Retro-review: RiD Rail Racer

Discussion in 'Transformers Feedback & Reviews' started by Renidragon, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. Renidragon

    Renidragon Toys on my table!

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Posts:
    4,619
    Trophy Points:
    202
    Likes:
    +3
    Yep, retro-review time. First of all, I'd like to apologize for my messy desk, yep, it's pretty covered in miscellanious junk. Universe Inferno's alt mode butt makes a few cameos. ;) 

    These guys are trains. Bullet trains in fact. It's kinda hard to make these look exciting. I'm not even going to try.

    [​IMG]

    I heard a joke once. "Why do all cowboys have the same size balls? So they can share trailers!" Well, in that sense, these guys also have "balls" and they're the same size. So they can tow each other. Yanno, on... the tracks... where they're going anyway? And why would they need to link up? Aren't they going the same place? Well, whatever.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I would imagine trains, with their boxy shape, are either very easy to design with, or very hard. Easy, since it's a box, and you have very little shape restrictions. However, they're long and skinny, giving you odd proportions to work with. These guys pull off train to robot... interestingly. Lots of different shapes, and various size exaggerations.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, Rail Spike has HUGE shoulders, Rapid Run is tall, skinny, and has a train coming through his chest, and Midnight Express has elephantitis of the legs. Despite the odd proportions, they're all fairly articulated, but limited by designs and their shapes. If I was one of those cool video reviewers (my camera has issues with video over 2 mins, and I've got 3 figures, 2 modes each, plus a combined figure review? Nah, not gonna happen in 2 mins), I'd go into the articulation of each figure, but A) I'm lazy and B) I want this to be a quick and easy read with a few pictures, since I have a mild case of ADD and I don't like reading too much about a toy all at once. I like paragraph breaks! I also apparently like run-on sentences.

    Now, they ARE also built around combining, which makes them even harder to design, as opposed to a triple-changer like Astrotrain. Which is... err... also... hard to design. Well, fact is, both types are hard to design, and working with bullet trains doesn't give a whole lot to work with. The individual bots have some wonky parts that are too big, but all in all, it's not like we've never seen that before. These guys make good use of their pieces, considering what they have to work with. Bot parts are well hidden, and train parts aren't made into kibble. Well, you could probably make an argument for Rail Spike's shoulders, but getting those out of the way would take a lot more joints, and you'd end up with a front to his train mode that looks like Classics 2.0/Universe Ironhide's alt more. I think the big shoulders are the better idea.

    Rail Spike uses Rail Racer's head as his chest ornament, but it hides a lot of his combining joints, and while it's not perfect, it's about the best we can expect. It protrudes a bit, but not offensively so.

    The combining modes involve Rail Spike spreading his legs, Rapid Run spreading his legs, and Midnight Express not wanting to see any of that and hiding his head (and arms).

    [​IMG]

    Unlike just about every combiner I've personally had experience with (though not any ever, I'm aware), we have a tower kind of combination here, with one bot forming the upper body, one forming the middle, and one forming the waist and legs. Rapid Run creates some back kibble, but provides good space between Rail Spike and Midnight Express when combining into Rail Racer.

    Also, Rail Spike's weapon and Midnight Express's weapon combine together to form Rail Racer's weapon. Mine isn't the tightest fit, I don't know how new toys' weapons would fit. There's a slot that Rail Spike's weapon fits into on Midnight Express's, and while it's not really anything impressive, it gives the weapon a little bit of bulk. Rapid Run's shield remains a shield, and his missile (shown above as a melee weapon) fits into a spring-loaded slot, but I personally prefer not to use it as a gun.

    [​IMG]

    Combined, there's a surprising amount of articulation. We see now why Midnight Express has such huge legs; Rail Racer uses them entirely as his own. As such, he has universal ratcheting hips, thigh swivels and knees. His ankles rotate, but his left ankle is limited by the shape of his foot. His feet/toes can point downward, which isn't super useful, but I'm sure someone more creative than I can figure out how to pose him using them.

