"Generations" Studio Series Deluxe Class Dropkick (Helicopter) Toy Review

in 2018, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Deluxe, Generations, Studio Series

Studio Series

General Information:
Release Date: November 2018
Price Point: $19.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Amazon, Target, Walmart etc.)
Accessories: Rocket Launchers x 2

Dropkick

Official images and text in italics below from Amazon.com:
Reach past the big screen and build the ultimate Transformers collection with Studio Series figures, inspired by iconic movie scenes and designed with specs and details to reflect the Transformers movie universe.

In the Autobot Pursuit scene from Transformers: Bumblebee, Dropkick detects the signal of a high-level Autobot criminal and prepares to close in on his target.

This Studio Series 22 Deluxe Class Transformers: Bumblebee Dropkick figure converts from robot to Bell Helicopter mode in 24 steps and comes with 2 accessories. Remove backdrop to showcase Dropkick in the Autobot Pursuit scene.

  • Studio Series 22 Deluxe Class Transformers: Bumblebee Dropkick figure
  • Premium figure and packaging inspired by the iconic Autobot Pursuit scene
  • Figure scale reflects the character’s size in the world of Transformers: Bumblebee
  • Converts between robot and Bell Helicopter modes in 24 steps
  • Removable backdrop displays Dropkick figure in Autobot Pursuit scene
  • Includes Transformers Studio Series 22 Deluxe Class Transformers: Bumblebee Dropkick figure, 2 accessories, removable backdrop, and instructions.
  • Ages 8 and up.

2017 was a milestone in Transformers history. The live action movie series was now ten years old meaning an entire generation of fans had grown up in an era where they had a live action Transformers theatrical film every other year to watch. In 2018 Hasbro launched the "Studio Series", a "Generations"-esque line of figured focused on the live action movies. The series boasted toys that were made in rough scale with each other using the CAD files from Paramount Pictures as the basis for the design. Part of the idea was also to fill in gaps in previous lines by making characters who had not appeared in the line previously.

Towards the end of 2018, Studio Series added some characters from the "Bumblebee" Movie into the mix. Among them was a version of Dropkick that transformed into a helicopter. In the film, the character was a triple changer, transforming into both a car and a helicopter. This figure however just transforms from a robot to a helicopter (and back!) so its design does not really follow the CG model used in the film. This is not the only toy in the line that gave Dropkick a helicopter mode. The Nitro Series version of the character did the same.

Packaging:
The Deluxe Studio Series figures are packaged in boxes similar in size to the boxes used for "The Last Knight". The boxes are vertical rectangles with a large window in the front. Instead of the lighter colors of "The Last Knight" boxes, this box takes a more "Generations" style approach, using a black background and a vertical "Transformers" logo to the right. Above that is the "Generations" logo. Reflecting the new, unified approach to the Transformers toy line both Hasbro and Takara Tomy's logos appear on the front of the packaging. Towards the lower part of the box is the logo for the specific film the character comes from. To the left is new package art with blue borders. The packaging also has package art on the side and a large collector number designated to each figure. In Dropkick's case the number is 22. The idea is that you can line up all these figures on a shelf to show off the collection numbers. It's a neat idea and has kept me from tossing out the box so far.

The back of the packaging shows Dropkick in both modes along with the logo for the "Bumblebee" movie. It also describes his transformation as having 24 steps. Towards the bottom it shows you how you can take the cardboard insert from the inside of the packaging and use it as a display base and background for the figure. In Dropkick's case, he comes with a background that appears to be a reuse of the background originally included with Thundercracker. Next to that are the cosells for this figure including Shadow Raider and Bumblebee. Below that is all the requisite legal information for the figure.

Accessories:
Dropkick includes two accessories: rocket launchers that can "transform" into machine guns. The rocket launcher tube sections are light grey plastic. The machine gun barrels that swing out are black plastic. Each weapon has 5mm pegs to allow Dropkick to hold them or to attach in vehicle mode.

