Cliffbee.com: Energon Perceptor Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review






Name: High Wire
Series: Energon
Alternate Mode: Bicycle

BIKE MODE
Height: 4cm Length: 7cm Width: 3cm

   A white and baby blue bicycle with black tyres and a midnight blue saddle. Unusually, High Wire has a painted Minicon symbol - yellow against the baby blue backdrop of his front wheelguard. This mode doesn't really lock into place - instead it stays together only through tight joints. It's not a bad bike mode as such, rather a delicate one.

   The wheels roll, but the toy is too precarious to roll him along - if you put any real pressure on him the whole thing collapses. There's a rather unsubtle stand underneath the centre of the toy - the block that becomes his robot head - but even then he's tricky to stand. There's a powerlinx port underneath the stand. While High Wire's bike mode looks nice, it's just too unstable for me.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Quite complex - especially for a Minicon. The saddle swings around and down to become the the legs, the front wheel becomes the left arm while the left arm is hidden underneath the saddle. The rear wheel becomes a right shoulderblade and the stand becomes a head (as mentioned already).

ROBOT MODE
Height: 6cm Width: 7.5cm

   There's a lot of white here - the upper half is almost entirely white - only the black wheels break up the white. The boots are navy and baby blue. There's no paint on the face, even though it badly needs some. The legs feature a lot of paint, which really only serves to highlight how spartan his head looks. The right arm is fairly well sculpted, with an integrated cannon, although the left is nothing more than the front wheel and fork.

   High Wire's articulation is pretty good, which is no surprise when you consider how many twists and turns are in his transformation. His head turns, the shoulders and right elbow are ball jointed. High Wire has no left elbow, since that arm is the front fork. The waist turns while the hips are ball jointed. The knees and ankles are hinged. While the effectively poseability of his left arm is poor, the other limbs are quite limber. If the knees were ball jointed (and he had slightly bigger heelspurs), High Wire would have excellent poseability.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   An ambitious toy - probably the most ambitious in this set, and while High Wire's a decent attempt, there's just too much dragging him down for me to really enjoy him. The bike would be good if it were stable while the robot mode needs smarter jointing. These two ask opposing things of the toy - what we get is essentially a stunted compromise. While I do still appreciate High Wire, I'm not really a huge fan of the end result here - 5.5/10
Name: Sure Shock
Series: Energon
Alternate Mode: ATV

ATV MODE
Height: 3cm Length: 5cm Width: 4.5cm

   A four wheeled ride on vehicle which essentially resembles a motorbike with four wheels, Sure Shock is largely white with some navy here and there, along with silver and orange paint applications. While the vehicle mode is unusual, it's more stable than that of High Wire and better defined than that of Grindor. There are four black plastic wheels, all ridged and able to roll fairly well. I love how the handlebars feature brake levers.

   There are two powerlinx ports underneath the navy struts on either side, just behind the front wheels. Being so far to the sides of the vehicle, they make attaching Sure Shock to a large Transformer a dubious and rather asymmetrical prospect. This is the only real gripe I have with the vehicle mode mind you - otherwise it's the best of the set.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Unclip the struts and fold out to the sides, pull the front wheels down and out to the sides to form legs, clip the legs into place and flip down the tyres to form feet. Fold back the saddle area (including arms) ad flip up the head.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 6.5cm Width: 6.5cm

   Another robot mode with too much white, although that's the the least of the problems here. The arms are navy with black tyres on the shoulders while the head is also navy with yellow eyes (and the face resembles that of Armada Sure Shock). The groin is navy while the feet are black tyres.

   Sure Shock's body shape is awful. The central spine of the ATV is the narrow central spine of a robot with wide shoulders and hips. We're not talking an hourglass figure here - we're talking a sideways "H" shape. The groin sits very low while the tyres as feet look a little strange. The arms are okay, although the shoulders are so wide and the joints so low that they can't save this robot mode.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   While Sure Shock has the best vehicle mode of the set, the robot mode is awful. The lazy use of Sure Shock's arms for Perceptor's arms limits the design of this toy and while one mode gets away with it, the other takes the fall. There's no real poseability either - swinging arms is all we get and in a modern context that's pretty bad - 4/10
Name: Grindor
Series: Energon
Alternate Mode: Hovercraft

HOVERCRAFT MODE
Height: 2cm Length: 6cm Width: 6cm

   A navy and orange futuristic hovercraft thing with white fans on either side. Grindor is essentially leaf-shaped, looking like something out of the Jetsons. The top of the vehicle is very rounded with a silver cockpit-window section and smaller orange brackets at the back housing smaller silver fans. I do like the end result, although I'm not a huge fan of this mode because the main reason for such an unusual vehicle mode is to allow Grindor to form the bulk of Perceptor.

   There's a single powerlinx port underneath, and it's more useful that those on his teammates. The fans on either side can pivot up or rotate to face backwards, giving him forward thrust rather than lift.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Pull the fans out slightly, so that they form arms. Open the nose up to reveal a head underneath, pull out and rotate the rear brackets to form feet. This is a pathetic transformation by Minicon standards.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 6.5cm Width: 8cm

   A largely navy robot with silver painted chest and groin regions on a flat, wide torso plate. The arms - which are very obviously the fans - are white while his short legs are white with orange feet. The face is simple with a yellow eyestrip. While the semblance to the Armada Grindor is actually fairly good here, the similarities are cosmetic.

   This robot mode is a cheat really - the main aim here is to stay close to his vehicle form so that Grindor can form the basis of Perceptor. Which makes it kinda ironic that his robot mode is better than Sure Shock's. The shoulders and ankles are ball jointed, and while the later don't help much, arm poseability is pretty good.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   Whenever a trio combines to form a large robot, one member of the team always does more than the others to facilitate combination. Usually that toy sacrifices a lot to make the combination work, and is easily the weakest member of the team. Grindor takes one for the team, being rather unimaginative in design. Despite his limitations, I still feel he's a better toy than Sure Shock, by virtue of that toy's awful robot mode - 5.5/10
PERCEPTOR

Height: 12cm Width: 8cm

   A muddled robot in terms of colours - Perceptor is a mixture of white, navy, orange, black, baby blue and silver. While the theme is constant across the set, there's a lot happening in his colour scheme. Navy and orange dominate the legs, white the torso, navy and baby blue his arms and the head is navy with a silver face and orange eyes.

   Grindor forms the feet and spine, High Wire the head and wings while Perceptor wears Sure Shock as a chestplate (and arms). Both Sure Shock and High Wire attach to the spine which extends from Grindor - making the combination rather unsatisfying for me. Granted fix-member teams always have a central figure, but in this case you get the impression that Grindor's doing all the work. If Perceptor locked together well, I could accept things - but he doesn't. The head and wings sort of float above the shoulders, ruining the illusion.

   The poseability is okay - his legs wing out to the sides and the ankles can wiggle, while the arms are ball jointed. The neck is also ball jointed, but the gap is large enough when he's looking straight ahead - posing the head basically makes it look detached.

   On the whole I don't think this combined form is worthwhile - not only for its own sake but also because of the limitations it places on the members of the tam - especially Grindor.


TEAM OVERALL

   A mediocre set which displays more ambition than foresight. None of the individual toys are good, and the combined form is just too precarious. Having said that, it's not really a bad set - just one that seems to be designed to fit marketing needs or something, rather than for the purpose of making a good toy. While there's more poseability than in the Armada version, that set had much better components and a stronger combined form. If you like the idea, I'd hunt down the previous version instead - 5/10

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