Transformers Energon

Lestor Wong, guest reviewer, proprietor of SGCollect, and Transformers expert, is back tonight with a great review of the new Transformer's Energon Prowl.  Take it away, Lestor!

Transformers: Energon is the new cartoon and comic-supported line in 2004 for the Transformers franchise. I’ve yet to pick up any Wave 1 figures even though they’ve been released for quite a while. I guess it has got to do with my decision to purchase the Japanese versions (known as “Transformers: Super Link”) of those figures in Wave 1 instead. I finally bought my first Energon figure a few days ago though, when an associate from overseas pick up the latest Prowl and Rodimus figures for me, and got them shipped express to my office today. Since Prowl is the more anticipated toy for me, I've decided to review him first. Read on to know more about him!

Packaging - ***
Energon packagings are a refreshing change from the dull affairs from Transformers: Armada. Being carded, I won't say the packaging is exactly collector-friendly. But considering he was almost out of the card immediately after I got him, this isn't a major issue. Overall the card has vibrant colors, which look very attractive. The front of the car features a dynamic art of Prowl in typical “Dreamwave” style. Even the pictures on the back of the card look better, although that could be psychological.

Vehicle Mode ***1/2
The name Prowl is a regenerated name from the G1 character Prowl, who transforms into a Police patrol. Unlike G1 Prowl, however, Energon Prowl is an Indy racer, much like another G1 character named Mirage actually. However, he does have markings on him identifying him as a Police vehicle at the same time. I guess this is some sort of effort to give Prowl some similarities with his G1 counterpart.

Prowl is primarily in light blue color. He has several highlights on him, in silver, grey, gold and white, which complemented his primary color well. The result is a nicely blended color scheme that provides a more matured appearance than most of the toys in the line.

On his spoiler, one finds Prowl's spark of combination, as well as a nicely painted Autobot logo. In the cartoon, the spark of combination is the power behind some of the Transformers ability to combine with one another. The spark was nicely sculpted and I thought it’s a pretty neat idea to have both the spark and the Autobot logo appearing closely on him. 

Prowl also has his siren lights on his spoiler, which is quite innovative. I mean, how could one possibly turn an Indy car into a Police car? Well, they can, by adding siren lights on his spoiler! However, I'm not too sure about the design for his rear. Like many Energon figures, his head is not well concealed, sticking out like a sore thumb on the back of the car. Yes, it serves as a “holder” for his exhaust pipes, but surely there are better way for presentations.

Prowl has pegs on either sides of the car for inserting his missile launcher to form an attack mode. I'd prefer not to deploy this mode because he looks slightly handicapped with only one weapon on him. Still, it’s personal preference, really. You may like it that way.

Despite some slight gripes, Prowl remains sleek and stylish in this mode. In fact, I'd say he has the nicest alternate mode among Energon deluxe figures released, so far.

Robot Mode ***
Prowl's transformation sequence is suprisingly G1-ish. I won't go into details about his transformation, but the simplicity made the fun more evident for people like me with no patience in figuring out complicated sequences. 

Standing about 6" tall, Prowl looks highly mobile in this mode. He has points of articulation on his shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, anles and heels. His neck basically cannot be moved, but his entire head can be raised and moved around for some form of "looking around" action. I'm not too keen on the way his head rests on his torso. It looks awkward and at some angles, makes his chest too protruding. I'm also disappointed that the exhaust pipes on his head cannot be adjusted. This means that when he looks up, the pipes, which became his “horns” in robot mode, are not exactly visible when Prowl looks up. 

On the positive side, Prowl's colors once again stand out well. He has more white and grey on him now, and they are always nice when you mix them around as support to a primary color like blue. His face is plain, yet has a nice "prototype" feel to him. They also included "eyebrows" on him, which I assume is another attempt to simulate some tie-in with G1 Prowl, who has red brows..

Powerlinx Mode ** 1/2
One of the interesting gimmicks on Energon figures is that some of these figures actually combine with one another. Prowl "officially" combines with Rodimus, if you follow what’s on the instructions, to form "Powerlinx Prowl". Of course, the hybrid technology on Energon figures means they can literally combine with any figure with the same connection pegs. With better possibilities available, Prowl's combination with Rodimus looks like a pale shadow. Apart from looking bottom-heavy, the color schemes also clash badly. Light blue with bright red? They do have have some weird tastes in colors, don't they? Coupled with the less than sleek lower body articulation on Rodimus, posing the combo around could be quite a disaster.

Having two weapons of contrasting colors also didn't work too well on Powerlinx Prowl. Instead, fixing them over his shoulders is a much better option. In this mode, the funny way his head rests on the torso is once again quite frustrating to look at.

Overall - ***
Prowl has attractive alternate and robot modes, but fare poorly on some areas. Still a nice figure overall, and is recommended.

Where to Buy - has new listings for it.


Figures from the collection of Lestor Wong.

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