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.
"Download. Distribute. Destroy."
Booster X10’s disguise mode is the only set in the Real Gear Robots line that is composed of two separate parts- a small red, black and silver MP3 multimedia player (back), and a single cordless earpiece. The non-functioning MP3 player is just a block of plastic parts with a rectangular transparent-orange window on the forward half, and a generic five-button keypad below. The window exposes some of the robot mode’s parts. The MP3 player itself has no function on its own, though I will say that looking at it from a distance, you could easily mistake is for the real deal.
The earpiece (back) is the ‘special’ feature of the disguise mode, though it, too, is non-functional. A semi-flexible rubber clip similar to that of many hands-free/cordless earpieces used for phones wraps around the back of it. Booster X10’s name and a silver Decepticon are printed on top. And it operates along the same principle- clip the toy to your ear by slipping the rubber between your right ear and head, with the plastic earpiece flush against the outside of your right ear; nothing goes inside the ear. Admittedly, the small silver projection from the earpiece suggests more of a cordless phone earpiece since it looks like a mini-microphone. On kids it will looks fine, but on adult collectors, the earpiece may look a bit out of proportion. What are ya gonna do, ya know?
(That I am aware of, most portable MP3 players do not use cordless earpieces, as they would get lost too easily…)
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 out those bird legs underneath! This is really the only place where his size works against him. While putting them back in isn’t a problem, slipping them out of position to transform him is more nuisance than problem. Was Booster X10 only slightly bigger…
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 Booster X10, and I think it was good for them not to try it.
Booster X10’s , erm… beast mode (back) requires special attention in that it is clearly an homage to the classic G1 character Laserbeak, who served the Decepticon Soundwave faithfully as an aerial spy. Laserbeak transformed from a red-and-black audio cassette- stored in Soundwave’s chest compartment [along with fellow cassette/mecha’ Buzzsaw (also a bird), Ravage, Rumble, Space Case, and Wingthing]- into a bird with top-mounted laser cannon(s). (Funny, with a name like “Laserbeak” you would think he would shoot a laser from, well… his beak.)
Booster X10 has a narrow streamlined head & neck with a purple Decepticon symbol printed on top of it, two thin black legs with claws, and [again, like Laserbeak] the earpiece forms the bulk of the upper body with a silver double-barrel cannon projecting from it. His wings are made up of the split outer casing of the MP3 player. Inside are two pairs of transparent orange wing parts that swivel out as the wings are extended to full length; these orange parts have a feathered or flowing-energy mold that fill the space between the outer wing parts and the body nicely. The tail is the flat, curved casing from beneath the keypad, and has some tech details underneath. Also noticeable if you look closely is some molded tech details in the black ABS under his main body between his legs, shoulders, tail, and neck. Like Laserbeak before him, Booster X10 has a purple Decepticon symbol on his forehead; his name and the silver Decepticon symbol are still visible on his back.
Poseability is different here because Booster X10 is a bird. The wings are jointed at the shoulders, and can snap upwards only once, to 45-degrees. (If the earpiece/cannon were removed, they could go a full 90-degrees.) Due to how he changes, the wings can also slide forward in various ways. (The feathered parts can move, but they only slide out a specified distance when transforming, so they can’t really be used for posing.) The tail can shift up and down, but, again, this is due to how he transforms. (The tail joint on mine is actually a little loose, so it can’t really suspend itself very well, and tends to droop to whatever surface it’s on.) The legs have good range of motion, with joints at the hips, knees, and ankles for good posing options. Someone pointed out to me that you can twist his neck around its center axis, so that you can give him (or rather he can give you) a quizzical look. Though the head is a separate part before he’s assembled in the factory, it cannot be twisted. The cannon mount on top can certainly be removed, but… why would you want to?
One other thing I should point out that took me by surprise was that the few screws holding him together have been covered up, specifically on the wings! This is a very unexpected touch, but certainly appreciated, and adds all the more to the illusion that this is a “real” electronic device. So, when in disguise mode, he has no screws showing! (In beast mode, the single screw keeping the earpiece together is hidden, so I don’t count it.)
Simple and fun. That is the mission of the Real Gear Robots line, and this toy accomplishes that very well. Plus he looks good, and changes easily. Things to change? Honestly, I can’t find anything that I would change! I can understand why it’s a little tricky to unfurl his legs, but that, again, is due to his size. It’s not very glamorous in beast mode, but the functionality, detail, and aura more than makes up for it. Booster X10 is a winner even if he’s evil, and considering the popularity of personal multimedia players today, ya kinda start feeling paranoid that other common electronic devices will suddenly up and transform into miniature robots! Highly recommended!
(There was a later repaint of this figure, called Autobot Night Beat 7, who was colored light blue, light gray, and transparent blue.)
[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 31 August, 2007 - 12:51 by EVA_Unit_4A|