Toy Review: Impossible Toys Tetra Squadron (Banshee, Rebelor, Prankstor, Smashor, Boostor, Requiem, Solarblast)
I believe the Tetra Squadron came out in 2012, but I just picked them up. They are on sale at really great prices. They are based on the triangular Cybertron seeker mode form the G1 cartoon.
Like most third party toys they just don’t “feel” like they have the same plastic quality as official product, even though they probably do. I can’t explain it, but just holding this toy in my hands, it seems more delicate than official toys. It’s probably all in my head, but even the third party toys of really great quality, like this one, just feel like they will disintegrate in my hand. They have many small pegs that seem like they will break, but fortunately, none did while I transformed all of them. One nice thing about these guys is that they don’t have any sharp points common to many third party toys.
All of these guys are beautifully painted, and the design is fantastic. I love the head sculpts. The transformation is a bit maddening for my tastes, but not as bad as some toys which I vowed to never transform again.
What I find most interesting about these is the design of the mold. Starscream (I will use their real Transformers names for simplicity), Thundercracker, Skywarp, and Sunstorm use the same exact mold. Ramjet and Dirge only differ from them in that they have the cone shaped head mold. They also include vertical stabilizers on the wings (middle for Ramjet, wingtip for Dirge) that plug in to existing ports on the mold. Thrust has an additional mold change from the base mold. Along with the cone shaped head, the panels that form his wings have been remolded to include his VTOL engines. Strictly speaking, his Cybertron vehicle mode likely wouldn’t have had these, but as they are so iconic to the character, I don’t have a problem with them.
I only really have a few small complaints about these guys.
The yellow cockpits look out of place. Had these parts been molded in translucent yellow (or another translucent color) plastic, or even painted a darker yellow, I think they would have looked much better.
While the paint jobs are great, the top of Starscream’s fin should have been blue, and this doe leave him looking a bit plain.
I do not like the dark blue plastic on Dirge. It’s much darker than it should be. When I first took him out of the box I almost thought he was black, but it’s really just very dark blue.
While orange is my favorite color, Sunstorm should have been yellow as opposed to orange.
I’m not a huge fan of all of the names. Four of them end in “OR”. If you’re going to have that many follow a pattern, then I think they all should have followed that pattern. Having said that, I love the name “Requiem” for Dirge, “Banshee” for Starscream, and “Solarblast” for Sunstorm. Maybe they would have been better off to not go with a pattern and do some more work on at least a couple of the other four names.
These guys have a lot of tiny pegs. The benefit of this is that the vehicle modes hold together really well. The draw back is that it would be really easy to break them. Also, while the jet modes peg together, the wings do not in robot mode. There should have been a way to peg the wings to the triangular piece on the robots back so that they can sit straight. Also, the wing tips should be able to fold all the way onto the back so they are not visible in robot mode.
Those are mostly minor things, overall I am thrilled with these guys, but I did buy them on heavy clearance. I would not have paid full price for them. Considering the reduced price these are selling for, I highly recommend them.
Here are the pictures.
Banshee / Starscream
Rebelor / Thundercracker
Prankstor / Skywarp
Smashor / Ramjet
Boostor / Thrust
Requiem / Dirge
Sunstorm / Solarblast
Thanks for reading!