Click the image above to see the alt mode, or view more photos here
First/Last Comic Appearance (US) - Issue 22, November 1986 / Issue 48, January 1989
First/Last Comic Appearance (UK) - Issue 63, May 31st 1986 / Issue 289, September 29th 1990
First/Last Cartoon Appearance - Episode 56 (Season 2 #40), November 25th 1985 / Episode 94 (Season 3 #29), February 24th 1987
First Toy Appearance - 1986
Click here to see Figure Details and review
AKA 'Down Force'
Manufacturer - FansProject
Toyline - Causality
- Added Decepticon symbols to the front fenders
- Added Decepticon symbols to the rear wings
Some Transformers names are downright daft, with Hosehead being just one example, sounding more like an insult than a moniker befitting an Autobot warrior. Others are plain rude, lowlights include Erector, Spastic, and (in the UK at least) Slag. Some of them are clever. Drag Strip is one such example. This particular characters gender seems to have fluctuated over the years and continuities, with the given name perfectly reflecting this androgynous nature. Putting this character's proclivities for cross-dressing aside, what I really liked about this figure was the alternate mode, being a F1 car with 6 wheels (beat that, Mirage!). It was some time later that I realised that this was a real car; a Tyrell, I believe, which was also moderately successful. He also ran with his fellow Stunticons, who were the coolest of the cool, anyway. Drag Strip was a stand out with his/her garish yellow and purple colour scheme. Hasbro Asia were the first to homage this character by repainting the Mirage mould, and a good job they did too. However, there was no getting around the fact that this figure could not combine. There was much joy, then, when FansProject threw their 3rd-party hat into the ring and produced the figure I shall now discuss below...
Appearance (Robot Mode) 8/10
This is a very fresh take on the figure of old. Drag Strip here is extremely well-proportioned (barring his tiny feet, but then ladies do have smaller feet on average) and has been sculpted chock-full of detail and character. He has multiple paint apps which are all well-applied and the overall effect is one of coherence, despite the dramatic design. As with the other Stunticons, Drag Strip comes with a small gun which can also be stowed away in vehicle mode. The headsculpt is one of the nicer ones I have seen FansProject produce, with the vivid purple and blue of the face really contrasting well against the bright red eyes. There is spome superfluous kibble hanging off over the shoulder pads, which I feel may have been dealt with a bit better, but it doesn't detract too much from the overall aesthetic.
Appearance (Alternate Mode) 8/10
This is a very agile-looking car, which looks capable of getting up to some serious speeds. However, it is missing 2 key things in order for it to tick my boxes - namely, the extra set of wheels is conspicuous in its absence. It was one of the criticisms levelled at the Mirage repaint - that the iconic look in vehicle mode was absent - and such is the case here. I really wish that FansProject could have delivered on this, as this would elevate this alt mode to one of my favourites. But, even without the most defining feature of this character, they have delivered a very slick vehicle. There is even an abundance of clear plastic in place, something of a rarity for FansProject, so I hope this trend continues on their later figures. Again the paint apps are just superb, with the wheels in particular, and the black around the cockpit being highlights for me. A great job all round just marred somewhat by the lack of extra wheels. It looks like Roller is still the only 6-wheeled 'car' in my possession.
This seems very fiddly at first and then you quickly realise that it is. But it is rather satisfying all the same and does become more intuitive with each repetition. The legs are formed from the rear of the car, but the wheels are cleverly transformed to put them into the heels, as opposed to hanging off the ankles. The arms are formed from the nosecone and front wings, which are also improbably manipulated to form an imposing set of shoulders - another dead giveaway that a cross-dresser is in your midst. It is a very elegant sequence which I urge you take your time over - especially regarding the rotating cockpit 'glass' which I have heard can easily get stressed or scratched if you are not careful.
This figure can pose very well, due to his decent articulation. He has a ball-jointed neck, and a swivelled waist. the shoulders are on ball-joints and also have an additional joint which allows the shoulders to be pitched at different angles. The hips are also ball-jointed, and there is also a large amount of clearance allowing free range of movement. Bicep and thigh swivel is present, as are double-jointed elbows and knees which offer more then 90 degrees of movement. The wrists and dainty toes are also on ball-joints. You can really go to town with this guy, getting some amazing action poses in.
I personally have had no problems whatsoever with this figure - but then I treat my expensive 3rd party toys with care and always follow the instructions to transform them the first couple of times. I have heard reports of people knackering the clear plastic window so I urge caution on this particular part. Obviously if these were marketed and tested as toys then this would be completely unacceptable. But these are 'adult collectibles' which is why we get the nice sharp swords and incredibly intricate figures so perhaps we shouldn't set our expectations unrealistically high.
Overall - 40/50
This is one of the more successful Stunticons, mainly because I think that the vehicle mode really stands out, and also I feel that this is a lot less prone to transformation damage than the others, where you have so little play when it comes to things like panel alignment. It is a very elegant object in both modes, and the vibrant colour scheme and expertly-applied paint really sells this as a fast and lithe adversary. Highly recommended.