My reviews for the latest wave of Transformers Prime toys are pretty much topsy-turvy of how I expected them to be. I wasn’t looking forward to Hot Shot or the Vehicon much at all, but in my reviews I had to concede that both are outstanding Transformers Prime deluxe toys that far exceeded my expectations. Those revies cover all but the character I was most excited for in this assortment: the sleazy Decepticon “doctor”, Knock Out. Knock Out is one of the few completely original Transformers in the Transformers Prime cartoon, and quickly became my favorite character on the show with his scene-stealing style and dialogue. But while I was anticipating great things from the Knock Out toy, once again Hasbro has defied by expectations. Though Transformers Prime Knock Out is my favorite character in this assortment, the Knock Out figure itself is one of the most average-feeling Transformers Prime deluxe toys so far…
There aren’t exactly a lot of compelling Decepticons in Transformers Prime. Starscream and Megatron are their usual selves, Soundwave is mute, the Vehicons are supposedly drones (though they show individuality and emotions in the cartoon), and Breakdown is pretty one-dimensional. That leaves Knock Out, who is my decisive favorite Transformers Prime Decepticon. Knock Out is like a fusion of Swindle and Vanity Smurf, and I absolutely love him for it. Tricky, snobby, and vain, Knock Out pretty much oozes charisma.
My favorite part of the Transformers Prime Knock Out figure is certainly his head sculpt. It has this perfect slimy smirk that you’d expect from a used car salesman trying to sell you life insurance. And though they’re not really alike, it reminds me ever so slightly of Terrorsaur from Beast Wars.
Knock Out comes with one weapon: an Energy Spear. The Energy Spear resembles the one Knock Out used in his first appearance in the cartoon, so that’s a big plus for authenticity. Plus, the spear splits into two pieces so that Knock Out can dual wield against double-bladed Autobots like Ratchet and Wheeljack.
The sculpt of Knock Out in sports car mode looks fairly consistent with the animation, which is a big plus for the toy. The Energy Spear can hook onto Knock Out’s side in car mode for a sort of jousting attack mode. In general I don’t like bladed attack modes on vehicles, but for Knock Out’s character it really kind of works for me.
In robot mode Knock Out’s articulation is pretty decent. His ball-jointed head and hips work fantastic, and he has a good amount of arm articulation, although like Hot Shot, it can be slightly unwieldy. There’s only a teensy amount of kibble on Knock Out’s back (his tires), a fact for which I’m most grateful.
Quality control on the Transformers Prime Knock Out toy is very good all-around. He has tight joints articulation, stays together well, and the paint has been applied masterfully. I have some issues with the paint choices made themselves, which I’ll discuss in a moment, but the actual application of the paint deco is superb and exactly as Hasbro intended it.
For one of the Transformers most egotistical about his appearance that we’ve ever seen, Knock Out is ass-ugly. The solid red and maroon paint scheme on Knock Out is a terrible color combination, and looks awkward and awful on Knock Out in both modes. Really, Knock Out brings to mind a horrible repaint of G1 Bluestreak in gross red hues. Even the attempted gradient on Knock Out’s side is ugly and poorly executed.
Doubly problematic is that not only is the paint that is on Knock Out bad, but some crucial paint deco from the prototype has been left off of the finished product. Particularly notable are the missing deco on the Energy Spear that just makes it look like a plain ol’ black trident, and the spikes on Knock Out’s shoulders which look generic and drab unpainted. From a paint perspective, Knock Out is a big failure.
In addition to the issues with paint, I had problems with Knock Out because of his transformation. Knock Out’s transformation has some trickiness to it I wasn’t expecting, and the instructions he comes with actually exacerbate the quandary. Despite being about twice as long as Hot Shot’s instructions, Knock Out’s instructions don’t go all the way and leave Knock Out in an unfinished state where his chest isn’t fully formed. I found some explanations online for how to complete the transformation, but I shouldn’t have to go to the extra step to find what Hasbro should be providing me with.
“Where Can I Buy It?!”
Knock Out is shipping at two-per-case in the newest assortment of deluxe-class Transformers Prime toys. I bought my Knock Out online, as I didn’t feel like hunting for him at retail.
As far as online options go:
Amazon has Transformers Prime Knock Out in-stock right now from a variety of sellers for right about retail cost, although prices and availability change constantly on Amazon.
BigBadToyStore has Knockout in-stock right now for $17.99.
And if you want to try your luck, there’s always ebay, where you might be able to snipe a good deal on a Deluxe Knock Out. You can check out the current listings for Transformers Prime Deluxe Knockout on ebay directly by clicking here!
Overall: If ever there was a Transformer that needed to be repainted and improved, it’s Transformers Prime deluxe Knock Out. The paint choices looks atrocious, some of the paint deco is missing off the figure, the instructions are unfinished–Knock Out simply feels like a rushed job on Hasbro’s part. There are things I like about this toy, such as the head sculpt, attack mode of the sports car, and the Energy Spear–but by and large this Transformers Prime Knock Out figure is just not a very exciting toy. This Knock Out works as a good stopgap for now, but I want in when a superior-decorated version of Knock Out comes out–and you know it will. Of this batch of Transformers Prime deluxe toys, Knock Out it certainly the weakest link and my least favorite of the trio.