I know, I just did two days of Transformers, but I wanted to get to Springer this week, so I decided to just make it a TF Trifecta and toss him in now…
Of Hasbro’s new Triple-changers, I was far more excited to get Blitzwing over Springer. Well, we all know how that turned out… but let’s not dwell on that any longer. It’s not that I have anything against Springer, but my interest in Transformers began to wane a bit after the movie, I never owned Springer’s original toy, and so I don’t have the same nostalgia toward his character as I do Blitzwing. Granted, IDW’s comics have done their part to make him a stand out character in my eyes. But either way, you don’t need to have a strong attachment to the character when his toy is as amazing as this one is.
There’s the Generations packaging with an added 30th Anniversary logo. I do dig the presentation here. The window is large and shows off the figure in his robot form alongside a very nice piece of character art. The box also points out that Springer is a Triple-changer! There’s a bio on the back as well. As with Blitzwing, I’m going to break tradition and look at Springer’s robot mode first.
Springer’s bot mode is nothing short of glorious. Both the head sculpt and the general design of the body are both perfect for the character. I love the proportions on this guy. When I first saw pictures, I thought his hips were too narrow making his legs look funny, but now that I have the figure in hand, I find that not to be the case at all. There’s so many cool little things about his design, like the way the wheels end up on his shoulders and legs, the armor plates that fold down over his shoulder wheels, the front of the car/helicopter makes a perfect chest, the angle of the armor plates coming up from behind his shoulder, the fins that make up his knees. Even the head sculpt is perfect… I wouldn’t change a thing. I could go on and on gushing, but suffice it to say Hasbro hit a homerun here. It’s all the more impressive to say that a robot this beautiful is also a Triple-changer.
Springer sticks fairly close to the G1 Springer deco. You get a pleasing mix of green, yellow, light grey and dark grey. Springer uses very few paint apps and makes use of colored plastic, which serves the figure very well. The yellow plastic is particularly beautiful and looks great alongside the green. He has an Autobot emblem stamped toward the bottom of his chest.
Springer comes with two weapons. You get a sword and a rather large double barreled gun/missile launcher. Both weapons have places on his alt modes. The sword becomes the rotor blades for his helicopter form, and the gun can mount on top of his car mode or under the chin of his helicopter mode. Either one of the weapons can also peg into his back in robot mode for storage. Both weapons are excellent. The gun is appropriately oversized for a Wrecker and I have to admit the way his sword converts from the rotors is rather genius.
Let’s move on to Springer’s armored car mode next. The package lists him as only a “2” in terms of difficulty, which surprised me, but it certainly turns out to be true. Springer is quite easy to convert. His car mode is pure bad ass with some sleek and sexy contouring matched with some rugged-looking armored sides and spoilers hanging off the back. I’ll concede that there are some issues getting everything locked together just right, but he does hold together quite well and rolls along great. This mode would be totally acceptable to me for a regular Transformer, so it’s all the more impressive from a Triple-changer.
And then there’s the helicopter mode, which to me is the weaker of the three, but still acceptable. I love helicopters! I have stacks of books and magazines about them. I can easily lose myself in reading about their stats and designs. There are some butt-ugly real-word helicopters out there, so the fact that Springer’s chopper mode isn’t all that easy on the eye doesn’t bother me so much. It does a fairly good job of concealing the tires, and I do like the way the hood of the car splits to become the outriggers. It’s a perfectly passable helicopter, but this is the mode that screams Triple-changer to me.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Springer is one of the best Transformers that Hasbro has put out in a while. He’s the perfect update to the character, he’s well designed and thankfully his engineering doesn’t suffer from any of the problems we saw with Blitzwing. I’d also point out that the careful use of colored plastic shows that Hasbro can cut back on paint apps without detracting from the figure at all. This figure is fun to transform, but more importantly he’s hard to put down in robot mode because he’s such a solid and highly poseable figure.
It’s worth mentioning that Springer was one of the first characters created by the now prolific third-party not-Transformer toy companies. Fansproject’s Warbot Defender was created because there was a large demand for the character and yet Hasbro seemed unwilling to deliver. Well, now they have, and it’s almost like Hasbro had something to prove. If there is an undeclared war going on between Hasbro and the third-party companies, I’d say Springer is a major victory for the home team. He was a long time coming, but having him in hand, this $22 figure sure makes me happy I didn’t spend the $100 on Warbot Defender.