I never picked up Energon Downshift (Wheeljack), but I'm thinking he'd fit in nicely with the Classics. I'm worried about his leg articulation though.

JT, you have a nice sense of what good articulation is, and I like how you describe a joint's design. Here's your old Downshift review for reference:

Quote Originally Posted by JediTricks View Post
Downshift is clearly supposed to be Wheeljack, I can barely keep from typing "Wheeljack" every time I mention the fig's name. The alt mode is an homage to the G1 Wheeljack's Lancia racecar design and looks slick yet beefy. The white plastic calls for a paint wash to bring out the sculpted details, but it doesn't look cheap unlike a lot of white parts on Transformers. The doors open gull-wing style, it's a little tempermental because of some clips at the bottom of the doors that don't want to let go and the roof being connected only to the front of the car and not the back. The spark crystal on the wheel is the only thing I really don't like. The translucent red plastic used for the accessories, doors, roof panels, headlights, and eye/ear lightpipe is the same strawberry color as Energon Arcee, it's a little grating but not at all a dealbreaker.

Downshift's accessories aren't terrible, but they're not great either and I don't like them connected to alt mode at all. One is a twin-barrel rifle and the other is an oversized pistol with a spring-loaded projectile, they both attach to the car as side-mounted exhaust pipes. I would like them a lot more if they had bottom-mounted handle pegs, but they only have side-mounted pegs which means they have to be held sideways. The car's spoiler can be removed and the guns can be pegged sideways into it with the figure holding this arrangement from the spoiler's middle peg, I like having the guns come in and back a little when in regular bot mode and out and forward in powerlinked modes, gives a little extra contrast.

Transformation reminds me a little of Armada Hot Shot, except here it's more satisfying and there's more going on. There's no pulling down of the legs or folding out of the head, it's more of a reveal design, but there's plenty to do. Like his case-mate Towline, Downshift's transformation is fairly intuitive, but using the instructions actually hurts this some because they tried to show the transformation from the side of the car in every frame and it just ends up confusing matters.

Bot mode is very nifty, some wonky articulation at the hips but the overall effect is neat and not a brick or badly-restricted. Downshift's head is so G1 Wheeljack that it's impossible not to think of him that way. Downshift can hold his weapons individually or together leaving him quite well-armed, and the small exhaust pipes on the shoulders even fold down to become guns.

The pants mode is very basic, just fold the uppermost part of the body backwards and if you want it to look a little less like a very long torso you can split the waist slightly similar to Hot Shot's pants mode. Downshift's pants mode looks very cool with Hot Shot as the shirt, and works ok with Rodimus too, though I don't like Prowl that much here and Inferno looks really bad because of how much difference there is between the sizes of the torsos. Shirt mode is interesting, the uppermost part of the body swivels around and places itself between the figure's now-split-apart waist which become shoulders. As shirt, I like Downshift best with Prowl as the legs, yet Hot Shot and Rodimus both work here too - once again, Inferno is just left in the dust.

Overall, this is a can't-miss figure and very recognizable homage too.
Are you still as happy with the leg articulation today as you were then? Pictures suggest to me that the "hips" only swing out to the left or right, but don't swing forward or backward. I see there's a joint just below the pelvis, but it seems too low to be considered part of the hip joint, and looks more like a knee that's too high. Reminds me of Alt Sideswipe almost.

I'd love it if Hasbro just knocked out the powerlinx section of the torso and replaced it with a more normal pelvis, then released him under the Classics line. Doesn't seem like it'd be too hard.

While I'm wishing, does anyone think Hasbro would ever consider putting out the Botcon '05 versions of Ironhide and Ratchet (Tow Line repaints) under the Classics line, or would that peeve the folks who get all wet over owning rare exclusives? They look pretty sweet, and they totally have a Classics look to them. I'd buy 'em.