"Generations" Studio Series Autobot Drift (Helicopter) Toy Review

in 2019, Action Figure Review, Age of Extinction, Autobot, Deluxe, Generations, Studio Series

Studio Series

General Information:
Release Date: September 2019
Price Point: $19.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Amazon, Target, Walmart etc.)
Accessories: Swords x 2, Tail rotor, Missile Pods x 2

Autobot Drift

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 (each sold separately), inspired by iconic movie scenes and designed with specs and details to reflect the Transformers movie universe. At the sight of Optimus Prime, Autobot drift dives gracefully off a cliff, converting midair into his helicopter mode to meet him. This Studio series 45 deluxe class Transformers: age of extinction Autobot drift figure converts from robot to car mode in 26 steps. Remove backdrop to showcase figure in the Autobus reunion scene. Figure features vivid, movie-inspired Deco and detailed accessory.

  • Studio series Deluxe class – deluxe class figures are 4.5-Inch collectible action figures inspired by iconic movie scenes and designed with specs and details to reflect the Transformers Movie universe.
  • 4.5-Inch scale Autobot drift figure – Figure features vivid, movie-inspired deco and 2 detailed sword accessories that also form the figure’s propellers in helicopter mode. The figure is highly articulated for possibility.
  • Big screen inspired - Figure scale reflects the character’s size in the world of Transformers: age of extinction. Figure and packaging are inspired by the iconic Autobot reunion scene.
  • 2 iconic modes – Figure converts between robot and vehicle in 26 steps. Perfect for fans looking for a more advanced converting figure. For kids and adults ages 8 and up.
  • Pose figure with removable backdrop - removable backdrop displays figure in the Autobot reunion scene. Fans can use the backdrop and pose their figure in the scene with their own style.

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.

The Summer of 2019 brought a new wave of Studio Series figures including a new version of Autobot Drift. In "Age of Extinction" Drift was presented as a triple changer, with the ability to transform into both a car and a helicopter. In that film he transformed into both a Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitess and a futuristic looking helicopter. While past figures have acknowledged the helicopter form, most Drift figures focused on giving him a car-based alt-mode. This has been true of the Studio Series line as well but this time out Drift transforms into a helicopter. This figure is actually a redeco and significant retool of the Dropkick figure released earlier in 2019, but I have not yet reviewed that figure at the time of this writing so this will be my first look at this sculpt in any form.

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 Drift's case he is number 45. 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 Drift in both modes along with the logo for "Transformers: Age of Extinction". It also describes his transformation as having 26 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 Drift's case, he comes with a background with showing the desert scene where we see Drift transformed into a helicopter. Next to that are the cosells for this figure: Dropkick and Constructicon Hightower. Below that is all the requisite legal information for the figure.

Accessories:
Drift includes an impressive number of accessories. First his the tail rotor for his helicopter mode. This is a large circular piece with "blades" inside. This can be connected to his arms in robot mode as a shield. You can also attach it to his back to store it away. This piece is cast in black plastic.

Drift also has two large swords which he can hold in his hands. Unlike some other versions of Drift he does not include two smaller swords. These parts are all also cast in black plastic.

The last two accessories are two missile/rocket pods. Each has a pod with several rocket tubes inside it and missiles lining the top. These pieces are made up of translucent blue plastic with the pods and missiles painted black.

Robot Mode:
Drift uses the Dropkick helicopter sculpt as its foundation. The two figures share similar lower legs. However, there has been some retooling done. For instance, on the sides of Dropkick's lower legs there are flat armor panels. On the sides of Drift's legs are panel details and machine guns sculpted into the legs. It is cool to see that even though the designers reused a part, they made an effort to change it a bit to better match the character.

The rest of this sculpt borrows engineering cues from Dropkick such as having helicopter parts hanging off the sides of the forearms. However, the parts themselves are all new. If you've read any of my past Drift review you will be familiar with many of the key design elements of the character. Most of them revolve around him looking like he is wearing Samurai armor. Among the key parts featuring these details are the tighs, arms and head. I particularly love the layered armor look on the arms and thighs. The ornate design of his head (based on Samurai armor helmets) is also fantastic. Other significant changes include having his short swords and cockpit piece on the back (Dropkick's cockpit formed his chest). This allowed the designers to sculpt the chest to look like the front of Drift's car mode which looks awesome. Sure there are some helicopter bits hanging off here and there, but overall I really like the look of this figure.