Robot Mode:
Unlike most Studio Series figures, Dropkick bears little resemblance to his on-screen counterpart. There simply is no way to make the robot mode look like it has a bunch of car bits hanging off of it and then find a way to hide them in such a relatively small figure. Were this a Voyager or Leader Class figure maybe it could be done. That said, there are three key parts on this figure that do carry over from the on-screen CG model. First, the head sculpt is based directly on the one used in the movie, complete with an oval shaped head and a "Y" shaped nose/mouth area. The other two parts are the lower legs, which feature mechanical details and rear lights from his car mode. The rest of the figure is basically made up of helicopter bits such as the cockpit forming part of the torso and the rotor blades on the back. He winds up looking a bit spindly in sections like the arms and I like to think of him more as a generic trooper than Dropkick himself.

Dropkick is made up of light grey, black and blue plastic. Grey makes up most of the figure. The chest features some clear plastic. The feet and head are blue plastic, calling back to the primary color on Dropkick's car mode. Paint colors on the figure include silver, light grey, blue, black and red. The colors are used rather sparingly, with most of the paint winding up on the lower legs and head. The deco looks okay, but it's not great. Part of the issue is that it is leaning heavily towards getting the colors of the vehicle mode right so some robot mode colors are sacrificed in the process.

There are thirteen points of articulation on this figure. This includes three points on each arm and leg and the head. Due to the way the central body is constructed there is no waist articultion. Dropkick can hold his weapons in his hands. Sadly, I could not find other attachment points.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
Note: the panels on the back behind the head have a tendency to pop off during transformation. I wound up popping them off and setting them aside until the transformation was finished. Then I popped them back on.

  1. Detach the accessories if attached.
  2. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  3. On each arm, swing out the panels and straighten them out to begin forming the tail section of the helicopter.
  4. On the back, swing the rotor blade section out, then straighten it out.
  5. Swing the side panels on the legs out and down.
  6. Swing the wing/support panels on the inner lower legs out.
  7. Rotate the blue panel with the skids attached around.
  8. Swing the legs down at the hip joints.
  9. On the left leg, swing out the machine gun barrel.
  10. Rotate the halves of the helicopter's lower front section around then connect them together.
  11. Swing the arms up, straighten them out and connect them together to form the tail of the helicopter.
  12. Rotate the torso around.
  13. Swing the front of the cockpit section open and swing it up over the robot head.
  14. Swing the section with the skids on it forward, connecting it to the cockpit section.
  15. Swing the panels on the ball joints down.
  16. Swing out the rotor blades.
  17. Attach the rocket launchers to the wings.

Vehicle Mode:
Dropkick transforms into a licensed Bell AH-1 SuperCobra helicopter. While this vehicle was introduced in the 70's it was still in operation in the 80's (when the "Bumblebee" movie took place). While the robot mode may not have had much "screen accuracy" this mode definitely does. Some of the key visual design elements of the SuperCobra are found on this figure. This includes:

  • The body of the helicopter is relatively thin with two large rotor blades on top.
  • The cockpit section is thin and relatively tall compared to some other helicopter cockpit windows.
  • The front has a cannon mounted under the cockpit section.
  • The rocket launchers are tube shaped with several small holes in the middle.
  • Each side has a skid connected to the main body of the vehicle with two curved bars.
  • There are air intakes on either side of the middle section.
  • The tail features two vertical stabilizer fins.
  • The tail features one vertical rotor.

From a sculpting perspective this figure is a great example of Hasbro's ability to create vehicle modes based on licensed vehicles.

This vehicle is mostly light grey with some blue and black parts. The cockpit cover is made up of clear plastic. There are some tampographs on the sides including a skull and bones, a symbol similar to the older Air Force symbol with a star inside a circle with horizontal lines on either side. On the sides of the air intakes are V shaped symbols with the word "Danger". These are really nice details and this mode looks great.

The rear rotor can spin if you push it, but the main rotors do not really spin if you push them. The connection is rather tight, which is not a bad thing, but it does take away one bit of play value. In an unexpected bit of functionality, the weapon barrel in front can turn from side to side.

Final Thoughts:
If you want a screen accurate version of Dropkick, this isn't it. However, if you want a cool Transformers figure that can transform into a realistic looking SuperCobra helicopter this is the figure for you. Recommended, but more as a generic Decepticon than a representation of Dropkick.

Pros:

  • Excellent vehicle mode sculpt.
  • Good deco in vehicle mode.
  • Complex yet intuitive transformation.

Cons:

  • Robot mode does not really resemble Dropkick beyond the head sculpt and lower legs.