KO BT Prowl (JP Police)

Discussion in 'Transformers Feedback & Reviews' started by deejemon, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. deejemon

    deejemon Active Member

    May 16, 2005
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    I received my KO BT Prowl recently, this time from A3U rather than a hit-or-miss eBay seller (still sore about that eBayer who messed up my KO Grimlock and Wheeljack boxes; that was just idiotic...). Anyways...

    (A few more images.)

    KO Prowl comes in a surprisingly accurate BT-style box of the second variety, the style shared by Prowl and Skids. As with KO Wheeljack's box, the window ends of Prowl's are hollow, with nothing between the inner bubble and the outside world.

    They appear to have gotten bolder with their imitations, with "BT15" appearing at several locations on the box, as well as a very similar "Transformers Binaltech" logo. The Transformers text seems to be the exact same font and coloring, even sporting the grid background, however the Autobot logo has been replaced by their new Wheeljack-inspired head logo.

    Like the original, the back panel has photos showing robot-mode Prowl, as well as the blue and police vehicle-modes, and smaller pictures of various features. Putting a genuine article side-by-side with the KO, most of the photos seem to have been lifted directly, including several that are quite obviously genuine BT figures. There are a couple that look a little different, and have either been recreated very faithfully, or have been photoshopped or sourced from somewhere else (eg: e-Hobby photos).


    Fortunately for Prowl, he gets to remain a Military Strategist, unlike everybody released since KO Smokescreen, who have all been "Diversionary Tacticians". Naturally enough, there are some nonsense phrases dotted around the box.

    "Former Integra Type-R" - seems to be replacing "Honda Integra Type-R"
    "Be a excellent member in the bio-chemical warrior is that has most colourful variety characteristic in the whole series include foreign sale." - WTF?
    "Hand: Make the performance more fascinating." - Fascinating, yes.
    "Blight Stick: The stick be suitable for a near wrestle. Provide with the flashlight of the energy type."

    The non-English text is noticeably Chinese rather than Japanese; not unexpected considering where it originates.

    On the bottom of the box is something not found on the genuine article - a photo of the different versions of the figure. In addition to the Japanese police version, there's the blue civilian version (as with BT Prowl), what looks to be an Alternators US Police deco version, complete with "Highway Patrol" badging and shield logo on the hood, and a Chinese Police version, with altogether different badging and logos on it.

    [L-R: KO BT Prowl (Police), KO Alt Prowl, Chinese Police Prowl, KO BT Prowl (Blue)]

    Included in the pack is the instruction sheet, looking a lot like a Binaltech instruction booklet. It has some differences, such as the cover art, but even that appears to be lifted from the Binaltech character card and control art.

    Also included is their version of the character card(s). Like Grimlock and Wheeljack, the two sides of the genuine character card are split onto separate cards (see above photo).

    Overall, the packaging for this KO very much veers back to being a direct copy; BT KOers haven't been quite this bold in a while. It still doesn't have the same feeling as a genuine BT, since the cardboard and plastic feels cheaper, but the appearance is very much the same. As long as you don't look too closely at the text.

    Prowl: Vehicle Mode
    If you were hoping for diecast, you'll be disappointed once again. KO BT Prowl is all plastic. However, he is very definitely the BT version and deco of the sculpt, with the BT's larger rear wing and 10-spoked wheels. The same Japanese lettering adorns the doors, and the BT's version of the light bar appears on the roof. On the front grille, the BT's flower (yes?) logo is now red instead of gold, while at the back, the license plate simply has the KO Autobot logo on the left side and leaves the right side, where you'd normally find his name, blank.

    The interior follows BT Prowl's grey and black, rather than the Alternator's light blue. All the details are there including the dash and the seats, which seem a bit floppy. The steering wheel is adjustable, but while both Alt and BT Prowl are designed for the steering wheel to fold in under the dashboard, I couldn't get KO Prowl's to get past the seat cushion - it actually rests ON the seat cushion, so the driver's seat can't fold forward flat like it's supposed to. It doesn't impede transformation, but it's just hot how it should be.

    I don't know if KO Prowl's external mirrors are any more resilient. I imagine so, being all-plastic and presumably molded together, but I haven't tested this. I've fortunately learned from other people's misfortunes and always open the doors by flipping down the floorboard and opening the door from underneath (and then pushing a finger through to open the second door from the inside). If you want to test it, be my guest.

    [Vehicle Mode: KO Prowl, Robot Mode: BT Prowl]

    On the liftback, they've obviously duplicated the molding where the Honda badge would normally appear. On mine, though, on the driver's half of the tailgate, there's a blob where the H logo would normally be, where it looks like something snapped or fell off. From my genuine Prowl, the Honda badge is attached to the driver's half of the tailgate and simply overlaps the split, so that it sits in the center. I don't recall seeing anything there, and I can't find anything that might have fallen or snapped off. There was a lot of noise as I transformed it the first time, as parts that were wedge together tightly finally separated, but I'm unsure what's happened on this tailgate, whether something's busted or whether it's normal. (If anyone else has one, let me know what yours has got.)

    [Vehicle Mode: KO Prowl, Robot Mode: BT Prowl]

    Panel alignment seems to be pretty good, there's a bit of a gap between the roof and the liftback, but it's not excessive, and there don't appear to be any misassembled pieces like KO Grimlock and Wheeljack. Paint applications are okay, although some of the black paint is a bit uneven and there are a couple of chips out of the rear bumper already, revealing the white plastic underneath. The windscreen on mine is a bit messy, with some marks and smudges on it that don't seem to want to come off, and a scratch in one corner. The other windows seem okay though. Doors, hood and hatch all open fine, they aren't floppy or anything. Really, if you kept your distance it wouldn't be too easy to tell it's a plastic knock-off.

