Cliffbee.com: Armada Overload Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Overload
Series: Energon
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Rocket Launching Semi Trailer
Comes with: Knock-Out, Astroscope, Payload and Skyblast

Thanks to Goktimus Prime for loaning me Overload for the purpose of this review.



TRUCK MODE
Height: 10.5cm Length: 25cm Width: 8cm

   A large brick red trailer on top of a small red cab, Overload has some charcoal and black elements here and there, along with yellow and silver highlights. The trailer is essentially a giant ramp onto which you're meant to place Armada Jetfire, which explains the two stoppers at the back, which look somewhat strange when there's no shuttle loaded. This colour scheme is a little bland, although it's not garish, just very red. The red doesn't really feel right for a functional vehicle like a rocket transport, but the shade used is fairly nice.

   The cab component has six small ridged wheels, the trailer has two large ridged wheels hidden underneath, near the rear. The toy rolls along quite well, despite the very low clearance of the trailer. Also, the trailer has dead hardpoints on either side, towards the rear, so you can attach two other Minicons in this mode.

   The hitch doesn't have a mechanism to click the two parts together, relying on friction to keep the truck together, but this works very well. The joint here can swivel, and it's tight enough that he'll only bend if you want him too. There's a largehitch just above the cab that swings down on top of the cab, which allows Overload to attach - cab and all - to Big Armada Prime.

   There are charcoal guns moulded into the sides of the trailer, towards the front, and below these are larger unpainted red cannons that can swing up and out to the sides. You might notice the speaker vent on top at the front, the gimmick this is used for can be activated in this mode, but it's really more for the robot mode. More on this later.

   By itself this truck mode isn't really all that meaningful, since Overload is essentially designed as an add on for Armada Prime. The colour scheme is fairly bland, although the brick red shade used is nice enough, so while he's a little uninteresting, this is a good truck mode if you have something to compliment Overload (Prime or Jetfire).

I'm going to depart from my regular format and review Rollout now, since he's an integral part of Overload's robot mode


Name: Rollout
Allegiance: Minicon
Alternate Mode: Red Semi Trailer Cab

TRUCK MODE
Height: 4.5cm Length: 7cm Width: 3.5cm

   Largely red, Rollout has some white around his black grille and black windows, looking somewhat like a fire truck in colour. There's a large red post sticking out towards the back, which is the hitch that attaches his oversized trailer.

   This truck looks more like a fire truck than a semi cab, with three sets of side windows and a boxy shape - he just needs a ladder. Rollout has three sets of tyres, one at the front and two at the rear. There's a lot of moulded detail on the front half of this cabin, and the hitch is a hardpoint, so while he attaches to a larger toy with the socket underneath the front of the truck, he can hold a Minicon himself.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold down the rear wheels to become the legs, swing the sides out and forward to become the arms, swing the arms down into position. Fold the hitch down onto his back. Swing the front panel of the truck mode down, lift out his head and fold the front panel back up.

   Incidentally, it's possible to lift out Overload's head, giving Rollout an insanely large head, although it's set a long way back from the front of his chest.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 8cm Width: 7cm

   Again mainly red, Rollout has a charcoal head with yellow eyes, as well as charcoal shins and arms. His hands are gunbarrels and the front of the truck is now his chest. This robot is very squat and it's obvious that this is no standard Minicon. Aside from being _huge_ for a Minicon, the proportions tell you that Rollout's around for more than just his own reasons.

   His arms swing at the shoulders and his knees rotate, but that's all for the poseability of this limited robot mode. The knees have a habit of unclipping. This is a forgettable robot mode, although it does have a powerlinx plug on it's back.

   By the way, while Ultra Magnus is clearly a homage the G1 character of the same name, Knock Out bears no resemblance to the G1 character Knock Out. This name match is clearly unintended, but I thought I'd mention it.


TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach Rollout, swing down the cab front, deploy Overload's head and fold up the front panel again. Lift up the ramp part of the trailer, swing the two halves of the base out to the sides and clip them onto the sides of the front section. Split the ramp halves apart and rotate them 180 while swinging them up to form the robot legs. Rotate the wheels, collapse them in towards the while blocks that will become his shoulders. Swing down the arms and fold back the ramp catches to reveal the robot heads.

   You should now have a headless Overload in front of you with a large cavity in his chest. Slide Rollout into this cavity to form the central chest and head, and as you click him into place he'll press a button activating the sound gimmick, which is a _sweet_ recording of the G1 transformation sound! This is undoubtedly the coolest sound gimmick ever done in the Transformers line and while it has been done a few times since, Overload was the first toy to incorporate this sound.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 21cm Width: 17cm

   Overload is mainly red with a few silver highlights, charcoal on his head, hands and thighs while his elbows, shoulder stacks and feet are black. He has the red and white cabin front as his central chest piece, his face is royal blue with green eyes. On his shoulders are moulded Autobot logos, the raised parts are painted red, and they look very cool against the black plastic panels behind them on his shoulders.

   This is a very stocky robot mode, with big shoulders, a smallish head and block limbs. Since Overload is designed as battle armour for Optimus Prime. He has big boots, and missile launchers on his heels, that are concealed in truck mode - they're for the battle armour mode.

   There are six dead hardpoints in this mode - one on top of each shoulder pylon, one on each wrist and one on the side of each knee. This provides him with space not only for his trio of free Minicons but one other. This is the only Armada mould where the main toy _needs_ the Minicon in robot mode, by the way.

   It's actually possibly to fashion a gun from Rollout - he has twin charcoal barrels that fold out from his shins specifically for the gun mode, and the hitch becomes the handle. It's nice they added this functionality to Rollout, but to wield this gun Overload needs to lose his head, so it's kind of redundant, although Rollout can always be wielded by someone else.

   Overload is pretty unposeable for an Armada mould. The shoulders rotate, as do the elbows. The hips swing and the feet can rock back and forth. He has large heelspurs, which make him very stable. Much of the engineering of this toy is mould is dedicated to the battle armour mode, and it shows. Still, the transformation sound can be activated by pushing back on the cabin on his chest, and this is enough play value to keep me happy.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, although this set was repainted in Energon as Ultra Magnus & Knock Out.

OVERALL

   Overload's colour scheme is fairly bland for a relatively simple toy - unlike some toys designed as battle armour, you really do need to have the complimentary toy fully appreciate him. The transformation sound alone makes him fun despite limited poseability. Overload and Knock Out are fairly average designs, the set overall is a lot of fun, especially if you have Prime & Jetfire - 6.5/10

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