Cliffbee.com: Binaltech Overdrive Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Overdrive
Series: Binaltech
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Strategist
Alternate Mode: Honda S2000



SPORTS CAR MODE
Height: 5.5cm Length: 17.5cm Width: 8.5cm

   A very realistic red Honda S2000 convertible, in fact Overdrive is a 1:24 scale model. The majority of the shell is die cast metal, the front and rear bumpers are the largest chunks of red plastic. Overdrive has black rubber tyres, silver mags and a black ragtop which can unclip and be replaced with a black ragtop cover - both are black although the roof is actually clear plastic that's been painted, with the rear window left unpainted. The windshield is also clear plastic while the side windows are missing (well, down permanently). It's not a Ferrari but the colours are certainly believable for the character. Perhaps the only addition I could ask for is a deployable gun, a feature common to all three Omnibots.

   The interior is black save for the buckets and headrests of the seats - he's a two-seater. Details include a steering wheel (right side since Honda is a Japanese company), wiper & indicator sticks, a stickshift (with silver knob) and handbrake, air vents and sculpted doors. The steering wheel is soft plastic, along with an aerial sticking out on the right side just behind the wheel. The fuel cap is at the same location on the left side, by the way and there are rear vision mirrors with chrome. Overdrive has sunvisors, wipers and even little wiper nozzles on the hood. His lights are clear plastic with orange paint on the insides for his indicators and red inside the rear lights for his brake/taillights. At both the front and the back there are silver Honda badges while on either side, behind the front wheelbays he sports the word S2000, just behind the side mounted indicators. Underneath the rear bumper Overdrive has chromed exhausts, there are sculpted doorhandles and the rear licence plate has an Autobot logo and the letters "OVRDRV". These details meet the standards set on previous BT toys, and while there aren't any real advances on previous toys, the standard has been consistently high throughout the line. The only regression I can find is the unpainted callipers on his brakediscs, and that doesn't bother me.

   As you'd expect there's a lot of play value here. The wheels turn and the front set are on a rack and pinion. The steering wheel turns and while it's not connected to the wheels this is a nice bonus. The doors, hood and boot all open and the seats can fold forward (for hiding Camshaft's stash?). The hood can be a little tricky to open from the top - your best bet is to push up slightly on the engine from below - it sticks out and connects to his grey driveshaft. Opening this hood reveals the now obligatory engineblock, which is black with some red and silver. And then of course you have the choice of the ragtop or it's cover, both of which can clip in securely. I prefer the top down, partly because you get to see more of the excellent cabin detail and partly because it can stay attached when you transform him - the ragtop can't stay attached.

   Short of a Omnibot weapons system, I can't really ask for more. Even then the weapons system is really just the fanboy in me talking - this is a great sports car with excellent detailing, good play value and a lot of visual appeal. My only real complaint is that the plastic and painted red parts don't quite match under some lighting conditions - the plastic can't quite look like enamel I guess.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Taking cues from previous Binaltechs, Overdrive's legs follow the same plan as Sideswipe's with improved ankles and the hood ending up snug on his back while the arms and head more or less follow the plan set out on Tracks, with the ragtop cover and boot becoming his chest. The doors actually fold right out and hang parallel with his legs.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 18cm Width: 17.5cm

   Now a fairly even mix of red, black and silver, which is consistent with his Omnibot robot mode, Overdrive's red is dominant on the big red shoulderpads, which are the rear fenders complete with tyres and antenna on the right side. The black and silver dominate the rest of his body, but there are red snippets all over the toy. The head is a dead ringer for the Omnibot - black with a red crest, silver face and triangular blue eyestrip. Sure, the red and blue have been added, but the sculpt is amazingly similar (Windcharger my skidplate!). This is a very well done colour scheme, with the three colours blended well. His chest is dominated by a silver patch, which has a red Autobot logo is the focal point.

   The rear fender shoulders are the biggest Honda chunks here, while the front tyres sit on his shins and the doors form side shinguards. The ragtop can clip onto the outside of either forearm and form a sort of shield, although it looks like a ragtop sitting on his forearm so I prefer to leave it off. The engineblock becomes the stock of a rifle with the driveshaft unfolding to form a long barrel - this is easily the most innovative engine-weapon in the Binaltech line yet, and it's my favourite so far.

   Overdrive is of course very poseable. The neck is a ball joint, the shoulders swing and the arms can lift out to the sides (the fenders stay still). The elbows are hinges with rotators just above them while the wrists are ball jointed. The index fingers can open and close, the other fingers also move as a unit. The waist rotates a little, the hips move in three planes and the knees hinge back maybe 10, which is more than Sideswipe's do. The ankles are ball jointed although in practise they function like swivels. Overdrive's front grille forms cuffs on his ankles similar to Sideswipe's, but they clear his feet a lot better than on that toy. The legs are slightly more poseable than Sideswipe's but still relatively immobile for a Binaltech. They do allow for a fairly relaxed, natural stance, so I don't mind so much.

   I have no real complaints here. Firstly, I would have liked more poseable legs, but as I said the legs are an improvement on those of Sideswipe who shares the same concept, and they've removed the hood from behind his legs which is a plus. The gun doesn't clip into the palms of his hands as firmly as I'd like - it'll simply fall out of the left hand on mine and needs a little attention in the right hand. The poseability is still pretty good and this is a very attractive robot mode with a kickass gun. Perhaps my favourite aspect of this robot mode is how well they've nailed down Overdrive's head.

VARIATIONS

   The Alternators lacks die cast metal and the drive shaft has been removed, making for a rather stunted gun. For some reason, Hasbro called it Windcharger, despite the excellent job Takara did of Overdrive's face. Note to Hasbro: Windcharger is grey - there is _no_ grey on this toy.

   The mould has been remould and painted yellow in Alternators as Decepticharge (shudder), this same retool was used in Binaltech for Arcee.

OVERALL

   A great vehicle mode is pretty much the norm for Binaltech, and Overdrive is no exception. The robot mode is a great upgrade of the Omnibot with appropriate colours and a freakily accurate head. The gun kicks ass and the droptop options add something new that no other Binaltechs have offered. I really like the fact they've gone for a somewhat obscure yet classic G1 character - and done a great job. His only main shortcoming is the relatively unposeable legs - 9.5/10 for Overdrive, 7/10 for Windcharger for the badly matched name and stunted gun.

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