It’s no secret that the Reveal The Shield wave of Transformers was just a tad hard to find. They never showed up in my area at all and this area is usually a prime Transformers hunting ground. While some reports say that these figures will start showing up at discount chains like Ross and Marshalls, there are at least three releases in this wave that I consider absolute must own figures. I’ve started to face the inevitable and began hunting them down online, which isn’t hard. Finding them for decent prices? Now that’s hard. I lucked out with Perceptor this month, getting a good deal for him on Ebay, so he’ll be our first belated look at this phantom wave of Transformers.
The packaging is a simple card that looks like a hybrid of the old Revenge of the Fallen and the newer Generations cards. The character art is nice and the bubble displays the figure in his alt mode very nicely, but I have never been a fan of the overall orange deco of these cards. I do, however, like the huge Autobot emblem that makes up the backdrop for the bubble and the Reveal The Shield logo is kind of cool looking. Naturally, the ubiquitous sticker schilling Hasbro’s Hub network is present on the bubble, but this time it looks like its consigned to a designated spot, rather than just littering the bubble like spam. The back panel shows off Perceptor’s Bio Blurb and his Tech Spechs. Not much else to say here, let’s tear it open and look at the figure.
As most TF fans should know by now, Hasbro cast off Perceptor’s original microscope mode and redesigned him as a Research Vehicle. I’ll concede that it’s a bit of a stretch for the character, but I can certainly understand why they wanted to give him something of a more dynamic alt mode. He’s basically a red SUV half-track, with sculpted treads on the back and regular wheels up front and kids are apt to find that more fun to play with than a microscope. There’s a lightbar mounted on top of the cab, which can be deployed as a missile launcher for a cool little attack mode. The non-firing chromed missile is a really nice touch too. There isn’t a lot else about this mode that’s really noteworthy. The sculpt is very simple and the coloring isn’t terribly dynamic, as there are virtually no paint apps at aside from the windows and the license plate. I would have liked a traditional Autobot emblem on the hood, but at the same time I’m glad the ugly Reveal The Shield sticker isn’t visible on the truck mode. There are also some issues with robot kibble hanging off the bottom. Luckily, it’s in robot mode where this figure really shines.
Transforming Perceptor is pretty straight forward, although his legs are unusually complex and pretty clever the way everything folds up. It’s remarkable how Hasbro managed to get so close to G1 Perceptor’s robot mode with a completely new alt mode. Although the fact that he’s a bit of a shell former probably helped a lot. There’s an awful lot to like about this guy for fans of the original figure, and a few little quibbles that hold him back from greatness. On the plus side, I’m thrilled Hasbro chose to go with the chromed parts and leave the dials on his arms. It really seals the homage. The head sculpt is also an excellent likeness to the original animated character, and while the missile launcher isn’t exactly like the microscope cannon on the G1 figure, it’s pretty good. The coloring is also remarkably close to the original Perceptor toy, and I can’t say enough how much I love those chromed parts.
On the downside, Perceptor’s backpack has a serious issue staying in place. Technically it pegs into place, but it doesn’t stay there very well. What’s more it won’t stay in place at all when you try to move his arms, and that leads to another little issue. Perceptor’s shoulders don’t really peg in at all, so they’re flipping around a lot when you try to fiddle about with him. Neither of these are critical hurdles to me enjoying the figure, but a little extra engineering could have gone a long way.
Considering that Perceptor often sells for around $20, I was pretty lucky to grab him for $13 plus shipping. It still amounted to $20 when all was said and done, but that’s about what you could expect to pay if you ordered a single Deluxe Transformer from Hasbro Toyshop, so I’m not about to complain. I had really high hopes for this figure, and while it stumbles in the design department a bit, the end result is still pretty fantastic. He looks fabulous standing amidst my Autobot ranks, and I love the fact that since he’s a Deluxe he fits in with all the other Autobots, rather than towering above them. Stability issues aside, this is yet another idea of how to do a great update to a classic character.