Transistor Robots Tri-Fly
Review by The Enthusiast
Four Star was one of the more ambitious Transformer bootleggers of the eighties, re-tooling its copies of Insecticons and Constructicons until the original molds were all but unrecognizable. Four Star created a handful of its own unique figures, among them the venerable triple-changer Tri-Fly.
Tri-Fly, under the “Transistor Robots” banner, is packaged in a G1-derived window box, complete with illustrations of its alternate modes.
A styrofoam tray within. There's an instruction sheet and a few decals.
Tri-Fly is packaged in its jet mode, which is an F-15 according to the box. Looks more like the Concorde to me.
While the sophisticated packaging shows promise, the toy’s construction is lightweight and cheap. Much of the chrome is tarnished out of the box, seams don’t line up well, pieces fall off. This isn’t a bootleg, but it’s certainly bootleg quality.
That said, there are nice touches.I like the metallic decals and the chrome detailing at the rear hatch..
The jet’s rear landing gear is comically over-sized. .
Transformation to dragonfly mode largely consists of turning the jet over. You then feather out the wing pieces and fold up the eyes and teeth (yes, these are dragonfly ‘teeth’ according to the directions).The hatch area cleverly unfolds to become feet. I love the colorful goofiness of this mode, as well as the strange contrast between it and the high tech jet..
To transform into the robot mode the dragonfly tail/jet nose separates to become legs. The cockpit unfolds to become feet, but (oh god) the feet don’t work very well and the bot doesn’t stand (note the Flightpose buttress for the remainder of the review). Silly widdle arms fold out of the fuselage, the head folds out of the rear of the plane.
For some reason, the dragonfly feet/bay doors, now the bots’ chest panels, are supposed to remain opened, which lends the figure a certain charm. I like the detailed decal behind them. The chest also looks fine closed.
Articulation? You’re in the wrong place, brother. Accessories? A couple of generic space guns. Funk? In spades.
So, yeah. A strange duck. But exactly the kind of toy I love. Though Four Star’s bread and butter was copying existing molds, the Try-Fly looks and feels like nothing else. The styling and the transformation are absolutely unique. This isn’t a warmed over Go-bot or Transformer, This is unmistakably a Transistor Robot.
The Tri-Fly is practically engineered for my tastes. It’s an ultra-obscure mid-eighties original transformer. It’s goofy as hell, bordering on ugliness. If only it contained diecast metal or magnets. It took me a good long time to get hold of one of these, and I’m damned glad I did.
|Posted 6 August, 2011 - 15:51 by The Enthusiast|