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Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Downshift

Transformers News: Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Downshift

Friday, January 23rd, 2009 5:39PM CST

Categories: Reviews, Site Articles, Toy News
Posted by: Skowl   Views: 32,583

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The year 2009 marks the 25th anniversary of the Transformers franchise. To celebrate this incredible milestone, Seibertron.com will look back at a quarter-century of great Transformers toys, bringing back into the limelight some brilliant figures that have fallen through the cracks over the years. Once a week, a fan (be it a member of the staff or a user on the site) will have the opportunity to write about one of their favourite "hidden gems" of the Transformers Universe, and have their review posted on the site's front page.

We hope this feature will be a great success, and that many of you will be encouraged to look back at the last 25 years of Transformers and perhaps take a worthwhile second-look at some real unsung classics of the Transformers universe.

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Buried Treasure - Downshift (Cybertron series - 2006)

by Chuckdawg1999

Thinking back to the period of time before Cybertron hit I remember being quite anxious. Having been generally disappointed by the lackluster Energon line and accompanying cartoon I was starting to believe that perhaps the newer lines of Transformers were best left to those younger than I. Thankfully I was wrong and the first prototype shots of the new figures assured me that I was in store for something worthwhile. At the time I was co-writing the Cybertronian Enquirer with “Professor” Mike Kaye, he and I were on different sides of the debate of streamlined vs. boxy robot design. While he liked what he saw of Cybertron he wasn’t as excited as I was. As the line progressed Cybertron became my favorite line of the Unicron Trilogy while the good professor lamented the lack of articulation. I would constantly recommend figures to Mike saying this one or that one was quite good or had a great Cyber-key gimmick, but it took a exceptionally special figure to bring the professor and I to a common ground. That figure was Downshift.

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Downshift’s vehicle mode looks like it was taken directly from a 60’s Steve McQueen movie. I can picture in my mind some hard-nosed PI flying over a hill on the streets of San Francisco his muscle car wearing the scars of hard use. I was slightly disappointed that Downshift’s bio revealed that he wasn’t some sort of Cybertronian PI. Sure we have Nightbeat but besides Jim Rockford we had Thomas Magnum so a second TF PI would’ve been ok with me. While green and black are the predominant colors for Downshift, and look quite nice I must say, there is some silver used for his bumpers, grill, and engine. Smoked orange plastic is used for the windows and headlights. This car just looks cool.

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Downshift comes with two spring-loaded rocket launchers that can be mounted on the figure in a few ways; in vehicle mode they can be pegged into each door giving the car an armored vehicle look. Imagine driving through rush hour traffic with those babies by your side. I would’ve liked it if Hasbro found a way to incorporate the launchers into the design of the car giving it a more streamlined look but that’s small potatoes and doesn’t hurt the figure at all.

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Thinking back if there was one universal complaint about the Cybertron figures it was that sometimes the slots for the cyber-keys didn’t blend in as well as one would’ve liked into the vehicle or robot mode. Downshift is one of if not the only figure where that isn’t a problem. There is a small hatch that when closed is flush with the rear window. Once the key is inserted Downshift’s front grill springs open becoming some sort of capture claw. In this mode Downshift begins to remind me of a MASK era vehicle.

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Transformation is intuitive and a joy for your hands. In robot mode you’ll notice that like his Energon counterpart Downshift’s head is a nod to G1 Wheeljack. Another nod to the old ‘jack is the ability to attach the rocket launchers onto Downshift’s shoulders as well as being able to hold them as traditional guns. I prefer the one on, one off look as it gives him a real rugged badass look.


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While the professor thought Downshift was going to be another brick-fest Transformer even he was pleasantly surprised by Downshift’s extensive articulation. While I don’t look to be able to put my figures in various yoga poses I do enjoy the occasional run-and-gun stance.

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When first released Downshift was a touch under the radar due to his brief appearance in the cartoon which is a shame since I feel his character, with the proper development, could’ve been a significant part of the series. While I can’t comment on any other use of the mold I can tell you that Cybertron Downshift is a solid investment and a great figure to fool around with. Grab him now before the Cybertron figures really shoot up in value. Thanks for reading.

