Scout-class Autobot Depthcharge
Review by EVA_Unit_4A
"With the All Spark gone, we cannot return life to our planet. And Fate has yielded its reward: a new world to call home. We live among its people- hiding in plain sight, but watching over them in secret. I have witnessed their capacity for courage, and though we are worlds apart, like us, there’s more to them than meets the eye. I am Optimus Prime, and I send this message to all Autobots taking refuge among the stars: We are here, we are waiting."
--epilogue from “Transformers” (2007)
With those words, a beacon was sent, alerting the cosmos to our presence in a way we never imagined. Some Autobots responded, but more Decepticons- learning of the death of Megatron- came to seek revenge, to take the throne of their faction for themselves, or simply to see that their leader was truly gone and wonder what would happen next. Two years after the All Spark Cube was destroyed, the Autobots have sought asylum in the United States, and they work closely with its government to form N.E.S.T. (Non-biological Extraterrestrial Species Treaty) to cooperate in tracking down arrant Decepticons hiding on Earth and keep the human race unawares amidst growing conspiracies. But with increasing alien activity across the world, it is suspected that the Autobots themselves may be encouraging Decepticons to come to Earth by their very presence here, and the relationship is beginning to become strained. Meanwhile, Sam Witwicky has gone to college, but on his first day he begins uncontrollably spouting gibberish like his great-grandfather over a hundred years earlier. It is discovered that he now retains, deep in his mind, the full knowledge of the destroyed All Spark Cube! Learning of this, the Decepticons steal the last shard of the All Spark, and rebuild Megatron. Teleporting himself to another dimension, Megatron consults with his master- an ancient and evil traitor known as The Fallen, who is the leader of all Decepticons. The Fallen plans to harvest Earth’s Sun for Energon at the cost of destroying the planet as he would have thousands of years ago were he not driven off by the Dynasty of Primes- the original leaders of Cybertron. But to do this, The Fallen must recover the long-lost Matrix of Leadership from the secret Tomb of the Primes- which Sam now holds the only key to finding- to activate the Solar Harvester. And the last surviving descendant of the Dynasty- Optimus Prime- is the only one who can stop The Fallen now…
For “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”, the line of Scout-class figures are inspired loosely by split-second moments seen in the film, even though they do not appear themselves on-screen. Thus they do not have established individual characteristics. (Most of them actually have re-use names from previously-established Transformers canon, and so their personalities and histories are based on them instead.)
Depthcharge’s vehicle mode is based on the real Visby-class stealth corvette used by the Swedish Navy (even though neither ship nor 'bot appeared in the movie itself).
Though not listed in the instructions, you can fold the shoulder-mounted missile launcher upwards. This exposes what would have been a helipad on the back of the real vessel.
The main gimmick for all of the fully-transformable figures from the 2007 “Transformers” toy line was Automorph Technology™: as one part of the toy was being moved, another section would activate and move by itself via internal gears, springs, and levers. (Usually this applied only going in one direction for transformation but not the other.) For the 2009 “Transformers- Revenge of the Fallen” toy line, the Automorph feature has been replaced with Mech Alive, which is not involved in transforming the toys. Rather it is a gimmick that functions only in robot mode to better imitate, in some fashion, the intricate movements and mechanics of the immensely-more complex CGI character(s).
Some figures are being reissued from the 2007 line since no significant changes were made to the character in that time-span, and will still include their original Automorph feature, but not the newer Mech Alive feature because they were manufactured two years previously.
Scout-class figures are too small to incorporate a Mech Alive feature, and so Autobot Depthcharge has none.
This is an intermediary form which could be actually be considered his primary Robot Mode since it is based directly on concept art which was developed for the movie. According to concept artist Ben Procter, the idea was to have an in-between state where Depthcharge could still transform while remaining in the water, and then later complete the transformation to a standard walking form once on land.
I usually don’t go for characters that don’t appear on-screen, but that’s just me... Previously, I covered almost all of the Real Gear Robots line, which were similarly-inspired by the first film and how the All Spark Cube could animate random human machines into Cybertronians. (A separate line of Scout-class figures were also released, but they were small-sized repaints from previous series.)
How ironic is it that the potentially-largest robot that was imagined early for “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” was reduced to a tiny Scout-class figure when he didn’t make the cut…? Well, at least he was spared the greatest humiliation of becoming a Mini-Con figure, eh? (Estimates suggest that he would have stood far taller than the hunched-over 100-foot Devastator! Compared to the real warship, this puts this toy in a relatively-unique scale of 1/631.) Anyways, I don’t care for the fact that the entire front two-thirds of the ship become the entirety of his lower legs. Surely some more shifting around of hull panels would have been preferable. From the knees on upwards he looks like the concept image above, but from there down it’s just a single block. That the joints inside the hull aren’t very resistant doesn’t help, so he doesn’t stand up very well, and you spend time fixing transformation joints that move when they’re not supposed to. The poseability is fine in both Robot and Attack Mode, and he has nice surface detailing in all three modes. (If the hips are too lose- like on mine- then he won’t be able to stand upright in Attack Mode.) I kinda wish the missile launchers on his shoulders didn’t stick out so prominently and could have slid backwards; though I do like that they’re on ball-and-socket joints for movement in Vehicle Mode. (I get the feeling that this guy was meant to have light-piping in his eyes at some point which was later abandoned...) The poseable thumbs were also unexpected, weren’t an issue.
For his size, the Scout-class Autobot Depthcharge figure doesn’t do too badly unless he’s got issues with loose joints, or you’ve got an issue with an 800-ton water-skiing alien robot.
|Posted 2 February, 2010 - 04:13 by EVA_Unit_4A|