Series: Reveal the Shield If there is one thing Autobot Tracks loves, it's himself. In his opinion, nothing is quite so fine as the glint of sunlight off his perfectly polished chrome, or the looks humans give his sweet paint job as he rolls by. He's no coward, but he avoids battle all the same, if only to protect his precious body from getting scuffed or, even worse, dented.
Most of the G1 Autobots that transform into cars (both the original toys and those that pay homage to them) follow one of two designs. They either have the car’s hood for a chest with the legs being formed from the car’s back, or they use the car’s roof as a chest and the car’s hood becomes the legs. Tracks follows the latter design and even has the semi-obligatory car-doors-as-wings, though he does feature extra flip-out wingtips. To round out the stereotypical Autobot look, he has missile launchers on his shoulders as well.
Apart from the missile launchers, Tracks carries an additional hand weapon, which is actually a missile launcher as well, or more precisely it is Wheeljack’s missile launcher, paving the way for this figure’s eventual Wheeljack repaint. All three weapons have the snap-on clips we’re already familiar with from quite a few other 2010-vintage Transformers, so he can exchange them with others and even clip his hand weapon onto either shoulder as well, should he want to. Another thing worth mentioning: Like many other recent figures, Tracks foregoes the classic fist-with-a-hole and has open, nicely sculpted hands that nevertheless can hold his weapon steady. Very nicely done.
What else is there to say here? Posability is standard for current Transformers figures, meaning pretty damn good. Bending his legs forward at the hip causes his chest plate to open a bit, but that’s nothing major. Stability isn’t an issue either; he has a solid stance despite somewhat loose toes. The paint job nicely matches the G1 character and detailing is good as well. So the bottom line here: A very nice robot mode, a great G1 homage, and nothing worth complaining about.
Just like in days of yore Tracks transforms into a blue sports car with flames (or rather flamey-looking tribal tattoos) on the hood. The car looks pretty wholesome with no visible robot parts and while it isn’t the exact same model as in G1 days, it still looks very lean and fast.
The car also features two gimmicks of sort. G1 Tracks was one of the few flight-capable Autobots, able to deploy wings from underneath his car form in order to fly. This new Tracks can do the same, though the wings are actually the car doors here. It still works, though the door-wings are actually lower than the wheels. Additionally Tracks can deploy his two shoulder missile launchers by flipping around the rear spoiler of the car and fastening them there. If not in use, the missiles can be stored underneath the car.
Bottom line here, same as above. A very nice vehicle mode, both on its own and as homage to the G1 original.
Tracks, like most of the 1985 Autobots and Decepticons, appeared from nowhere in the second season of the G1 cartoon to bolster the ranks of Optimus Prime’s forces on Earth. He was portrayed as extremely vain, oftentimes more concerned with the polish of his hood than whatever mission he was on. In the second season episode “Make Tracks” he made friends with a human called Raoul, a stereotypical 1980s street kid with a heart of gold. There is a persistent rumor among Transfans that Tracks’ portrayal was meant to show him as homosexual. Make of that whatever you like.
As a toy this new Tracks figure is a good reimagining of the original G1 character with no flaws worth mentioning. The mold will be reused for a Wheeljack homage, though there will be some changes to both head and legs. While not a revolutionary figure, it’s certainly a great one and well worth getting for all G1 and car-mode Transformer fans.