Transformers Legacy Evolution Cyberverse-Universe Shadow Striker

She’s evil, she’s from 2 different universes in one figure design, she’s probably a pre-tool of Side Burn, but is she worth picking up? Read on and find out.

With Target’s 15% off and $22 price point, I gave in and picked up Shadow Striker, a character I never had any experience with but whose figure looks pretty cool, even if her car mode looked like a pile of junk.

The first SIDE of the instructions is about using the accessories, including a whole third dedicated to¬†moving the shield from the right arm to the left arm. Keep in mind, it’s on a bog-standard 5mm peg going into a bog-standard 5mm hole. The instructions didn’t need padding, just because she has fewer steps than some doesn’t mean it’s simple or boring.

At first blush, she doesn’t even feel like she was designed by the current Transformers Legacy team. Her shoulders are part of her backpack, her knees don’t rotate and instead rely on thigh swivels, she’s a deluxe that has wrist swivels, her head is on a ball joint that goes into the collarbone instead of at the top of the neck, and her levels of detail go from fair to very simple and plain. None of this is necessarily detrimental, it just feels like it’s an outsider toy.

I will say that, even with no connection to the source character, it seems like they were one part away from making her look a lot more like the Cyberverse character, just have the backpack transform the opposite way so the front bumper becomes the chest, probably by swiveling the backpack around the collarbone or just altering the way that central spine works.

Accessories pros:
– each accessory has a 5mm peg and a 5mm port, so you can use ’em however you want
– her gun is also a short sword
– her cape has dedicated storage for her gun, her back can house her roof shield, and her shield can store her bumper bracer behind that

Accessories cons:
– her swordgun has a tab on the hilt grip that doesn’t affect how it can be held by her open hands, but locks it out from any figure with closed 5mm fists. I guess only she can use it as a faaaaat little sword, everybody else is stuck using it as a gun
– her entire vehicle roof and trunk is a shield, her entire rear bumper is another small shield, no matter how much an homage it’s intending to be
– transforming her shield out of vehicle mode often has it pop off the hinge, it’s a shallow friction hinge

Robot pros:
– for the most part, nice coloring
– interesting, dynamic head design
– good range of movement overall
– for a weirdo back-hinged shoulder, the arms aren’t all that hard to pose and have decent range of movement
– long feet mean very good stability

Robot cons:
– purple PA shoulders are a poor match for the purple ABS everything else
– arms can’t pose behind her at all due to engineering limitation
– chest is incongruously wide and flat
– there’s only room to store the shield on the back with the trunk facing up

Vehicle pros:
– rolls well
– side and top angle looks good
– not kibbly even from underneath
– colors look striking
– enough space inside the roof shell to rotate the head around so it’s not looking out the windshield, and store the gun inside

Vehicle cons:
– simple, under-detailed front end; bizarrely incomplete rear end; exposed front wheels look like a cheap toddler toy
– isn’t nearly as cool-looking as Cyberverse ultra Shadow Striker’s vehicle mode
– transformation is a baffling mess of things that seem like they don’t want to interact in the order they do, and other things that are constantly trying to pull themselves apart
– official weapon storage is surprisingly bland and limited
– obvious pretool of RID Side Burn

Overall: B-
This is an odd situation, even without an attachment to the character, giving Shadow Striker a little more truth to her Cyberverse self would have gone a long way and probably wouldn’t have even been that hard to do, and this mold would have been a lot easier to swallow. But the figure we got isn’t so bad either, she’s got a weird shoulder situation but it’s not heavily detrimental, her accessories are a mixed bag due to being a pre-tool but they’re not as bad as I feared they’d be. Then again, a better vehicle mode also would have made this a lot easier to enjoy, and this too comes down to choice of parts for the tail and nose. Basically, it’s an ok toy but hints at so much more potential.

(vehicle-mode is so awkward that my camera refused)