Name: Battle Patrol
Series: Japanese Generation 1
Components: Gunlift, Powerbomb, Sidetrack & Sunrunner
Note: I've written a full review of the Battle Patrol already, so this review is more of a comparison with the Anglophone release of this set than a full review.
AKA Big Shot. The brown plastic used on both is identical, but where Big Shot had beige, Gunlift has an olive green. While I've nothing against beige, the green fits more with the whole military theme. It does make Gunlift darker overall, which I'm not all that keen on.
There are actually two versions of this set, the common version had grey parts and the rarer version sporting yellow parts. So Gunlift's big cannon can be either grey or yellow. While I've never seen the yellow version, I'd imagine the bright cannon would look rather silly on such a dark toy. I'm glad I have the common version, even if it is very dark.
Whereas Big Shot has his copyright stamping on the side of his left thigh, my Gunlift has part of this blanked out, and the word "Macau" stamped on the front of his thigh in black - I guess this was cheaper than remoulding the word "China" on his thigh. While his thigh is dark, like the rest of his robot mode, is very dark, I do wish they'd put this stamp somewhere a little less prominent.
Gunlift isn't really better or worse than Big Shot. The olive green is a nice addition, but the stamp on his thigh is a negative point. I can only assume the yellow would look strange, but I suppose the relative rarity would make up for that.
AKA Flak. Powerbomb is my favourite of this set, since I find the blue missile tank quite striking - even if it's a pretty unrealistic colour for a tank. I wouldn't recommend him instead of Flak, but Powerbomb's blue and light grey contrast markedly with his alter-ego, so Powerbomb is a great addition to flak. The treads on mine are grey, but the rarer version sports yellow treads. I've got a picture of the yellow version is robot mode, and the yellow arms on very light grey torso look rather out of place, so again I'm glad I have the grey version.
His robot mode is a little closer to Flak's than the tank mode, since he retain the same red groin and face. The robot mode colours contrast quite well, so I again like his colours - and actually prefer this robot mode to that of Flak. Whether or not you want the yellow version will again come down to rarity.
Sharing the same name with his Anglophone equivalent, Side Track sports the same colours as Gunlift, albeit reversed, making him an olive green tank with brown turret and twin grey barrels. I actually sort of prefer the Anglophone colours to these, but this isn't based on anything rather than personal preference. Both colour schemes are good, and both work well for this tank mode. As usual, Sidetrack can have either grey or yellow cannons, and I'm not so sure I'd think much of yellow on this toy.
Remind me to whack the guy who decided to stamp "Macau" on these toys. Sure, on Flak you wont notice the white paint, but putting white paint on Sidetrack's brown thigh is a really, really, dumb idea. If I could do so without dulling him, I'd scrape it off. On Gunlift you don't notice so much, but on Sidetrack you can't miss it.
Thanks mainly to the tattoo on his right thigh, Sidetrack is the only member of this set which I think is a regression from the original version. Otherwise, this colour scheme is fine.
Like Sidetrack, Sunrunner missed out on a funky new name. Luckily for him, he also missed out on having his country of origin stamped on his leg (it's under the left wing). Anyway, this bomber is light grey with a blue missile array on top. Again it's neither inferior or superior - I guess the last version was the army bomber, this guy's the navy version. Does Macau have a navy? (c8
Sunrunner doesn't have any grey plastic on him, so I'm fairly certain that the rarer yellow plastic set Sunrunner is exactly the same. The irony is that this toy would probably work best with yellow, since it has the brightest vehicle mode. Like Powerbomb, Sunrunner's robot mode's colours create a nice contrast. While I'm fairly neutral on which plane mode colours I prefer, the robot mode looks better in blue and light grey than beige and olive green/
THE PATROL OVERALL
How much you want to get these guys depends on how much you like the colour changes, and how much you find them for. I got the set sealed for the going rate for a set of MOC Micromasters, so I'm quite happy with what I got for my money. All four colour schemes are quite nice, although I think Powerbomb and Sunrunner are the nicest. Sidetrack's colours are unfortunately ruined by that stupid white stamp - I hope the guy who did it gets caught in a Macau gang war or something. I'd recommend against the rarer yellow version, unless you're getting the set purely for rarity's sake. The grey versions score 7.5/10, the yellow 6/10.
Want more on this set? Read Goktimus Prime's Sidetrack Profile