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          TOY REVIEW

Name: W.A.R.S. (Wicked Attack Recon Sportscar -- sold in 2-pack with Crosswise)
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: N/A (although his name sounds more like his function)
Vehicular Mode: NASCAR stock car
W.A.R.S. (shown right in the picture above) is basically the same toy as Wars, 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 Gearhead/Soundwave mould. The Go-Bots were designed to fit onto Hot Wheels(tm) race tracks at the time.

VEHICULAR MODE

Length: 7.5cm
W.A.R.S. is primarily metallic red with some yellow stripes along the spoiler, undersides of the doors and mufflers. The front bumper bar and headlights are silver. There are also silver "splash" decos located on the bonnet and sides of the car.
The bonnet has the Japanese kanji "sen" written on it (which means "war") and the English word "WARS" is written in red on both sides. The wheels are black with gold hubcaps. The windows are metallic sky blue with three silver bars on the front window and a grill cage moulded on the left window. There is also a factory-applied Autobot insignia decal on the roof. 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 mufflers are actually the robot feet, but I do like how they've moulded them to look like mufflers. They're not very convincingly realistic looking mufflers, but it was a nice attempt.

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, W.A.R.S. 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: 6.5cm
The same colours from the vehicular mode are carried over to the robot mode. More yellow and black features are introduced in the lower legs (which are yellow) and the face and parts of the torso (which are black). The face is completely silver. In robot mode, W.A.R.S. 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 W.A.R.S. cannot even reach past his own chest!! Due to the chunky nature of his vehicular mode, he also has a very chunky chest, which is a common problem among all the Basic Autobots, but W.A.R.S. (and Ironhide) take it to the extreme. 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 W.A.R.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.

W.A.R.S. also comes with a transparent gun which can be placed in either fist.

VARIANTS

W.A.R.S. features a few differences compared to his Japanese Car Robot counterpart, Wars.
Wars had no yellow 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. Wars' left window featured this heat-sensitive paint. Crosswise's does not.
Furthermore, Wars had black windows whereas W.A.R.S. has metallic blue ones.
It is interesting to see that they kept the "sen" kanji -- most likely because he features this character in the TV show.

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 W.A.R.S. 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 Wars (or X-Car)-- 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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