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Series: Prime Beast Hunters
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Deluxe
Year: 2013

This Autobot trickster strikes quickly, then disappears behind a black puff of magnetic smoke!

Robot Mode: At first glance Smokescreen appears as the typical car Transformer, who has the car doors as wings on his back, the car hood as a chest, and the rear of the car forming the legs. And that first glance isn’t wrong, either. Well, mostly. A closer look reveals that Smokescreen’s chest is actually a fake hood, while the real hood, windshield have split in half and folded together on his forearms. Which means he’s got quite a bit of stuff hanging off his forearms. It doesn’t hinder his movements or anything, but it’s still quite a bit of stuff.

Forearm kibble aside he’s a pretty close match to the on-screen character from the Prime cartoon. He’s missing the red forehead crest (but that can be painted on easily) and has red knees instead of dark grey ones, but those are the only major paint job differences I spotted off-hand. Articulation is standard, meaning pretty good, and leaving no room for complaint. The figure is pretty stable as well, no danger of falling apart or anything. The shoulder arrangement takes some getting used to, but nothing really worth deducting points for, either.

Like most of the Beast Hunters Autobots, Smokescreen comes with some additional elements to “armour up” with. In his case it’s a blue-grey piece of chest-shoulder armour that... well, you can easily see it’s meant more for the car than the robot mode. Smokescreen also comes with a pretty standard-looking black missile launcher, where you can attach an “electro-net” to the missile. According to the instruction sheet the thus-outfitted launcher and missile can double as a battle axe, but... yeah, it doesn’t look that good, either. My advice here: leave the armour stuff off and just hand him the missile launcher with the net-thing.

So to sum up the robot mode: very nice except for the arm kibble. A good toy version of the on-screen character.

Alternate Mode: Smokescreen transforms into a McLaren MP4-12C sports car, mostly white with black and red racing stripes and the number 38 on the doors, a homage to the original Smokescreen. The car looks pretty sleek and there are no visible robot parts unless you look at the underside. It could use a few more painted details on the front and rear, as the sculpted details are near-invisible, swallowed up by the white, but otherwise I can find little to complain about. There are peg holes for plugging in weapons on the roof and on the rear spoiler.

Just like in robot mode you can outfit Smokescreen’s car mode with additional armor. Here the blue-grey armor piece that looked pretty strange in robot mode fits very well, as it’s basically a new hood and front bumper with lots of spikes. There are holders on each side for storing the missile, but it’s really meant to go on top with the electro-net and stuff. The result is... well, mixed. It’s a heavily armored car now, somewhat mirroring the ‘brute mode’ of the DOTM Wreckers. If you liked those, then you might like this one here, too. For me, though, I’d rather leave it off. To each his own, though.

So bottom line, a pretty good car mode. Nothing out of the ordinary, but well done overall. And as the snap-on armor can be put on or left aside according to your own preferences, no problems for me there, either.

Remarks: Smokescreen was introduced in the second half of season 2 of the Prime cartoon series and - apart from his name - he’s clearly meant to be Hot Rod. Hotheaded young racer, careless, but with his heart in the right place and a candidate for future Prime-hood to boot. Which made it all the more surprising that he seemed not to be included in the Hasbro Prime toyline, while Takara only released him as a repaint of Knock Out. The confusion did not last long, though, as he was finally announced as part of the Beast Hunters toyline and a collective sigh of relief was breathed, especially once it became apparent that one could just leave that beast armour stuff off.

So the bottom line here is rather simple and straight-forward. This figure is a pretty good representation of the on-screen character Smokescreen and an all-around good figure. He’s no candidate for figure of the year or anything and his arm kibble does drag him down a bit, but overall he’s a fun toy and while I’m certainly going to put the armour add-ons away and probably never take them out again, others might think them fun and it’s nice to have options. So bottom line: if you’re looking for a good Smokescreen figure or just a fun car Transformer, you won’t go wrong with this guy.

Rating: B
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