JediTricks wrote:Almost bought Gavatron, but that face mask situation doesn't get better in person.
It really doesn't!
So, I DID get Galvatron. Of the first wave toys, he's the one I wanted the most, because it's been YEARS since there was even a proper Galvatron toy, and there's never
been a truly great one. This one comes pretty damn close, and is probably going to be the best go-around we get for a while.
Let's start with the good, and the real reason anyone's going to buy him: The robot mode. One thing TR is doing that I'm loving is, they have a slavish devotion to the old toys and designs. 10 years ago, this kind of thing would have bothered me--if I want the old toy, I'll buy the old toy, right? But buying a 1986 Galvatron in 2016 is not an easy proposition, and the reissues are very expensive (and were never sold at stateside retail). Plus, unlike a lot of the 84-85 bots, for a lot of the TFTM designs, their original designs define them tenfold. With an Optimus or a Megatron or a Jazz or Bumblebee or Soundwave, you can get away with some compromising design elements that don't exactly stick--fake Optimus grills like ClaPrime or the entirely unique design of Classics Megs, you know. But someone like Galvatron, if you take away his abs or his hexagon kneepads or his big orange arm mounted cannon, you're kind of fucked. Thankfully, this devotion to the original works out in Galvatron's favour. He looks like god damn Galvatron. His purple is an almost
perfect shade; for my money it's just sliiiightly too toward the red spectrum, but it's not enough that it's a dealbreaker; this guy is definitely legit purple, not a pink or magenta like some of the pics we saw in preview. He also has that washed out grey plastic Hasbro tends to use, which I actually don't usually mind and particularly works on the angular, retro-futurism 80s design of Galvy. The cockpit part looks especially good to me. Where it doesn't work is, well, the head...
Oh, the head! The facemask thing is just awful. It sucks so much that an otherwise 9/10 Galvatron has such a shitty head. The facemask thing isn't even that bad of an idea and at least one hand painted prototype had the regular head painted very nicely, and that helped, but the end result is just not great. It doesn't sit flush against the face at all and it's just too inset as a result. It's a real goddamn shame that the figure is held back by this. Thankfully, well, he's a Headmaster. By DESIGN, his head comes off and can be replaced. As we speak, someone is on Shapeways or 3D printing or working on a new third party add-on head that will fix all of our woes. So that's good.I even saw a photo with Galvatronus' head that didn't look too bad!
Other than that, Galvy is pretty good. I was at first amazed at how hefty and huge he felt, until I compared him against Onslaught and saw they were the same height. Still, he definitely has some more perceived bulk from his huge chest and legs compared to Onslaught or Silverbolt. He actually manages to compare well against CW Ultra Magnus, which is about all I could EVER ask for. City Commanders, baby!
Those who complained about hollow figures in CW can rest a little easier. His forearms do have a little hollow spot but it's a fist transformation concede, and that's totally acceptable in my book. His legs are also empty in the back, but they included little panels that fold over it to cover that up if this is a thing that bothers you! How nice!
Articulation wise, Galvatron is basically unmatched. He's got everything you could ever ask for--mid-thigh swivels, rocker ankles, double joint elbows, waist, biceps, everything. The only complaints I could have via articulation are that the facemask gimmick limits the movement of his head, especially laterally. There's a little movement but not much. Semi-thankfully, the facemask can just go back down, and then the head articulation opens up dramatically. Other than that, he has a kibbly piece attached to his waist for the altmodes that doesn't agree with his back kibble if you try to move his waist around, so it's not freely turning unless you move the back kibble out of the way. This is actually fine, but it is notable. He also can't raise his shoulders above, uh, shoulder level without moving his shoulder pads up and out of the way, which looks kinda dumb, and the gigantic fuck off cannon obviously limits elbow articulation on whichever arm you attach it to, but if that's a dealbreaker then you're dumb. Oh, and he has no swivel wrist articulation, but as a consequence of transformation, can fold them into his forearms, so you can get some great fist-shakey action.
Transforming Galvatron is a snap. Neither of his modes are all that complicated, and getting him back to robot is very self-explanatory and intuitive, and everything clasps together good and has tabs or places to snap together and go. I mean, there's one thing I'll get to, but...you'll see. Otherwise though, this is fine. Yes, the cannon legoforms, but there's no way you've going to get Galvatron the way he is without doing that. It's literally the way the thing is designed, even in animation it just pops off from his altmode and goes on his arm. I would definitely give Galvatron to a kid, skill-level wise.
Now, the really bad. Alright, so, it's Galvatron, right? He turns into a garbage heap. His altmode is just a mess of parts that doesn't make any sense, and there's no logical way to get the robot that you see out of the cannon/vehicle that you see in the cartoon. There is a decent enough way to do it that the old toy did, and if it stuck mostly to that, I'd be happy. But it didn't, and here's where they kind of fucked up.
The cannon mode does not sit flush against the ground the way you expect it to. The way the instructions say to put this fiddly little piece in a weird angle and that doesn't help at all, and flattening it down doesn't really help much either. You can sort of angle it so it sits forward, but no matter what you do, the "legs" of the cannon will not even come close to touching the ground. Not gonna happen. I don't understand it at all. It sucks. If the gigantic cockpit for the third jet mode didn't have to be there, there would be no issue and it would be fine. And you know what else? The jet mode sucks too! The legs are just folded up half-assed and it doesn't really work. So the sacrifice for the cannon mode is bullshit to.
Luckily, there is a solution: Just do it halfway!
Do the whole thing like the cannon mode but make the front like the jet cockpit. It solves so much and actually looks REALLY cool. I'd rather do this forever than either of the other altmodes, and this makes him look like some kind of almost Metal Gear-ass mobile manned tank unit. It's great.
The only thing I could complain about: The bottom of the cannon "legs" are moulded as treads, but are just painted purple like the rest of the piece. They could have been black which would really help sell that they're tank treads. Doesn't even have to be black-black; it could be the same dark grey they used on his shins or whatever. Very minor thing and I'm not about to dock points or whatever.
Overall, other than the crappy head thing, this is about the best Galvatron you could want. He's scaled well, he's a nice purple, he's well articulated, and even if his two altmodes suck you can make a great one halfway between them. And $25 is a pretty decent price for a toy this size, he's about the same height as my NECA Predators who are the same price and are similarly articulated (but have way better paint and sculpted detail...as they should, they aren't robots that turn into space gun emplacements.)
and [Blurr's] got the wrong color balance. But he's not bad, and he is the most Blurr-shaped figure ever, it's just such a drastic change for the figures.
The colours on Hasbro's versions of him and Scourge are a god damn travesty. Takara's look so much better, it's unbelievable. Both of them are just huge swaths of blue, Takara painted them up like the animation models and they're insanely better off for it. I'm very satisfied with the last Scourge and Blurr, mind you, so it's probably not worth importing to replace them.