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Hasbro Transformers Speed Stars RPMs Metal Heroes Lockdown Die-Cast Metal Vehicle Hasbro, 2010
Day #2,725: July 2, 2024
Hasbro Transformers Speed Stars RPMs Metal Heroes Lockdown Die-Cast Metal VehicleLockdown
08 of 08

Transformers Speed Stars RPMs Metal Heroes
Item No.:
Asst. 26981 No. 26893
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Includes: n/a
Action Feature: Transforms from robot to car, sort of
Retail: $3.99
Availability: 2010
Other: Sized like Hot Wheels, performs not so well

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Hasbro Transformers Speed Stars RPMs Metal Heroes Lockdown Die-Cast Metal VehicleBack in the beforetimes, Hasbro was fond of trying new things, or seeing if it could get in on a competitor's space. This resulted in some neat experiments, like Kre-O looking to gobble up some of the LEGO market, or Speed Stars Robot Powered Machines (along with a few other products) attempting to horn in on the toy vehicle space where Hasbro had been somewhat deficient then and even moreso today. Lockdown stood out as utterly cool to me at the time, but I didn't see it on pegs much - even when the assortments wound up at Dollar Tree around 2011, I never saw this one. I just bought one and paid a little too much for it on the secondary market, but now that after 14 years I finally have one, it would probably have been too much at $3.99.

When I was playing around with Spy Changers R.E.V. [FOTD #2,719] recently I kept thinking that the transforming car was so good, Hasbro must've done a good job with their non-transforming cars. Now that I finally have a final production one in my hand, I can safely say I'm not terribly in love with it and I get why the line went from 60 to 0 in two years.

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I was looking for one of these off and on for over ten years - they sometimes would show up on eBay but I don't think I saw many, or any, Speed Stars at the various old toy, comic, or other shops that tended to stock these. I don't think I saw any at toy shows, either, and they just didn't seem to come around much. Since I am very fond of Lockdown's car mode, it seemed like a fun thing to pick up even if it is priced like some of Mattel's more expensive Hot Wheels cars. At first glance, the packaged toy is similar in size to Mattel's car brands. It's roughly 1:64 scale, has matching track sets, and looks like a quasi-futuristic retro vehicle with a lot of personality thanks to its exposed engine and spikes. Many - but not all - of those details are colored, leaving customers with some silver spikes and some merely left black. The engine was sadly left black, but you do get some nice details like red windows, a purple Decepticon symbol, and a sculpted relief of a robot on the underside. That's pretty distinctive.

Hasbro Transformers Speed Stars RPMs Metal Heroes Lockdown Die-Cast Metal Vehicle

"Transformation" is you picking up the toy and standing it up on its backside. The character's name is listed under his feet, and while it's the wrong color it does look a little like the deluxe toy from Revenge of the Fallen's toy line. It's a feature, it's something.

Hasbro Transformers Speed Stars RPMs Metal Heroes Lockdown Die-Cast Metal Vehicle

I just had some problems with the quality. I got a sealed one and noticed it had some paint problems once I opened it - such is the dangers of ordering online. It's not as glossy or pretty as Mattel's toy cars, but the design was so distinctive I never forgot seeing it. When I started picking up orange track, I wanted to see it would perform. The answer is "not well," as it had squeaky axles and, strangely, semi-treaded tires. If anything this format seems more suited to collectors than a kid line, as Mattel's slick tires tend to grip track nicely and zoom along with a lot less fuss. When I tried this in a downhill "race," it made some interesting noises but was a consistent loser.

It's rewarding to finally have one of these in hand, but having also bought a Hot Wheels car from 1982 to tear it open recently (thank you cheap auctions with no bidders) I can say things like the squeaky wheels and unsatisfactory paint aren't necessarily just age - the old Mattel cars held up a lot better. At the higher price point it was never a surprise that a Hasbro toy vehicle line wouldn't last, but I kind of expected something a little nicer than what I could pick up at the grocery store for $1.25. I love the sculpt and the colors, with this distinctive car design standing out as something I'd love to see Mattel to take a crack at now that they have the license. (They wont.) It was a heck of a neat idea, and maybe it could have been better with different factories or some improved engineering. Hasbro's final Spy Changer (nee Go-Bots) toys were off the market by the time Speed Stars RPMs came out, but the Spy Changers I have on-hand were real stunners in terms of performance and play - go get some of those. Takara-Tomy's final one was around 2007, and I really wish we could have seen more of those since they were arguably better suited to the task of being a toy that could give Matchbox or Hot Wheels a run for their money. Lockdown did not compel me to explore this branch of the toy line any further.

--Adam Pawlus

Additional Images

Hasbro Transformers Speed Stars RPMs Metal Heroes Lockdown Die-Cast Metal Vehicle Hasbro Transformers Speed Stars RPMs Metal Heroes Lockdown Die-Cast Metal Vehicle
Hasbro Transformers Speed Stars RPMs Metal Heroes Lockdown Die-Cast Metal Vehicle Hasbro Transformers Speed Stars RPMs Metal Heroes Lockdown Die-Cast Metal Vehicle
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Hasbro Transformers Speed Stars RPMs Metal Heroes Lockdown Die-Cast Metal Vehicle Hasbro Transformers Speed Stars RPMs Metal Heroes Lockdown Die-Cast Metal Vehicle
Hasbro Transformers Speed Stars RPMs Metal Heroes Lockdown Die-Cast Metal Vehicle

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