Cliffbee.com: eHobby Galvatron Toy Review

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Name: Galvatron
Series: Japanese Generation 1 Reissue
Allegiance: Destron (Decepticon)
Function: City Commander
Alternate Mode: Laser Cannon, Laser Rifle





CANNON MODE
Height: 13cm Length: 33cm Width: 12.5cm

   A long purple and grey cannon with a transparent orange barrel at the front, Galvatron has two purple struts at the front with grey treads while the rear of the cannon is supported by a long backwards-pointing grey foot (the handle of the pistol, folded up). There's a purple sight on top of the main body, which sports his rub symbol on the left side. The orange plastic on his barrel contains fine glitter, giving it a distinct and notable sparkle, while there's silver chrome around the collar of the barrel and some red chrome on the back of the toy, on the grey rear section. The purple used on this reissue is significantly lighter than on the original, along with being far more widespread. The grey is the same, although there's now far less of it. The red chrome is new as is some dark grey on the front of the main body. This is a nice colour scheme which is markedly different from the original, but will please those who preferred Galvatron's cartoon colours.

   While this is a "Cybertronian" weapon mode, it's convincing enough, rather than being defined by the blurb on his box. The orange barrel really confirms that we have a weapon here while the sight and treads tell us this is a moveable cannon. The main body is broadly tubular, making it look quite powerful - and the sheer length helps in this regard. Detachable parts are an issue, although since this is a toy aimed at collectors, it's not as much of an issue as with the original - which is often missing pieces on the secondary market.

   There are wheels underneath the treads and trailing foot, allowing Galvatron to roll, although with his electronics and batteries he's rather heavy. This version uses two AAA batteries rather than a 9v, making him lighter, and he rolls whereas the original tended to slide. There's a grey button behind the sight which activates the electronics for as long as you hold it, and a black switch right at the base of the sight which changes the function. The black plastic of the slide is the only black on this toy - the other button and everything else that was once black is now dark grey.

   The sounds and lights have changed for this reissue. The left side position gives us a kind of reverse blast sound, the middle position gives us a transformation sound which Hasbro has used before while the right side cycles through five different phrases (in Japanese, of course). These translate into "You Fools!", "Crush the Cybertrons!" (Autobots), "You're all Useless!", "I'll destroy you!" and "Destrons, transform!". There's a red lamp at the base of the barrel, which flashes slowly as long as the sounds are going. The effects do not repeat as they do on the original, which had an orange lamp that flashed faster. The batteries live inside the front of the main body (his chest) along with the concealed speaker. I prefer the sound effects to the somewhat distorted speech, which is partly because I don't speak Japanese and partly because of the distortion. I actually prefer the sounds of the original, but I appreciate that the design team took the time to redo the electronics here, giving fans who already have the original something new here. I also like the switch of voltage, since 9v battery clips have an awful habit of ripping out.

   This is a great cannon mode that finally matches the one we saw in the movie/cartoon, with a new set of sound effects to keep things interesting. The Matrix accessory (which I'll cover later) can hang from the barrel in this mode, which is another new feature. The scale makes this an imposing weapon and it's nice to see that Takara kept the glitter, which wouldn't have been cheap. If you like the animated Galvatron, this mode is certainly worthwhile.

TRANSFORMATION TO LASER PISTOL MODE

   Pretty simple really - fold down the handle, swing out two small panels on either side, swing back the struts and rotate the treads up on top of the struts.

LASER PISTOL MODE
Height: 12cm Length: 30cm Width: 12cm

   While this is essentially the same weapon with some stuff shifted around, it's not your typical intermediate mode in that it's a feasible alternate mode in its own right. The main body and barrel haven't moved and the electronics are essentially the same. The grey trigger (which was red) underneath can now be accessed, giving you two ways to bring the gimmick to life. The battery compartment is easier to get to here than in cannon or robot modes, since the arms/treads are out of the way.

