Friday, November 9, 2018

TF Generations | The Ballad of Drift

11.09. 2018 – Finding time to do some photography again, but rarely with robots as subject matter. Action Figures and Figurines are much easier to take due to the environment where I often go to.

Mostly the nearby parks are still good even though sixty percent of it is more concrete than natural green.

The Transformers is a staple brand and when you talk about alien robots that turn to anything you’re quite fascinated by any form they take.

There are A LOT of characters now if you’re not following the comic books, but one bot sticks out and that is Drift!

For most people who grew up and are familiar with the Generation One of the classic Transformers series, they won’t recognize Drift. Originally, he was an exclusive character created for the comic books published by IDW. Introduced in the 12-Maxi Series “Transformers: All Hail Megatron” in issue #5 published in November 2008 almost exactly ten years ago.

After that appearance Drift would have his own spinoff series that focus on his origin, which would reveal that he was a former Deception mercenary and killing machine known as “Deadlock.” This character won’t have his actual toy until 2010 under the Generations toyline. After that several versions of the character would be released and a variation using the figure’s body into Blurr with a different accessory.

All-New Samurai Warrior

Hasbro released Drift as part of the First Wave of Deluxe Class assortment for general retail. Nobody knows the character until you’ve read the comic books from IDW Publishing. The character created by Shane McCarthy appearing on All Hail Megatron with his signature Greatsword stored on the robot’s back and dual swords that can be unsheathed underneath the car doors, which doubles as his hip sheathes in robot mode. This could probably the first Transformer not to have a pistol or a rifle.

Underneath the windshield kibble is his pre-Earth chest design that appeared in Drift comic book mini-series. This is a nod to the form Drift had been seen in almost exclusively at the time of the toy's release. Entirely, the robot’s design is a bit bulky but acceptable as a ‘Generation One’ character. The robot’s light piping effect makes this one of the rare figures to have nowadays.

As mentioned he carries two short swords and a long sword is known as the ‘Greatsword’, which is a signature weapon carried by the members of the Lost Light not to be mistaken for the space crew of the ship that featured in the comic book with the same name. The sword’s Japanese text in Kanji means “peerless under heaven” or just simply “peerless.” In some other meaning, it can also mean “armed under Providence,” while text on the car door is in katakana “Dorifuto” or simply Drift.

American Design in Japanese Car Mode

Drift’s alternate mode was very different in the comic books to the unveiling of the toy for the Generations range. The vehicle mode is a cross between a Nissan Silvia S15 and a Mitsubishi FTO with red stripes. In the Takara Tomy release, this would have more details in the grill and some parts of the car with tinted blue window.

Transformation in easy steps through the figure doesn’t waist joint in robot mode because of the Greatsword needs to be stored at the back via a groove that would, in turn, be the belly of the car. Drift has ball-jointed wrists for articulation in holding the Greatsword with his two hands, which are slightly bigger than the stand 5mm holes but taper toward the bottom.

Due to the age of the toy, the Greatsword has been slightly warped as it was made from a kid-friendly flexible material same with the two short swords. After eight years in my personal collection, it still is one of the favorite characters and was inspired by Marian Hildritch’s photograph of the Legends EX Deadlock figure she shared on Twitter that made me decide to shoot my Drift figure.

Forgotten Robotic Ronin

For countless characters produced by Hasbro for the Transformers range, most collectors may have this figure that they may have just stored them in their toy shelf forgotten to collect dust like the rest of them. Some might have the better ones released by Takara Tomy or the rare convention exclusives.

I don’t have a display case I store this one in a ziplock bag with the rest. When I finally had the time to rummage in some of the TransFormers I have accumulated throughout the years from friends and a handful toy purchases just had the time to appreciate this character that had many facets of personality in the comic book.

Most won’t talk about the character but appreciating its toy form. I got inspired to dig mine up since Marian posted a tweet in celebration for “Drift Day” a month ago. I didn’t find the time to write a piece and did a quick photo shoot until last week. I appreciate this figure that’s now eight years old. A new SIEGE toyline is slowly appearing on retail stores in some countries. But still adoring this one for it’s original design and who knows Hasbro might find one to produce a new version, for now, this one’s still going stay a Drift.

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