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DRIFT

Series: Generations
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Deluxe
Year: 2010


Autobot Drift used to fight for Megatron, and was known as one of the most terrible warriors ever to stalk the face of Cybertron. Something happened that changed him, bringing home all the horror he'd inflicted. Since then, he has hunted the Decepticons from one end of the galaxy to the other, bringing his own brand of justice to evil robots.


Robot Mode: It’s very easy to see that Drift has a lot of Japanese influence in his design. Leaving aside the Japanese writing on his sword, the entire set-up of the figure just screams Anime, but not in the bad, over-the-top way that I personally despise, but rather in the cool, understated way that reminds me of some of my favorite Anime programs from the 80s and early 90s. Also, I do have a soft spot for sword-wielding Transformers.

In many ways Drift’s look somewhat reminds me of Star Saber. The Anime influenced design, the big sword, one could almost consider the character to be a younger version of the Cybertron leader from the Victory series (which would have been a cool way to introduce an established, but rarely used character and would probably have avoided the whole anti-Drift-mania, see remarks).

But let’s look at the figure itself. Posability is very good, only restricted somewhat by the bulky lower legs and the hip scabbards. The nearly all-white paint job tends to swallow up some of the detailing of the figure, but overall it looks very good and the black parts and red paint highlights nicely accentuate the overall whiteness. The head sculpt also looks very good, very reminiscent of the Japanese G1 series such as Victory or Zone, whose style I very much enjoyed.

In terms of weapons Drift carries two short swords in his hip scabbards (really the car doors) and a single huge sword that he can either clip to his back or slide into one of the scabbards (between the folded-down car window and the door). He can easily hold the sword two-handed and accomplish many cool poses. A long-range weapon would have been nice, but Drift hasn’t used one in the comics yet, so the absence isn’t out of character. Side Note: For the Blurr repaint of this figure, the big sword will be replaced by a long sniper rifle.

What more can I say? Not much. Drift is a pretty cool-looking robot that offers lots of play value. No flip-out guns, shooting missiles or other gimmicks, just a kick-ass sword-fighting robot. Nice.

Alternate Mode: Drift transformers into a white, low-riding sports car or Drift Racer (now how did they come up with that name again?) that is a cross between a Nissan Silvia S15 and a Mitsubishi FTO. Drifting is a racing technique that first became popular in Japan and basically means driving via controlled over-steering or, as Doc from the Pixar movie Cars put it, “you turn left by steering to the right”. It works, trust me.

The car is, of course, mostly white as well. The black pieces of the robot mode are pretty much gone here, only the red paint apps and the black tires supply any sort of color here. The car fits together pretty well, only a slight gap in the front between the central grill and the two shoulder pieces ruins the car’s streamlined image. It’s not a big thing and might just be my version only. The detailing of the car is pretty good, including transparent headlights and windows and a sculpted rear license plate, though there’s nothing on it (reprolabels.com will probably fix that before too long).

So all in all what we have here is a good, solid car mode without any fancy gimmicks or hidden flip-out weapons, just a cool-looking car. Works for me.

Remarks: Few recent characters have divided the fandom as much as Drift has. Introduced in the infamous "All Hail Megatron" series by Shane McCarthy, many fans were irate at how this new über-cool ninja/anime character was shoved down their throats as the supposed best thing to ever happen to Generation 1. Interestingly enough the hatred for Drift quickly blew out of all proportion (especially once it was announced that he’d get his own Spotlight and Miniseries, not to mention a toy), to the point where some fans (including myself) considered setting up a Drift fan club just to see how others might make fools out of themselves raging against it (I might still do it). So to sum up my own feelings: Not a big fan of the way Drift was introduced (I’ll vent my opinions on Shane McCarthy’s miserable writing skills elsewhere), but I find it hilarious how some people consider him the Anti-Christ (or maybe that’d be Anti-Prime).

As a toy Drift is interesting. Certainly not a revolutionary new Transformers toy, but he’s good, solid and at least slightly innovative. Kind of like the character, come to think of it.

Rating: B+




And for a second opinion, the review by Caked-Up:

Overview: Autobot Drift is the fan boy’s fan boy dream character. I have only recently become aware of his history, but I like him. I am looking forward to the comics giving him a better opportunity to portray how he has changed and become truly awesome. The fact that he is connected to my favorite Decepticon, Lockdown, adds to his charm.

--Review--Robot Mode: Let’s start off by saying that Drift is clearly inspired by Japanese pop culture and giant fighting robots. With the shoulder pads, boots, and hip sheaths he blatantly looks like a samurai warrior, but not as much as Alternity Megatron or ROTF Bludgeon. He more closely resembles a samurai themed Gundam or Mega-Man character.

