Monday, August 14, 2006

Dave's Transformers Attacktix Review: Starter Set

Dave, from Dave's Transformers, has reviewed all of the initial wave of Transformers Attacktix, and he allowed me to post it here!

Dave's Attacktix Rant:

Starter Wave 1 (Overhaul, Dirtboss, Skyblast, Skyblast Vehicle)

There exists a variant with a bonus color variant Decepticlone, but I did not see that version at the store. The starter has four figures not found elsewhere, and is meant to be a single player's force (three active figures, one Back-Up).
Review of the Booster figures and explanation of the format of the reviews.
Rules and catalog.


Starter Wave 1: Good figures, but not especially suited to being a starter set. And the rules aren't so good, so unless you want these figures you might be better off just getting boosters. Still, the figures are good, so recommended. $9.99 at Target


Packaging: Unlike the boosters, this is a fixed set with open packaging, a mostly clear box 9" (23cm) wide, 4.5" (11.5cm) tall in front, 6.5" (16.5cm) tall in back (it has a taller back side, but a flat top) and 3" (7.5cm) deep. The figures are crowded onto a plastic blister, held on by twist-ties. Skyblast is at the left, with his spear pointing most of the way across the box. His vehicle mode is to the right of that, then Overhaul and Dirtboss (not Dirt Boss). The back of the card shows the stuff from the back and right side of the booster, and the bottom has the legalese.
To open the package, the easiest way starts with slitting the tape holding the cardboard together. The whole thing folds open, with the rulebook wadded up a bit between the halves. There's a whole lot of tape inside, cutting it lets you flip up the clear box part. Now you can undo all the twist-ties to free the figures and pull the front tray away, and the missiles are between trays. The ties are thin enough it's easier to just get a scissors and cut them. Dirt Boss's missile launcher is held by a rubberband, Overhaul's gun arm is held down by a band, a band holds Skyblast's arms down and another goes through the main tray to hold the spear. Very annoying
packaging overall. There is no indication on the package which missile goes with what figure, but fortunately each appears once in the rulebook, so you can figure it out. It does come with the same rulebook as the TF/SW set comes with, which is covered in the link above. Unlike the boosters, the figures aren't in baggies, so you'll have to supply your own to keep the missiles with 'em (or make creative use of the twist-ties and rubber bands).

Collector's Number: TF1-19
Rarity: Fixed
Points: 30
Attacktix Class: Leader
Faction Class: Autobot
Speed: 4-5 (4)
Special: 14
Special Ability: Sacrifice (Autobot) - Replace one of your Autobots with
this figure.
Height: 2.25" (6cm)
Base: 4.5cm
Attack Type: Shooter (Energy Blast)

Seems to be made entirely of golden yellow plastic (rigid on launcher, softer elsewhere) with a red trigger. The torso and boots are painted with a dark green, with black feet, chest, head and claws, plus accents of silver, red, gold and yellow. In general, looks pretty good. The left arm is replaced by a launcher, they didn't try to give him a chest launcher. The shoulders, waist and neck swivel. The pose is fairly straight stand-up, with the knees slightly bent and the left arm bent a little at the elbow.
In an example of the missiles not always being fully interchangeable, I accidentally put Skyblast's missile in his launcher and it barely left the barrel. :) With the right missile, it fires about 18" (half a meter) straight up, for a muzzle velocity of about 3 m/s. The missile mass is about 8g, for a maximum momentum of around 25 gm/s. With the missile loaded and pointed straight forward, the figure does not fall over.

Collector's Number: TF1-20
Rarity: Fixed
Points: 30
Attacktix Class: Warrior
Faction Class: Decepticon
Speed: 4-5 (4)
Special: 10
Special Ability: Recruit (Decepticon) - Put a Decepticon into play from your
Height: 2.5" (6cm)
Base: 4.5cm
Attack Type: Shooter (Fork Missile)

