Cliffbee.com: Collector Club Punch/Counterpunch Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Punch/Counterpunch
Series: Universe
Allegiance: Autobot/Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Lamborghini Gallardo Sports Car

Thanks to fatbot for loaning me Punch/Counterpunch for this review.



CAR MODE
Height: 4cm Length: 13cm Width: 5.5cm

   A metallic deep blue yellow sports car with glossy black windows, a rubsign on his ridged roof and a black engineblock on top of the rear, Punch is a repaint (well, retool) of Sunstreaker, Sideswipe, Henkei/Generations Red Alert and Breakdown. His tyres are black and the hubcaps red, an unusual colour, but one consistent with the G1 toy. The rubsign is actually that of a Decepticon (since it's visible on that robot mode) and represents the only allegiance symbol in this mode. The rear end is purple with green taillights (as you do...), and the silver license plate reads "CHTRP" in black letters. The purple at the back feels out of place, but otherwise this is a good colour scheme and one that represents the character nicely.

   This is a pretty good sports car mode. The detailing is low in areas, purely because sports cars tend to have smooth lines. There's quite a lot of detailing on the back and on the engineblock. This mode is a modified Gallardo, to avoid copyright issuess. The engineblock on top is a little force, and could be left off without any real loss.

   There's no play value here aside from rolling wheels, which is fairly typically of the Classics style. You can remove the engineblock for a more realistic look.

   A fairly simple and straightforward car mode that's here to support his robot modes, really. The colours work - so long as you don't look from the back. In truth this car mode, whilst being very solid, is only around to support the two robot modes on this toy.

TRANSFORMATION TO (AUTOBOT) ROBOT MODE

   Detach and set aside the exhaust. Pull the rear out slightly, open the panels at the back. Fold over the rear halves to form boots, fold the panels out to the sides, flip out his feet. Rotate the waist. Extend the front, rotate the roof to form his back and push out the head. Rotate the shoulders and arms into place (there are a few rotations needed), fold the front of the car down to form his chest. Give Punch the exhausts as a handgun.

AUTOBOT ROBOT MODE
Height: 15cm Width: 9cm

   A deep blue robot with amber on his groin, face and shoulders as well as across his chest, Punch has a black helmet, mid blue eyes and a second, Autobot, rubsign on his chest. The arms, thighs and feet are black. The colours here are broadly similar to those of the original, although there's less amber now, and the red fists are gone. Again the rubsign is the allegiance symbol for this mode - a different one from that in car mode, an Autobot one on his collar. The colour scheme here is very dark - with as much blue as on the original Counterpunch mode - and there are screws visible on his thighs and groin not visible on others that share this mould, so I'm not overly impressed with the overall colour scheme here.

   This robot mode is essentially mistransformed by design. The legs are designed for the wheels to face forward, but to help differentiate the two robot modes, Punch's legs are "sideways". This affects his ability to stand quite a bit (it means the ankles are further forward than they were originally designed to be), so you might want to rotate the waist and boots, exposing some purple ( a colour associated with Decepticons, since it'll make standing him a whole bunch better .

   Colour & mistransforms aside, this is a good robot mode. The head has been redesigned to look like that of the G1 double agent, complete with flipping helmet to hide both faces. The mould is a pretty decent match for the Punch/Counterpunch concept. There's only one set of fists, which can be attached either way. From what I hear, some come out of the factory with fists facing one way and the others the other way. I'm currently reviewing a figure with hands the "wrong way".

   The poseability here is very good. His head and waist both turn, although the latter is restricted. His shoulders, hips and ankles are ball joints while the knees and elbows are hinged with rotators and his wrists rotate. In the "standard" configuration, he's very likely to fall over backwards. If you prefer, you can use the mould's "original" configuration. The engineblack on his back has a tendency to fall off, and doesn't do much in any mode, so I'd recommend setting it aside.

   A good robot mode with good colours but in a less-than-ideal layout, a clear G1 reference and good poseability. I'd have liked more amber, and the boots just don't sit right in the suggested configuration, holding back this robot mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO (DECEPTICON) ROBOT MODE

   Detach and set aside the engineblock and exhaust. Pull the rear out slightly, open the panels at the back. Fold over the rear halves to form boots, rotate the boots. Fold the panels down as kneecaps, flip out his feet. Extend the front, rotate the roof to form his chest and push out the head. Rotate the shoulders and arms into place (there are a few rotations needed), fold the front of the car down onto his back. Give Counterpunch the exhausts as a handgun and plug the engineblock onto his back.

DECEPTICON ROBOT MODE
Height: 15cm Width: 9cm

   A deep blue robot with black forearms, thighs, and feet, Counterpunch has no amber (the original had a little). His helmet is black while the face is blue with red eyes & matches that of G1 closely. The red rear wheels are on his boots - joined by some red on his thighs and shoulders. The purple and green rear is now on his kneecaps, and doesn't really work here, either. The Decepticon rubsign is now on his chest, which is the roof of the car. While this is an awfully dark robot mode, it's a closer match to G1 than the Punch mode. The purple knees don't look good, but the colour scheme works well overall.

   This robot mode is surprisingly close to that of G1 Counterpunch, thanks to a clever use of colours and a mould which happens to suit. The windshield is on his groin rather than his collar, while the purple on his knees is meant to mimic the indigo stickers on the original. While there are actually a lot of small divergences (it makes sense, this is a co-opted mould), the overall look is very much Counterpunch.

   The poseability here is very good. His head and waist both turn, although the latter is restricted. His shoulders, hips and ankles are ball joints while the knees and elbows are hinged with rotators and his wrists rotate. There are no heelspurs, but the poseable ankles largely make up for that anyway. The engineblack on his back has a tendency to fall off, but Counterpunch is still very poseable. There are no gimmicks here, but I am happy about this, since it allows for his poseability to come to the fore.

   The better of his two modes, and not just because of the awkward official configuration of the Autobot mode. The colours work better and the chest fits the character well. He is awfully dark and the head is small (something that afflicts both robot modes. actually). A good tribute as co-opted moulds go.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. Punch/Counterpunch was sold in limited numbers from the Official Collectors' Club, making variants unlikely.

OVERALL

   A clever use of a mould designed to fit two characters at once, Punch/Counterpunch provides an unlikely tribute to a unique concept, and is a nice update in the end. The Autobot robot mode has some problems and some of the colour choices aren't quite ideal, but overall it works very well. The colours are awfully dark overall but the new head really works well, and nails the tribute. Whether or not he's worth the high prices you'd pay for a limited toy such as this is up to you, but it's a well thought out use of this mould, offering something special in the two robot modes - 8/10

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