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Series: Energon
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Command
Year: 2005

Prelude: Like any other Transformers toyline you can mention, Energon, too, was full of repaints. Fourteen years ago I reviewed Superlink Sprung aka Energon Bulkhead (no relation to the Animated or Prime characters of the same name), but his repaint eluded me for quite a long time. Now, though, Energon Quickstrike is here (no relation to the Beast Wars character of the same name) and ready to be reviewed. Let’s say go!

Robot Mode: Given that Quickstrike is already seventeen years old at the time of this review, he is actually a pretty amazing figure. About the size of a Voyager figure (from that time, not a modern-day one), Quickstrike is very nicely articulated, including a twisting hip and even ankle tilts. The only restrictions to his posing ability are the large rear end of the helicopter on his back and the missile launchers on his hip, which you have to fold way up when you want to spread his legs. Still very nice articulation for a toy from 2005.

Quickstrike is a straight-up repaint of Sprung/Bulkhead with no other changes, but still manages to look very different. He is not an obvious homage to any previous character, but that is hardly a point against him. I especially like his face mold, which looks like he is wearing a big, bushy mustache. Mustaches are cool, remember! Personally I prefer this red paintjob over the green one, but that is, of course, entirely subjective.

In terms of weapons Quickstrike has his hip-launchers and can use the rotor on his back as a slashing weapon. I would have preferred a handgun of some kind, maybe, but that’s just a minor nitpick. So overall I really like this figure, be it in red or green. Some minor things could have been improved, but in total I am very much happy with the robot mode.

Alternate Mode: Unsurprisingly Quickstrike transforms into the same helicopter Sprung did, just red. The transformation is rather simple, really, but still works just fine and leaves no visible robot bits. Okay, those pods on the sides of the copter do kind of look like arms (which they are), but it still works. The copter has a spinning rotor (with a mechanism to make it spin), the missile launchers are on the sides now, and while the cockpit cannot open, you can see the pilot seat sculpted inside. Very nice.

The only real downside to this mode is the landing gear. It has one, which is great, but the rear wheel is set higher than the front wheels, so the copter rests at an angle. Not really a big thing, but it does bother me at tiny bit. I am sure there would have been a better way to position those landing wheels. Apart from that, though, a pretty cool helicopter mode. Nicely done.

Brute Mode: You think the Siege line invented the idea of upgrading a Voyager-Class figure with an extra module to sell it at a higher price class? Far from it, Energon did it years earlier. Quickstrike comes with a separate weapons module, which kind of looks like an ED-209 prototype from Robocop. Basically it’s a couple of guns connected to a platform that can stand (and walk) on two legs. Quickstrike can serve as gunner on this weapons platform or he can powerlink with it in both of his modes to achieve his so-called Brute Mode. In helicopter mode, the copter basically just sits on top of the module, the legs folded in, the guns extended out front. You can also have the copter walk on the legs, if you will, for a kind-of gerwalk mode. It also contains electronics for sound effects, but I’m not really a fan of those in general.

Of course the module can also be applied in robot mode. Quickstrike gets a rucksack and now has additional cannons over his shoulders and can use the module’s legs as either, well, legs, or he can extend them as attack arms. The robot is stable enough that there are no balancing issues and the copter’s rotor can still be mounted on the back if the robot is not using it as an additional weapon. So bottom line, the brute mode might not look quite as good as that of Landmine, but still pretty cool.

Remarks: As mentioned at the beginning of this review, Energon contained quite a few repaints. Some of them were part of the cartoon, usually presenting powered-up versions of the same character. Some, however, were meant to be separate characters and most of these did not appear in the cartoon, such as Quickstrike. He had a brief appearance in the Energon comics from Dreamwave, though, as well as a small part in the text story “Force of Habit” from the TF Collectors Club.

At the end of the day Quickstrike is nothing more and nothing less than a repaint of Energon Bulkhead / Superlink Sprung. He is the same excellent figure, just without the cartoon appearance and Springer homage. Personally I think he looks better in red, but that is, of course, subjective. So bottom line: an excellent figure with only very, very minor flaws. Seeing as he came out near the end of the Energon series, though, he is somewhat rare, so expect him to carry a bigger price tag if you wish to buy him.

Rating: B+
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