Review: Transformers Combiner Wars Drag Strip

Ladies and gentleman, it’s finally time for Combiner Week, provided by the frustratingly slow TFSource. The first wave of Combiner Wars has just recently hit retail, but collectors have had them in-hand for weeks now. Still, I think these figures are really awesome, so I figure I’ll give them a spotlight here, starting with the lone Stunticon in a sea of Aerialbots, Drag Strip.

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Vehicle Mode

Drag Strip is far sexier than he has any right to be. Like, just look at this altmode. It may not be the crazy six-wheeled thing G1 Drag Strip was, but it’s sleek, it’s curvaceous, it’s big, it’s well-painted, and it’s easily the best F1 car altmode we’ve ever gotten in the franchise. This thing makes the Classics Mirage mold look bland and boring.

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Yep, definitely an improvement. The painted rims in particular really make this car shine. The only negative is that he lacks any real weapon storage; I can forgive it for the Hand-Foot-Gun (HFG), but I would’ve liked to have somewhere to stow his sword. Ah, well, it still looks gorgeous. 

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Transformation

Most of the Combiner Wars deluxes seem to follow the same general pattern of conversion, and Drag Strip is no different. It’s a very simple “extend legs, flip out arms, fold back front” ordeal, but it definitely works. Like a lot of modern Transformers, it can be sufficiently described as simple but effective.

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Robot Mode

While Drag Strip was looking glorious in vehicle mode, I don’t think he looks all that great as a robot. The biggest problem is his chest. He has the grey combiner peg, and it’s fairly well-incorporated (Drag Strip always had a big chunk of silver/grey on his chest), but the grey looks pretty ugly against the yellow, and the exposed screws are a bit distracting. Other than that, the rest of his body looks pretty great, especially is unique headsculpt. He looks like a sadistic bastard.

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Articulation is fairly standard, but not disappointing: ball-jointed neck, shoulders, and hips; swivel biceps, elbows, waist, thighs, and knees; and there’s an additional transformation hinge in his shoulders. Since his weapon is a sword, I would’ve liked to see wrist swivels, but he does fine without them. I really like how nicely expressive the neck joint is; a trait he shares with his fellow CW deluxes.

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Drag Strip comes armed with a mean-looking blade, which he probably uses to mug people in the back alleys of Cybertron. It has an odd angled peg sticking off of one side; the instructions suggest it’s for his arm-mode, but it doesn’t look particularly good or effective there. Eh? He also comes with the prerequisite HFG, though the barrels don’t look particularly gun-like. Like the other HFGs, I generally set them aside if they’re not acting as limbs.

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Overall

Drag Strip might be my favorite deluxe of wave 1. Maybe. It’s a close race between him and Skydive. Drag Strip does have one of my favorite-looking altmodes ever, so that scores him some major points despite the somewhat lackluster robot mode. He is a limb robot, and they’re kind of always a little dull, but G1 Drag Strip had a lot of uniqueness in his robot mode, and it’s a shame to see that it only really carried over in his striking headsculpt. Still, Drag Strip is a really good toy and leaves me pining for the rest of his crew, especially because he’s being forced to combine with the Aerialbots, which somehow seems very disturbing to think about.

Where to Buy

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