My personal reaction to re-use of Transformers Animated moulds for any purpose, any purpose at all no matter how ridiculous the premise (Knights Of Unicron), is overwhelmingly positive. Seeing Swoop and Snarl re-used in Transformers Adventure by Takara Tomy, a line heavily based on the Hasbro's Robots In Disguise 2015 with added repaints of older moulds, made me happy. I didn't buy them because their release coincided with a jarring halt to my buying in recent months, but Lockdown...Lockdown was always going to be bought. I pre-ordered this TAV-15 Lockdown before anyone even knew the nature of the repaint. The fact that mere weeks before release (and months after pre-order) it was revealed he was to sport Age Of Extinction Lockdown's colours made me insanely happy.
Age Of Extinction wasn't a great movie in my opinion, but I loved Lockdown. He was gorgeous in the movie but I feel the quality of the toys produced for AOE Lockdown were shocking, at least visually. We never got the toy that character deserved, not the way Barricade, Jazz, Sideswipe, Bumblebee, Roadbuster, Skids, Mudflap and Leadfoot did in Human Alliance. How handy, then, that the Lockdown character has such exceptional moulds in his back catalogue from Transformers Animated and Revenge Of The Fallen.
So what we have here, then, is Animated Lockdown in AOE colours. The overall grey is reminiscent of Animated BotCon exclusive Stunticon Wildrider but of course accurate to AOE Lockdown. The green translucent parts reference AOE Lockdown perfectly although that character actually did not have green tinted windows or lights, what we're remembering is the green mask with the data flow. No complaints. This repaint hasn't been slavish, it's worked with the features of the Animated mould and created something beautifully representative of the newer Lockdown. I don't mind the RID scan logo sticker on the roof, because I really like RID 2015. I expect to see a number of 2nd hand versions of TAV Lockdown missing the sticker in a year or so.
Despite coming out 7 years after the first version of the mould, TAV Lockdown still has all the frustrating features of the original like the plastic in the wrists stopping the hands opening out fully, and the occasional popping off of the legs during transformation. None of these niggles - as before - succeed in dimming this excellent mould's appeal. It still has a great transformation and fantastic height. The look is all its own and the asymmetry is pure Lockdown. Since the original Animated Lockdown from Takara Tomy had silver paint on the engine and exhausts etc, I guess I was expecting this to feature the same extra detailing but it's more reminiscent of the Hasbro Animated Lockdown in that respect.
I'm more than happy for this to be my AOE Lockdown, facing off against a rusty flat-nosed Evasion Mode Optimus prime. Lockdown has a green hook now, which while consistent with the overall colour motif of AOE Lockdown, isn't particularly screen accurate. It's nice, though, because it's something you'd expect of an Animated version of AOE Lockdown, such is the superb hybrid nature of this unassuming figure that respects all of the source material that has helped craft its existence and re-release. Well, except this...
Apart from in IDW literature, I don't think Lockdown has ever really been a Decepticon out and out, not in Animated and not in AOE, so quite why he's turned into the Decepticon poster boy with a Tarn-shaming Decepticon emblem as his torso, I have no idea.
Despite that, TAV Lockdown has a quality paint job, and the flashes of translucent green behind him in robot mode are a really lovely touch. Did you ever see this great Animated-style drawing of 'gunface' Lockdown? How amazing it would have been for TT to include that as an accessory.
TAV Lockdown is without a doubt different and relevant enough to warrant a purchase from those of us who already have every version of the Animated Lockdown (and ROTF, Activators, Bot Shots, RPM...), if for nothing else than how brilliantly it brings together the worlds of TF Animated and Age of Extinction in one figure. AOE had a fair amount of Animated references and influence in it and was the birth of the Lockdown character, full circle and all that.
Get TAV Lockdown, it's gorgeous and a complete success. Although I have no idea how it relates to Robots In Disguise.
All the best