Monday, 14 May 2012

TransFormers Collectors' Club 2011 Members Incentive (Timelines) Side Burn

(Members Incentive Monday #2)
If there's a TransFormers mold that's destined to be considered overused, it's going to be G1 Optimus Prime. If there's more than one mold that's destined to be considered overused, though, the Classics Rodimus mold must surely be high on the list. Not only has it been repainted about a billion times as Hot Rod/Rodimus/Rodimus Prime, released both singly and in multi-packs, and cast in just about every imaginable shade of red, including transparent, but it's been used by the TFCC as an exclusive.


So far.

Vehicle Mode:
So, yeah, it's this old car again. Not really much to say about the car, just the colour scheme. It's a slightly lighter metallic blue than RiD Side Burn, but it's a reasonable match. The fire pattern on the bonnet is another, lighter metallic blue, pinstriped in white. The headlights are only painted on the outermost parts (which become the robot's shoulders), but the raised headlight area on the main bonnet isn't very noticeable, so it kind of works. The engine is painted to resemble the RiD model's chromed engine.

What's quite interesting about this paint job is that the Club elected to paint in details on the back end - red lozenges on the otherwise flat area in front of the middle part of the spoiler, metallic blue vents just in front of the 'wings' of the spoiler - rather than, for example, fill in the flame pattern around the wheels, or paint in the exhaust pipes.

I guess the latter can be excused, because they're very much a 'Hot Rod' detail, and they didn't want this Club figure to be too reminiscent of that character (even though Hot-Side Rod-Shot-Burn are essentially interchangeable characters). The former, however, is just daft. The flame pattern on the sides just stops at one of the transformation seams, making it look rather unfinished.

Side Burn's RiD alternate mode was (based heavily on) a Dodge Viper, making this choice of mold rather a strange one. Sadly, even now, the choices of car mold are somewhat limited, and both the Sunstreaker/Sideswipe mold and the Tracks/Wheeljack mold have already been used several times by the Club. At least this is only the second Club usage, the first being Shattered Glass Hot Rod.
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Robot Mode:
Here, the reasons behind choosing this mold become clearer. Yes, it's still not really anything like Side Burn, but the paint job has been designed to evoke the RiD character as well as possible within the limitations of the mold. It's not the perfect solution, but it works well enough, and I can't think of a mold that would suit the usage better without needing a remolded head.

What's really surprising is that the head mold, via some very clever paint applications, actually works amazingly well as Side Burn. They weren't able to add a transparent yellow plastic piece to cover one eye, so they just painted yellow around the eye. The mold's symmetrical head sculpt has further been painted asymmetrically to improve the likeness.
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This was never one of my favourite molds from the Classics line - vehicle mode is too sleek and futuristic, and yet would almost look like a pickup truck were it not for the spoiler. Robot mode is good, but the tall shoulders get in the way of movement, and the legs aren't great for posing. Had this been one of the Club's premium exclusives, it would have been an easy pass... but as a Members Incentive figure, it's pretty cool.

The mold does show signs of overuse, however, most notably in the shoulders - the ball joint on one side is rather floppy, and the collapsible parts are wobbly and yet stiff to transform.

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In comparison to the original toy, you can see that robot mode isn't as lithe or dynamic, but they've done a good job of turning this much-used mold into a very different character. It's just a shame that, aside from a couple of brief appearances, Side Burn as been largely overlooked in the Club comics.

So far...

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