Review by EVA_Unit_4A
With the Decepticons en route to recover their leader Megatron, and the discovery of the long-lost AllSpark Cube, the military forms an improvised plan to race to Mission City to hide the Cube from the hostile alien robots by shielding it with the technology of the city, and then evacuate the Cube via helicopter to another location while they are distracted. Once there, they are ambushed by several Decepticons including the revitalized Megatron. During the battle- no longer isolated from the outside world by Hoover Dam- the Cube accidentally comes into contact with the ground, and spreads its mysterious life-giving energy across the city, turning everyday electronic items into more Cybertronians… Real Gear Robots! After the Mission City battle, many of the smaller newly-created robots manage to escape out of the city limits, but some are picked-up by hidden Autobots and Decepticons, and then used as spies and scouts to find each other- using their disguised forms to trick humans into carrying them wherever they need to go.
"Observe. Anticipate. Defend."
Longview’s disguise mode (back) is that of compact black and yellow camping binoculars. Right off the bat I’m going to say that while you can look through the small eyepieces, he is small enough (4 3/8”-wide x 2 5/8”-long / 8.5cm x 6.5cm) that average adult collectors just will not be able to look through both eyepieces at the same time. If you try to, he just sits quite nicely on the bridge of your nose, but you end up looking around him rather than through him! Looking at him from the front, there is some tech detail beneath the large lenses. On top, there are some molded buttons that are painted black. To the left of this is Longview’s name printed onto the yellow ABS plastic. The bottom of the binoculars is rather featureless, with black grip lines on both the outside and inside.
In front of the buttons is a panel with the red Autobot symbol on it. This panel actually flips up 90-degrees to reveal a small display panel with additional molded controls, and a display screen (a pre-applied decal) showing a Decepticon vehicle speeding along a desert. Oddly, the decal is applied upside-down. Beneath the fold-up display panel is some more tech detail. Nice feature!
Transforming him is a piece of cake- very simple to understand, very simple to execute. The only complaint I have in the entire toy is in rotating those hands out of his lower arms! This is really the only place where his size works against him. While rotating them out isn’t the problem, it’s getting them started that’s the hard part! While tabs are provided for fingernails, they are just far enough away from the wrist joint that they make no difference! So you either end up using friction on the curved section, or you pry them open with something very small and pointed. Man, that really sucks!
Since the Real Gear Robots line was inspired by events near the end of the 2007 film, but is not directly affected by it, and because of their relative size, there is no ‘Automorph Technology’ feature. No loss there. If anything, I don’t see how they could have incorporated one into Longview, and I think it was better for them not to try it.
Longview’s robot mode (back) vaguely reminds me of a football player- rounded helmet with square visor over his eyes, wide upper torso (with the Autobot symbol right in the middle), narrow lower torso, and big wide lower legs and feet. His arms are a bit on the small side, but the binoculars’ front lenses rise up above them to add a bit of style.
Poseability is good for a figure this size- with double joints in the hips, and single joints in the elbows, knees, and if you wish to move them, the feet. (Hips are a little loose on mine, though…) The head and shoulders use ball-and-socket joints. Because of how compact he needs to be in disguise mode, his elbows are very close to his shoulder joints, almost to the point of being inconsequential or nonexistent! The fists can bend inwards, but this is only because of his transformation. (If you’re like me, you don’t collapse those wrist joints unless you absolutely have to, as I explained above…) Whether this intentional or not, I cannot say, but the display panel from the binoculars is easily accessible on the chest. So, in robot mode, the display is right side up- when looking at Longview’s open chest, the image faces towards you. This, perhaps, is why it is upside-down in disguise mode… (For those of you keeping count, that is Voyager-class Decepticon Crumplezone from the 2006 “Transformers: Cybertron” line, with his Planet Key feature activated.)
Simple and fun. That is the mission of the Real Gear Robots line, and this toy accomplishes this very well. Plus he looks good, and changes easily. Things to change? Only one- move those tiny tabs closer to the wrist joint. Perhaps he could have been bigger, to fit an adult collector’s hands (and face) better, but I think that Longview does just fine the way he is. Highly recommended!
[DISCLAIMER: This last section is not supported, advertised, or endorsed by either Hasbro or Paramount Pictures. It is a fan-supported effort completely independent from all companies affiliates with the 2007 film "Transformers".]
Just before “Transformers” was released into theaters in July, 2007, Warner Brothers’ music label released a single CD containing songs performed by various popular bands that were appearing in the film. (Four of these songs did not make it into the film but were included on the CD anyways, including a remake of the classic G1 Transformers theme by Mute Math!) It was unknown at the time how well the film would do, and so none of the original score composed by Steve Jablonsky was included. Even though the film did quite well internationally in theaters despite criticism from even hardcore Transformers fans, the original score also received praise. After seeing the film, many went to stores to buy “Transformers: The Album”, hoping to be able to listen to some of the original soundtrack (OST). Unfortunately, Warner Brothers had not anticipated this in the pre-release months, and a letter was sent out shortly thereafter that they would not be releasing any of the OST.
(For you anime fans out there, Jablonsky composed the complete score for Katsuhiro Otomo’s 2004 film “Steamboy”. He had also previously collaborated with “Transformers” director Michael Bay to score 2005’s less-successful “The Island”.)
This was criticized by many. The webmaster of The Knight Shift created an online petition mere days after “Transformers” was released in theaters; asking Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks, and Warner Brothers to release an OST containing only music composed by Mr. Jablonsky. While sales for “…The Album” dropped rapidly inside of a two week period (from #29 to #76 on the Billboard music charts, and no more than 91,000 units sold), by the end of July, 2,000 signatures had been recorded by the petition, and by mid-August five weeks later, that number had quickly doubled to 4,000.
(Yours truly can be found as entry #1112!)
On August 26th, Warner Brothers announced that- by popular demand- they would be releasing a single CD containing most of the OST from the film! By then, the petition had surpassed 5,000 signatures. The release date would be October 9th, 2007. The movie “Transformers” itself would be released on DVD a few days later on October 16th. Depending how well “Transformers: The Score” does, Warner Brothers mentioned the possibility that a 2-disc OST containing the complete 90 minutes of the score would be released later on. (Please, oh please, oh please, oh please, oh please…)
(Whether intentional or not, October 9th is written out as 09-09, or 9-9. The release date for “Transformers” in the United States was July 4th, 2007- written out as 07-04-07, or 7-4-7 on promotional materials; an obvious & eye-catching though unrelated reference to the famed Boeing 747 wide-body commercial jumbo jet. Playing with numbers, are we…?)
On September 2nd, Steve Jablonsky e-mailed The Knight Shift, thanking them, and everyone who had signed the petition, for supporting him and the music. He also mentioned that an OST had always been in the works, but would have been released later on.
Yay-! I wanted to hear the OST as well, and was quite mad when there wasn’t going to be one released. They neglected to release an OST of Randy Newman’s score when the Star Trek-parody “Galaxy Quest” (1999) came out, and it made me mad! Same with David Arnold’s score for the remake of “Godzilla” (1998).
(I absolutely loved the scene where the Autobots descent from space, and then gather in the alleyway. That inspirational piece of music, alone, convinced me that I wanted this OST!)
If you read these notices at the end of these reviews on CDX, and you too signed the petition, I thank you as well! And if you read it, but did nothing… Heh-, well... I hope a protoform Autobot hard-lands right on your a--!
|Posted 27 August, 2007 - 16:30 by EVA_Unit_4A|