Cliffbee.com: Broadside Toy Review

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Name: Broadside
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Air And Sea Assault
Alternate Mode: Aircraft Carrier / Fighter Jet



AIRCRAFT CARRIER MODE
Height: 3.5cm Length: 18cm Width: 5cm

   A light grey aircraft carrier with a red and dark grey hull (that's robot bits mostly, though they don't detract at all). Broadside is of course flat, with a control tower on the port side towards the back. There are twin white stripes on the deck running from portside stern to starboard bow, no doubt this is the runway. There are only three stickers in this mode - a black one on the bow with "98" (or "86"), a rubsign behind this (with indent) and an Autobot logo in front of the control tower, which lacks any colour itself. It's hard to argue with red and grey, although some colour on his tower would be nice, since this is a pretty featureless mode otherwise.

   While it's simple, I can deal with that since at this scale it's impossible to have too much detail on such a large structure. There are elevator platforms moulded onto either side and the tower has some moulded details. There are a couple of dark grey hinges visible on the deck, along with some clips used to hold the other modes together - the joints (on mine at least) are tight enough that Broadside would probably manage without the clips. The middle quarter of the deck is die cast metal, incidentally.

   There's no play value here - Broadside sits there looking like an aircraft carrier. There are no wheels underneath and I'm fairly confident he wont float - the die cast metal would take care of that (and is also the reason I'm not going to test it - I don't want him to rust).

   Yes it's a fairly simple and straightforward mode but I like it since it's fairly good for what it is. Naval modes have always been somewhat rare and this was the first Transformers aircraft carrier (and one of only two in G1). This is also Broadside's best mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO JET MODE

   Swing the die cast deck pieces out to either side to form wings. Fold up the bow and stern panels to reveal the undercarriage and turn the plane over. The canopy sits depressed into the fuselage, pressing once is usually sufficient to release it (pressing it down requires pushing slightly forward otherwise it pops right out). Fold out the tailwings and swing up the tailfins from the sides of the fuselage. Attach the grey bombs underneath the wingtips.

JET MODE
Height: 5.5cm Length: 17.5m Width: 13cm

   The light grey pretty much disappears now, replaced by the darker grey. The nose and tail section are red and the central block dark grey. The wings re light grey but are covered in blue and red stickers, while the rear half of the fuselage (which is red) is covered in silver stickers. The tailfins are unpainted die cast metal and the canopy is transparent blue. Again it's hard to go wrong with grey and red, the darker grey just as effective.

   There's not really all that much detail here, no more than the small Aerialbots got, really. There are plane seams here and there and squarish jet exhausts, but much of the detail is down to the extensive use of stickers. There are large Autobot logos on the wing stickers and another smaller one just in front of the canopy (backwards, since it's for robot mode). The nose and fuselage look awkward - the nose is much narrower than the fuselage which doubles as the robot torso. Meanwhile on either side of the fuselage are poorly concealed robot arms, something that's always bugged me about this jet mode. Inside the canopy is a little moulded cockpit, which includes very simple dummy pilot and gunner heads.

   There's some play value here. The bombs don't fire or anything but the three die cast wheels roll. It's not much, but more than the aircraft carrier mode.

   The mismatched parts and over-reliance on stickers for detail really hurt this mode. It _should_ be more interesting that the boat mode but it's just so out of shape that it's ugly despite good colours.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold back the nose to reveal his head, remove the bombs and swing away the wings. Pull his arms out, give him his axe and gun. swing down the tailfins and flip up the tailwings. Flip up the engines to form his feet.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13.5cm Width: 5cm

   The colour scheme here is pretty close to that of the jet mode, since the front of the robot top is the top of the plane. There's nothing here that suggests Broadside has a naval mode, in fact. His head is light grey with a red eyestrip and light grey mouthplate, his torso and arms are dark grey - along with the weapons. His legs are silver stickers while the feet are red. I'm not a fan of the giant stickers on his legs, they just look silly. The Autobot logo sticker now sits on his chest while the blue canopy sits below this.

   The most disappointing aspect of this mode is that from the top of the shoulders to his ankles is one solid, rectangular block. There is no groin and aside from a red groove between the stickers, no split between the legs. The feet are also a single piece and the head is fixed in place. The end result is a rather boxy looking statue. I don't see why the legs couldn't have had a proper gap between them, even though they might still be fixed in place. Having said that, it wouldn't have been too difficult to slide them apart.

   The play value here is pathetic - you'd hope that such a static toy has a gimmick of some sort to justify the giant block, but there's nothing. His elbows bend and that's it. The weapons themselves are decent enough, but don't bring much dynamism to this boring robot mode.

   My overall impression of this robot mode it that it was rushed. There's no good reason why the legs are a single, static piece, and It wouldn't have been to hard to give him shoulder joints or a turning head. Somewhere to attach the bombs would have been nice, also. It _looks_ better than the plane mode, but that's only because it's not as disjointed - but then how can it be when it's a giant block with arms, feet and a head?

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, in fact Broadside is the only Triple Changer that has never been reissued in one form or another.

OVERALL

   The aircraft carrier mode is distinctive and unusual amongst G1 Transformers, but sadly that's the best thing Broadside has going for him. Good colours and a reasonable naval mode aren't enough to save him from a downright poor jet mode and a very underdone robot mode. Of all the Triple Changers, Broadside was the least prominent in the cartoon (it's hard to make an aircraft carrier relevant on Cybertron, to be fair), which gives even less reason to get him. Unless you really like aircraft carriers or want to get all six Triple Changers, Broadside is one you can skip - 3.5/10

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