It seems like forever since I last looked at any Transformers. That’s primarily due to the fact that the Dark of the Moon toys didn’t hold my interest and Hasbro’s got nothing else on the pegs or shelves that I want. [Except for those Kre-O sets, and we’ll likely be looking at one of those before the end of the week. -FF] Anyway, thanks to the Ross Toy Graveyard I was able to get almost all the Reveal The Shield figures I needed to complete my Classics/Generations/Universe collection. That is all except Jazz and finally one of the online retailers I deal with regularly was able to get me a pretty decent price on him and so here we are today…
We’ve come to the end of my Reveal The Shield haul, and I saved the worst for last. Ironically, I was really looking forward to picking up this G2 inspired version of Optimus Prime. Early photos made me a little suspicious of his truck mode, but I thought his robot mode would carry the day. Plus, I still wasn’t convinced Hasbro would release a finished product that looked as bad as this Prime’s truck mode did. In the end I was wrong and what we have here is overall a pretty shitty toy. Let’s take a look…
I’m almost through the Deluxe Class figures I picked up from this series, but rather than finish them off, I thought I’d jump over to the one big guy. He’s one of the Voyager Class toys in this series and he’s none other than Solar Storm Grappel.
The second installment of this week’s Reveal The Shield Quartet is everyone’s favorite posh and pretentious Autobot, Tracks. Forget fighting Decepticons, Tracks was happy enough making friends with good-hearted inner-city Hispanic gang members and helping them bust out stolen car rings. Tracks was also every bit as protective of his paint job as Sunstreaker and he talked like Thurston Howell the Third. Oddly enough I wasn’t jonesing to own this figure, probably because he was given another fairly good upgrade in the now defunct Alternators line. Alas, I sold off my Alternators collection quite a while ago, so it is nice to have a solid update to Tracks in my collection once again.
Holy crap, I hit the mother lode today at Ross. I went in looking for some goddamn pet food bowls and came out with a couple of bags full of Transformers that I had all but given up on ever getting. I’ve lamented enough here on FigureFan about how criminal the distribution on these Reveal The Shield figures was, but karma’s come round to help a brutha out as I was able to pick up almost all the remaining figures today at a nice deep discount off their regular MSRP, much less the scalper prices they sell for online. So we might as well go ahead and call it Reveal The Shield Weekend, because it’ll take me the next four days or so to check these guys out. Today, we’ll kick things off with everyone’s favorite Junkion: Wreck-Gar.
Hasbro’s Reveal The Shield Transformers have been turning up at Ross stores lately, so I’ve been making more frequent trips there hoping to find Grappel, or possibly even some of the carded Deluxe figures. Last time I found Deep Dive, but I took a pass on him because I already own Seaspray and while I love him, I decided that I don’t need two versions of that mold. Yes, folks, I’m a recovering completest! This last visit I still struck out on Grappel, but I did find Lugnut and decided that he was worth checking out for the price.
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.