Tuesday, 6 September 2011
D is for Drift
The Winning Toy
"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 horro 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 the evil robots."
Generation: Generation One
Size Class: Deluxe
Quote: "Peerless Under Heaven" (as seen on Ancient Sword)
Drift's robot mode is very well designed, it's made to emulate a samurai and does so very well without having to use many, if any false parts (ie all the car parts shown in robot mode are actually from the car mode). his car bonnet is split apart during transformation and becomes shoulder-armour for him and his roof/windscreen becomes his chest with some detailing underneath it (possibly to look like an engine, but I'm not sure.
Drift's car sides (including the doors) are turned into some side-skirt armour and sword sheaths, which actually hold 2 short broadswords in both modes! Finally, the rear portion of Drift's car mode turns into his legs, which are made to resemble a wide cuffed outfit, much like what Samurai's are often depicted as having
Drift's body is mostly white, but with dark grey internal parts (such as for his upper legs, arms and torso) he also has some red detailing as seen on his knees, wrists and sword sheath decorations
His head is very nicely designed, with a silver (expressionless) face and white helmet and chin. The helmet also has 2 long ear-horns on the top and one yellow chevron on his forehead
Drift's articulation is pretty much perfect, he can bend his knees on a joint, just above that is a pivot joint for added articulation and a ball jointed upper leg to enable him to be posed in any manner needed. The sword sheaths can be moved on a connector which is attached to the main body via a ball joint and pivot point.
Drift's arms are articulated in a similar way as well, his arms are connected to the torso via a connector on a pivot and ball joint, enabling him to have full shoulder articulation. He can also move his upper arms into the shoulder armour to be pointed straight forward and can also pivot on a pivot joint just below that horizontally. His elbows are jointed as a human's would be and his hands are on ball joints for added articulation. His hands however are not articulated (as to be expected) but he can hold up to 2 guns/swords in the pre-made holes
Drift's head is also able to bop up and down and rotate on the neck joint. Also (as with most modern toys) has a light piping effect on his eyes activated from the top of his head
Drift's Ancient Sword holder on his back can be extended so that it's easier to make it look like he's drawing the blade (however it's difficult to actually draw it that way with his hands due to the angles and the clips involved.
Drift also comes with 3 different swords, 2 short broadswords that fit in his side skirt sheaths and one, almost body-length Ancient Sword that is able to slide into the available slots on his back.
The two Broadswords are made of a rubberised shiny (but not reflective) plastic with black, handles with sculpted grips (for aesthetic reasons only) The 2 of swords have to be sheathed in their specific sheaths to fit, but definitely look good. The handles are able to be flipped down so it can fit better in vehicle mode
The Ancient Sword is made of similar plastic, but in a duller colour grey (which is appropriate since this is meant to be a very old weapon) The sword's hilt has a painted gold "jewel" which in the comics would act as a connector to the user's spark for power. The handle has a sculpted grip, again for aesthetic reasons. The blade also has some kanji sculpted into it saying "Peerless Under Heaven"
Drift's alternate mode is a mostly off-white Drifting Race Car. However he also has some red detailing on the bonnet (leading from the headlights) and on the doors in the shape of 3 red swirls and the kanji for "Samurai" on both sides (to further add to his Samurai gimmick)
The wheels have black plastic tires and silver hub caps, and luckily (unlike some who have the wheels integrated into their legs and arms in robot mode) the wheels are fully functional, and even more rarely this figure has no real issue with undercarriage kibble getting in the way of his rolling out! (despite having a giant sword hanging below him!)
Aesthetically, the car mode also has a large spoiler on the back, realistic headlights, a front grill, speedbreakers in several positions, 2 exhaust pipes on the back, 2 unpainted indicators just behind the rear wheels, 2 red painted emergency lights under the spoiler and an indentation for a licence plate between the exhaust pipes (though left blank as with some modern figures)
The windows are blue tinted (most likely to add more colour to the figure), but the rear window is just painted metallic blue (my only real qualm with this mode). When looking though the windows, the robot mode feet are designed to look somewhat like car seats, which pleases me :D
Drift has a bizarre, albeit short history, he was designed to be a new, incredible character to be introduced in the All Hail Megatron maxi-series from IDW for it's G1 Continuity, and yes, he was created, yes he was in All Hail Megatron, but no he isn't an incredible character..yet.
He's be advertised as a great character, but it hasn't been developed upon very well. So far he's just been shown to be interesting, with a slightly intriguing back story (being a former Decepticon who saw the error of his ways) but, honestly, that's happened many times before (And to add insult to injury, BY THE JAPANESE CONTINUITY!!) For example, in the Headmasters continuity Sixshot is a violent Decepticon early in the series, but by the end he is shown the error of his ways by Daniel and goes off to learn to be a hero, many years later in Victory Sixshot has returned as Greatshot, an Autobot! (Just change a few names and this is Drift's story as well)
Drift has been a prominent character in All Hail Megatron, where he was a part of Kup's team (but isn't considered a Wrecker) after that he remains on Earth where he stands around in crowds a whole lot. He's also received a few dedicated stories to himself as well, even being lucky enough to have both a single Spotlight issue dedicated to himself AND a Spotlight mini-series as well! (both called "Drift" of course)
Also, in recent days, the character Wheeljack from Transformers: Prime seems to be HEAVILY influenced by Drift, at least aesthetically (having a mostly white body, twin swords and worked with the Wreckers in the past)
This toy has since been repainted and remolded into Blurr, albeit with a new head and a set of guns instead of swords (2 hand guns and a sniper rifle)
Is he Cool?
Of course Drift is cool! What a silly question! He's cooler than a cucumber kept in a freezer, surrounded by Kool-Aid!
In all seriousness though, Drift is a very cool figure, he looks brilliant in both modes and has a lot of play value (with his 3 separate swords) He's very comic accurate (at least his Earth Mode comic appearances anyway) and because of his fantastic articulation, he is able to do many exciting poses with his swords to really show the energy of battle, despite being a static toy.
If you find Drift in a shop, then you must buy him!