Cliffbee.com: Booster x10 Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Booster x10
Series: Real Gear
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: MP3 Player/Condor



MP3 PLAYER MODE
Height: 7.5cm Depth: 1.5cm Width: 4.5cm

   A red little box with a transparent orange window at the top - representing a display, and five black buttons at the bottom surrounded by silver borders. The colours aren't exactly typical of portable digital music players, although we've seen iPods in a range of colours, so I can deal with the colours used here. Having said that, the colours are geared towards the condor mode. Booster x10 comes with a circular red accessory which sports a black rubber loop on one side and a silver post on the other. This accessory is meant to represent an earpiece, but there's no wire connecting the two pieces.

   I really don't buy this little red box as an MP3 player. It's not so much that it couldn't be an MP3 player - more that it could be so many other things. If I didn't know any better, I'd probably guess this thing is a garage remote control. The buttons lack markings - nothing defines them as play, rewind etc. The other aspect that's needlessly generic is the orange window. I would have much rather this window be done as a display, perhaps with a counter, song name, progress bar or a combination of these aspects. This lack of definition is exacerbated by the fact that the earpiece is essentially sitting aside and not forming part of this device. There's not even any way to attach the earpiece. You can clip the black loop on the earpiece over the top of your ear - it's composed of a soft plastic. This represents the only real aspect here that is distinctly music player, which is damning.

   There's no other way for me to say it - this mode sucks. It's really about being a folded up condor, not so much about being an MP3 player. Still, he could easily have some indicators on his buttons and a proper display, which would make a big difference. A string connecting the two pieces is sorely missed. I don't mind the fact that the designer has focused more on Booster x10's condor mode, but the complete lack of attention to detail in this mode is very disappointing.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Flip out the tail from underneath the button pad, pull out the sides to form his wings, revealing the head. Unfold the legs from underneath the buttonpad, which forms the body of the bird. Lastly, pull out a small tab underneath the silver post which plugs the earpiece over the buttonpad to form a weapon on top of the bird.

CONDOR MODE
Height: 6cm Width: 17cm Length: 10.5cm

   A red condor with black head, yellow beak, black legs and a silver cannon over his head. Booster x10 is the spitting image of G1 Laserbeak, and there's no doubt the similarity is deliberate. There's a Decepticon logo stamped on top of his head, one of the many details which mimics the G1 toy. The inner wings are transparent orange, along with the window pieces still visible towards the top of his wings. It's a nice colour scheme in its own right and the Laserbeak homage is nice. Maybe we'll see a gold repaint as Buzzsaw.

   It's a pretty nice condor mode, which makes sense when you consider how heavily weighted the design emphasis is towards this mode. The wings and tail work well and the single cannon on the back really looks like Laserbeak's twin cannons. The head, complete with gold eyes, does a really good job and the feet are quite bird like. There's not much MP3 player here, mind you. The cannon is the post of the earphone, whose outer shell sits on his back, but these look like condor bits anyway. The covers which form the outside edges of his wings are the only distinct alt mode aspects - not that they look too much like MP3 players piece with the generic window on them - but they're clearly a shell.

   The style of this condor mode - and the fact that it's a condor - make Booster x10 atypical amongst the Real Gear toys, but he still has the impressive range of movement the others generally have. The head can rotate a little, the ankles and hips are hinged, the wings lift up and can collapse in slightly if you like. He's too front heavy, which limits what you can actually achieve with the hinges in his legs. Overall the poseability is still good, even if he tips over too easily.

   A great condor mode that really dominates the toy, since his alternate mode is just as bad as this is good. The Laserbeak theme really is quiet cool - and well executed. The poseability and general attention to detail here round out a condor that's a nice updating of the Laserbeak concept.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, although Nightbeat 7 is a repaint of Booster x10. I hope they do a Buzzsaw repaint - I always liked him more that Laserbeak (c8

OVERALL

   A tale of two modes. Booster x10's condor mode is a sweet tribute to Laserbeak, and is a nice animal mode in its own right. I appreciate the idea that we have another animal robot mode, after so long, also, even if it does make Booster x10 a black sheep amongst the Real Gear line. Conversely, the MP3 player mode is dreadful. It's a garage door remote with a separate earpiece. What frustrates me more than anything else is that it could so easily been modified to actually look like an MP3 player. Many will like this toy purely on the strength of the condor mode (and G1 overtones), but I find he's sub par as a Real Gear toy. Recommended as a G1 tribute, not recommended as a Real Gear toy - 6/10

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