Cliffbee.com: Apeface Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Apeface
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Saboteur
Alternate Mode: Fighter Plane, Gorilla



PLANE MODE
Height: 6cm Length: 22.5cm Width: 14.5cm

   A light grey, black and crimson plane with some purple kibble at the back and a dark transparent green cockpit, Apeface doesn't really look much like an Earth jet (unlike the other Horrorcon, Snapdragon). The crimson is confined to the nose, wings and tailfins while the core of the fuselage is light grey. The purple and crimson don't go so well together, so it's a good thing there's not much purple here. There's a Decepticon logo on the nose and a rubsign (with indent) on the canopy, along with various other stickers that don't contribute a lot. This colour scheme is okay, but would have been better had they managed to hide the purple.

   This jet mode is a little disjointed overall, lacking the smooth seams that most vehicular Headmasters have (Chromedome is another exception but he doesn't have kibble issues). While this seems to be a deliberate design decision, it doesn't work so well with his robot arms and gorilla legs just sort of hanging off the back - the end result is a somewhat muddled jet. That said, the rest of the toy is clearly a plane.

   There are three small crimson wheels underneath the jet, and Apeface will happily roll on his wheels. The canopy lifts up allowing you to stow Spasma inside. You can attach his gun to either side, on what will become the robot shoulder. It's a shame he doesn't come with two guns, since the gun looks pretty good there and one on either side would look twice as good. Snapdragon got two guns, Apeface misses out with only one.

   Sadly, there's no neat way for you to hide the forearms or gorilla legs - you can rotate the arms and still attach the gun but they'll get in the way of standing him flat on a table, as will the gorilla feet. You can lie him close to level in one configuration but the rear wheels will be slightly off the table.

   Disjointed with some mismatched colours, Apeface's jet mode isn't as good as it could have been. Swapping some purple with crimson or black would have helped a lit, as would some stickers on his wings. Still, it's not a _bad_ jet mode considering he's also got an animal mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO GORILLA MODE

   Remove and set aside the tail assembly and remove Spasma from the cockpit if he's inside. Fold the wings up onto the fuselage and fold down the nose. Fold the front half of the jet over onto the back half, swing down the air intakes to form gorilla arms and unfold the forearms and hands. Position the legs, flip down the feet and rotate the robot arms on his flanks so the hands point backwards. Lastly, plug Spasma into the neck to form the head.

GORILLA MODE
Height: 17cm Width: 7cm

   With most of the crimson tucked away or set aside, this is a much better colour scheme than that of the jet mode. This beast is mainly black and light grey with purple hands and feet. There's a hint of crimson on his collar and the eyestrip is vermilion, but otherwise it's a very uniform colour scheme. There are a few more stickers now although none are really of any consequence. There's an upside-down Decepticon sticker on his groin (the robot chest) but no allegiance symbol for this mode. I just raided the sheet full of 'con symbols that came with my reissue Megatron and placed one on his right shoulder, and it works well there.

   There's quite a bit of poseability here, more than you'd expect of a G1 beast mode. The shoulders rotate while the elbows and wrists are hinged. The hips rotate and the knees and ankles bend (although the latter can only bend forward). The end result is movable arms and some motion in the legs. The weight of the toy and delicate centre of gravity mean you're somewhat limited when it comes to leg posing.    The head sort of sits at the back of his shoulderblades, while the chest protrudes just above the elbows. This bodyshape is a little weird but it works okay on a toy that's meant to be a gorilla - the long arms and squat legs help sell the whole gorilla thing. It's possible to stand this toy on all fours, but if you do that he's staring directly at the ground - it looks best if he's standing with his torso on an angle.

   Despite being the "third mode", this is Apeface's better alt mode. The arms on his flanks don't really get in the way and you can attach the gun and shield on those flanks anyway. The colours work and it's convincing as a robotic ape.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE (from plane mode)

   Remove and set aside the tail assembly and remove Spasma from the cockpit if he's inside. Fold the wings up onto the fuselage and fold down the nose. Fold the front half of the jet over onto the back half, flip the air intakes over. Lift out the robot legs and ratchet them down into position. Rotate the arms, extend the hands and fold the gorilla feet over onto his back. Attach Spasma in head mode.

   The front of the jet forms a considerable backpack and it can be tricky to get this lump of parts to sit flush on his back - it's hinged at the bottom. A taught hinge is meant to keep it in place but you'll probably find that the gorilla legs need to keep it in place (which works fairly well, and doesn't impact visually since it's all backpack kibble anyway).

ROBOT MODE
Height: 17cm Width: 11.5cm

   Like the beast mode Apeface's robot mode is a nice mix of purple, black and light grey. The central torso and forearms are light grey, the shoulders and boots black while the head, thighs and upper arms are purple, along with the tech specs meter panel on his chest. Apeface has a silver face with deep set eyes and a mouthplate, a Decepticon logo on his chest (on the purple plate) and some silver and red stickers in a few places adding some detail. The only hint of crimson here is the two small wheels on his knees - small enough to not make any difference.

   This is a very boxy robot mode, making Apeface very bulky and powerful - especially since his shoulders are very wide. The legs are a full inch apart and the thighs attach to the sides of his groin, which looks a little strange but the light grey the backplate sits behind the hips so the legs end up being below the central block of the toy rather than sticking right out (like on Quickswitch. His arms are stocky and a little shorter than they should be, but this enhances the stocker enforcer theme without looking horrible.

   My main concern with this toy's bodyshape is the giant backpack, which is about 80% of the plane mode and makes Apeface rather back-heavy. There are no heelspurs, he can stand okay but it doesn't take much of a nudge for him to fall backwards. Then there's the stability of the backpack itself, which I've already covered. It doesn't cause too many problems visually but with the plane tucked away there the robot mode is awfully generic - although most of the Decepticon Headmasters lack alt mode features in robot mode.

   Poseability is really about what you'd expect - the shoulders rotate and that's really it. The hips and knees move as part of his transformation but you've got no room to move here with that backpack threatening to send him over. The gun and shield can both attach either on the shoulders or in the hands - adding some crimson without wrecking the colour scheme. The gun works best in hand and the shield on the shoulder, but it's nice you have the options. Adding to the play value is the tech spec meter - open the panel and you'll see readings for speed (SPD), strength (STR) and intelligence (INT). The bars will raise and lower if you add/remove Spasma.

   The backpack bothers me, as does the legs arrangement, but overall this is a decent robot mode. The colours are good and while it's a little generic, for a triple changer this is a pretty good robot mode.

Spasma's Nebulon mode is light grey with black arms and thighs and purple boots. He's blocky and flat and lacking in colour. There's no gap between the boots (which are separate pieces) and the arms have moulded hands but they're black and shapeless so you hardly notice the hands. While I can accept the shape, I really wish they'd painted the face at least. All the paint on Spasma is on the large backpack (gorilla eyes) and the calves (robot face). Disappointing, but at least his head modes are good I guess.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   Both the gorilla and robot modes are good, the fighter mode lags behind but most of it's problems are minor. The colour scheme mostly works - the crimson in jet mode is out of place. For a triple changer that doubles as a Headmaster this is a pretty good effort. Apeface is overshadowed by the better Snapdragon, but is still a worthwhile toy - especially if you like Headmasters - 7/10

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