High Wire has a problem with authority. He resents having to stay in disguise all the time, just because somebody in charge thinks humans can't handle the idea of a bunch of big robots stomping around. He takes every chance he gets to pop out his weapons, just to shock whoever happens to be around.
Ever since Hasbro announced the Stealth Force toys I was intrigued. Everyone immediately threw out the M.A.S.K. comparisons. Some may argue that you can have a true Transformers toy if the toy doesn't transform. However these toys do transform...per se. The gimmick if you aren't already aware is that the vehicles have hidden weapons that pop out when a button is pressed or a certain part of the vehicle is pulled. I've resisted the temptation to buy one of these until recently when I decided to pick up High Wire. I thought my daughter would enjoy the toy if I didn't so why not give it a try?
All of the Stealth Force toys come packaged where you try that vehicle's gimmick. This was a smart move by Hasbro as you get a really good idea of what you are buying beforehand. The downside of this out in the open packaging is it allows the toy to be broken. I've seen many different vehicles with parts that won't stay in place due to the springs being broken or simply over used. It is very easy to work High Wire's gimmick as you simply grab ahold of the rear wheel and pull. There is a small perforated panel on the bottom of the box that you punch out and fold down revealing the connector pieces. Simply twist the thumb tabs and High Wire is free from his cardboard prison.
The box art is as close as you'll get to a robot mode for High Wire. I can't but help think High Wire's intended robot mode shares a lot of the same features as G2 Road Rocket.
The back of the box gives you a short bio for the character as well as acts as instructions for the toy. There aren't any paper instructions included. Then again you don't need it as the transformation is very simple. Again, pull the rear wheel back and the hidden weapons pop out.
The motorcycle I have to say looks very nice. I have no idea if its modeled after any real world design, but it meshes well with other Transformer toys, especially the current Generations/Reveal the Shield deluxe class. Both wheels spin freely and there is a small kickstand on one side to prop the bike up. There are 3 main colors with red being the most prominent. Silver highlights the wheels, engine, windshield and headlights. There is a small black Autobot symbol on each side just below the handlebars.
There are several spring loaded weapons that are exposed when the rear wheel is pulled out. The seat reveals 4 small guns. A single barrel gun pops up from the gas tank area. The sides flip up and down to reveal small gatling guns on the top panel and twin guns on the bottom. All of the weapons are painted a bronze or gold color. You can also see more parts of the motorcycle's engine in this mode and it too is painted gold. I really really wish I could have found my M.A.S.K. Condor before doing this review as that neon green bike was of similar size.
At only six bucks this is a fun, yet simple little toy. Is about the same size as a $9.00 scout class toy without the robot mode. These won't appeal to everyone, but I like them. If you're looking for something slightly different then pick up one of the Stealth Force toys and give it a try...even if you're just fiddling w/ the toy in the store. Keep in mind most stores merchandise these on the die-cast car aisle, not the action figure aisle.