Cliffbee.com: Captain Red / AT-TE Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Captain Red
Series: Star Wars Transformers
Allegiance: Galactic Republic
Function: Clone Trooper
Alternate Mode: AT-TE



VEHICLE MODE
Height: 9cm Length: 20.5cm Width: 11.5cm

   A typically matte grey Star Wars vehicle with some maroon and dark grey matte painted details, the AT-TE is a six legged walking vehicle (with a fairly obvious insect-like look). There's a small raised cockpit at the front for a pilot - although Star Wars Transformers no longer come with those. There's a cannon on top with an open cockpit for the single gunner and a long dark grey turret. The paint job is very much understated but on close inspection there's actually two different shades of grey and a lot going on - it's the usual SWTF high standard, using the typical palette. There are some brown and white elements in the middle, which looks like it's meant to be a hinge for motion (although it's fixed here). Overall it's a well considered colour scheme with a detailed paint job. The flash of robot mode white in the middle is minor enough to be overlooked. There's a patch of maroon paint just behind the central hinge which is paint a little unevenly on most AT-TEs.

   As with many SWTFs this is a fairly functional vehicle mode, which is obvious from the use the same grey again. While I'm not critical of it, there is a sameness to them, borne from the standard colouration in the films. This vehicle is a little bit more imaginative than some, in that it's bristling with appendages. The six legs are all on angles with the front pair angled forward and the other four angled back. There are four small mid-grey cannons at front, mounted on ball joints, and two more at the back, complimenting the main cannon on top. Clearly this is a heavy ground assault vehicle - you really can see that it's built for heavy fighting and steady advancement. The sculpt is good if subtle, with lots of seams and AT-AT like burrs on the feet.

   The play value here is slightly better than most SWTFs, even if it's slightly less than we might hope for. The front and rear legs are essentially fixed and the middle pair have little wiggle room, basically all have hinges at the top to allow the legs to all stand flat on the table at once. This is a blessing in another way - this is unusually stable six-legged mode, which is a definite plus. All six small cannons rotate freely on their ball joints and the main cannon can turn through 360 - it's not often you come across a Transformer with seven independently targetable weapons! There's a well concealed button on top of the main cannon which causes it to fire a missile (the turret), although on mine it fires about 2mm and won't actually leave the launcher. I'm not sure if this is common or not, but either way I'm not bothered since there are so many weapons which can be aimed in this mode.

   A good vehicle mode with the high quality of sculpt and paint job typical of this line - along with the standard understated grey colour scheme. Between the stability on six legs and armoury of weapons, it's an attractive and fun vehicle mode. The impotent missile is a minor flaw, but not enough to distract me from the multitude of other weapons (and it's not like it fires missiles in the film). The only real flaw is the unevenly painted maroon behind the hinge (on what becomes his feet).

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach and set aside the main cannon. Flip out and split the rear to form legs, flip out the feet and then the heelspurs (you'll need nails for the heelspurs, or a small screwdriver or similar device). Swing down the rear vehicle legs behind the boots, stand him up. Open the panels the front legs are attached to, revealing the pushed-in head, unclip and pivot down the front of the top of the vehicle to form a backpack. Pull out the head, flip back the central pair of feet and lift out the central legs to form arms. Place the cannon in either hand.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 16cm Width: 11.5cm

   A white clone tropper with grey boots and grey winglets behind his shoulders, the face has cobalt blue detailing and the usual black visor. The cobalt blue hints that this is in fact Captain Rex, one of the higher ranked Clone Troopers. The hands are black along with some chest detail. There's surprisingly little maroon here. It's fairly obvious from a glance that this is a white robot within a grey shell, but the transition isn't really jarring, thankfully.

   As with most later SWTFs, there's nothing organic here - the human head is hidden under the helmet, which helps mesh Captain Red's white armour into the grey vehicle - and avoids the awkwardly robotic human face on some earlier figures. There are some limitations on the bodyshape but they're fairly minor. His wrists are grey and are the mid sections of the central legs, while the central feet hang back off the outside, and are quite visible. The boots are very robotic and chunky. There's a fair amount of kibble on the back, but from the front he's not overwhelmed by it.

   Play value is fairly limited. The head turns on a tight ball joint (so tight it has a tendency to pull off when you're extending it during transformation). The shoulders lift out to the sides and the elbows feature rotators. There are hinges just below the elbows, so he can lift his forearms to raise his cannon, but it's a little below what'd be considered natural. The hips swing lift out to the sides while the knees are hinged with rotators above them. The feet and heelspurs can be adjusted but the weight of the backpack means the small heelspurs are only useful in a relatively narrow range of poses. As in vehicle mode, the missile launcher on mine is useless - this time it's the only weapon available. You can point the smaller guns now on his knees directly forward, but knee mounted guns aren't that useful (nor do they really look good).

   Visually they've managed to open a grey vehicle into a white robot quite well - the transition isn't jarring or awkward. They really should have sold this one as Captain Rex, however. The bodyshape is pretty good overall despite some minor issues, since the kibble manages to stay out of the way. That same kibble does cause some stability issues, however, and the missile launcher is very limited, so his play value is below what I'd hope for.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   A good vehicle mode with excellent finer detail and a bunch of guns gives way in a simple but well designed transformation to a visually impressive but unplayable robot mode. The missile launcher is my main gripe, since it's all he has in robot mode. The robot mode has some weight issues and the head pops off easier than it should, but for display purposes it works fairly well. As with many SWTFs, this one will likely end up displayed in the stronger vehicle mode - 7/10

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