TKPB02 – Tire Set Formula
Premium Bandai Exclusive – July, 2015 – ¥2,160
Many fans were disappointed to hear that the Type Formula release in the Tire Koukan series wasn’t slated to include any additional tires, like most releases in the past. Type Formula uses three specific Shift Cars, called the Pit Crew, to achieve specific stats or perform certain actions. These tires are Mantarn, Jacky, and Sparner, modeled after a fuel pump, a jack, and a spanner wrench specifically. Shortly after Type Formula’s reveal, Premium Bandai was quick to reveal TKPB02 would be none other than Tire Set Formula, a small set containing the three Pit Crew tires. Cue outrage. The set, as mentioned, was released via Premium Bandai in July, 2015 for ¥2,160 before middleman fees.
Each of the tires are pretty simple, and anyone familiar with the line will know what to expect from these releases. Each Tire, although smaller, can fit onto any Tire Koukan port, though obviously given the design, it won’t be functional on figures like Type Speed. As obvious, all three are meant for Type Formula, but can also be used with Type Tridoron’s singular arm port as well.
Mantarn is basically a swift replacement for the default tires, essentially being two separate tires that plug into each arm. These tires grant Drive the ability to go fast. Gotta go fast. On the arms, they spin around and do nothing of importance. Jacky can plug into either arm, and is actually one of the few tires that can’t spin, thankfully. A large car jack is attached to the tire via a very week clip. Pulling on the jack will raise it. In the show, it equips him with the Jacky Riser, which lets Drive push things away, lift them high into the air, etc. Finally Sparner is a more physical weapon tire with a wrench face attached to the front. This tire does spin, which can look kind of cool with the wrench parts attached. In the show, it equips Drive with the Grasper Claw. It can also repair damage done to Drive’s system, so that’s pretty important.
At the end of the day, this set is northing sort of lackluster and poor. Previous Tire Sets were easier to get, far more affordable, and brought a lot more to the table than this ultimately ends up bringing. Other than Jacky liking to come apart, and the Sparner grips falling off occasionally, there’s nothing really WRONG with the tires, but it’s a hard pill to swallow that our second (and possibly final) TKPB release was allotted to some tires instead of something new like Lupin. I really want a Lupin figure guys. Please.