Posted February 23, 2013 at 12:21 am
Sometimes my faith is rewarded!  Takara's Smokescreen toy was a Knock Out redeco with a new head, and Hasbro's Smokescreen toy was nonexistent.  But I decided, naw, there's no way Hasbro's not going to release a car Autobot guy.  They didn't do a large Breakdown either, but Breakdown is a Voyager Decepticon.  Deluxe Car Autobot guys are Hasbro's bread and butter.  And so I passed on the Known Smokescreen for in the hopes I would be rewarded with a real one that's his own mold.

And, yea, God helps those who sit on their ass, I guess!

Sure 'nuff, the second wave of Beast Hunters gives us a new mold Smokescreen toy.  Unlike the Autobots from the first wave, Smokescreen isn't an older toy with spikes retooled all over him.  Instead,  he's a "plain" Smokescreen with add-on spikey accessories.  You can throw those bonus parts in the trash and have a normal ol' Smokescreen toy, or you can go all Mad Max.  I kind of expect that this Smokescreen was already in the planning stages before he got Beast Hunterized.  Maybe it's the way the rubber trap net stuff just slides over his otherwise unremarkable missile launcher weapon.  It all seems like an afterthought.

Anyway, Smokescreen toy -- how is he? Well, as you can probably tell from looking at him, he's got a fake kibble chest.  Those headlights and hood don't become the real headlights and hood at all.  The real hood (and roof) hang off the back of his forearms.  I can sort of see their line of thinking here -- Smokescreen's chest on his cartoon model kind of has a lot of stuff going on.  It splits up into a bunch of angles.  Plus, well, the real car hood is kind of a lot bigger than the fake one, nearly twice as wide.  I guess the designers preferred leaving all that stuff hanging off his arm to a robot mode  that was 50% chest.

Despite all that, the kibble junk is kept largely out of the way during posing, so he's a good robot mode overall.  I also like his big sturdy feet.  The only annoying part of his robot mode are the many, many hinges built into his shoulders which are part of his transformation.  They can come undone if you're rough with him.

Unfortunately, those many, many hinges are part of his super-frustrating transformation.  He's another of those guys who went to the Side Burn School of Transformation.  He comes along fairly okay-ish until you get to the arms and all that junk hanging off of there.  Trying to fit the arms in (and their 50 billion hinges) and close in all the gaps in the vehicle mode is an ordeal I haven't really smoothed out yet.  Once you get one side all pegged together, that forces out the pegs on the other symmetrical side.  You wanna punch somebody.  Unless you're a wizard, you're gonna end up with gaps.

The Beast Hunters stuff fits over him in either mode.  In car mode, it fits snugly over the hood and under the side mirrors.  In robot mode, it sort of wraps up over his torso and behind his head.  There's tabs just below his ribcage and two more tabs at the tops of his shoulders; you'll have to use the stuff's rubbery quality to your advantage on this last bit.  You literally wrap it around him and peg it in.  There also seem to be some extra missile storage places on the sides of it.

Smokescreen's colors aren't quite accurate to his screen portrayal.  I can understand why they'd want to include more red and blue accents instead of leaving Smokescreen almost entirely white and silver, but I do find it weird that they painted stuff on his head blue instead of red.  I'll probably have to do some paint adjustments of my own.