Published on November 3rd, 2010 | by admin3
Mint in Box #1: Transformers Generations: Drift
Transformers fans are a bipolar bunch. By that I mean they can be both easily and difficult to please. While this may be true for many fandoms, I can’t think of a more extreme example as Transformers fans. Case in point, the subject of my review today, Drift. A little backstory is in order, Drift first appeared in the fifth issue of IDW’s maxi-series All Hail Megatron. His appearance was a shock to fans as he was a brand new character, never before seen in any continuity (and there are many). He was initially decried as a cheap self-insertion fan character with all the hallmarks of those kinds of characters. This backlash soon lessened with 2009’s Spotlight: Drift as he was steadily developed, culminating in the four-issue origin series Transformers: Drift in 2010. The character still draws lines between those that love and hate him but one thing that they can both agree on is that he has a pretty damn awesome toy.
Drift comes from the first wave of Transformers Generations, the spiritual successor to the Classics and Universe toy lines of previous years. I will come right out of the gate and say that I adore this toy. It’s not without its flaws but it is both a fun toy and an excellent display piece. His vehicle mode is based on concept sketches drawn for IDW and is a cross between a Nissan Silvia S15 and a Mitsubishi FTO. It’s a very nice looking white drift racer, hinting at the origins and influences. Highlighting the Japanese influences even further is the red rising sun motif and the kanji on his car doors which translate as ‘Samurai’. This isn’t the last we’ll see of this but I’ll leave that for later.
His transformation, the key gimmick to any transforming robot toy, is both engaging and simple. It’s not overly complicated, but is difficult enough to keep you from getting bored. It’s here, in the transformation, that you really get a sense of how articulated and well-armed this figure is. Due to his ball jointed wrists, Drift is one of the few Transformers figures that can hold a sword with a two-handed grip and wields his signature Great Sword quite convincingly. He comes with two extra daggers that store in the scabbards formed from his doors (which is where they reside during his vehicle mode), while the larger sword stores in a set of grooves on the underside of his vehicle which extends in robot mode to avoid clearance issues with his legs. These weapons are made from a very soft, malleable plastic for safety reasons, which causes the Great Sword to warp on occasion. Remember what I said earlier about kanji? Well the Great Sword also sports an engraved Japanese phrase that translates to ‘peerless under heaven’ along the flat of the blade.
In robot mode, Drift cuts an impressive silhouette, looking like an awesome Autobot samurai, and can achieve a lot of poses due to the amount of articulation in his torso, shoulders and arms. Where this articulation falls down is in his legs. While he does have articulated hips, a mid-thigh swivel and knee joints, his feet are essentially the back part of the vehicle mode and have little in regards of ankle joints. While this is a little problematic, it doesn’t hinder the posing options too much. The pure white and nice reds in the vehicle mode are now broken up by a suitable dark grey plastic on the shoulders, thighs and fists. The head sculpt is a perfect with some brilliant blue light-piping for his eyes.
At the end of the day, if you’re a Transformers collector, you probably already own this toy. Whether or not you think Drift is a worthwhile character is your choice but there is one thing you have to concede and that is that this toy is pretty damn awesome.
– Richard Sharpe