Non-affiliated, Non-lengthy, Non-articles about Transformers

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Generations Drift

Here's the dedicated Generations Drift post I promised. Drift as a character was first introduced by Shane McCarthy in IDW's All Hail Megatron #6 in 2008, drawn by celebrated TF artist Guido Guidi, and as you would expect of anything 'new' in the Transformers universe among the sea of established characters and relationships, it was met with mixed reactions. McCarthy makes no secret of the fact that Drift was modeled after ancient Samurai warriors and uses a "cool" Japanese drift car. His inception was due to McCarthy feeling that there was a gap in the Autobot lineup for rehabilitated Decepticons or bad guys who had seen the error of their ways, or simply switched sides. He felt that the IDW approach to Transformers meant that more grey areas existed between good and evil, and the creation of Drift was that perspective on Autobots vs Decepticons personified.

Drift then appeared in the Spotlight Drift one-off, drawn by Casey Coller, again written by McCarthy. After that he had his own 4-part mini series called just "Drift", drawn by Alex Milne as he was again for the most part in MTMTE where I feel the character gained his greatest credibility and widest following. It doesn't hurt that he's been drawn by the best in the business; Guidi, Roche, Milne, Coller and surely Sarah Stone in the near future. The Drift toy was released as a Generations figure and also as a Transformers United figure by Takara in Japan, and he shares a mould with Generations Blurr. The story is that he was originally Drift, then joined the Decepticon cause after Autobots murdered his friend on Cybertron and became known as "Deadlock", one of the most deadly Decepticon warriors during the Cybertronians' war. Thanks to an encounter with the Circle Of Light, he abandoned his Decepticon past and began the path to becoming an Autobot. This is all chronicled in the above mentioned comics, and I thoroughly recommend the Spotlight Drift Director's Cut for the character's full history as told by all the IDW staff who have worked with/on him at the back. 

The Drift toy itself is usually the first to sell on anyone's sales list, and the United version can get expensive. McCarthy alludes in his interview to negativity surrounding his release as a toy, but later says as always it was from a small corner of the community. As a toy, it looks brilliant and very spot on to the first incarnations of his comic persona as an Earth vehicle. Even his early Cybertronian modes are close to the toy.

Alex Milne's Earth mode Drift (Drift #4)

Milne's Cybertronian Drift (Drift #4)

Generations Drift comes with a large rubbery 'Great' sword as used by Circle of Light members, and two smaller swords that fit into scabbards made out of Drift's car doors. Quite lovely actually, much like his head sculpt. The transformation between car and robot mode is great once you've figured out what to do first. In fact it's quite straightforward for a Generations deluxe. However, I find the limited leg and ankle articulation to be the single most frustrating thing about a figure that is so nearly in the 'brilliant' category, but as it is, qualifies only as 'pretty good'. As far as I know, to this day it is still the only non-AOE Drift toy we have (also discounting Shattered Glass version), so collectors have to use it in any display, unless they've customised something else like an Animated Blurr or TF prime Wheeljack.

Despite that limited lower body articulation, you can still get some pretty dynamic poses out of the Gen Drift. Thankfully the arms and hands have been designed and executed in a way that allows him to grip the hilt of the Great sword with both hands. There's a fair bit of kibble that can act as obstruction, but I think the overall look of the toy is a success and you end up forgiving a lot of the drawbacks. Or at least I have, mainly because I love the character and all the comics he's been in so much. 

How Drift looks with other figures is also a very appealing part of owning the toy. The ROTF Lockdown design premiered in IDW comics in the Drift mini series, and it's easy to recreate scenes from that story with the appropriate figures. Plenty of people slap Drift in with other Lost Lighters to create MTMTE displays, and usually those displays are plenty impressive. The character has gathered so much backing from his integral role in MTMTE 'season 1' and he has gone massively mainstream as a name thanks to the Transformers 4: Age of Extinction live action movie from summer 2014.

I wonder how long it will be before a 3rd Party company produces an MTMTE-accurate Drift? Until then...

All the best

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