Links:

Visit the Downshift gallery by clicking here
...Or find your own buried treasures by visiting all the toy galleries here!

* If you would like to write a review for our "Buried Treasures" feature, please send a private message to Skowl on the Seibertron.com forums!

Previous Buried Treasure Reviews:

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Cannonball by Skowl

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Snapdragon by Jeep
Credit(s): Chuckdawg1999
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Re: Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Downshift (872457)
Posted by soundwave13c on January 23rd, 2009 @ 6:37pm CST
this story is fantastic!
sadly i missed this guy in all the buzz for the other cybertron figures.
Re: Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Downshift (872459)
Posted by Sledge on January 23rd, 2009 @ 6:45pm CST
Only two niggles I had with him were his head not being able to move, and the Cyberkey gimmick. It made the chest stick out so far that his arms barely reach past it. Still, a cracking figure.
Re: Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Downshift (872462)
Posted by ShGarland_1383 on January 23rd, 2009 @ 6:50pm CST
soundwave13c wrote:this story is fantastic!
sadly i missed this guy in all the buzz for the other cybertron figures.

Not sure Big Daddy - a solid repaint of this figure - is still available anymore at Wal-Mart (because I saw clearance tags for the figures I saw last time I was there), but I'd say pick it up if you see it. For all the figures released in Cybertron, though, Downshift is a personal favorite of mine. Just a brilliant old-school Chevrolet Chevelle muscle car alt-mode, with a robot mode I'd accept as a U2.0 Wheeljack, if there was any chance that Hasbro would make one. (Skowl mentions the head is a nod to G1 Wheeljack; that's what'd make it work for me if they do it.)

Skowl wrote:When first released Downshift was a touch under the radar due to his brief appearance in the cartoon which is a shame since I feel his character, with the proper development, could’ve been a significant part of the series.
Downshift was in the cartoon?
Re: Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Downshift (872474)
Posted by Samsonator on January 23rd, 2009 @ 7:26pm CST
I remember when I first got him, I thought he was a welcome addition to a pretty damned good line
Re: Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Downshift (872478)
Posted by shankz on January 23rd, 2009 @ 7:35pm CST
Having missed out on all of the cybertron stuff, I got this guy in that walmart black friday two pack over a year ago. Amazing figure. One of my all time favs. Got the big daddy repaint too.

I feel like I missed out on something big with cybertron. I'm happy for the repaints that come out now.
Re: Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Downshift (872479)
Posted by Serpent O - R on January 23rd, 2009 @ 7:37pm CST
I love this fig.

A - Alt
A - Bot
A - Articulation
A - Extras
A - Cheesy Gimmick



...I'm Bill Curtis.
Re: Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Downshift (872481)
Posted by cheeser82 on January 23rd, 2009 @ 7:39pm CST
I'm happy that I can say I own both Downshift and Big Daddy. A great mold, and Downshift's one of my favorite figures from the Cybertron series. They're one of the few figures I told myself I was getting before they actually came out. :D
Re: Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Downshift (872485)
Posted by Omega Charge on January 23rd, 2009 @ 7:45pm CST
ShGarland_1383 wrote:Downshift was in the cartoon?

He never appeared in Cybertron in this form, but I believe the character did show up in Energon.

I got this guy as one of my earlier purchases from the line. On mine his claw-gimmick is kinda loose, and head articulation woulda been awesome, but it's a solid figure.
Re: Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Downshift (872494)
Posted by typh0id on January 23rd, 2009 @ 8:07pm CST
I've always felt the Big Daddy repaint was an acceptionally brilliant use of this mold...But the original Downshift looks awesome as well...It's just a good figure all around...
Re: Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Downshift (872499)
Posted by rpetras on January 23rd, 2009 @ 8:15pm CST
I LOVE this fig and his Big Daddy repaint.

Great mold.

As a former owner of a 70's muscle car this little fig had great appeal to me, and was one of the gateway figs back into collecting TFs.

