Review by JoshB
The Mechliner is another great toy from Tomy as part of their Tomica Hypercity line. I’ve been on the hunt for this guy since I discovered the line, and It was at TJ Maxx, of all places, that I finally found one. For $10 on clearance these things are hard to pass up.
The Mechliner set consists of 3 train cars, a diecast car, a small figure, and enough track to make a full circle. It’s a motorized set, so the train can move around the track on its own power.
The powered engine requires one “C” cell battery, which can be inserted when you remove the cover of the train. This adds a significant amount of weight to the train, as you can imagine.
The front cockpit opens and reveals a spot for the mini-figure. The train also has connectors on the front and back.
The Mechliner train is the star of the show here. In train mode it’s fairly compact but you can tell that it’s going to reveal so much more.
On this train, the front also opens so that you can place a driver inside.
The back opens to reveal two movable arms that can be removed and repositioned on top of the train. Each features a seat for the mini-figures, and the front have various oversized tools on them.
The front of the tran can rotate, and two articulated arms extend from the sides. This section can be removed and form the body of the Mechliner robot.
Fold the back around the bottom and insert those tool arms to become feet.
Robot mode is cool but when I originally saw this toy I was under the impression that the whole train became a robot, not just parts of it. Still, trains that become robots are OK in my book.
The last car is a flatbed that is supposed to carry the included car. However the car doesn’t sit right on it and I think was thrown in to add more play value to the set. The clip in the base indicates that possibly one of the clear containers that come with other Tomica sets belong in there.
The small diecast car is a nissan in 1:64 scale with opening doors. In Japan, Tomica is primarily known as a line of diecast cars and is the leading line (as opposed to Hot Wheels and Matchbox who dominate the US). Under the Tomica banner in Japan is PlaRail, their motorized train sets. In the US, the Tomica brand is a fusion of both of these lines together.
The eight pieces of track combine to form an 18” circle of iconic blue track. The trains sit on the track nicely, and when you push the level on the engine train forward, the train zooms around the track quickly. It’s a lot of fun, actually.
The set is packed full of play value and even at the $20 retail price worth getting. Combine these sets with other sets and you are on your way to making a great city of Tomica. I love the Japanese aesthetic and quality that is prevalent in this line, and I hope they continue to bring the line over. However, I haven’t seen any of the toys shown at Toy Fair in the stores, and the Hypercity line is disappearing at retail and now showing up at discount retailers like TJ Maxx and Marshalls. Not a good sign. Grab them while you can.
|Posted 3 November, 2013 - 20:03 by JoshB|