RA-20 SKIDS & MUDFLAP
Series: Revenge of the Fallen Skids and Mudflap have always been close, but this is a little ridiculous. Equipped with experimental combination technology, they use their newfound ability to help the other Autobots hunt rogue Decepticons wherever they hide. Unfortunately, they have so much difficulty hanging onto each other in vehicle mode that they spend more time struggling to stay on the road then they do fighting.
Skids and Mudflap are two scout-sized robots that combine in vehicle mode only. Both are about the same height, though Mudflap is by far the more massive of the two. But let's look at Skids first.
Skids emerges from the front of the ice cream truck and has a more or less standard hood-as-chest design. His massive upper body seems a bit out of proportion to his rather short, thin legs, but overall he looks okay. I'm still not a fan of his head design, but it's movie accurate. He carries the driver's cabin of the truck on his back, folded up into a big rucksack. Not as big as the one carried by his Deluxe incarnation
, but still big. Posability is quite good, though arm movement is a bit hampered by the big shoulder wheels.
One interesting thing that both Skids and Mudflap share: They each have one actual hand set on a wrist joint, while the other arm just features a hand sculpted into the inside of the arm. In Skid's case it's the right hand that's 'real', in Mudflap's the left. Apart from that Skids is about as detailed as you can expect from a scout-class figure, so no complaints on that front. His head can be obscured from certain angles by the white knob sitting at the top of the truck's grill, but apart from that there is nothing particularly bothersome about the design, either. A nice little robot alltogether.
Mudflap mirrors his Deluxe incarnation
as well in that he carries a much bigger backpack than Skids. He's pretty much a shell former, the outer hull of the vehicle hangs off his back in various parts of kibble. He does make it look better than Deluxe Mudflap, though, and with his heavy-set legs and broad chest he carries off a very powerful look. And if you're feeling funky, you can extend parts of the hull-pieces on his back as giant wings.
Despite his kibble Mudflap is fully posable with no restrictions worth mentioning. His big feet make for a pretty solid platform, allowing him to pull off a few dynamic poses. Detailing is also quite good and while his paint job seems a tad more boring than Skid's, it's still okay and not worth complaining about. So all in all Mudflap's a pretty decent robot, too. To me a tad better than Skids, but that's just a matter of opinion.
I don't normally include notes on the transformation of the figure(s), but in this case there are two things I want to mention. Number 1 is Mudflap's feet. According to the instruction sheet they're folded in when he's transformed into vehicle mode, but apparently that was the prototype. He can't fold his feet in, the pink plastic of his lower legs doesn't allow it. Trying too hard will result in breaking plastic, so don't.
Number 2 is Skid's head. It sits on a pretty tough spring, so getting it back down and the hood of the truck closed isn't the easiest thing in the world. You need to pull out the white knob that sits on top of the truck's grill all the way up, so that it holds the truck's hood closed. Otherwise Skid's head will keep popping out.
Let's leave aside the question of whether or not it makes sense for two robots to have but one alternate mode between them. Skids and Mudflap combine into a single vehicle form, an ice cream truck, with Skids forming the front half and Mudflap the rear one. The truck looks like something from a 50s sitcom, driving through suburban America and handing out fresh ice cream to dozens of little tykes. It looked a lot more run-down in the movie than it does here, though.
The truck features transparent windows (at least in the front half), behind which you can see Skid's robot legs. Looked at from certain angles, though, you can imagine those to be seats. Both halves feature sculpted details such as headlights, rear doors, and the likes. Again Skids comes off a bit better here, featuring more details. The truck is adorned with some writings, though far less than were seen in the movie (soon to be rectified by Reprolabel stickers). One detail I really like a lot is the sculpted windshield wipers. So all in all a very nice-looking, unique vehicle mode. Two thumbs up.
Skids and Mudflap were the comic relief in the Revenge of the Fallen movie (well, most robots fulfilled no other function in the movie than that, but these two somewhat more so). Their ice cream truck form was only seen in the first few minutes of the film, before they were fed up with combining and scanned new alternate modes (their individual Deluxe incarnations). The ice cream truck did feature pretty prominently in the various shots from the set which were seen before the movie aired and fans long speculated what was up with it. It was also briefly seen in the Prequel Comic.
While I'm certainly not a fan of the two characters depicted here (I find them offensive, stupid, and that's just the least of it), I really like the idea of having a 50s-style ice cream truck as an alternate mode. My one big complaint about this toy is that the plastic it's made from seems to be more fragile and cheap than what was used for other figures, but maybe that's just me. Objectively there is very little wrong with this two-figure set. And besides, it's the only ice cream truck in Transformer history so far. Don't need any other reason than that to get it.