   Galvatron is horribly out of scale compare to other Transformers, but like Megatron, he's perfectly sized for a human hand, making this intermediate mode a lot of fun - it brings play value that not even Megatron had (Shockwave is the only other G1 Transformer that can offer this sort of play value).

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Rotate the rear half, extend and split to form the legs, flip out his feet. Lift out and fold up the sight on his back, which will release the chest cover, slide this down to reveal his head. Swing the handle up onto his back, attach the grey barrel mount to his upper right arm and move the barrel from his head to the socket in this mount. Swing out his forearms, fold down the hip pads, give him his black handgun and you're done.

   The transformation from cannon mode is slightly more complex, only because there's a little more armwork. Incidentally, the mount can clip onto the left arm if you want Galvatron to be a southpaw, but it's traditionally on the right as part of his evolution from Megatron, who couldn't mount his fusion cannon on his left arm.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 24.5cm Width: 12cm

   The colour changes are really centred on this mode - the boots, face, mount and hips are grey while the rest of the toy is light purple. The mount is actually grey over purple plastic, but the shades match well. His shoulderpads are dark purple, his eyes transparent red and the kneecaps and chest panels are chrome red, rather than the silver chrome which has been retained on the collar. There's a Decepticon symbol painted on his chest, half on the battery cover and half on the torso proper, which is a new addition to a vastly modified paintmask. The colour scheme is very much cartoon accurate, as you'd expect, with the red eyes a nice touch. This colour scheme is nice, with a totally different feel to the original.

   Galvatron stands a lot taller than Megatron, in fact he stands over most Decepticons of his era, which seems appropriate for such a powerful character. The bodyshape is good, which should be the case for a toy with fantasy alt modes, but with the electronics included some toys end up pulled out of shape, so I'm very happy that this robot form is good. The face is well sculpted and quite detailed, although in dark grey it's easy to miss. The crown on his head looks good, and is a simplified version of that we see on both cartoon & comic Galvatrons.

   The electronics are again functional, accessible through the dark grey button now on his groin, with the sliding switch now partially obstructed on his back, but still accessible. The sounds are the same while the light now shines through his eyes, and does so quite brilliantly. The barrel on his arm no longer lights up, but is still a central feature of this robot mode. The die cast Matrix accessory can hang around his neck just as in the movie, which looks fantastic. The Matrix itself is quite detailed and plated in gold chrome, and shines quite well (which doesn't really come out in photos). It comes with a removable chain, enabling Galvatron to wear it in all three modes (although I don't recommend carrying the pistol mode with the chain around the barrel). While he cannot stow it anywhere, you could always string it around Hot Rod's neck.

   The poseability is pretty good for a G1 toy with electronics, even if it is mostly limited to his arms. The shoulders rotate and lift out to the sides while the elbows bend and can swing inwards. Granted, these joints are all part of his transformation but still bring Galvatron some meaningful articulation. There are "knee" joints towards the bottom of the thighs and some swing in the hips, allowing limited leg posing.

   This mode is really the focus of the extensive changes made to this reissue. The colours _really_ make a difference, finally we have a Galvatron that pays proper homage to the movie version. His grey handgun is pretty much surplus in that context, but they've still included it which is good to see. This is a good robot mode that's fun to play with, and the Matrix is a great addition that I love to bits, making this a fantastic display piece.

VARIATIONS

   The original was released in grey in 1986. This version was released in Japan in late 2005, while in early 2006 eHobby released a grey version which has some yellow highlighting, as Galvatron II from the Marvel comics. Both reissue versions have a new set of sounds compared to those of the original.

OVERALL

   One of the most focused reissues I've seen, and probably the most overdue revamping of a character amongst the reissue line. The attention paid to this reissue is spectacular, making this a great reissue and I recommend even if you have the original. All three modes are good and while the colours of the original are nice (and probably nicer on their own strengths), the play value is excellent and the little Matrix is the clincher for me - 10/10

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