#2605: Smokescreen

SMOKESCREEN

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: EARTHRISE (HASBRO)

The Earthrise component of the War For Cybertron trilogy has had a healthy helping of retreading, adjusting a handful of characters over from their Cybertronian Siege designs into more proper Earth modes.  For the most part, it’s made Earthrise a bit lighter for me, because I don’t really feel the need to re-buy everyone.  In today’s particular case, however, it gives me an excuse to buy a character I didn’t get the first time around.  In the original G1 Transformers line, there were three different bots who turned into the Datsun 280ZX Turbo, Prowl, Bluestreak, and Smokescreen.  Siege did all three of them, and added in a G1-ized Barricade on the same base, but Smokescreen was the only one not to get a proper retail release, instead being a Generation Selects figure.  For Earthrise, they’ve decided to once again do all four Datsuns, but this time only one’s going to mass retail, and they’ve given that spot to our boy Smokescreen.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Smokescreen joins yesterday’s Arcee figure as part of the second Deluxe Class assortment of the Earthrise line.  He’s another very G1 cartoon-inspired figure, and takes things even closer than the prior Datsun bodies did.  In his robot mode, Smokescreen stands 5 1/4 inches tall and he has 22 usable points of articulation.  Smokescreen’s mold is all-new, but is of course going to be shared with the other three Datsuns, who are all more or less hitting right on top of each other (thanks 2020).  Though it’s all-new, it’s still quite similar to the Prowl mold from last year.  I quite liked that one, and I quite like this one too.  It changes things up to be more Earth-mode-y, of course, as well as also changing things up to be more Smokescreen specific, such as adding the extra bit of helmet under his chin.  The robot mold also has less gaps, particularly on the lower legs, than the prior mold, which was honestly my only complaint about the older figure.  It makes Smokescreen feel just a bit more solid than his predecessors.

Smokescreen’s new Earth-based alt-mode is an approximation of the Datsun he originally turned into in the ’80s.  It’s not an exact match, due to licensing and such, but it’s very close.  The transformation process is pretty easy, and more or less identical to the one on Prowl.  Getting the legs into place is a touch trickier on mine, probably due to the extra material that fills in those gaps, but it’s not like it terribly over complicates things or anything like that.  The car mode holds together well, and is certainly a lot of fun to mess with.  A part of me misses the sleek Cybertronian stylings of the old one, but this is still cool.  Smokescreen gets a blaster rifle and two shoulder cannons, much like Bluestreak did for Siege, though these ones are an all-new mold, which will be cropping up with the other Earth mode Datsuns.  I appreciate their versatility, and the fact that they’ve actually got spots to be stored in both modes.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I have a weird relationship with Smokescreen as a character, and it’s really not his fault.  It’s just that I ended up with the Alternators Smokescreen back in the day when Sideswipe was the one I actually wanted.  Not his fault, right?  Now that I’ve actually got a Sideswipe, and a much better one at that, I guess it’s time for Smokescreen to get a second chance, huh?  Siege Smokescreen was one of the few Gen Selects that we didn’t get at All Time, at least not first hand, so I just didn’t end up grabbing that one.  That, coupled with doubling down for Earthmodes in Earthrise and Smokescreen being the standard release, and thereby easiest to acquire of the new Datsuns, just made this guy kind of perfect for adding to my collection.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy for review.  If you’re looking for Transformers, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.