His color scheme is mostly white. There are portions of his limbs are molded in black plastic and there are some small painted details, but there is no doubting how white he is. His scabbards have most of the pin striping from the vehicle mode to break up the white monotony. Near as I can tell from tfwiki.net, his white paint scheme is actually deliberate. But overall, it is very crisp and refreshing.

The sculpting throughout his body is simple and clean. A little bit of paint here and there would have made some of these finer details stand out. His head is very much G1 with the helmet, plain face, and the crest. The Japanese influence did bring us a swept back crest and cheek “intakes”. Contrary to what I thought at first, there actually aren’t that many colors on his head either, but his eyes have the appearance of pupils when light hits them. An interesting nod to himself as Deadlock is his chest under the car’s roof. Apparently this is what his chest looked like before being rebuilt.

His appearance is strong but he has some drawbacks as well. To start off with he has some serious kibble, but more on that later because it is accurate. Secondly, there is a gap present on his shins from where his feet fold up. If you flatten his feet to be feet, the gap opens. If you close the gap his toes hover above whatever surface he is on. My final gripe is that they went G1 on his hands. He has fists with holes. Bludgeon can double fist his sword with open hands so why did they choose not to here?

Drift is awesome when it comes to posability and stability, but he isn’t the best. The biggest difference between him and something like Classics Mirage or Deluxe Animated Prime(s) is that his wrists can twist and bend inward. His legs have the standard hip and thigh movement, but nothing in the feet. His knees are hampered by the rear of the car stacked on his ankles. His scabbards interfere with his arms and the shoulder kibble blocks of his head. His head by the way is on a swivel and hinge like Sea Spray, not a ball joint. Regardless of these limitations, his awesomeness finds a way to strike some seriously good poses.

Since there is nothing more awesome than a swordsman winning in a gun fight, Drift is armed with three swords. He is armed with two smaller swords that store in the sheaths attached to his waist. The third sword is a long bastard-style that has kanji written down the length of the blade. A rough translation is “peerless under heaven.” All of these swords are sturdy, but they are made of a rubbery plastic for safety reasons. The long sword is primarily mounted on his back, but it can be sheathed on his doors in-between the door and the window. Additionally, the back mount is on a small arm, giving some extra clearance. In my opinion, Anime Rule #73; The Law of Universal Edge Defense probably applies to Drift and continues to add to his overbearing awesomeness. By the way I know you are going to Google Anime Rule #73.

Drift’s robot mode alone is so awesome you need to quit reading and buy him.

Vehicle Mode: There have been many sport car alt modes in the world of Transformers, but apparently this is the first “drifting” car. Why this distinction was important to make is beyond me, but it’s Japanese and that is the theme here.

White is the major color again here, but there is some sweet pin striping with some kanji along the sides and fenders. My understanding is it means “servant” or “samurai”. The character’s portrayal in the upcoming comics might explain which is more likely. All of the applicable car parts are detailed as necessary, except the tailpipes. However, this is probably because they might scrape when you transform his legs. As with the robot mode this is very clean, simple, and sharp. His front and side windows are a clear light blue while the back window is painted a silvery blue. I would have preferred them to have matched, but the clear windshield allows the chest detailing in robot mode to be visible.

Every curve and line about this car screams underground street racing. He has the oversized spoiler, roof scoop, hood scoop, and a low profile. I think the model of car is either made up or a combination of cars, but it is very good looking.

As far as playability, he rolls very well. Plus you store each of his swords in car mode. The smaller ones fold up into the doors, while the larger slots in under the vehicle.

His awesome robot mode is backed up by his awesome vehicle mode. Is there anything his awesomeness can’t do?

Conclusion: Drift is not perfect, but he is certainly awesomely close. Liking or hating the character is inconsequential to me, but this mold is a must buy for any Transformer, otaku, or collectors of sheer awesomeness. He has become my favorite deluxe class mold for the Autobots and takes his place with ROTF Lockdown for the top two Deluxes ever in my collection.

Grade: A

Side note: Drift is so great he even makes Chuck Norris doubt his awesomenacity. I managed to use the word awesome or some version of it twelve times in this review. Go ME!







Included Figures: User Rating: Accessories: Other Versions of the Mold:
4.2 of 5 Stars determined by 5 User Rating
Great Sword    Short Swords   
Generations Blurr (2010)
United Blurr (2010)
United Drift (2010)
Transformers Collectors Club Drift (2012)
      more... 


Published 14.10.2010
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