Review: Transformers Combiner Wars Streetwise

Like most combiner limb characters, I’m not terribly familiar with Streetwise. The only fiction I’ve seen the character in was a brief story arc at the end of IDW’s Mike Costa run, where he and Prowl essentially starred in a police drama hunting down Swindle (and Spike Witwicky). The arc was very Prowl-centric and Streetwise didn’t do a whole lot or show much personality outside of “the hothead,” I really enjoyed the concept of the two police car Autobots teaming up as a sort of buddy cop-style story, and it’s one I’d like to see tackled again with a more competent writer. Anyway, police car Transformers have always been my favorite, so let’s see how the updated, modernized Streetwise turned out.

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Vehicle Mode

Thankfully veering more in the lane of First Aid than Blades on the retool highway, Streetwise is a heavy remold of the Dead End figure with every piece of the altmode given new tooling. Taking the form of a supercar outfitted for law enforcement, Streetwise would look a bit conspicuous in any police force outside of Abu Dhabi. The unpainted rims get a pass for being a police car, but he does feel a bit sparse as far as paint apps go. The blue stripes on the sides seem unfinished, and he really could have used some taillights. Reprolabels did a fine job with Brake-Neck, so I’m looking forward to what they’ve got in store for Streetwise.

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It’s a sleek and badass looking police car, maintaining the same basic shape as Dead End (or Brake-Neck) but with a decidedly angular style with the windows, lights, and copious vents. It’s not quite the massive vehicular overhaul that First Aid was, but there’s not much you can do, and the effect is still fairly impressive.

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Robot Mode

Between the radically different color scheme and clever application of paint, Streetwise does a pretty good job of being not immediately identifiable as a retool of Dead End. His silhouette is basically identical, of course, but (at least in my opinion) he succeeds in looking like his own ‘bot. I love the black-painted chestplate trying hard to look like a window, and the fact that all the blue detailing of the vehicle mode is hidden in robot mode, replaced as a secondary color by a lot more red. It’s not an exceptionally complicated trick, but I really like the effect.

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Streetwise boasts one of my favorite headsculpts of the line so far, and it’s a dead-ringer for his G1 cartoon noggin from the red detailing to the blue shades to the weird two-layered face. It’s a headsculpt with a lot of character, giving Streetwise the look of a law enforcement agent that will probably inflict some police brutality upon some lawbreakers. (Something something topical remark…)

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In addition to the Hand-Foot-Gun that I so often forget to comment on (and will continue to neglect), Streetwise comes armed with one of the coolest weapons yet: a triple-barreled shotgun. The weapon has a gorgeous gunmetal finish and looks freakin’ badass, solidifying Streetwise as the type of loose cannon cop that probably doesn’t play by the rules. (Something something political commentary…)

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Overall

Streetwise is perhaps my favorite Combiner Wars deluxe so far, partially due to personal bias towards police car Transformers (Barricade is my favorite movie character), but mostly because the Dead End mold is one of the strongest molds in the line, and with the newly-molded parts, clever paint applications, and an overall more solidly-built feel, Streetwise is an even-better version of an already great toy. Unless you just hate the Dead End mold or police officers (something something controversy…), don’t hesitate to pick up Streetwise. 

Where to Buy

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