Cliffbee.com: Alpha-Q Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Alpha-Q
Series: Energon
Allegiance: None, although did ally with the Decepticons
Alternate Mode: None

Thanks to Goktimus Prime for loaning me Alpha-Q for this review



ALIEN MODE
   I'm going to dispense with the dimensions because his tentacles make the dimensions quite variable. Alpha-Q is 22cm off the table at the top of his head, however. He's a strange alien... thing... with a grey lump of a base, which is sculpted to resemble a mass of tentacles. Above this is a dull green stalk and body, which sports two kiwi green arms. There are three soft plastic tentacles protruding from the base, two at the front and one at the back. The tentacles have a wire core, in a Gumby-esque way. There are two hands per arm which end in silver claws, for that other-worldly feel. Alpha-Q doesn't transform, and he's not really a robot either (the sculpt feels organic, but there are a few angles which have a mechanical feel to them).

   The paint job is pretty good, including a nice red paint wash on the stalk. The teeth inside his mouth are painted silver and his eyes yellow. I count a total of seven different colours of paint here, which is pretty impressive on top of six different plastic colours. Mind you, for a toy sold at a mega/voyager size that doesn't transform, you'd expect quality in the materials. The sculpt is generally good, and while the tentacles on the base are quite detailed, it doesn't work for me since it's a solid lump with no paint.

   The stalk can turn around, so the front and back are interchangeable. There are three holes on the base for you to plug in his green missile launcher (or other Energon weapons), one at the front and two at the rear (opposing the tentacles quite well). There are four wheels underneath the base, rolling him along will cause the tentacles to rotate, which is a nice idea - but keep in mind that they flap around wildly (being soft plastic), so give him plenty of room or surrounding items will go flying. The tentacles all terminate differently. The front one ends in a yellow clamp, the right side one ends in a purple organic mass while the left one ends in a red chainsaw with a grey chain. I'm not sure why an organic creature has a built in power tool, but it's visually impressive despite being illogical.

   There's a hinge at the top of the stalk, allowing Alpha-Q to pivot his body forward and back, there are ten silver spines at the bottom of his body which can rotate while the mouth opens and shuts - with the upper jaw actually lifting. His shoulders and elbows have universal motion - and with two forearms per arm, this means he double elbows, and the poseability in those elbows is very impressive. There are holes for weapons on all of his hands and there's a grey post protruding from the back of his head for another - with the three holes on the base and two more on the upper arms, Alpha-Q can hold ten Energon weapons, which more than makes up for the relatively weak mechanism in his bundled missile launcher - the yellow missile fires maybe 40cm.

   While the tentacles on the base are similar to those seen on G1's Quintessons, this new interpretation of the Quintesson concept isn't all that much like the originals. Inside his mouth, Alpha-Q has three different faces which spin around in order when you push in a plunger on his back. While there are three faces rather than five, this single feature is enough to anchor this toy as a Quintesson. There's a yellow and red face with an open silver mouth and green eyes, an unpainted dull green face with a silver mouth and red eyes and a silver face with yellow eyes - and this last one resembles one of the faces seen in the G1 cartoon. The mechanism which switches the faces in impressive - it's a real shame they're buried deep inside his mouth.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   This is a creative concept and a unique toy, although personally I don't really see it as a Transformer as such - more of an auxiliary character that managed to see a toy. The play value is both unique and impressive. The switching faces feature is really good and it's a shame it's not more prominent. The number of weapon holes is also pretty good, useful if you have a few Energon toys. While I appreciate the creativity here, and I think this toy succeeds in what the designer was trying to do, as a Transformers toy, there's a distinct lack of Transformer here. If you liked the Energon show, or happen to like the concept anyway, then I'd recommend Alpha-Q, otherwise this isn't really a Transformer toy you'd worry about - 7/10 or 4/10 depending on which camp you call in

"Transformers" and other indica trademarks of Hasbro and/or Takara.