Yeah, his special ability is useless if you just field this set, but that seems par for the course for Attacktix starters. The mold is kinda weird. The axles are in an X formation (more or less)
rather than the H formation on the regular toy. A couple of triangular (non-firing) missile launchers are molded onto the flanks as under-arm assaults. The real launcher is on the backpack and folds up into firing position, evoking the toy's Key gimmick if not really looking like it. As far as I can tell, most of the toy is made of purple plastic (with rigid purple plastic on the launcher), and the wheel backpack is made of neon green plastic. The launcher button is red, and the missile is more of a violet. Dark gray, neon green and silver paint give the rest of the body appropriate colors, and the wheels are painted a sort of cinnamon red. The figure is posed in a "missile assault crouch" with bent arms and knees. The neck, waist and shoulders swivel, and the launcher swivels up into firing position. The missile itself is an odd has a forked tip for bigger striking area, but is not a "shield missile" in mass. It's like sticking a wide U shape on the end of the missile. The missile will stay firmly in the launcher without being pressed in for firing, which may rob it of some speed in firing due to friction. The maximum launch height is about a meter, for a muzzle velocity of about 4.5 m/s. Mass is about 2.5g, so the maximum momentum is about 11-12 gm/s. I suspect that with use the missile will get a bit looser, and
therefore have a higher launch velocity (in fact, a few later tests got me closer to 1.5m high, adding another m/s to the muzzle velocity.

Collector's Number: TF1-21
Rarity: Fixed
Points: 30
Attacktix Class: Warrior
Faction Class: Autobot
Speed: 7-9 (8)
Special: 8
Special Ability: Attackback (Decepticon)
Height: 2.5" (6cm)
Base: 4.5cm
Attack Type: Jabber (Energy Beam)

They did an interesting job of integrating the spear weapon here. The housing is the robot forearm plus an extension beyond that, with both hands molded as oversized paws around the barrel. The forearm winglets are the same size on both arms, though. The spear itself is 4.5" (11cm) long, and springs out by 1.25" when triggered. The head, torso and legs are made of white plastic, the arms are made of soft red plastic, the trigger and spear out of a slightly lighter red plastic, and the spring housing out of darker rigid red plastic. The face, hands, feet and forearms are painted medium gray, and there's red and white paint where appropriate. The eyes and forehead tablet are blue, and the cockpit area behind the head is painted with red, black and gold. The pose is pretty good, although when the arms are lowered the spear really can't knock anyone over. Basically, the right arm is bent "along" the spear and the left arm held further out to support the shaft. The legs are essentially straight. The shoulders swivel as a unit since the arms are connected to the launcher, the neck and waist also swivel. The spear point can be positioned anywhere from 1" to 3" (2.5cm to 7.5cm) off the table, so you can slam just about any regular figure in the groin if you so desire. The impact is pretty powerful... even if you don't knock a target over, it may well slide 20cm away.

SKYBLAST (Vehicle)
Collector's Number: TF1-22
Rarity: Fixed
Points: 20
Attacktix Class: Specialist
Faction Class: Autobot
Speed: 4-5 (4)
Special: 20
Special Ability: Transform - Put Skyblast into play from your Back-Ups.
Height: 3" (7.5cm) wingspan, hovers 2.75" (7cm) above base.
Base: 4.5cm
Attack Type: Shooter (Small Missile)

Given the number of tix where his Special shows up, you put this in your main force and robot mode in your Back-Ups. Unless you have a bunch of both, meaning you bought multiple Starters or did some trading. The actual vehicle is pretty much in proportion, sitting atop the launcher chunk. The launcher is connected by a swivel to oversized versions of Skyblast's capture claws, which themselves are mounted atop jet thrust pillars. The only poseability, as you might expect, is elevation on the abovementioned swivel. The vehicle and thrust pillars are white plastic, the launcher, missile and claws are red plastic. The only paint is on the vehicle, a combination of red, gunmetal and pale gold. No black, oddly. Maximum launch height is 2.1 to 2.2 meters, for a muzzle velocity of arounf 6.5 m/s. Missile mass is about 2g, so 13 gm/s of momentum.

Starter Overall: A decent set of figures, but it'd be nice if they made a full-sized starter that had enough for a two-player game, or released two different Starters at the same time (maybe one all Autobot, one all Decepticon). The price per figure is $2.50, about the same as boosters, and you do know what you're getting. If only the rules were a bit clearer, I'd call it a good starter. As it stands, you might as well get boosters and read the rules online (the official ones are also available online, not just mine) unless you really want these figures. There's nothing special about it that makes it better as a starter than just getting two boosters.

Dave Van Domelen, still needs the Battle Master set...and more boosters!

Be sure to check out Dave's Transformers for other Transformers New!

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