Saturday, 26 May 2012

Something’s not right…. Gigatron

Gigatron Head

Just note, there is a lot of thought-working-through that goes on in this post.  If you want to know what I think straight away, scroll to the last line where I finally managed to work it out.  Then you can enjoy the pictures as you see fit.  Otherwise, just keep on reading.

 

So here we have probably the most controversial choice in this year’s Botcon set.  It is Gigatron.  Or the character he was inspired by, Overlord (from Master Force).  The original toy was an impressive massive dude, who was made of two characters.  He was a Power-Master, so he had two engines that Transformed and connected to his chest.  The engines were Giga and Mega.  Obviously Mega has gone somewhere and here we just have Giga.  The original toys transformed into a space shuttle and a tank as  well as a sort of base and a large, impressive robot mode.  It is very cool and now very very expensive thanks to a comic book.

 

THIS version of Overlord (hereby referred to as Gigatron to avoid confusion) is re-using the body of Bludgeon from the Hunt for The Decepticons line that was a space filler after the Revenge of The Fallen movie.  The reason for the controversy is this, Bludgeon was a samurai character and the body is well designed to represent a samurai body with swords and armour.  It also has a skull theme going on, which is good for Bludgeon as his face was a skull.

 

While the tank is appropriate for an Overlord homage, in my opinion the robot mode is not.  So now that that ugly business is out of the way, let’s get on with a look at the toy.

 

 

 

First off, the tank mode.  I think the tank is a great homage to Overlord and TFCC have done a fantastic job colouring it.  The paint looks just like the tank side of Overlord and is very well done indeed.  The robot mode though…  Later.

 

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This toy has a very cool tank mode.  Lots of bits of shooty looking parts and the turret can rotate around.  The main cannon however cannot be angled up or down as it cleverly holds his robot katana.  The purple gun on the top spins independently and is soft plastic, as you can see by the droop my one has.

 

I won’t lie, this is a great tank toy!  It has lots of detail on it and it looks very tough.  I really like it, just check out some of the sculpting on this baby!

 

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The katana sits in the barrel of the main cannon and is made of a soft plastic.  Mine got bent a little in the box and is another droopy weapon that Gigatron has but I am sure it will un-droop when it’s ready.  The underside is less impressive however with a fair bit of space.  At least his robot parts are fairly well hidden though.

 

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The turret opens up to reveal a smaller sword, the name of which currently escapes me right now.  However there is some cool pully action and stuff that goes on in the turret as bits pull back and another piece spins.

 

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Rather clever I think and another nice touch to this cool little toy.

 

The muzzle on the main turret, or if you would prefer to call it, the hilt of the sword even has a bit of tank muzzle sculpting added on to it for good measure.

 

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That is about all there is to cover in regards to the vehicle mode.  It is a very solid tank toy and the colours are pretty good in regards to looking like the tanks part of Overlord.

 

Next up the robot mode.

 

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Gigatron is a voyager sized robot.  You can see the samurai influence on the shoulder guards and hip guards.  The turret on the back can be rotated around as the angle I have it on here inhibits the shoulder movement.  I do love the sculpting of this figure as  it has lots of little extra bits strapped on, which could be hidden back up weapons/bombs or other things.  All of which made Bludgeon such a versatile character plus the bio for Gigatron here describes him as a mobile munitions factory.

 

As you can see there is a lot of blue, which is acceptable I guess.  I thought the samurai theme to Gigatron was off because Gigatron is nowhere near a samurai character and the obvious skull motif is not really related to him at all. 

 

However I can see why TFCC chose this toy as Gigatron.  Overlord had two little figures that transformed into engines (which had metal on them) and they plugged into his breast area, one on the left and the other on the right.  Each would ‘unlock’ a little something extra like a gun turret or missile pod, as were the ways of the Power-Masters.  With this Bludgeon body, the colouring of the breast area as silver sufficiently produces a Power-Master-esque look to it without having them actually being there.  I suppose out of the toys available, it is the most suitable, it’s just sad that it really isn’t that suitable.

 

In the comic that pushed up the toy’s prince, he is a quite a crazy character that tortures Autobot and Decepticon alike and has no remorse in regards to his actions.  As well as that he is ridiculously powerful and nigh indestructible.  The TFCC bio has him as a psycho craving power forever searching for that thing which will make him stronger.  Much like Ryu in way, who is always looking for a better fighter than him.  Although Ryu is more noble. 

 

The picture has him licking the shorter of his blades.  You know, I am not entirely sure what it is exactly that bugs me about this Gigatron.  The Tank mode is good, robot mode understandable (just) and the head sculpt looks like they tried to copy the comic book’s look from “The Last Stand of the Wreckers.”  So really it all seems to fit fine but for some reason, I am really bugged about the choice and the only thing I think is a good match is the vehicle mode.  The only thing I can put it down to is that Overlord is a massive guy in Master Force and I don’t really see Gigatron here as a massive scary Decepticon leader guy.  Although I guess Master Force was set in the future and the ‘Wings’ universe and this story is set now.  Perhaps this is Overlord before he meets up with Mega?  I don’t know.  I just don’t like it that much character wise.

