Found this on sitting on my hard drive, so I thought I'd share it here. My review of the Micromaster base Countdown. ----------------------- Ah, Countdown - a legend in his own time. Exploring strange new worlds; seeking out new life and new civilizations; bolding going where no Transformer has gone before. An intergalactic hero whom many view as the leader of the Micromasters. And a title well-earned in my opinion. A toy from the tail-end of the 80’s, Countdown holds the distinction of being the largest Micromaster ever released (which is a bit of an oxymoron when you stop to think about it.) Although Countdown himself is to scale with the rest of his kin, he’s often seen behind the wheel of an effin’ great launch base that can transform into a command center. It’s one of those ‘base’ Transformers that, although being in the same league as Metroplex or Trypticon, hasn’t received the same kind of attention. But that’s no reason he should be ignored... Launch Base mode: Quite a monolith this is. The launch base towers above most other Transformers a full 14 inches from treads to rocket tip. The treads don’t actually turn, but each one conceals a (somewhat useless) itsy-bitsy wheel to at least maintain the illusion of it rolling out to the launch site. The rocket also fits snugly on the platform to prevent it from toppling embarrassingly to the side during the trip. If the scout vehicle picks up an approaching Decepticon attack, Countdown can defend himself by manning a gunner pod on the opposite side and picking off any bogies. (Ewww…) A large double laser by the scout vehicle should help cover his six. Once all foes are dealt with and the launch base is safely at its destination. Countdown can ride an elevator up the gantry that takes him to the boarding platform for the rocket. (Make sure you walk him down it slowly like The Right Stuff.) It’s a bit of a tight squeeze fitting him into the rocket, but at least this assures Countdown stays the right way up as you chuck the rocket over the neighbour’s fence. However, I recommend you treat him with care. Countdown is notorious for losing the stickers on his wheels because a) the surface of the wheels isn’t smooth; and b) you’re an irresponsible little sod. Also be careful where you store the extra kibble for the command center. It’s possible to squeeze the mechanical arm and two black guns in the depression where the consoles are located, but there’s just no room for the ramps. Overall, apart from simulating Micromaster rocket launches, there aren’t many scenarios you can play out with this mode. It still wins points for originality (including Countdown’s moon rover mode) and it makes a great display piece on the shelf. Command Center mode: You know, I’ve always held a belief that, the bigger the toy, the more complex the transformation. Countdown makes a mockery of that. Remember those Polly Pocket toys? Yup, you just open it up like a toolbox and there you have it in all its command center glory. Like the launch base, you’ll be surprised how big this sucker is. In fact, I had difficulty fitting it all onto the table at first. The command center sports some nice interior detailing, with a few consoles, monitors and two runways leading out along the gantry. This is where all that kibble lying around comes into play. There are a few places where you can attach the ramps, but the most common setup is depicted on the box. The rocket also forms part of the layout by splitting halfway down the middle and opening up to reveal two extra compartments. Sadly, the rocket can’t be fixed to the base like the ramps, and I can’t help but feel that it’s little more than a hollow piece of plastic. Although the command center is well armed, boasting no less than five sets of turrets (plus a mechanical arm for maintenance), none of these actually fire missiles. There are no hidden gimmicks on offer here. Just a few ramps, guns and your imagination at your disposal to turn this sprawling plastic playhouse into the last line of Autobot defense. The fate of the galaxy depends on it. Transformation: 1 - A doddle, albeit a little disappointing. You’d expect more of a challenge from something this big. Articulation: 4 - Pretty good for a Micromaster, His wheels are large and rugged enough that they roll freely on smooth surfaces, and his legs can rotate independently at the knees, which is more than I can say for most G1 Transformers four times his size! Durability: 4 - Solid enough, but the extra kibble in launch base mode makes losing pieces a temple-throbbing frequent occurrence. (Countdown can even lose his radar, despite being well attached.) One nip on eBay will tell you how often incomplete Countdowns pop up. Price: 7 - For a base this size, Countdown sure doesn’t sell for much. I picked mine up complete with box for €30. Worth the money. Fun: 9 - Grab a handful of Micromasters and piddle away up and down the ramps while squealing like a carefree, tartrazine-fuelled child. Just make sure they’re Autobots, or Countdown will give you The Stare™. Summary: 7 - If you’re a fan of base Transformers, Countdown should rank high on your list. His lack of exposure means he usually comes cheap and he’s great to display in either mode. After all, there’s a certain element of status that comes with owning the leader of the Micromasters.