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Series: Studio Series
Allegiance: Decepticon
Categories: Deluxe
Year: 2019

Prelude: Dropkick, one of the two main bad guys in the Bumblebee Movie, shares a common fate with the other Movie triple changers such as Drift and Shatter. He doesn’t get a triple-changing toy. Instead we are treated with numerous versions of Dropkick that transform into helicopters and numerous versions of him that transform into cars. A strategy to sell more toys or simple inability to create a triple-changing toy in the Movie aesthetic? Take your pick! Anyway, I forewent the copter-Dropkick, but the muscle car version appealed to me, so here we go!

Robot Mode: Dropkick is basically your classic hood-as-chest, doors-as-wings car Transformer, so don’t expect any revolutionary new concepts here. There is a reason, of course, that this design is a classic, as it still works very well 35 years into the franchise. Sure, there is a bit of a backpack, the folded-up roof of the car mode, but otherwise the figure has very little kibble and looks very lean.

The way the figure is designed Dropkick always looks slightly hunched, which works well with his character as a brutal enforcer type. The dark blue and black paintjob nicely complements that image, though some of the detailing gets lost in the all-black paint on those parts. Articulation is very good, no problems here. He closely mirrors the appearance of Dropkick in the movie, too (at least before he added a third mode later on and had that big rotor hanging off his back), so no complaints on that front, either.

Dropkick comes with a single weapon, a big gun that he can attach to either wrist when the robot hand is folded in. This nicely simulates the Movie robots ability to reshape their arms into guns. Would have been nice to have a second weapon here, such as the big blade Dropkick used to slice Cliffjumper in two.

Bottom line for the robot mode: very nice. Maybe not in any way original, but a nice interpretation of a classic design.

Alternate Mode: This version of Dropkick transforms into the form he scanned upon his arrival on Earth, a blue muscle car. More specifically it’s a 1973 AMC Javelin, just in case we have some car enthusiasts reading this. The car is a very close match to the one seen in the movie, including oversized tires and exposed engine block. There are no visible robot bits and you can mount Dropkick’s cannon on the back of the car, but that doesn’t really look all that great there. Better to leave it off.

Overall I like the car mode very much, the car looks mean and powerful. The transformation is mostly smooth, though getting the various parts of the car chassis to line up properly to minimize the visible seams takes a bit of work. So bottom line: a good car mode. Again not a revolutionary new concept, but a good execution of a classic.

Remarks: The name Dropkick first appeared in the Movie franchise way back in 2007, attached to a toy that did not appear in the actual movies. He made a brief appearance in the IDW tie-in comics but was quickly killed off by Optimus Prime (the primary cause of death for Movie Decepticons). Whether or not that Dropkick has any relation to the one who appeared in the Bumblebee movie is anyone’s guess (Movie continuity being basically non-existing at this point), but at least the Bee-Movie Dropkick got to live longer than five minutes, actually got to kill an Autobot (Cliffjumper, who it seems is the go-to Bot for being killed off early these days), and had a pretty good fight scene with Bumblebee before being torn apart by chains tangled in his rotor blades. All in all, he had it better than most Movie Decepticons.

As a toy Dropkick is a good, solid car Transformer. Unlike some other Studio Series car formers (most of them called Bumblebee) he gets by without too much kibble and is a very nice representation of the character seen on the movie screen. If they had somehow managed to actually make him the triple changer he was in the movie, I’d be even more enthusiastic. As things stand, he is a good Transformer. Not great, but very good.

Rating: B+

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