Review by Wallas
Just to be brief with explanations, I'm back. In the meaning of being back in doing reviews, because otherwise, I'm here on a very regular basis. But recently I got myself some TF toys that made me want to share my feelings about them with others. So that means that basically I'm doing a review on CDX, a photo gallery at my place and a video review on Youtube of the same toy in the same time ^^ But I guess it's worth the effort.
To celebrate my return (yeah, like anyone longed for that :P ), I present you one of the more interesting toys from early Transformers Universe 2.0 line. And definitely the most controversial too. Let's give a warm welcome to our today's star, Powerglide (whom I got as a part of a bigger lot from Hasbro Poland, for which I do some work as its Transformers consultant)!
So, let's discuss the controversy first and have it out of the way later on. The main problem many fans have with this lad are his colours. Powerglide is dominantly white with red touches. And in the classic TV series, classic comic series and classic toy series, he was mostly RED with white touches. So I can easily imagine the roar of fury that accompanied the more traditional fans when they first saw this guy. Not that it stopped them from buying him. As for me, I was surprised but far from having the need to rip the colour designers to shreds ASAP. Especially that in other aspect, this project turned out rather well.
After 23 years of his absence as a toy, Powerglide still transforms into his famous A-10 Thunderbolt II ground support fighter. The difference, however, is that this time it's a fully combat-capable plane with a very nice, slightly-futuristic theme that enables him to shapeshift in a completely new way. And by the way, he was considerably upscaled over the years and today he is an Ultra Class Transformer. Last time we saw him he has no bigger than the present Legends class figure.
What can I say, I really like this design. Even when redesigned, the A-10 feel is very strong and additional markings and designations on the aircraft make it more realistic Unlike other original Ultras from the line, his markings don't mean anything specific. I also find the new colour scheme quite appropriate for this plane. Yes, like or not, orthodoxes, white DOES suit this alt mode well.
Looking from the side, Powerglide looks good. Not perfect, because he centre almost touches the floor, but you can't see it as the side boosters shield them from our sight. You can probably also see the landing gear and it's not-exactly-perfect design, but I'll tackle that later.
Just a short close-up on the front. Really detailed and good-looking. You can even even see the single rivets on the hull. Not really sure if we have two sets of air intakes here, but it looks like it. Also, the first true appearance of the A-10's trademark Avenger gatling gun, which now is mounted on the left and not exactly under the cockpit. Again, this is due to the transformation.
The back is as detailed as other parts of the aircraft and also hold the main part of the toy's electronics, including the voice chip, activation button and the two AAA batteries, cleverly hidden inside the main engines, that power the light-and-sound features. Speaking of the shiny-thingies, maybe you'd like to see how the electronics turn out when activated.
By pressing the button shown on previous photos, you'll get one of three jet sounds- the jet fly-by sound, engine ignition and the gatling fire. Exactly in this order, which is funny since you hear the engine start-up AFTER you're plane is presumably airborne. I know, details, but four years of gallery making made me take notice of such things. Also, the sounds are accompanied by three blinking red LED lights installed in the cockpit and each engine unit. Would be great if they would light up continuously and stay on as long as you wish. But this is a Hasbro, kid-oriented toy, so I shouldn't complain.
One last fact worth our time is the landing gear and its belongings. Landing gear consists of three retracting wheels, two under the wing boosters and one under the cockpit. They do their job well, even if our A-10 is slightly slightly downwards to the front if we look at him from the side. The problem appears when you attach the gatling unit, which on one hand straightens the jet to perfect horizontal orientation, but on the other makes the front landing wheel useless as it barely touches the ground with the gun connected. Also, when the gatling is assembled properly, that means with the black projectile in the back present, it's impossible to point the gun directly forward- robot mode kibble seen on the picture will touch the projectile and visibly block it's range of rotation; even here the gun is slightly off the side. Of course, the easiest way of preventing this is to simply detach the projectile, but I think it's using shortcuts and avoiding the design issues.
Overall, it's a nice jet mode, with some minor issues which I can easily overlook as I tend to store him in robot mode among my other Ultras from the line. And just to show you how it looks woth other Classic/Universe 2.0 jets....
The robot mode is achieved by means of a great collapse-and-fold-up transformation (with the classic changing sound incorporated when you pull the waist and torso sections together). And looking at the alternative mode, the humanoid form deviates from the G1 version a lot more. This could be easily a different character, but thanks to its unique head and trademark arms attached to wings sticking out of the torso, we know it's Powerglide all right. I like how they redesigned him; he looks strong and very fresh.
This toy is also quite detailed for his class and doesn't have too much kibble aside from the jet's top nose section hanging on the back.
The torso looks the best of all the robot mode, the wings incorporated in this area look great, as do the newly added engines. It looks a bit as if designers from Bayformers line had their part in creating Powerglide. I think they could go with just one colour of the plastic instead of doing a pearl and grey combo, but oh well. Also, while the part alignment looks great, it also looks a bit messy. My last true complaint about this fragment (and possibly this mode) is how the double hinges that move the wing and are attached to the sides of the waist make the torso look like a bulky rectangle that doesn't look perfect at all. If only one could do something about those parts under the engines...
Time for some nice touches. For one, if you lift the front chest panel up, you'll see a sharp looking heart. Which is a tribute to “The Girl Who Loved Powerglide” G1 episode in which Powerglide had to bodyguard a teenage girl who inherited her deceased father's large company among with a necklace of high importance to the Decepticons. At the end of the episode, when Powerglide's services are not needed anymore, the young lady gives him a goodbye kiss and as a result a blinking heart appears inside his circuitry when he opens his chest panel to reveal it to the viewers. Very nice touch. The second picture shows how his tail fins cover the electronics button and act as the light-and-sound trigger in this mode.
And let's be honest, when activated, it looks great. His engines begin to glow red, as do his eyes. While they blink again, it still looks very cool, as if Powerglide is pissed off and giving his enemy last glimpse before trashing him. By the way, entering robot mode leaves us only with the gatling sound, which is logical, but one could have hoped that they swapped them for some robot-oriented sounds.
Legs are well designed and even have movable feet (front and back and a bit to the sides). The feet also sport molded soles for better grip, which is a very nice detail in my opinion. I also like the knee pads, since they transform from air intakes, they can rotate up and down to simulate the protection of the bended knee joints while Powerglide is running . Too bad they don't allow him to kneel.
Time for the weaponry. Powerglide can use his Avenger gun, which looks really cool with the projectile now serving as an ammo clip. If someone thinks it restricts his arm movement, why not turn the gun around so that the projectile now is in the front? Now it works how it's supposed to in this mode and fires with a spring-loaded trigger. It also frees the elbow so Powerglide can do some combat-oriented poses. Speaking of which...
Powerglide is more poseable than one would have thought, with his 18 point of articulation he can do some very nice poses. Hell, while being a bit top heavy due to the electronics, he can even do high kicks, a pose that isn't always taken for granted even among lighter and more flexible Deluxe toys.
And he looks quite nice side-by-side with other toys from the line.
To conclude, Powerglide isn't perfect and has some minor glitches. Many fans might consider toy unacceptable due to his white-dominated colour scheme. But believe me, if you overlook these things (especially the colours, fanboys), you'll recognise a great and fun toy that will be a good addition to your collection.
But, if you can't overcome your disgust with Hasbro's white Powerglide, there's always the second solution. To be continued...
|Posted 24 June, 2009 - 13:29 by Wallas|