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          TOY REVIEW

Name: Crosswise (sold in 2-pack with W.A.R.S.)
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: N/A
Vehicular Mode: Pontiac Firebird
Crosswise (shown left in the picture above) is basically the same toy as X-Car, which was released as one of the "Spy Changers" in Transformers Car Robot. X-Car itself was a repaint of the Generation 2 Go-Bot Bumblebee/High Beam mould. The Go-Bots were designed to fit onto Hot Wheels(tm) race tracks at the time.

VEHICULAR MODE

Length: 7.5cm
Crosswise is one of the nicest looking Basic Autobots in the Robots in Disguise line, mainly because it is made of clear transparent plastic, with mostly metallic blue parts underneath. This is a very neat effect. There are silver decos on the rear "engine" and a sleek "X" design on the bonnet. There are also red stripes on the spoiler and doors as well as a factory-applied Autobot insignia decal on the roof. The wheels are black with silver hubcaps. Some robot kibble is visible from the underside, particularly the lower legs -- but not many people are too concerned about visible robot kibble from the underside of a car. The fact that the robot feet can be clearly seen from the rear of the vehicle is a far more detracting piece of robot kibble. Other than that, it's a pretty good looking replica of a Pontiac Firebird.

Gimmick: As a "Go-Bot," the toy has free spinning axles, which gives it a greater ability to conserve momentum compared to almost any other wheeled Transformer (which usually just have their wheels sitting on pins). This means that with nothing more than a simple nudge, the toy actually travels along pretty far, particulary on smooth, flat surfaces.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

There are no instructions on the packaging. There are no tech specs either. Nor is there any artwork. Boo.
Fortunately, Crosswise is stupendously easy to transform (unless you're not a Transformer fan). Simply pull out the rear section to form robot legs. Pull doors out to the sides to reveal robot arms. Flip down bonnet to form robot breast chest and reveal robot head.

ROBOT MODE

Height: 7cm
The transparent and blue colours of the vehicular mode are carried over to the robot mode. More red colours are now visible on the upper legs, torso (underneath the car bonnet) and face. The head is entirely silver and the robot arms are completely transparent with some internal (like, literally) blue accents and red stripes on the sides. In robot mode, Crosswise features an underwhelming two points of articulation -- the arms move up and down at the shoulders. Yawn.

The toy also has a huge chest. So big that if you extended either robot arm forward, the fist would only be one millimetre out. This is because the chest holds an axle, so do the legs. Consequently, it is simply not possible to really do anything with these parts of the toy, this is why the legs cannot be separated (hence restricting any leg articulation in the toy). Thanks to the transparent nature of this toy, if you look at Crosswise's lower legs, you can see a silver axle bar going right across both legs and joining both wheels. This axle does not exist on almost every other Transformer -- and on those which do also feature axles (Throttlebots, Jumpstarters, Battlechargers et al), they too also feature extremely limited articulation in robot mode.

Toys like Throttlebots etc. have axles but they are not free-spinning axles. These toys are motorised, which means that the axles' motion is restricted by the gears of the toy's wind-up engine. Throttlebots require the user to pull the toy pack to build torque, which it then quickly releases. Although the original G2 Go-Bots were initially designed for the user to launch the toy with a Hot Wheels tracks launcher, simply pushing the toy sends it quite far. Although without any mechanical means to launch the toy, it simply doesn't go quite as fast or as far as a Throttlebot or as a launcher-propelled Go-Bot.

Crosswise also comes with a red gun which can be placed in either fist.

VARIANTS

Crosswise features a few differences compared to his Japanese Car Robot counterpart, X-Car.
X-Car had no red stripes or Autobot insignia decal on the roof. However, all the Car Robot Spychangers did come with a patch of heat sensitive paint, which would reveal a Cybertron (Autobot) insignia when heat was applied to it. X-Car's left window featured this heat-sensitive paint. Crosswise's does not.

OVERALL

Although not a terribly fun toy in robot mode due to it's lack of articulation, this toy is actually more fun in car mode than it is in robot mode. The free-spinning axles means that the toy can maintain a certain velocity for a more extended period of time compared to most other Transformers. Give someone like Side Burn a shove in car mode, and he'll most likely just slide about halfway past your keyboard. Give Crosswise a nudge and he'll easily traverse the length of your desk.

It's also a fun and simple way to demonstrate conservation of momentum, for you physics buffs. Sure, you could do the same thing with a Matchbox car, but Matchbox cars don't transform into gun-toting arse-kicking robots. :-)

Overall, it's a neat figure to pick up if you missed out on getting last year's X-Car (or Wars)-- but if you already have X-Car and Wars, then I don't really see any point in picking this figure up.


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