21 June 2013

FansProject CA-11: Down Force aka Drag Strip (Menasor) - in-hand review

So this hit Hong Kong's shores yesterday - FansProject's Causality CA-11: Down Force, aka Drag Strip. According to TF Source, this has been renumbered, it was supposed to be CA-12. Oh well, what's a few numbers?

After a very intense and busy day of work, I met another buyer at the train station and sold him my loose Generations Warpath. Then proceeded to the toy shops to pick up Down Force. The weather today was really intolerable. Heat and high levels of humidity.

Out of the 4 not-Stunticon robots, Down Force was probably the one that I was most looking forward to. First, there is a strong yellow colour scheme, but second, its vehicle was also one of the more unusual vehicle modes among the other not-Stunticons, which were just 'vanilla' type cars.

Holding it in my hand, my strong positive vibes for this figure increased - the yellow body colour and blue windows works really well together.

Takara boxed D-52: Drag Strip, USA carded Drag Strip with CA-11 Down Force.

Front of the box.

The box art, however, makes him look like a lady?

One side of the box shows a photo of the toy...

... the other side shows a drawing of the toy, but in almost exactly the same posture as the other side (how odd).

Back of the box showing poseability features.

Here's a shot I like too - Takara boxed D-52: Drag Strip with CA-11 Down Force.

This is Down Force out of package, but still in insert. What's immediately apparent is that it does not come with any Menasor parts - no fist for example.

Hey look, after 27 years, my homage can actually do my card art pose... Botch will be so proud!

This is the robot mode. It is very nice. Nice proportions, nice colour mix and a really nice homage to Drag Strip, which to be honest is not one of the nicest G1 figures out there.

Showing some poses....

You know, if there were not already a Classics / Henkei Mirage, I'd say this is a strong candidate for a Mirage repaint.

Next to its G1 counterpart.

 In vehicle mode, with its G1 counterpart.

This is the car mode. I think it is meant to be some concept car. the design is great, the car looks very sleek and classy.

However, one of the key issues is the slight difficulty with transforming it. I realised now that with FP's stuff, transformation is seldom intuitive. It takes awhile to figure it out. For this figure, its the front of the car portion (ie: the arms), that takes a little figuring out, that, and how to get the feet under the glass canopy.

More shots of the car from different angles.

Really like this angle looking at the car.

Yellow with yellow. CA-11 Down Force poses with Generations Sandstorm

CA-11: Down Force with MakeToys Fallen!

Final words - this is a nice figure and really one of the more interesting colour schemes among the Stunticons. It is certainly more fun than FP's not-Breakdown, which was horrid to transform and had sharp parts. If you are intending to have a third party Menasor, then it does not matter whether this figure is recommended or not - you'd have to get it, if not your Menasor will have an arm. Still, this figure is a very nice effort by FP.

Box / packaging - 7 out of 10
Instructions - dunno, I didn't use them!
Robot mode - 7 out of 10
Concept car mode - 7.5 out of 10, stunning form
Overall - 7 out of 10, because transformation is not really fun

Heroic's recommendation - go get!

~ HD


  1. you're quite the lucky (or careful) one since online there are people reporting of broken/fragile windshields.

    i can't wait till i get mine :D

    1. hmmm... not sure man. i was pretty rough with my windshield (not knowing the issue you mentioned), but no problems. Luck of the draw I guess?

  2. Thanks for the fantastic review - I can't watch the endless video reviews at work, so your hard work is very much appreciated by those of us who like to read rather than watch!

    I picked up my figure by accident (the company sent the wrong toy) but I fell in love with it and decided to keep it. Initially I wasn't that keen from photos, but in hand (and in your photos) it really is a lovely bit of plastic,

    1. hi, thanks for stopping by and cheers for the kind words.

      I myself find that I enjoy reading reviews a lot more than watching them too. Good that you have this figure. I think its nice and its probably the most stand out one (perhaps due to colour) among the other figures.

  3. I own Down Force and have transformed him several times. The only way that I can see someone breaking the windshield is if they actually force it to rotate it when it's being obstructed by another part. That also applies to any toy with moving plastic parts. If it doesn't fit don't 'make it' fit.

    1. yeah, i agree with the observations. FP's stuff are usually quite hardy and the plastic does have some flex - when more force than usual is needed, either a person is not doing it right, or well, something is going to break.

  4. Minus a few differences here and there, it's a safe bet that the vehicle mode is the Caparo T1: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caparo_T1. It's supposed to be the closet a consumer can get to driving an F1 car; however, it's had a very rocky beginning, i.e. catching on fire during press test drives.

    Cool blog btw. I don't get to see a whole lot on Japanese Transformers here in the US like I used to as a kid in Taiwan.

    1. Thanks Shaw! 你好! I don't know too many TF fans from Taiwan, but yeah, its a little harder to find Jap TFs in the US than it is here in Asia.

  5. I got the figure today, and compared to the other fansproject causality figures Down Force/Drag Strip doesn't meet the same standards in regards to posability, due to 2 problems (both of which below the waist).
    1 The knee can only bend so much (less than a 45 degree angle) due to the front wheel bumper which blocks further bending of the knee)
    2 the small feet, interfere with the figures balance, the two small purple things are not sufficient to hold the weight of the figure when tilted forwards, but also tend to overtilt the figure backwards when the distribution of weight is already in the rear.

    Hope I got through with point 2...
    ultimately this makes for a less posable figure than wildrider and breakdown
    even though I agree with heroic decepticon; it looks great.


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