In a rather interesting deco choice, Drift is cast mostly in black plastic with some translucent blue parts. Details such as the edges of his armor and the knee armor are painted metallic blue. Gold is used for details such as the face, helmet and wrists. A tiny bit of gunmetal grey is found on the legs. The deco is absolutely gorgeous and eye catching, however the choice of using black instead of dark blue is an interesting one. Granted, in some lighting Drift does look like he has black parts in the film, but in most of his scenes it is clear he is made up of dark blue. In the helicopter mode he does look near black in color in the film, so this may have been a choice made to favor the vehicle mode deco over the robot mode.

There are thirteen points of articulation in this mode. This includes three on each arm and leg and the head. As mentioned earlier, you can attach Drift's missile pods to the sides of his lower legs. His swords fit in his fists and you can attach the rotor as a shield to either forearm. All the joints on my copy of this figure are nice and tight.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach all the accessories if attached.
  2. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  3. Swing the cockpit on the back down.
  4. Swing the arms and the sides of the chest panels out.
  5. Rotate the chest panels/arms forward.
  6. Swing the helicopter panels on the forearms out.
  7. Swing the arms up on the shoulder hinges.
  8. Rotate the forearms around so they can come together to form the tail of the helicopter.
  9. Swing the two arms together.
  10. Swing the top half of the body forward.
  11. Rotate the section with the helicopter cockpit around.
  12. Rotate the lower legs to the skids point forward.
  13. Swing the wings on the lower legs out.
  14. Swing the landing sides out.
  15. Rotate the section with the landing skids forward.
  16. Swing the inside panels of each leg down.
  17. Swing out the small blaster-like pieces on the back of the feet.
  18. Swing the thighs back, then the rest of the legs forward.
  19. Connect the two halves of the helicopter's lower front section together.
  20. Swing the cockpit cover forward and tab it into place.
  21. Swing the tail section up.
  22. Swing each of the "short sword" rotors out.
  23. Attach the swords to the rotor engine section to form the larger rotor blades.
  24. Attach the missile pods under each wing.
  25. Attach the rotor engine piece to the back with the flat spoiler piece on top.

Vehicle Mode:
Drift's vehicle mode is a futuristic looking helicopter. This sculpt utilizes a lot of the design elements of the on-screen CG model including:

  • The front has a distinctive cockpit section complete with triangular panels and a pointed nose section.
  • The front section has two small weapon barrels under the cockpit.
  • There are missile pods on either side of the vehicle.
  • The skids are one piece with a wide, open area in the middle.
  • The rear rotor is set at a right angle with the rest of the vehicle instead of being mounted on the side.

Overall the sculpt of this helicopter mode is both unique and stylish. You can really believe that this is a helicopter mode that might have come from Cybertron. It also looks like it could do some serious damage with its various rockets and missiles.

This mode is mostly black plastic, though interestingly there are two shades of plastic. Some black plastic is kind of shiny (including the tail and weapon pods). On the other hand, the rotor blades/swords are more of a dull black color (almost a dark grey). The cockpit window is translucent blue, with black paint on the armor panels around it. I do wish there had been some metallic blue lines in this mode to help offset the black color a bit and make the colors a bit more "screen accurate".

Final Thoughts:
It may be some time until we ever get a Movie Drift as a triple changer (I still believe it could happen one day) but for now it is cool to at least see recognition of the helicopter mode and in a screen accurate form. The colors may not be super screen accurate, but I do really like the way the figure looks in both modes. Recommended!

Pros:

  • Extensive retooling.
  • Excellent sculpt in both modes, especially for a retool.
  • Lots of accessories and fun play value.
  • Nice deco in robot mode.

Cons:

  • No small sword accessories.
  • Color is not totally screen accurate.
  • Some fans will likely wish this was a triple changing figure.