Constantly aware of any situation, whether routine computer diagnostics or infiltration of Decepticon mainframe. Unhappy with leaving Cybertron to aid in battle on Earth, but sense of duty prevents any objections. Often directly connects internal circuitry to security monitors in order to be continually on guard against any breach and act accordingly. Vehicle mode can travel up to 150 mph, wields laser pistol and twin mounted fusion cannons. Despite attentive nature, feels uncomfortable interacting with others and often is aloof and distant.
Omnibot Downshift … an obscure little bot if I’ve ever come across one! Seriously, I know nothing of this character let alone his G1 toy. I’ve obviously seen him in reference guides and on TFW a very few times, but it wasn’t until a great friend of mine, Jeff
@transformedhero on Twitter, gave me Downshift as a Christmas present that I realized I probably should have been looking for this little guy all along. Downshift along with the other Omnibots were a part of the S.T.A.R.S pack in flyers during 1985, which was a mail-away promotion to get kids even more hooked on Transformers. He was never actually sold in stores (although I guess some grocery stores got some bins full of him); his original cost was a mere $5 and 4 robot points that you could find on the back of other G1 boxes. With very little fiction to support Downshift, his character and toy are a clean slate for me as a fan and collector.
*** As a reminder, please click on the images to view their full size ***
Straight out of the little plastic bag he was wrapped in I was intrigued by Downshift. He’s a small Toyota Celica, but not nearly as small as the mini-bots. He’s pretty much a solid white deco with some black highlights. As usual you get those classics G1 rubber tires that really make this toy feel like quality stuff. I opted out of putting any stickers on this guy; I really dig the clean, stock look to him. Best part about Downshift’s alt mode: three, count them THREE “flip out” blasters! This dude is loaded. As a a reinforcement, security agent, etc. for the Autobots I suppose he has to be well equipped with blasters. Downshift’s two doors fold down so you can attach his two bigger blasters on to and then a flip out hood piece that you can plug a smaller blaster into. Downshift looks badass in this mode and it just adds a totally different level to this figure. To date, not many G1 figures have attachable weapons like THIS. Bottom line: alt mode is easily one of the best vehicles in the G1 line that I’ve handled so far. Is that saying a lot from a mail-away Omnibot? Absolutely, but he’s without a doubt the real thing.
I knew I was going to dig this figure when I transformed it. Very involved, but still enjoyable and easy transformation. It feels different from other G1 figures in that it’s much more than pulling down the legs, sliding arms out, etc. For the figure itself, Downshift’s robot mode is not as good as his alt mode, but it’s still one of the better figures from the G1 line. For starters, yes his blasters are just as badass as they were in alt mode. He totes his smaller blaster in his hands, which allow a surprisingly good range of motion. The two larger blasters peg into his doors for storage or peg into his head for that classic “what kind of weapon placement is this” pose. The worst thing about his robot mode is his awful legs/feet. He stands on his two wheels and if he’s not balanced right he’s going to topple directly back. If you’re able to properly balance him slightly forward he stands just fine, but definitely a downfall that you need to be so careful. Although not as fun as alt mode, still a very cool robot mode.
Unfortunately there hasn’t been a Classics update for Downshift. The closest thing to date I believe is a toy named Downshift from the Energon series, but it’s clearly an homage to Wheeljack, Energon Downshift. So although I can’t do my Evolution series of pictures that I’ve always done, I decided to have a little fun and do something different with this addition of The G1 Journey. Today’s Classics figures are typically repaints or slight remolds from previously released figures. So, which Transformers figure would make the best Omnibot Downshift? Check out some of my favorite figures I think would work for Downshift!
A lot of customizers have already done this idea: Generations Wheeljack. Wheeljack is a very versatile mold and has been used for several Classics figures. The similarities are there for Downshift and you won’t even need to provide him with added weapons/parts because this mold has them already. I think the Wheeljack mold could be an excellent Downshift.
First Edition Prime: Cliffjumper is a bit of a stretch here, but I think it could work. For one, Downshift is clearly packing heat with his three blasters, so why not give him a figure with swing out cannons? Again, this is a stretch because even the alt mode doesn’t quite fit, but I could see it being something like a GDO Exclusive.
My final idea would be to simply keep G1 Downshift as your Classics representation. Hear me out … along with the other Omnibots, Downshift is a “Dimension Hopper.” From TFWiki: “a character that has physically traveled from one continuity family to another, or from outside the Transformers multiverse to inside the Transformers multiverse, or vice versa.” With such a little fiction to his name, why not have some fun and say he literally traveled from the 80′s into your Classics collection? The TFCC does this kind of stuff all the time …
I really think Downshift has been an underrated and forgotten figure, almost rightfully so when you see just how many awesome G1 figures there are. Still though, Downshift is pretty far down on collector’s lists it seems. If asked , I’d say every G1 collector should make a push to get Downshift if not just for the curiosity factor. His alt mode is world’s of fun, transformation is one of the best I’ve fiddled with, and his robot mode has an assortment of ways you can utilize his weapons. Combine all of this with his cheap price tag and you have a win-win. I don’t know what it is really is, but I’m really digging this figure; Downshift is a highly suggested Transformer. Again, big BIG thank you to my buddy Jeff (@transformedhero) for hooking me up with this figure. Terrific guy and all around fun person to chat with. Thumbs up!