Review: Transformers Age of Extinction Deluxe Lockdown

Yes, it’s back to the Transformers 4 toyline, as the final member of the main cast and the movie’s main Cybertronian villain has finally found his way onto shelves with a proper toy. Lockdown has come a fairly long way since his introduction in Transformers Animated as the harbinger of the show’s darker themes. After getting a brand new homage toy in ROTF’s offshoot line and an appearance in IDW’s Drift miniseries (and, more recently, in MTMTE), Lockdown surprised everyone by being announced as the main villain of the fourth movie. And then he proceeded to continuously surprise everyone by being a solid character with an impressive amount of lines (delivered by a top-of-his-game Mark Ryan), easily proving himself to be the most effective villain of the film series. Not bad at all, but how does the long-awaited deluxe Lockdown match up to the onscreen character?

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Vehicle Mode

Let me just get this out of the way: there are no windows. Yes, it looks kind of dumb and no, I don’t see a reason for it other than laziness. My initial reaction was one of anger and frustration, but I got over it because this is still a pretty nice rendition of a gorgeous car. Lockdown assumes the vehicle form of a Lamborghini Aventador, which is an intimidatingly awesome car that matches his character perfectly and looked excellent in the film. In plastic form, the overall character of the car is preserved, though it is a bit small (which becomes important later). Also, Lockdown feels strikingly lightweight, which, combined with the clip-on wheels, can make him come across as feeling cheap. The dark greyish-brown is also a really odd color choice given the straight black and grey color palate of the character in the film. My first thought was that it was done to make him look more interesting like with the Dinobots, but as any Bionicle fan will tell you, brown is not a good color for standing out on toy shelves. What’s the deal? Also, you can plug his huge cannon onto the back of the car, but why would you do that?

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Transformation

I’ve heard that Lockdown’s transformation is very similar to DOTM Deluxe Roadbuster’s, to the point where people were speculating that the former may even be a remold of the latter. This is obviously not true, and I don’t remember enough about Roadbuster’s transformation to say much on the similarity. Regardless, the transformation is smooth and intuitive, striking that good balance of complexity and simplicity that the best recent movie figures have.

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Robot Mode

Quite frankly, this is not the Lockdown that was on screen in Age of Extinction. Lockdown in the movie was of roughly equal mass to Optimus, mostly colored black, and had a very muscular build. This toy is short, brown-grey, and squat. Elements of the design are clearly seen, like the head, chest layout, and legs, but it’s all, well, wrong. The chest was clearly designed with the intent of having the Lamborghini headlights line up in the chest, which is accurate to the film, but it leaves Lockdown with a very odd, round-looking body. It’s odd that such effort went into making sure the car headlights are there in robot mode when plenty of other AOE figures have no problem “cheating” such details. His shoulders and arms are much bulkier and larger than they need to be, and the car door panels stuck to his lower arms do him no favors. The legs look the part, but end up far too skinny to be proportional. Even the face is too thin and too long to match up with the model.

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Now, all that being said, I actually quite like this toy. If you just forget what Lockdown is like in the film itself and treat this toy as just a random movie Decepticon, it becomes a lot easier to forgive the toy’s flaws. He’s packed with a ton of really nice detail, especially in the legs, and none of it feels particularly lacking of paint apps. He’s also one of the more well-articulated deluxe cars in the line, with a balljointed neck, swivel and balljointed shoulders, universal elbows, universal hips, and single-joint knees. It’s not a spectacular joint setup, but I think it’s really all he needs.

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When pictures of this toy first started popping up online, everyone was asking one question: can he replicate the infamous gunface? Answer: yes, he can. His huge rifle has a curved section with a small peg that tabs into a slot on the top of his head, giving Lockdown the appearance of having transformed his head into a very long cannon. Exactly how well this was executed is really up to you, but I think it totally works. The cannon can also be held in his hand, giving it a bit more of a sniper rifle look. It can also fire a missile… about three inches. I think it looks better and more movie-accurate without the missile, myself.

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Overall

Lockdown is the epitome of a toy that could simply never live up to expectations. Previous Lockdown toys have both been normal-sized deluxe vehicles that transform into towering, Leader-sized robot modes; AOE Lockdown is a somewhat small vehicle that transforms into an equally small modern deluxe robot. Lockdown’s appearance in the movie was a strikingly large, humanoid, muscular robot; this toy’s robot mode is short and squat and lacks all of the physical traits from the movie design. Despite (or perhaps because of) all this, though, I find the little guy rather endearing. He has plenty of flaws and is far from perfect, but as a toy, he’s actually fairly good. Not to mention he’s also more or less your only option as far as Lockdown toys go, so the toy has that going for it. Keep an open mind and try not to judge the toy based on the character it represents, and I think deluxe Lockdown makes a fine endcap to the onscreen characters in the Age of Extinction toyline.

(Also, if the size really bugs you too much, there are ways to fix that…)

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Where to Buy

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