 

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Although it’s getting better there are quite a few excess commas in there….

 

Ok, now on to the toy and enough blather about my confusion.  I like this toy as Bludgeon (which I have) as he has a lot of arm movement options.  Despite the legs being inhibited by a bit covering the back of his hips, it is a fairly poseable toy.  Best of all, you can make him grab his own swords from storage!!

 

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Yep, the swords are definitely where the love is with this guy!

 

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If you want a more traditional sword holding solution (Samurai didn’t carry them on their backs), you can have them ‘sheathed’ from a couple of extra points from his waist armour!!

 

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THAT is pretty damn cool!

 

The general sculpting of the toy is pretty good with lots of samurai-like bits all over the place, the chest and breast bone area resemble a skull and he has a groin covering piece.  I really like the way the tank treads flop down the sides to add to the layers of armour as well.

 

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On the chest picture above, you can see the silver bits, representations of Giga and Mega perhaps?  The main problem with this toy though is he has no ankle swivels, just the hinged joint for transformation, which I can understand why.  He does have a swivel under the knee, but his foot placement (Very important for a samurai) is quite limited.  Really, the legs are a bit of a let down as he can’t step back much either.  Luckily his heel spur is quite tough which allows for some slightly dodgy foot placement still retaining a bit of strength.

 

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Now for the face sculpt.  Hmm.  Yeh.  OK.  I dunno, it looks ok I guess but something just doesn’t quite seem right to me.  I think it might be something about the lips.  Not sure.  Anyway, just have a good look and decide for yourself.  Like most of this guy, for me it seems ok, but something is just out of kilter for me.

 

Now back to the sword loving.  As a cool little trick this guy can do, he can hold his katana in both hands.  Hmmm, I love it when a toy can hold their weapon with two hands. Convincingly.

 

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Oh yeah! Over his head!

 

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Bracing for an attack.                                                     Delivering the final blow.

 

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He could probably even hold it Seagull style.  And I would take a photo, but my camera has run out of batteries for now.  Aaaaaaaawwwwww.

 

Fighting with Magnus.

 

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“Gigatron, you look larger in real life than you do on the monitors”

“I wish I could say the same about you Magnus!”

 

 

And so there we have the delightful Gigatron.  As you may have gathered, I have my reservations about this toy.  Although it’s a great tank and a fantastic Bludgeon, it does not seem all that great to make a Gigatron/Overlord.  Even after spending about 2 hours on this typing on and off and thinking about the toy alone over the past couple of days, I am still  unsure as to why I dislike it so.  It seems competent enough in design and ideas, the face sculpt is fine, the body is off, but I see why they went with this figure.  Maybe that is the crux of the problem, it is competently done, but perhaps competent doesn’t do Overlord justice. 

 

I think to have a successful Overlord homage, you’d need something spectacular.  After all the G1 toy was an impressive piece of work.  I remember the moment (quite clearly) when I first laid eyes on one.  Ark-Ivor’s house; he had got one in and soon after I visited.  In fact, I think I had hastened my visit to go see Overlord.  And when he pulled it out of the box and showed me, I was blown away.  Completely.  It was so much better then I imagined it would be.  Huge.  Lots of accessories and things that it could do.

 

Then the Last Stand of the Wreckers comic portrayed him and again, the character was larger than life.  A real piece of work that was more than pretty much anyone can handle (read the comic, it’s brilliant!) save perhaps Megatron.  Even then, I think Megatron would have his hands full for a while.  That’s how hard core Overlord is.

 

Yeh, so I think that is my issue, while this is a competent rendering of Overlord, it just doesn’t quite manage to live up to the impressive image I have in my mind of him.  Even if it is a pre-Overlord (Hence just Gigatron), it still needs to be better than this.  If I had pulled it out of the box and thought “OH YEAH!” then we’d be well on to the way of something good.  As it was, I pulled it out of the box, and thought “Something’s not right.”

 

This final sentence summarises this toy (and my thoughts) quite nicely I think.  “A competent characterisation of Overlord, but competent isn’t good enough when it comes to a character like this.”

4 comments:

  1. As good as the tank looks I still can't see myself ever buying this toy for many of the reasons you pointed out (robot mode, head sculpt). Thanks for the detailed review though 0 well done.

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  2. Very impressive detailed write up. Agree with most of the points you raised. The tank is very nice and a dead-ringer modern version of Overlord's tank component. The robot on the other hand just feels wrong. It's competently done, but feels wrong.

    And Overlord with swords? Why does need 'em? He just rips things apart with his bare hands!

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  3. Thanks guys! :D I forgot about his penchant for mutilation by hand!

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  4. hey it's bludgeon in blue with a new face. it would be pretty cool with a skull face maybe.

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