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Sunday, 28 July 2013

TFCC - Depth Charge

"Magnificently sweeping through the darkness with regal silence, a hunter trails his prey. Defender, pursuer, and if need be, judge; Depth Charge acts swiftly and with unquestioning resolve. He holds tightly to a desire for justice, even if he dispenses that justice himself.
After tracking down and incarcerating the murderous Protoform X, Depth Charge returned to a Cybertron torn apart by war. Aging masters forced the next generation of soldiers into battle in the name of "The Cause". Death haunted every street. Injustice abounded. Depth Charge was tasked with a mission to hunt down two deserters from the Maximal ranks who had dispatched their commanding officer, and consorted with the enemy in an attempt to use experimental transwarp drive technology to flee the planet. Retracing their steps with his own transwarp device, the Maximal soon found their escape route. It was not to another planet, but to another Universe: one which the Transtech call home."
Name: Depth Charge
Quote: "It's not revenge I'm looking for. It's justice."
Toy Line: Timelines
Continuity: Beast Era
Faction: Maximal
Function: Maximal Bounty Hunter

Strength: 9
Intelligence: 10
Speed: 8 
Endurance: 9
Rank: 7
Courage: 10
Fireblast: 6
Skill: 9
Robot Mode
Depth Charge's robot mode is..well it's very colourful! He has about equal amounts of grey, blue and pink parts, plus with some yellow to break it up a bit. and features a lot of pieces of circuit detailing, and left over parts from his vehicle mode visible.
The torso of this fine fella is made mostly by the cockpit and nose of his vehicle mode, and filled in by his forward wing-fin thingies giving him a nice triangular chest look. His abdominal area features his cockpit behinda canopy type area, which sort of resembles the abdominal area of Unicron (though much, MUCH smller). His Maximal insignia is located in the center of his chest. On the back of his torso are his rear vehicle mode fins, which appear here as wings (ala, the Seekers etc) and also features a small connector on his very back that can be used to hold his spear (though I personally use the other connector more - will mention later)
His head is connected to the main torso by a ball joint connector, allowing him all head-based motion as desired. The head is sculpted with a small face-plate and a very pointy helmet on top, the rear of the helmet also features a light-piping port that gives his red eyes a glowing effect.

The arms are connected to the torso by pivoting joints, leading to a hinge into the upper arms, which feature a pivot joint up the top, and two hinges forming the elbows. The lower arms feature no additional articulation, except at the wrists, which can rotate fully. All these articulation points give Depth charge a very good range of movement (handy for a trident-using bounty hunter huh?) His hands are sculpted into an set of 4 fingers molded together and a thumb in a semi-open hand position, which allows him to hold his spear (at the larger points) and any other similarly sized weapons.
His left shoulder features a moving connector on the outside that can be used to hold his spear-trident as a storage space, rather than using the one on his back (this is my prefered method)

His legs are connected to the groin area of the torso by ball joints that lead to a pivoting joint, giving him great posing ability. His knees are made from a simple hinge joint that is hidden from the front by his kneecap decoration. His feet are connected by a couple of hinges that also enable you to reposition the feet depending on the surface, as needed. His wings are located on the bottom of his lower legs too, also giving some additional support points if needed.
Vehicle Mode
Depth Charge's alternate mode is a lovely looking bright blue fighter jet with forward pointing wings. The jet also features some grey pieces and pink and yellow paint apps, emulating the patterns seen on the original Beast Wars Depth Charge too.
This mode features retractable landing wheels allowing him to be displayed in vehicle mode, and still be stable. The rest of the vehicle mode is simply decorative and has no other hidden features (not that that's a bad thing, he still looks pretty). These decorative parts include thrusters, cockpit and simple panelling detail.
His spear accessory is able to clip to the undercarriage by a moving clip, and a single gap on the part that hides his robot head
Depth Charge comes with his spear weapon which can turn from the smaller spear into a long trident-like weapon by simple unfolding the stick, and moving the spear-head, revealing his prongs. If your's is like mine however and is a bit wonky, and the spear-head doesn't work too easily, you can still position it manually with some minimal effort.
My Final Thoughts
Oh Depth Charge, I didn't think I'd like you, but I do. His vehicle mode is beautiful (I'm a sucker for the Terradive mold as it is), your robot mode is painted well, and both modes do well to emulate the original, which not making him look stupid (like painting random eyes somewhere etc).
My only real issue with this toy in terms of it's design is that his counterpart, Protoform X won't be out for another year, meaning he'll be bored and lonely for all that time!
Besides any other small issues I've had (as mentioned in the review itself) I'd say this is a great figure, and can easily go with several other previous toys to make a pre-Earth Beast Era cast shelf (such as Chromia-10 Pilot, DOTM Dark Steel etc)
So yeah, in terms of fun, and general appearances, I'd say this was a very worthwhile figure to get, and I'm glad I renewed my membership for this year, and glad I have a reason to for next year as well (Protoform X)

