Altered States Magazine - June 2002


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    Armada Wave 1
    Street Action Mini-Con Team

    By Daniel Lipkowitz, Assistant Editor

    ASM Quick Facts

    Includes: High Wire (bicycle), Sureshock (scooter), Grindor (skateboard)
    Difficulty: 2 (Intermediate)
    Packaging: Blister Card
    Contents: High Wire, Sureshock, Grindor, instructions, mini-comic/catalog

    Vehicle Modes

    High Wire is a bicycle, possibly the most unlikely altmode of all time. In light blue and black, the toy is clearly a bike, although not a wholly realistic one. The wheels spin, and the pedals can be posed or used as a kickstand. The handlebars can turn a bit, but theyíre not connected to the front wheel. High Wire may be the first Transformer ever to have two robot heads visible in vehicle mode.

    Sureshock is a little orange scooter with blue, black, yellow and silver details. Its spinning wheels are wide enough to let it balance upright, and it travels a pretty good distance on a push.

    Grindor is a dark and light blue techno-skateboard, potentially stealing High Wireís "most unlikely altmode ever" prize. As little transforming skateboards go, itís not bad, but by necessity itís a good deal bulkier than the real thing would be. Silver rocket engines on the back of the board suggest that the rider had better have some pretty sticky shoes, even with the help of the textured yellow friction pads on the front. Two sets of robot fists are visible in this mode, but surprisingly little else.

    Transformation to Robot Mode

    High Wire: Raise the bicycle seat, with super-robot head attached. Raise the rear wheel assembly 90 degrees and position the pedals as a tripod with the wheel, then split the assembly in half to separate the legs. Unhook the right arm from the front tire and pose.

    Sureshock: Extend the rear half of the scooter to form the robot legs. Unhook the front of the scooter and split it in half, folding the halves to the sides. Fold the handlebars against the robot shoulders and rotate the arms 180 degrees down.

    Grindor: Split the back half of the skateboard and fold out the sides, rotating each 180 degrees to form the feet. Split the front half and swing the arms all the way down. Split and fold down the panels covering the robot face.

    Robot Modes

    High Wire is destined to be one of those love-it-or-hate-it Transformers toys. Even with his split legs, he isnít going to be doing much beyond standing there; between the giant wheel permanently attached to his left hand and the Powerlinx socket sticking out of his right side, he isnít much in the posability department either. Still, tiny and spindly as he is, High Wire somehow manages to be endearing in a Medabots sort of way. Heís had a few cosmetic changes made since Toy Fair: in addition to the Mini-Con symbol molded onto his left side, heís lost the silver detailing on his upper arms and gained a white faceplate, a definite improvement over the solid red blob of a face that the toy originally had.

    Sureshock is... not so great. His arms are encumbered by large chunks of scooter. His legs can separate in theory, but doing so splits his entire body down the midline, so Sureshock effectively has a single gigantic leg. Of the three Street Action Team members, Sureshock definitely sacrifices the most for the sake of the combined mode. His faction symbol appears on his right leg.

    Grindor on the other hand, is surprisingly good for a robot that turns into a skateboard. He has a nice color scheme, good proportions and sculpting, and a snazzy set of wings. Grindorís Mini-Con symbol is on his back.

    Articulation

    High Wire has ball-jointed shoulders and hips. Due to being bicycle pedals, his feet can also swivel up, down and around.

    Sureshock has universal-jointed shoulders and hinged hips and knees, although his upper legs are so short that the knee joints arenít really useful.

    Grindor's arms can swing to the sides, as can his legs. Due to being restricted ball joints, his legs can also move very slightly fore and aft.

    Features

    Like the Air Defense Team, High Wire, Sureshock and Grindor have a combined form -- the super-robot Perceptor. To form Perceptor, Sureshock splits in half to make the legs, Grindor forms the arms and torso, and High Wire adds the back of the shoulders and the head. Standing about twice the height of a standard Mini-Con, Perceptor has rotating shoulders and ball-jointed upper arms, with legs that can swing out to the sides. Although his feet arenít the most foot-like structures around, Perceptor looks nifty and holds together solidly.

    Impressions

    An unusual trio to say the least, the Street Action Team combines some very neat features with some very odd design decisions. Opinions will likely vary widely, but theyíre cute and wacky and they merge, so we like Ďem.

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      Copyright © 2002 Altered States Magazine
    A SkyJammer Enterprises Publication