    His elbows are pretty high up, but that's a by-product of Rail Spike's leg transformation. His shoulders are well articulated by Rail Spike's ball jointed hips, but gain a vertical 180 degree articulation also. Rapid Run causing back kibble makes Rail Raver a little back heavy, and my Midnight Express has somewhat weak knee joints. Equipping him with his weapon and shield gives some weight on the front to balance him, but they need to be posed forward a little to balance him.

    [​IMG]

    In closing, this is one combiner done right. The bot modes are good, the alt modes look like what they're supposed to, and the combined mode doesn't suffer from the individual bot modes, and, in fact, uses them as best it can. Individually, I think Rapid Run is the best as a stand-alone toy, but the best way to enjoy these guys is all together.

    Grades on a scale of 1 to 10:

    Alt modes: 8 - very good, but the rear of the trains is less than perfect.
    Bot modes: 7 - Odd proportions result in some... interesting appearances.
    Combined mode: 9.5 - The hip skirts are kibble, but I think they really enhance the look. The long forearms kinda leave something to be desired, but are very well executed with what was there to work with. I love bicep swivels, but, again, something that needed to be worked around, and worked around quite well.

    Top notch set of toys. Highly reccommended. I'd love to see more combiners this good in the future.
     
  2. rizuan76

    rizuan76 Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Posts:
    6,594
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    176
    Likes:
    +3
    Ebay:
    Oh yes!! one of my all-time fav current day TF combining robots! the individual robots themselves are kinda unique, it's like they have the look & feel of old skool G1 bricks but with lots of articulation.

    Thanks for posting this retro review Renidragon. :thumbs2: 
     
  3. jorod74

    jorod74 Psycholagnist (Ret.)

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Posts:
    7,559
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    176
    Likes:
    +2
    Ebay:
    at first, i woulda thunk i was going to hate these guys.
    i really like them now and wish i could get a set at the store right now.
    am adding this to my collection list.
    thanks for the review.
     
  4. Skyquake87

    Skyquake87 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Posts:
    156
    Trophy Points:
    56
    Likes:
    +0
    Ebay:
    One of the best combiners of recent years, and even beats those beast wars combiners with each bot contributing a fair third to the combined mode. I love the RiD line (and the show) and these guys are definately one of the highlights. The combined form easily beats that of Landfill, with only the individual bot modes suffering a little. As noted, the work arounds are decent and the individual bots retain the posability and articulation of the larger form. The ratcheting joints ensure the figure doesn't wear down as quick as those ball joints that were commonplace around this era. As an owner myself, I can highly recommend these toys! Great review!
     
  5. Renidragon

    Renidragon Toys on my table!

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Posts:
    4,619
    Trophy Points:
    202
    Likes:
    +3
    Thanks guys. These are some of my favorite toys, but the first set I had had some problems (Midnight Express had an arm that wouldn't stay on because the balljoint was so deteriorated and a few failed repair attempts). I traded for another set, which also had some issues, but a few part swaps (and an entirely new Midnight Express!), and I got a really good set. I got so excited, I just really felt the need to do this. :) 

    And man, my desk looks even messier in these pics. :( 
     
  6. kylash327

    kylash327 TOOOOOOYS!

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2006
    Posts:
    4,434
    News Credits:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    207
    Likes:
    +9
    i so want one of these
     
  7. TCracker

    TCracker おもちゃは今とても暑いです

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Posts:
    15,309
    News Credits:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    302
    Likes:
    +1,000
    I want it, but I cannot afford it. Prices here for the JRX are murder in my country.
     
  8. 1987olds442

    1987olds442 Cam Maximus

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Posts:
    2,888
    News Credits:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    212
    Likes:
    +26
    Ebay:
    These are one of my all time favorite combiners and nice job on the review.

    I only wish they could have made Rail Spike, Rapid Run, and Midnight Express larger. It would have been cool to see these guys all in the current Ultra size class then the JRX/Rail Racer would have been huge.
     
  9. Dremare

    Dremare Had an Epiphany

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Posts:
    8,557
    Trophy Points:
    191
    Likes:
    +0
    I really want to get these guys. I loved these characters when I was little, and I never got them because my parents didn't like me spending too much money as a little kid.
     

Share This Page