Sunday, 14 July 2013

DOTM - Wheeljack

Name: Wheeljack
Faction: Autobot
Continuity: Live Action Movies
Toy Line: Dark of the Moon

Strength: 4
Intelligence: 9
Speed: 8
Endurance: 6
Rank: 8
Courage: 9
Fireblast: 5
Skill: 10
Robot Mode
Wheeljack's robot mode, I have to say, is one of my favourite Movie-figure designs, he has a good symmetrical look, has all his limbs, and doesn't look too generic. His body is mostly grey with his blue car-parts being incorporated as body armour, and also featuring some gold, silver and light blue parts for highlighting.
Wheeljack's torso is one big lump of plastic that seems to be molded to look like his engine parts and also features his car-mode hood on his back (the hood part also features a clip so you can keep his spear latched onto his back too). Wheeljack's right-hand chest plate features his Autobot insignia. His chest also features 2 clips that can hold 2 C-Joint connected things (designed for his power tools, but you can put anything that'll fit in there if you want)
His head is connected to the torso by a small ball-joint connector that gives it some articulation. The head itself is sculpted with his screen-counterpart's famed features (spectacles, moustache, eyebrows etc). The sides of his head feature some wire-hair light piping ports that work as an alternative to the head-fins used by his G1 counterpart. The top of his head is noticeably large, most likely denoting his greater intelligence than most others.
Wheeljack's arms are connected to his torso by a ball-joint connector taht allows him quite some articulation in his shoulder area. In order to hide his ugly shoulder connector however he has his vehicle mode headlights and front doors to the car. His upper arm sections also feature his front wheels at the elbow points. The upper arm is connected to the elbow part by a rotating joint that leads to a connecting joint to enable his arms to flex and turn as needed. His lower arms are single pieces which feature sculpted mechanical details, peg holes on their outer fore arms (to hold some MechTech weapons if desired, and culminate in his hands with sculpted open fingers, surrounding a hidden peg hole for his weapons and tool box to go into
His groin is connected to the bottom of his torso by a pivoting joint that allows it to rotate fully, His legs are connected to his groin at the sides by connectors with ball joints that again allows them full articulation. The upper legs also feature some pivoting joints in the middle for a bit mode posing potential, but this is mostly hidden by his leg-decoration. The upper legs also feature some side-panels with his vehicle mode rear wheels attached. His knees are simple joints that allow them to bend back or forth as needed (unlike real knees of course). The backs of the knees also feature the rear parts of his vehicle mode, so you may need to re-position the rear-parts for bending backwards, otherwise there may be tears. His lower legs are made of most of the roof and rear of his vehicle mode, but folded out. The windscreen is used in this mode as a type of back-support as well, giving him some good balance too, along with his wide-enough feet (so basically he shouldn't fall over too much)
Vehicle Mode
Wheeljack turns into a blue Mercedes-Benz E550, or in other words, a thing of beauty, he has tinted black windows that hides all the robot bits inside and, being licensed, he is detailed with all the things you'd expect to find on the exterior of this make of car, including the badges, headlights, door handles, license plate area, and rolling wheels with silver rims and 5-pointed star hubs. The roof of the car mode features 2 push-down holes for the tool-box (or any other MechTech weapon) to be inserted into, and yeah, why wouldn't you want to put a giant green toolbox on top of a beautiful blue car? 
Wheeljack comes with four accessories, a spear and two guns/power tools that feature C-Clips to connect to his various connection points, giving him the look of just having all his equipment hooked onto him at all times. He also features a tool box with 3 legs to stand on, and a hand (which of course fits into his hands). This toolbox also features a gimmick, where you push on a button at the back to release a briefly spinning buzzsaw, so you know, he can saw up any pesky Decepticons and humans who get in the way of his building work!
My Thoughts
As you may be able to tell from the review itself, I love this figure, he looks great in both modes, he's very screen accurate, comes with some great accessories, and is just great as a figure in terms of play-value in general.
My only real gripe with this figure in terms of design is the legs...they are extremely fiddly to transform, and just one missed step can mean it won't transform properly, and you end up with a vehicle with a weird roof, or a robot with balancing issues. So, just make sure you read the instructions for how to transform the legs properly a few times, but the rest is pretty easy.
The only other issue I possibly have with this figure is the availability. He was a main character in Dark of the Moon, but like several others, his toy was cancelled last minute, meaning he wasn't released in the west, and has to be bought by the fans from Takara, or the Hasbro Asia market (mine came from the magical land of Ebay). Still I guess it's great he got a proper toy still, unlike poor old Mirage/Dino.

All in all though, I think this is a great figure, and would urge anyone who likes the Movie toys/characters to buy this awesome fella :)