A flip-changer, essentially. Transformers Animated Lockdown, but the Activators release. Children's toys, silly little dodgy trinkets and not a hair on the proper deluxe or voyager class Transformers figures. Wow, was I wrong. It's completely my loss that I did not pick up all the Animated Activators when they were in stores, because after experiencing a few in person, I realised what marvels they are, and Lockdown is actually not one of the strongest, yet still marvellous.
|TF Animated Activators Lockdown|
I'll be going into my new-found appreciation for Lockdown a bit more in the coming week, so for now I'm just going to assume you know he's the ruthless bounty hunter from Transformers Animated who hunts his quarry and then steals their powers or gimmicks to upgrade his own body and add to his collection. I bought the sealed Activator last week for £5.75 shipped, a total bargain in my opinion. Buying Animated stuff sealed is wonderful, it hasn't had a chance to gather dust, lose paint or become loose, forgotten about and handed to kids yet. Then it comes to me, gets opened, photographed, written about...and handed to kids.
|Deluxe Lockdown vs Activators Lockdown|
I haven't started buying Activators for their accurate robot modes, or heroic proportions, as you can clearly see Lockdown has neither. He does have quite a vibrant colour scheme though, and the vehicle mode is seriously cute and awesome. Those tiny spikes on the roof, adorable. No, I bought them because their flip change gimmick is nice, but the reverse transformation back into alternate mode is utterly addictive. Bumblebee's still the champion, but Lockdown - once you figure out how to stop everything flipping back out again and actually holding - is still brilliant.
|Activators Bandit Lockdown|
|Both Animated Activators Lockdown versions|
Like pretty much everything in Transformers Animated, the Activators Lockdown has a repaint release, called "Bandit Lockdown". This is the real reason I bought the regular Acti-Lockdown. Bandit LD has a lovely blue colour scheme and seriously classy skeletal motif on the hood. I wish to all heavens that they could have done a deluxe repaint of the Bandit scheme. Imagine translucent turquoise windows, those skeletons and spots of blue.
|Activators Patrol and regular Bumblebee, Lockdowns and Thundercracker|
The whole Activators line was a nice place to go and get exclusive repaints of favourite characters such as Patrol Bumblebee (man was I disappointed when I found out this wasn't a deluxe repaint), Fireblast Grimlock, Armour-Up Optimus and of course Bandit Lockdown. Then of course there are the unreleased characters for which Activators is the only place to go if you simply must have an Animated Cliffjumper, Thundercracker or Ramjet (Japanese exclusive). Even this tiny compartment of Animated has ridiculously expensive members such as Ramjet, Skywarp and the unreleased white "Electromagnetic" Soundwave.
I want them. I want them all. I want all of Animated, especially as no matter what I buy it seems to be fantastic. I don't remember a single line of Transformers since Generation 1 where it was so easy to pick up a random figure and have a quick play, then go to another and enjoy it so much. Everything after 1999 seems to require the clearing of one's schedule for an hour or so to play with in any sort of capacity that involves multiple transformations.
Closing thought, Activators are far far better than I could have imagined. When they flip out properly it's great to experience and make for a nice trick to impress non-collectors, when closing them up again they are challenging int he case of Lockdown and immensely satisfying in the case of Bumblebee. They're TF Animated toys, which are brilliant, just smaller, cuter but still excellently presented and engineered.
All the best