Sabrina's Transformers Armada Reviews

Supercon (Deluxe) assortment, Wave 2: Smokescreen with Liftor, Sideways with Rook and Crosswise.
Price: Approx $10 each

Overall impressions: If you weren't impressed with the likes of Hot Shot, Cyclonus, and Demolishor, these aren't likely to change your mind, as they really don't improve on any of the obvious shortcomings seen in Armada supercon-size toys so far. They do have some surprising and innovative gimmickry though (Sideways especially), so they're far from a loss.

Smokescreen with Liftor:

Liftor (Minicon, forklift-plow truck)

Features: It's a minicon, and does what pretty much all of them do.

Pros: Looks nice, especially in robot mode. A bit more posable than your average minicon, and better articulated than the Autobot toy he comes with.

Cons: Some parts are a little loose. Vehicle mode is rather odd, but some like that.

Smokescreen (Autobot, small orange 'crane buggy')

Features: Autobot insignia hatch flips up to possibly become a radar dish (or just a hatch). A winch at the rear of the vehicle (robot chest) can wind in manually or when the vehicle is rolled forward, and the hook on the end of the string has a minicon peg. A minicon on the crane arm allows the boom to extend, and a spring loaded missile launcher filps out at full extension. Robot head turns to face the same direction as the crane arm.

Pros: Very solid in both modes. Good transformation. Good shoulder and hip joints. Looks decent and powerfully stocky as a robot, but almost ... cute.

Cons: Seems way too small, especially when compared to Sideways or Hot Shot. I think Smokescreen and Red Alert should maybe have switched size classes. No knee joints, and debatable elbow joints. Hands are hidden to the point of pointlessness. Very topheavy with the crane arm on his shoulder, so has difficulty standing sometimes.

Score (out of 10, Main toy scores twice) Smokescreen 7, Liftor 8.5, Overall 7.5

Sideways with Rook and Crosswise:

Crosswise and Rook (Minicon motorcycle riders)

Features: Both Crosswise and Rook are capable of riding Sideways' motorcycle form individually or together. The two can also combine to form a larger rider. Each also can become a replacement head for Sideways' robot form, Crosswise being the 'good' head and Rook the 'evil' head. (Note: this review covers the early variation of the toy. It seems later versions reversed the alleigances of the two minicons, to make sure toy and cartoon matched)

Pros: Both minicons ride the motorcycle quite well, either individually or in combined form. I think the head made from Rook is the better looking of the two. The combined rider form is the best looking, most proportional, and well articulated form.

Cons: Their individual forms are oddly proportioned, with squat bodies, stumpy arms and long legs. The minicons' legs kind of stick out in head mode - the instructions splay them out like horns, but they seem better tucked behind the head. Some joints get loose easily, and the combined form separates a little too easily.

Sideways (Possibly neutral, purple motorcycle)

Features: Has a minicon-actuated missile launcher on each arm. Has his own head, but can also accept either minicon as an alternate head, revealing an Autobot or Decepticon symbol when Crosswise or Rook is attached, respectively.

Pros: faction-changing gimmick is interesting and innovative. Nice clean transformation and robot mode, which is often unusual for a motorcycle Transformer. Good joints in the shoulders and hips.

Cons: Might have been nice as a little smaller toy. No usable knee or elbow joints. Missile launchers are sometimes difficult to operate. Normal robot head looks much like a soda can with antlers. Sometimes tough to disengage the minicon heads from the body.

Score: Sideways 8, Crosswise 7, Rook 7.5, Overall 7.6

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