A+ all around.
Re: Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Downshift (872511)
Posted by Swiftpaw on January 23rd, 2009 @ 8:39pm CST
I have both versions of this mold, and find it to indeed be one of the hidden treasures of the Cybertron era. This post covers pretty much the same reason as I enjoy the mold. The claw gimmick is kinda meh, but it's at least executed than the lump-kibble-out-of-back that ruined the otherwise cool design for Payload for me.

Big Daddy is equally pleasing, and despite being released as part of the Movie line blends right in with my Universe/Classics collection. The muscle car in BD's classic black and orange, along with dual wielding two big pieces in robot mode give him a suitable urban, almost gangsta look.

As a bonus, with him holding the guns and Downshift on his shoulders, there's that small degree of difference I like to see between mold resuses. Helps set them apart as different characters even with the similar body forms.
Re: Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Downshift (872520)
Posted by Valandar on January 23rd, 2009 @ 8:55pm CST
I only wish I had gotten a second one to repaint as the General Lee... :D
Re: Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Downshift (872958)
Posted by PlasticAddict on January 24th, 2009 @ 3:40pm CST
Omega Charge wrote:
ShGarland_1383 wrote:Downshift was in the cartoon?

He never appeared in Cybertron in this form, but I believe the character did show up in Energon.

I got this guy as one of my earlier purchases from the line. On mine his claw-gimmick is kinda loose, and head articulation woulda been awesome, but it's a solid figure.


Maybe he got him confused with Crosswise? Crosswise was in the show very briefly, and had a very unclear background.
Re: Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Downshift (872959)
Posted by Sledge on January 24th, 2009 @ 3:46pm CST
Apparently, Crosswise got confused with Smokescreen for his first appearences. So... maybe?
Re: Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Downshift (872960)
Posted by OPTIMUS MAGNUS on January 24th, 2009 @ 3:54pm CST
Love this toy as well. Downshift is a stand-in on my shelf for classics Wheeljack. Hell, I would be happy if Hasbro would just re-paint this figure with the g1's color scheme and re-package him in a universe box. I'd buy 2! :lol:

Great mold indeed. He is a must-have from the Cybertron line.
Re: Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Downshift (873538)
Posted by ShGarland_1383 on January 25th, 2009 @ 6:07pm CST
Omega Charge wrote:
ShGarland_1383 wrote:Downshift was in the cartoon?

He never appeared in Cybertron in this form, but I believe the character did show up in Energon.

I know he was in Energon. I remember seeing an episode were somebody (Hot Shot, I think) came up with the idea of a bunch of Autobots getting together for a race, that Misha and Arcee end up winning. No, I was talking about in Cybertron. I know he was in the Cybertron arc of the TFCC comic (both in this form and what I believe is the KB-excluive version of the Energon mold), but I'm not so sure about the show. I think PlasticAddict has it right; Downshift was likely confused for Crosswise.

Omega Charge wrote:I got this guy as one of my earlier purchases from the line. On mine his claw-gimmick is kinda loose, and head articulation woulda been awesome, but it's a solid figure.
I remember the claw gimmick being fine for me, though I haven't checked lately and I don't feel like finding him at the moment. Maybe Big Daddy's claw is better...if you can still find him.
Re: Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Downshift (873588)
Posted by Diem on January 25th, 2009 @ 7:09pm CST
His claw gimmick was screwed on mine too. Would almost stay in oon car mode, wouldn't stay in for more than 0.2 of a nanosecond in robot mode. In fact, all the Cybertron figures I have (namely, Skids, Vector Prime, this guy, Universe Dirge and Universe Autobot Roadbuster) are lacking Cyber Key powers that work exactly as intended.
Re: Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Downshift (873800)
Posted by Cybertronian on January 26th, 2009 @ 6:08am CST
Valandar wrote:I only wish I had gotten a second one to repaint as the General Lee... :D

I'm working on that project now.
I need someone with dremel or model sanding experience to help me out.

