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Knock Out

Transformers: Prime
by yo go re

Who's ready to get mad about imaginary problems!

Knock Out is oily slick; the ultimate salesman. Everyone knows his weapons are dangerous and prone to malfunction, and his installation methods often leave Decepticons scarred or crippled. But who can resist having quantum disintegration at his fingertips?

There was a glitch in the AllSpark the day Knock Out was created: while most of the Decepticons have flight-based altmodes, Knock Out prefers cars. He really, really prefers cars, if you know what we mean. The car isn't any specific model - as we learned in the Hot Shot review, the world of Prime has vehicles that our world doesn't, so it makes sense that we wouldn't recognize it. Basically, it's a sleek, sporty coupe - and at only 4¼" long and 2" wide, a very small, sleek, sporty coupe. Plastic is expensive.

In the show, Knock Out is wildly protective of his paint job - which makes it even more disappointing that Hasbro cut back on the toy's paint apps, so he doesn't look the way he's supposed to. He's missing the white apps around the lower edge of the body, the yellow/golden hubcaps, the silver grill, and yellow accents on the doors. Plus, the angled, tribal flame details (or whatever they are) on the sides of the car don't have any kind of outlines, so they blend into one big mess, and there's no detailing at all on the rear end. Reprolabels to the rescue!

Hasbro doesn't have the directions for Knock Out on their website, but that may be for the best: following the instruction sheet will leave you with a rather mis-transformed 'bot. Pull back the trunk of the car to unfold his legs, rotate the bumper pieces out of the way so you can bring his feet down, and then it's on to the upper body! Since that's where the problems are, we'll discuss in in more detail later.

Knock Out is, surprisingly, not a G1 reference! How often does that happen! The name appeared way back when, but it has nothing to do with this character. The Decepticons never had a medic on staff before, so that's not a reference, either. Plus, unlike many medically oriented characters, however, Knock Out is still a good fighter, good enough to nearly beat Optimus Prime in a solo fight. Why, it's almost as if somebody created a new character! Isn't that against Transformer law?

So Knock Out falls under the Sissy Villain trope - he's concerned with his looks, he's flamboyant in his mannerisms, he seems to be attracted to big, flashy things... he's also smarmy as hell, and the smirk that's sculpted on his face captures that perfectly. His eyes are lightpiped with clear plastic, the same used on the car's windows.

Like we said, if you follow the instructions, you end up with a goofy-lookin' robot. He'd have a gigantically wide chest and two elbows, and his forearms are both upside down and offset. It's easy to correct, though. To fix the chest, make sure the headlights are pointed straight ahead; there are notches inside the pieces that fit over the vertical portion of the hood.

As for the arm, well, one of the steps instructs you to swing a hinge 90°, but they show it going the wrong direction. Basically, to be cartoon-accurate, the car's doors should be on the outside of the arms, but the instructions would put them on the inside. So ignore that, use your common sense, and he'll be much better than he'd be otherwise.

The figure stands about 5¼" tall, and moves at the knees, thighs, hips, wrists, elbows (however many you decide to give him), biceps, shoulders and neck. He's armed with an "Energon prod," which is basically a high-tech stun stick. The electricky bit coming out the end is the same black as the rest of the stick, which renders it mostly useless. The spear can be split in two to become "battle spikes," but they still don't approximate the huge variety of surgical tools he changes his hands into, such as buzzsaws and giant drills. You can store it on his back, or on the side of the car in his altmode.

Knock Out's personality may have been the result of a glitch in the AllSpark, but can we blame the bad instructions on the same thing? How about the lackluster paint apps? The overall smallness? Knock Out is an okay toy, but he's really hurt by the cutbacks Hasbro is making.

-- 09/04/12


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