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.
"Gaming the System"
Meantime’s disguise mode (back) is that of an LCD wrist watch with metal-link armband. He is molded in dark navy blue and dark gray ABS plastic, with orange and dark gray painted highlights. The face of the watch is a non-functioning dark turquoise LCD display. On the four corners matching where the wristband attaches, there are differently-molded details to simulate tiny buttons. The LCD display features the time 5:17:40am, volume indicator bars, alarm icon, and a day month counter saying Wednesday, January 2nd. (Perhaps as an inside joke, read as seen- WE 01-02- it could also be pronounced as “We won too”, though I’m not sure if this was intentional or not.) And just above the LCD display is a raised Decepticon symbol painted purple. On the back of the watch section are some intricately-molded details of internal gears and levers; though non-functional and out of place on a digital watch, it is a nice detail to have.
The wristband on either side is segmented into three hollow, jointed areas, and this is the only flexibility in this mode. Due to how he transforms, sometimes bending the wristband separates the segments. The wristband connects at the ends via two ball-and-socket type pegs which fit into holes on the opposite side(s). It is only able to make it around a wrist that is a maximum of 7” circumference; stretched out completely, Meantime’s disguise mode is 8¼” long.
Transforming him is a piece of cake- very simple to understand, very simple to execute. Unlike the majority of the Real Gear Robots line, Meantime has what can be described as an Automorph feature, which is found in each of the main figures from the movie line of characters- the standard Deluxe-class, advanced Voyager-class, and especially-complex Leader-class. As the legs are deployed and shifted downwards at the waist, the shoulder and head automatically extend upwards from the center of the body from behind the LCD watch. It’s a little unexpected considering that Automorph is absent from the rest of the Real Gear Robots line, and it’s tricky to figure out where to place your fingers the first few times you change him. I find that it’s best to grasp him between two fingers on both the front and back side of the watch’s body.
After securing his hips together to finish off the Automorph, the rest is manually changed- flipping out the fists, twisting and lowering the arms, repositioning the feet, and twisting the watch face around 90-degrees clockwise.
Meantime’s robot mode (back) is very, umm… flat, from a side view. His shoulders are quite wide, though not to the point where he ends up looking too deformed. Unlike most of the figures from the movie’s line-up of characters, the visor in Meantime’s head is transparent orange, and actually works correctly when you shine light through it! (Friggin’ about time they got that right-!) Some of the watch’s buttons adorn the top of his head like a crown as well. His torso is quite round with angled buttons at the four corners, and a tiny dark gray waist/hip section, which is made up of the joints at the bases of the wristbands. And of course, the Decepticon symbol is clear for all to see right on his chest. He’s a bit gorilla like with arms and legs almost the same length, though it’s not immediately obvious. And of course, what watch-transforming toy would be without a copy of his own watch mode molded onto his left wrist…?
Poseability is quite good, considering how he flexes about in disguise mode. I swear, Meantime is either a long-limbed gymnast, or Neo from “The Matrix”. (Ya know- bullet-time…? Whatever…) His unusually-long heels allow him to bend backwards a lot further than most robot toys would dream of. The ball-and-socket joint for the neck on my toy is slightly off, and so he has a tendency to look down and left all the time when it’s positioned to look straight ahead. (This is most likely an isolated manufacturing error, as I have not heard anyone else complain about it.) Something that struck me as odd was that extra set of ball-and socket joints in his shoulders; they seem a bit redundant, though I get why they are there. But I thought that he would have done fine without them.
Unlike most of the toys in the Real Gear Robots line, none of the screws on Meantime are covered. This may owe to the fact that screws can sometimes be seen on real watches. Also, most of the Real Gear Robots are representations of smaller electronic devices, and so the screws are usually hidden or not seen at all on things like cell phones (Autobot Speed Dial 800) or multimedia players (Decepticon Booster X10). However even in the digital age of watches, they are not really all that out of place, and are only seen on the back of his head and upper body.
Simple and fun. That is the mission of the Real Gear Robots line, and this toy accomplishes that very well. Very easy to play with, the head, shoulders, and hips all pop-off if too much pressure is applied, he’s quite flexible, and the colors don’t clash with each other. Things to complain about? Mmm… nope, he’s good! Thing’s to change? Mmm… maybe rework how his arms connect to his legs in disguise mode so that they can slip apart better when changing him, but not come unlocked when flexing the wristbands. (Though I doubt this could have been done any differently than it was, so…) He was also so close to being 1:1-scale that another inch or two of length in his wristband and he would’ve fit over an adult’s wrist. So close! But then his limbs would have been really long indeed! So, no complaints. I recommend getting Meantime!
|Posted 22 November, 2007 - 12:31 by EVA_Unit_4A|