing the deco is still very strong and looks great.
The ports on the top and sides of the vehicle still hold onto each weapon nice and tight.
Transformation to Arm Mode (Starting in vehicle mode):
- Detach all weapons.
- Take the hand piece and swing the fingers and thumb out, bending the piece so it forms a fist.
- Swing the panels on the back of the vehicle out.
- Swing the robot legs out and then split them apart in the middle.
- Rotate the piece to connect the fist down.
- Swing the panels back into place.
- Swing the windshield back.
- Swing the front of the vehicle up and back.
- Swing the robot head and chest plate back.
- Depending on which arm you want Prowl to be, rotate the robot waist left or right.
- Attach the fist to the end.
Prowl's vehicle mode design means that the arm mode looks both sleek and a bit wide all at the same time. Since the front end of the car folds up to form the upper arm that section looks pretty powerful. The thick forearm adds to this impression along with the large fist piece. When looking at Prowl I can't help but think of him in contrast to the other three Autobot "limbs" that help make up Optimus Maximus. Compared to the deep red Ironhide or the bright yellow Sunstreaker, Prowl has very clean base colors which contrast nicely against his more brightly colored comrades.
Prowl's joints are about as tight as my copy of the Streetwise figure. I do plan on adding some clear nail polish to the ball joints to tighten them up, but they're not loose by any means.
Transformation to Leg mode (Starting in vehicle mode):
- Detach all the accessories.
- Swing the windshield back.
- Swing the front of the car back and down.
- Attach the foot piece to the bottom of the vehicle.
The leg mode is largely a variation on the vehicle mode. Basically the car stands up, gets a foot and the front folds back. That said, I have to say once again that the base black and white colors are a nice combination of colors against all the other colors in this team.
I didn't expect to like this Prowl figure as much as I do. Despite not having all the "classic" Prowl features such as the vehicle mode front end as his chest or doors on his back as "wings" he looks great and between the head sculpt and deco he is instantly recognizable as G1 Prowl in a new form. Despite needing a bit more deco, this is one figure I think you should absolutely add to your collection!