    Prowl: Robot Mode
    As is usual with a KO, the transformation is ostensibly the same as the genuine article, but the experience is just not on par, and you'll need to work a bit harder to bring it all together.

    KO Prowl's problem areas seem to be with some of his joints. Even before I flipped the robot head down to start getting his arms out, I could see his fingers were flapping around - loose fingers is a first in my experience. Once the arms were out, it was clear it wasn't just his fingers - his elbows and wrist joints were also quite loose. His shoulder (complete with faux-Autobot logo) seemed loose during transformation, but once it's in its place for robot mode, it doesn't seem as bad as during the transformation process. He can hold his weapons, but you'll want to make sure his grip is as tight as possible, to maximise surface friction and hopefully prevent his grip from loosening.


    Likewise, he seems to have loose knees as well. This is where the criticism of the mold actually helps, as his concealed knees help to counteract the looseness. From the looks of it, you should be able to perform the popular leg-switch mod just as easily as on the genuine article. You may have to be more patient with getting the knees, however.

    Also in the vicinity of the knees, his rear bumper halves just would not stay pushed in against the rear wheels, sliding out along the grooves that are built into them and just sort of hanging there. They're fine in vehicle mode, but less fine in kibble mode.

    Due to the steering wheel issue I mentioned earlier, you may not be able to get the driver's seat down as far as it should go, leaving things in the cabin a bit uneven, since the passenger's seat does go down. This will also likely affect the roof, as it won't collapse into his back as much as it should.

    His armament is the same as BT Prowls: engine gun and nightstick. The hinges on the engine gun are somewhat loose as well, making it flop a little. If you're impatient, you might want to stick with the no-moving-parts nightstick and put the gun aside and save your patience for the hands.

    [L-R: BT Prowl, KO Prowl]

    Putting KO Prowl alongside his BT counterpart, one particular difference stands out. KO Prowl's legs (from his waist to his knee) and elbow (from the shoulder to the elbow) are more of an ivory color, while BT Prowl's are more of a light grey. Or at the very least, the KO's are yellower. I'm not sure it's clear from the picture, as it looks more like just the lighting and the angle, but they are different colors. Other sections, such as his shins and waist are cast in the same colors as the BT.

    The head is a good match, with identical paint applications, and nothing that stands out as unusual about the molding (unlike KO Grimlock's mutant head).

    All up, he's definitely intended to look like BT Prowl. There is no deco borrowed from Alternators Prowl for this guy, even if he is plastic. And for the most part, the illusion is successful.

    Is it overly redundant to once again say KO Prowl is not a substitute for the real thing?

    He is a good choice for kitbashing, as an option for a complete, cheap, Integra mold. There's numerous desirable components (head, as seen on numerous Alt Ironhides and Ratchets, and lightbar), they're all very well reproduced and closely mimic the look of the original, and he does come together nicely in vehicle mode. Painting up the arms and legs may help reduce the floppiness there, or people smarter than me may already have a better idea how to address that.

    As a collection item, he looks nice, as long as you can find a pose or position that you can convince him to hold. He looks very much like Binaltech Prowl, and considering he and BT Meister seem to be in a competition to be the most expensive of the normal BT issues (the non-exclusives), unless you're willing to pony up the large sums of money for the genuine BT (or find a reasonably priced pre-loved), KO Prowl might be a reasonable stand-in. At this stage, even Alt Prowl is getting up there in price. You may need to touch up some of the pre-applied paint chips... or I guess you could leave them there for that genuine BT feeling. =D (I'm just teasing, I love the BTs, chips and all.)

    What I think he's probably the best for, and what I plan to do with him, is display him alongside my genuine BT Prowl, with the BT in robot mode, and the KO in vehicle mode, somewhat like the KO vehicle mode pics above.

    KO Prowl quite faithfully replicates BT Prowl... in plastic. He's not the same, but if you were to display him behind glass, a lot of people would have trouble telling the difference. I'll be interested in seeing how KO Prowl measures up in his blue and Alt decos, and the most curious of all, the Chinese Police version, continuing the KOer's trend of offering a unique deco (eg: white Hound, yellow Lambor, etc).
  2. Tech Spec

    Tech Spec Breeze Loo

    Sep 8, 2005
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    Nice review man! I have this KO as well , though the knees on mine are pretty tight. I plan to do the leg swap and do a simple kitbash for this figure too. May stop by A3U this weekend to grab another.
  3. vt102

    vt102 Active Member

    Oct 22, 2007
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    Very informative. Thanks. I did see an auction for the KO blue prowl, get this, the roof is the same as the police one, so there is the holes and mounting base for the lightbar. I am debating if I want to get it. I might have to since I can't find the real blue prowl for a reasonable price. :( 
  4. Rick_Coronel

    Rick_Coronel Owner of many customs

    May 30, 2007
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    He's the best KO Alternator/Binaltech I've gotten so far. Prowl only has loose back bumpers.

    I had one of my two Wheeljack's break at the windshield. Both had the arms switched.

    I bought them for customs too.
  5. Skywave

    Skywave Transformers Noob

    Feb 12, 2007
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    I'd want to know, are the car part (hood, doors, etc) molded in black with white paint on top (like the real Alt Prowl), or is he molded white with black paint ?
  6. Dark_Convoy

    Dark_Convoy Old Bastard Veteran

    Jul 1, 2002
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    Sounds like good kit-bash fodder.