REDLINE (on here) came up with a way to "reveal" Downshift's hidden neck articulation. The post was made back in 2006, and though I printed it out, the original is gone. It involves dremeling the slots that the spring holding gray neckpiece goes into. Once it reaches the desired height, the head will have nearly 360-deg. movement. He mentioned a similar technique involving the waist, but the ball-jointed thighs move more than enough to compensate for the waist.

What I want to do prior to painting (I have 2 cans of ModelMaster's Hemi Orange -- the color of Season 1's General Lees! Season 2.5+ used GM's Huggar Orange, also a Model Master color.) is to have REDLINE's neck modification done to what I would call General Autobahn Lee.

The sanding would be to smooth off the "vinyl" roof covering, making him into a more "race-worthy" hardtop.

The General's Mini-Con is Oil Slick with the purple flames removed and Reprolabel's General Lee decals added; now called Hangtime. In addition to the Mini-Con holding shoulder/hand-held launchers, his main weapons would either be (movie) Elita-One's energon crossbow or some variant of Optimus's original laser rifle.

-- Cybertronian. :BOT:
Re: Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Downshift (874256)
Posted by Down_Shift on January 26th, 2009 @ 10:26pm CST
I'm flattered you think I'm buried treasure but I'm still alive.

Great read homeslice.
Re: Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Downshift (874331)
Posted by Cybertronian on January 27th, 2009 @ 3:58am CST
My favorite feature on Downshift was that he seemed to be somewhat compatible with every Transformers series up to Cybertron.
Here's what I mean:
    G1 (1984-85) - As an Autobot, his doors are connected to both (as opposed to either) his arms and his shoulders. His hood is also his chest. He also has at least 1 missile launcher.
    G1 (1987-88) - His fist holes are Targetmaster/Pretender/Powermaster weapon sized, and his robot mode guns can be mounted on his vehicle mode. He is also in scale with many of the Autobot Head/Target/Powermasters.
    G2 - He's lime-colored, and has ball-jointed thighs.
    BW/BM - Ball-jointed thighs.
    RiD - Like the Autobot Bros., his vehicle mode is close to 1/36 scale. (This is also in scale with the 1986 Autobot Cars, 1987 Targetmasters, and 1988's Headmaster Jrs. and Powermasters.)
    Armada - Powerlink points, compatible with most Mini-Cons.
    Energon - Targetmaster-sized weapons holes allow him to wield most Energon weapons, or Powerlink to them.
    Cybertron (his home series) - Cyber Key element (which always worked on mine, even after I was forced to replace DS's claw spring with one from a ballpoint pen (Note: ALWAYS prepare for a wild spring when opening up or putting back together DS's hood.))
    Classics - Excluding his G1 Wheeljack inspired head, He turns INTO a Classsic!

One question I always had though... On the back of the box, and in the instructions, his hood looks normal (as opposed to having a hot rod engine). When's that version coming out?
Re: Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Downshift (874770)
Posted by 8 bit on January 27th, 2009 @ 11:15pm CST
Great figure with an alt mode I couldn't pass up. Downshift was the reason I got back into collecting Transformers.
Re: Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Downshift (875929)
Posted by chuckdawg1999 on January 29th, 2009 @ 10:56pm CST
I could've sworn Downshift was in the toon as an un-named autobot. If I'm remembering correctly it was when they were having a fight on Earth with the big dome up to hide them from view; driving around claws came out, that was it. I may be crazy though. Wait we know I am. I may be wrong, there that's better.
Re: Buried Treasure Review - Cybertron Downshift (879736)
Posted by pietrestan on February 6th, 2009 @ 1:06am CST
i love this figure! cybertron downshift is definitely one of my favorites and although he stands with my masterpiece/classics guys as "wheeljack," he's definitely got a lot of character of his own with the sheer badassery of the 70's muscle car and a well-articulated, detailed and engineered robot-mode. as much as i like the original character of big-daddy (although it'll likely never happen now, a newer version of big-daddy in his 50's alt-mode would be nice), downshift's black & green is the mold's best color scheme.

great review. agree with it all.
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