Downshift's robot mode is a dead ringer for G1 Wheeljack. This is also my one main complaint about this toy: Why isn't it called Wheeljack? They did call it that in Japan, why not everywhere? Anyway, the robot really does look a lot like G1's mad scientists, everything from the head down is a homage, including the colour scheme. Downshift can very much stand on his own, though. He has good posability, a nice selection of hand-held weapons (which can be combined into a single, huge gun) and simple good looks. One minor drawback is that he can't bend his legs forward at the hips, making it tough to put him into a running pose. Apart from that, though, a great robot.
The homage to G1 Wheeljack continues with this car mode. Downshift does look a bit sleeker, though, and has openable (is this a word?) doors that swing out like wings (reminiscent of the MASK Thunderbird). The car mode can be enhanced with Downshift's weapons, which can either point forward in attack mode or backward as a kind of auxiliary exhaust pipes. Downshift in car mode offers above-average play value compared to other car Transformers.
Downshift might just be the best Deluxe Powerlinx figure yet (of those I own, anyway). He makes for a great upper and a decent lower body. So far I only tried out the combinations with Rodimus
. As a lower body Downshift puts up a decent job (hampered only by the above mentioned limit in leg posabilty), but as an upper body he really shines. His robot-mode legs make decent arms, his smaller arms give his shoulders a lot of extra bulk, and his head retains full mobility. In combination with Rodimus
as a lower body, he looks very, very cool.
You can see all possible combinations of Powerlinx Downshift on my Powerlinx Combos
Like I said, the only thing I find terribly wrong about this toy is the name. It should have been called Wheeljack. I know that this wasn't possible because there is already an Armada character of that name, but they ignored so much Armada-continuity in Energon, why not this? Anyway, apart from the name thing Downshift is a very good Deluxe toy, one of the best when it comes to the powerlinx gimmick, and a great stand-alone figure to boot.