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

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Transformers Adventure (TAV-18) Drift

I actually had no intention of collecting the Takara Tomy Transformers Adventure (TAV) versions of the Hasbro Robots In Disguise 2015 toys. I was going to buy the locally available Hasbro versions of RID 2015 because that was a wonderful novelty in the UK, and I was going to watch the cartoon with my daughter and wear the cheap-ish toys down into the ground with our playtimes. A destiny every toy dreams of , surely. However, after my Hasbro RID Bumblebee became broken and I sprung for the show accurate TAV-01, together with the images of TAV Drift and how much better his deco was than Hasbro's, the die was cast. TAV-18 Drift arrived this week - amid news of TAV Drift:Origin, a piece of news that lit my Twitter feed up like a Christmas tree when I shared it.

TAV Drift, like TAV Bumblebee and Strongarm, is more show accurate in that Takara Tomy have added a great deal more paint and detail compared to Hasbro. This is not a surprise as their markets are different. Hasbro sells primarily to children and caters for collectors where they can within their remit, but Takara Tomy focus on collectors and can charge more for their figures as a result of the extra expense that goes into their production and manufacture. Like Bumblebee, Drift's plastic insert chest cover has a scan-able sticker on it. It should be noted that the Japanese Transformers Adventure app is not just a Japanese version of the Western mobile game, apparently it's more like a tech spec database/archive. So no, you can't download it and play as TAV Lockdown!

Immediately noticeable on TAV Drift are the painted facial features - the facial hair - that Hasbro Drift had moulded in but not painted. Then you have all the touches of red and black across the robot mode that really bring him in line with the cartoon appearance. He still comes with solid black plastic swords that are a treat to arm or store. No amount of paint apps can hide the fact that the lower body is basically still the rear of the car, but if we didn't mind that on G1 Sideswipe, we can give Drift a pass too, especially with that posability and fun transformation.

The other major difference between TAV Drift and Hasbro RID Drift is the overall orange colour. Hasbro's obnoxious day-glo orange is lovely actually, don't get me wrong, it immediately attracts the eyes of children and adds to the (p)RID(e) rainbow of Warrior class figures from this toy line. However, the TAV Drift's lighter orange is much more faithful to the on-screen Drift as you can see below. Also, yes facial hair is important and added paint apps make for added accuracy and collector satisfaction, but it's more than that, Takara Tomy have imbued this toy with every drop of character evident from the cartoon. It's truly RID Drift. 

The main things TAV Drift is missing are the black pinstriping reminiscent of samurai armour on the shoulders and waist guards, the red crotch and a plain chest. The TAV toy has the multi-coloured scan logo there. I must express again how beautiful this toy is in hand, they've nailed it so perfectly and made a Hasbro toy I was actually pretty happy with seem more inferior by comparison, in terms of looks anyway.

Highly detailed in vehicle mode as well, TAV Drift once more stands out from the Hasbro version. I do still like the garish scheme on RID Drift, and of course Age Of Extinction Drift was supposed to be orange originally - an orange Bugatti Veyron which this Drift is clearly heavily based on. The TAV release has added red paint apps on the door, the lower headlights are painted blue, there is the orange outline on the grill and that lighter screen orange. However, it's still missing a fair bit of particular detail that stop him being completely show accurate.

Where TAV Bee has the electric blue rims, TAV Drift is missing the silver detail on the front splitter, red detailing on the wheels, the red rear-view mirrors and the red paint on the small tail fins. There are no paint apps on the rear of the vehicle either, so taillights will have to be imagined. Takara Tomy obviously assigned a greater budget for the paint on TAV toys compared to Hasbro, but even they have budgetary limits and compromises to make. There's something else too, my Hasbro Drift transforms perfectly and clips together with no issue in vehicle mode. TAV Drift's right-side roof half does not clip down flush in vehicle mode. It is not level with the other side, and you may be able to spot this in the vehicle mode images in this review. This is, admittedly, disappointing and unexpected especially in light of how perfect Bumblebee was compared to the issue-prone Hasbro one.

Many kind thanks to a helpful Twitter user last week for pointing out that Drift's hollow sword hilts can be tabbed on to the vehicle underside, providing weapon storage I had thought this mould neglected to include. Awesome!

TAV Bumblebee and Drift

Hasbro Bumblebee and Drift


Looking at TAV Drift next to TAV Bumblebee above and comparing to the corresponding Hasbro images, I'm forced to conclude that the Hasbro versions are great toys to play with and put away, but in terms of a displayed collection for a Transformers enthusiast, TAV is actually the way to go because they look like proper display bots. I would put these in my cabinets. I keep banging on about screen accuracy, but that in itself is not the achievement, I don't just fawn over these TAV releases because they look like a cartoon that most may not care for. No, I am impressed and appreciative because the cartoon versions of these characters are beautiful, the designs and presentation, graphics etc are superb in my opinion, I love the show and how it looks. 

These toys replicate that look very well because of their attention to detail, and therefore these are my proper RID figures. I am now of a mind to get the TAV versions of all the show characters, and I was so desperate to avoid that expense. Yes, Takara Tomy have the higher budget, but actually with Drift and Bumblebee costing me £18 shipped apiece where the Hasbro ones were £15 each (not factoring in travel money to actually locate them), I am beginning to think that the unwise decision was buying the Hasbro versions in the first place instead of waiting on TAV, instead of berating myself for double-dipping. 

TAV Drift is Drift nailed, facial hair and all.

All the best


  1. Well said. I too wasn't planning on buying many if any of the Adventures figures...but then I found myself importing the Grimlock/Gregevor from AmiAmi for a song. Then it was the TAV version of Strongarm, Sideswipe and Jazz. After reading your post and viewing your images, especially the comparison images I'll be adding Drift to that list!

    My only question so far is where are all the Warrior class Decepticons?! There are so many zany characters from the show that just need to be in cased in plastic form. Am I right? I swear this seems like the 80's all over again with Takara ignoring the Decepticons in favor for more and more of Autobots.

    1. Yeah TAV is the way to go, mate, I have no doubt about that now. I'll have to backtrack and pick up Strongarm.

      Very good question about the Decepticon Warrior Class. We've had Jazz after hsi solitary appearance and yet Thunderhoof, Fracture, Clampdown and Underbite have not had the Warrior Class treatment. I think Deployer Fracture looks decent though, have you seen that in hand?

      All the best