Studio Series gallery: Shadow Raider!
Hasbro and Takara’s Studio Series has been one of the more refreshing Transformers toylines of 2018. Combining all-new tooling with in-line relative scale, this line has given us some accurate new takes on familiar characters as well as some movie characters who had never seen toy form before. It’s slated to do more of that as the line increases its focus on the stars of December’s Bumblebee movie, but not without giving some lesser-known characters a turn on the stage.
For example, #17 in the line is a Deluxe class figure of a Shadow Raider, one of Lockdown’s masked henchmen from 2014’s Transformers: Age of Extinction. The Deluxe class Shadow Raider figure combines new tooling, the #11 Lockdown figure, and the real-life Lamborghini Aventador’s sleek orange stock color scheme.
Despite the name, the figure has Lockdown’s masked head and “spark extractor” hand weapon rather than anything unique to the onscreen model for the bounty hunter’s henchmen. This may be a slight knock against a figure in a line built on screen accuracy, but it works as a faceless stormtroopper. It’s also still a neat way to get new parts, as well as a nice new color scheme for that well-executed altmode. (One actually disappointing bit is that Shadow Raider also just reuses the “Lockdown’s ship interior” backdrop rather than a new one — this would have been a nice chance to get the “Lockdown’s ship looming ominously in the distance” shot associated with Lockdown.)
Being a retool, Shadow Raider can swap parts with the original Studio Series Lockdown, although getting the masked head back onto Shadow Raider’s neck balljoint is quite difficult. Indeed, getting the masked head onto Lockdown is itself a bit of a bear. It’s a good-looking sculpt, but it has the same restrictive collar and pointy chin Lockdown’s original head does, which makes expressive posing a bit tricky. It might have also looked better with a less saturated, ghostlier green, but the vibrant green works well with the orange.
Of course, these mold-mates can also share weapons, and look really cool doing so, although the plastic color differences are noticeable. (For the record, Lockdown’s bicep parts are deliberately transformed that way for a less bulky look and to help distinguish the two.)
In the end, Shadow Raider seems like an odd purchase when you could instead get his wavemate, a figure of the VW Beetle-based Bumblebee from the upcoming movie. But this figure of the mercenary’s mercenary gets you a great mold in handsome new colors, with a good set of new (or alternate) parts to sweeten the deal. Plus, if you already have Lockdown, they make each other look even better.