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Transformers ROTF
by yo go re

We talked before about Hasbro turning a cartoony character into a realistic one, and now they're doing it again, though it's no longer just about Star Wars - now Transformers is getting in on the fun.

Lockdown was hired to hunt down and destroy Autobot Ratchet, and that's what he aims to do. Once he's accepted a contract, nothing short of total deactivation can stop him. His services don't come cheap, but he's the best there is at what he does. Lockdown has never lost a target, and he doesn't intend for this to be the first time.

Lockdown was, of course, introduced as a new character in Animated, but has now been introduced to the movieverse. It's not really possible for two design sensibilities to be more different than those two, so let's see how the transfer works.

Lockdown is still a vicious-looking muscle car, immediately recognizable if you know his forebear. There have been some changes made to the proportions, but it's roughly the same: the curving Corvette styling, the spikes all over the place, the exposed engine, the rear spoiler... the car is longer and taller (though slightly narrower), but it definitely looks like a new take on the same character.

The exhaust pipes are a different shape, and gold rather than gray. There are spikes on the side that the Animated version lacked, and the ones on the roof have been rearranged. The green fender elements have been retained, but they now continue all the way back to the red windows, and there's a darker green app on the hood and roof, making for a more colorful presentation overall.

To convert Lockdown, begin by folding down the rear wheels and hook, then pulling the side panels out. Lift the trunk and windshield, flip the legs down, replace the wheels, fold the knees and turn the hood into feet, then drop the arms down into place. As usual, a few steps have been glossed over in the instructions, including turning the passenger side window kibble around so the exhaust pipes point forward as guns, and raising the head to its final position. Kind of important things.

Amusingly, Revenge of the Fallen Lockdown stands the same height as his Animated counterpart: 7½" tall. As before, the idea was to make his body asymmetrical, to suggest the way he steals bodyparts from those he hunts down; however, it works a lot better here than it did before. Remember how the TFA version just changed some minor surface detailing? This one has arms that are different shapes, with unique armor on the shoulders, and even smaller things like kibble on one hip that isn't seen on the other. A lot of work went into making him look piecemeal.

The figure has two balljoints and a swivel in his neck, hinges and balljoints at the shoulders, balljointed elbows, hinged wrists, swivel/hinge hips, swivel/hinge knees, hinges and swivels in the shin area, and hinged ankles. There's no waist, but you won't miss it. His right hand - which is just a giant, jagged hook - is attached to a moving piston that disappears into the forearm. While Animated Lockdown could take the hook off, this one is permanently affixed. His left hand can be posed straight, but if you miss the limp-wristed look of the original, you can do that, too.

The car's engine becomes the robot's EMP blaster, and in a very subtle nod to the old toy, it even attaches via the same distinctly shaped port! No pieces flip out, but the detailing is much more intricate. Lockdown can wear the blaster on his left arm. And though it seems the mention of Ratchet in his bio is just a throwaway reference to Animated, the new Ratchet that was released at the same time as this figure has a gun on his roof that uses the same kind of plug, meaning they can trade weapons.

Seeing an Animated character done in the "real" style of the movie is weird at first, but it really works nicely. Derrick J. Wyatt has said that he's proud to see the TFA characters live on, and if the updates are going to be this good, it's hard to disagree with him. ROTF Lockdown is a winner.

-- 03/02/10

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