Transformers Downshift
Transformers Downshift
Transformers Downshift
Transformers Downshift

Downshift's story mirrors that of his fellow Omnibots - an original outing as a Diaclone Double Changer followed by a stint in mail-in purgatory with scant media appearances (the odd leaflet, a Japanese strip where they beat up Predaking - no, don't be impressed, everyone beat up Predaking, a couple of minor showings in DW stuff and more recently getting to be cannon fodder in IDW's material).

Moreso than Camshaft, Downshift's name has entered Hasbro's pile of trademarks to be reused almost at random over recent years. Which is odd when the name at face value means 'slow down a bit' and has more recently been hijacked as a social trend for new age hippies. Over the past few years, Downshift has been a rubbish 4x4 Minicon, a Wheeljack stand-in in Energon and a sadly-unreleased redeco of Hubcap in a scheme lifted from the Gobots toy Super Couper. Unlike his team-mates he didn't get used as an Alternator either - though if Camshaft was anything to go by he'd have ended up with his name slapped on a Jazz homage.


Downshift is incredibly solid. I think (as in I haven't checked) that he's the only Diaclone car not to actually have any transparent windows - isn't that an interesting fact? Pedant alert: obviously, that's ignoring the window-less Mirage. He's helped by the Celica being just a block. It's not a bad car mode but it's very generic early 1980s with very little to make it stand up. The other thing that makes him feel solid is that unlike his fellow Omnibots Downshift actually contains a significant amount of diecast, albeit hidden away on his underside.

It makes for a remarkably sturdy vehicle in all. There are two areas to look out for, though. Firstly, Downshift yellows like snow outside a pub. Secondly like the other two Omnibots stickers are used to represent some parts of the car bodywork; in this case it's the front bumper, but at least they're white instead of foil. He even has a halfway decent flight/attack configuration - the doors flip down to form wings (complete with pegs for two included weapons) and a little hatch on the roof hinges up to reveal a pair of tiny guns. Excellent it isn't, but it is the most successful of the trio of Omnibots thanks to actually looking like it was intentionally designed to work this way.


The transformation is good and bears a considerable similarity to Wheeljack, just with some parts simplified. Downshift looks a lot more conventional in robot form however. Indeed, it's one of the best proprortioned robots of the era - not for a mail-in, not for a toy of its' size, not for a Transformer - just outright. Scaled up 150% and given a role in the cartoon Downshift would be one of the most desired of Transformers figures. Nearly everything comes off, including a surprising amount of shoulder articulation and some very neat weapons. Even the wings from the flight mode end up adding a bit of interest and width to the torso.

The only real fault is the single big piece of rear window attached to the head. Firstly it's a bit of an eyesore, especially compared to the delicate work elsewhere. Secondly, it's very loose and not entirely adverse to simply falling off entirely, but that really is it. In comparison to the likes of Prowl he's very durable - much moreso than either of his fellow Omnibots to boot.


In short Downshift is a little jewel. The lack of frills on the alternate mode and - yes - the slight personality deficient keep him from perfection but really this is a terrific little figure that deserves to be in more collections. As with most of the Diaclone designs it's worth going that extra mile to find one complete and in good condition but even without the basic quality of the mould shines through.