Cliffbee.com: BotCon Goldbug Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Goldbug
Series: Convention Exclusives
Allegiance: Evil Autobot
Alternate Mode: Chrysler ME 412 Sports Car



CAR MODE
Height: 6.5cm Length: 14cm Width: 7cm

   Goldbug is a black sports car closely modelled on the Chrysler ME 412 (but not close enough to have to pay licensing) with transparent blue windows and headlights. Goldbug sports extensive rich yellow stripes - he's effectively black and yellow. There's no gold on this toy, despite the name (and original colours. There are silver air intakes on either side while the hubcaps are also silver. There's a purple Evil Autobot logo on the front, doubling as a hood ornament while Goldbug's weapon is a transparent blue missile launcher. It's an attractive colour scheme and one which suits the concept of an evil Goldbug.

   The overall detail here is good, although the colour scheme masks this, since the yellow detailing is the dominant feature. This gives Goldbug a very different look to that of Cybertron Hot Shot, the original version of this mould. There are cabin details inside the cockpit, but you can't really see the two seats and steering wheel under the dark transparent blue windshield. There are no taillights, which is disappointing, although there are some taillight-like moulded details at the back.

   The play value of this car mode is fairly minimal, really. The weapon detaches, and you can press on the red trigger to fire his single missile, which fires quite well. Plugging Goldbug's amber Planet Key into the back of the engine block releases twin transparent blue tailwings from the sides of his spoiler, giving him a wingspan of 10.5cm. While the mechanism works well enough, I would have happily given this up for opening doors. At least the Planet Key doesn't look out of place when inserted - since it sits flush with the top of the spoiler.

   The mould isn't really inspiring and doesn't especially suit the character, but it works well enough for an alternate reality Goldbug. His wings are frankly a really lame main gimmick however the yellow paint is attractive. Overall a good colour scheme despite the detail it hides.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach the missile launcher, and you can either detach or leave the Planet Key in place. Extend and split the rear fenders to form boots, flip up the feet. Pull out the doors to form his arms, split the front to form his shoulderpads. Rotate the roof section to form his back, place the missile launcher in either hand.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 16.5cm Width: 10.5cm

   A black robot with banana yellow thighs and upper arms as well as some richer yellow painted details on his chest and shins, Goldbug has a blue head with a silver mouthplate. The head is retooled compared to that of Hot Shot, and is especially designed with the G1 toy in mind, although without the limitations of a throttlebot budget. There's a purple Evil Autobot logo on the left shoulder, rounding out an attractive colour scheme which carries a sinister look and a distinct Goldbug feel to it.

   The blue winglets sit above and behind the shoulderpads, if deployed. The transparent doors sit on the outside of his forearms, and cannot stow. The Autobot logo on his shoulderpad has fantastic sculpting. I dislike the arms here. For starters, the elbows are lower than they should be, and the forearms are really short. The shoulderpads aren't actually _meant_ to be shoulderpads, so if you swing his arms at all you realise how uneven his arms are. Making matters worse, the transparent blue doors are twice as long as Goldbug's forearms, so they hang right off the outside of his hands. Mind you, at least they're dark, not transparent yellow as on Hot Shot - which really highlights this flaw on that toy.

   The proportions are generally good aside from the arms, although the Planet Key doesn't look very good plugged in behind his head. I would nonetheless recommend leaving the winglets deployed, so that the yellow panel between them is part of a wing rather than just backplate kibble.

   The poseability here is mixed. The head turns 90 each way, but there's not much point going past around 30 because the shoulderpads block his view. Mind you, any further looks unnatural anyway, so this is okay. The shoulders swing but cannot lift out to the sides, and you may find that the backplate will move around as you swing the shoulders, since it doesn't actually lock in place. The elbows are ball jointed, but lifting up the forearms only makes them look worse, since the yellow doors on the outside become even more prominent. Just to round this off, the missile launcher gets in the way of the elbow, so if you want to pose that arm, you have to use the restricted shoulder joint - he can lift the gun but can't point it out to the side more than about 10. The hips are ball jointed while the knees are hinged and the feet fixed. The heelspurs are decent but the knees are a little loose, so you're quite limited in the range of stable leg poses.

   This is a decent mould aside from the arm issues, and they're less of a problem this time thanks to judicious colours. The poseability is okay but not great, but Goldbug displays well. The colours are striking - the aposematic colour scheme gives Goldbug a sinister look while the blue head really anchors this toy as Goldbug. Between the retooled head and blue paint job, the character is well defined, making this a great repaint. The Autobot logo on his shoulder looks great and combining this with the strong repaint concept and the head, Goldbug has a rewarding robot mode.

VARIATIONS

   A repaint and retool of Hot Shot as mentioned, available exclusively at BotCon 2008.

OVERALL

   While the mould itself is very unambitious, the repaint is great, making Goldbug a great convention exclusive. The robot arms are a bad feature here, although the colours help lessen their overall impact. His Planet Key doesn't really do anything - the fins should be part of the transformation. The missile launcher is not at all integrated in vehicle mode, which disappointing. Having said all of that, the aposematic colour scheme is both visually striking and has a distinctly evil edge to it. The retooled head is spot on for Goldbug, which alone makes the toy worthwhile for me. A good convention exclusive, with colours and a head that make you forget how ordinary the mould is - 8/10

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