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Transformers: Cyberverse
by yo go re

Animated lives on!

"Slipstream is really good at telling others what to do, and also really good at strategizing ways to stop us Autobots. A great combo for trying to destroy the Earth. Not a great combo for me. Don't tell her I said this, but she's actually got some pretty impressive leadership skills! You know, in a diabolical sort of way." --Bumblebee

The last Transformers franchise, Robots in Disguise, wrapped up in late 2017, and the new one, Cyberverse, was introduced at Toy Fair 2018. The line is aimed at younger fans (with Siege being sold to old fogeys like us), so we haven't reviewed any of them here. But I couldn't pass up the opportunity to finally get a non-Lego Slipstream!

No surprise this figure is a repaint of Starscream - Cyberverse gives her a unique "feminine" design on the cartoon, but it's not so different that the toyline can't get away with reusing those molds. Cyberverse uses the "evergreen" designs for the characters, which in practice means "very G1-ish, with whatever stylistic tweaks we're currently favoring" - so you can expect this toy to look like the general idea of a classic Seeker, with the towers on the shoulders, the vennts around the head, the turbines on the chest, etc.

Slipstream's colorscheme is purple and blue, a loose homage to G1 Overlord. The wings and torso are dark purple, with a lighter magenta for the chest, shoulders, and forearms. She could really sue some more paint apps on the legs: those are nearly solid baby blue, with just somme darker panels on the shins. She could also use some more articulation in those legs, because the only thing she has is hips, and even those swivel in unison, rather than individually! Her elbows, shoulders, and neck are better, but she loses her waist to a "Sonic Swirl" action feature: wind up the waist and let it go, and she spins around; centrifugal force then makes the tips of her wings spread out like blades. (Fortunately, you can lock the waist in place using the landing gear.)

Unlike the RiD "Warrior" Class figures (which just printed the instructions on the back of the packaging), Cyberverse returns to paper instruction sheets. Not that converting Slipstream is supremely difficult or anything - remember, this is the toyline that's meant to bring in new generations of kids.

So all you need to do to turn her into a jet is rotate the waist around, lift the nosecone, push the feet together, hinge the torso up from the waist, fold the whole thing over, straighten the cockpit, and tuck the arms into the sides.

On the cartoon, Slipstream is not just "girly Starscream" - she's got her own character model and even a unique altmode that's more angular and "super modern" than our boy 'screamer. And while there is a toy that accurately re-creates that design, this is just a repaint. The toy's design isn't all that impressive, because Hasbro had a budget to hit, so the plane is very stumpy and the rear end is particularly hollow and poorly proportioned. But who cares? Slipstream toy!

This is not the first Slipstream figure there's been: there was one in the Collectors' Club Subscribtion Service, and another released only in Japan in their equivalent of the Generations line. And despite both of those being on my Amazon wishlist, none of you have bought them for me yet. Imagine! Untill such time, this (perhaps a little too) simple Target exclusive will be a decent stand-in.

-- 02/11/20

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