Cliffbee.com: Generations Powerdive Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Powerdive
Series: Movie Tie-ins
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: WWII Fighter Plane



PLANE MODE
Height: 8cm Length: 17cm Width: 19cm

   A dark army green twin boom propellor aircraft, similar to the Lockheed P-38 Lightning. Powerdive is a repaint of ROTF Highbrow, who is also green albeit a lighter shade. Powerdive has a central cockpit between the two booms, hanging off the wing at the front. The two propellors are brick red while the gatling guns & missile racks on the wings are purple. The area around the cockpit is painted mint green with a snarling grey shark's head on either side while the canopy is transparent red with a seat inside. There are silver painted engines behind either prop with gold exhausts & silver Decepticon logos on the tailwings. While some of the details (the purple weapons & red rotors) aren't terribly realistic, the green itself is realistic enough. The details are duller matches to colours found on G2 Powerdive. The duller colours are a G1 (well, Generations) take on his original colours, and I actually appreciate the changes as while this still feels like Powerdive he can hold his own alongside other toys in this line (the G1 style Decepticon symbols help).

   Powerdive's plane mode is one we've never seen on a Transformer before (aside from Highbrow, obviously). It's not the apache-style chopper from G2 but the red rotors & transparent red rotors make for a good enough analog & make him more interesting, to be honest. The twin booms and central cockpit certainly offer a fresh take on the well trodden fighter plane, and it's well executed too. There's a bar connection the tailfins at the back, no real kibble and it looks realistic enough despite being an amalgam of various WWII era fighter plane elements. As you'd expect of a movie toy, the sculpt is excellent with seams & rivets all over. There are also other elements such as detailed gatling guns on the wings, missileracks under the wings and a seat inside the cockpit.

   The play value here is pretty good - and downright impressive for a realistic movie toy. If you press down on the engines, the propellors in front will spin. The gatling guns rotate - in fact they can detach - and the wheels all roll. The wheels can fold away, although this will prevent Powerdive from laying flat since the propellors will hit the table. The gatling guns are behind the rotors so they're pretty useless facing forward (he'd shoot himself out of the sky!) but look nice enough thanks to being well sculpted.

   A good plane mode as well as a refreshingly different one. The colours aren't as realistic as those of Highbrow but tread the line between tributing the G2 toy & maintaining some realism quite well. The play value is understated but it's effective. The shark motif helps set him apart from Highbrow and adds a dash of realism too - WWII planes commonly had this type of mural.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   I wont go through all the contortions here - instead I'll summarise. The booms become his legs and the tail splits and folds up to form feet. The engines end up as his arms while the underside is his chest (complete with the undercarriage). The cockpit ends up on his back and the wings hang off his hips. The gatling guns become handguns and the propellors fold up and sit on the outsides of his forearms. It's fairly complex but not difficult once you get the hang of it.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 17cm Width: 13cm

   A dark army green robot with has "Hasbro grey" on his thighs and groin while his face is silver with a green aviator's helmet and transparent red eyes. The helmet actually pivots down over his eyes and has transparent red goggles. Both configurations have a useful lightpipe & this a feature not found on Highbrow - the head has actually been resculpted. The red propellors sit on the outsides of his forearms while the purple is still visible on his hips and handguns. Unlike the G2 toy, there's no black here. The colours are again a more G1-esque version of his original colours and they look pretty good here - though I dislike the notably different shade of the painted green on his helmet.

   While it's pretty clever how the designer managed to get a robot out of such an unusual plane, the arms are pretty messy. Powerdive's forearms are a weird dogleg - his fists don't line up with his elbows and the propellers hang awkwardly out to the sides. The legs are well formed as is the torso, which uses the landing gear as a sort of ribcage quite cleverly. There's some kibble on his back and the wingtips hang on the outsides of his hips, although with the missileracks underneath they're more of a feature than kibble.

   There's quite a bot of detail here, and much of it fits into the WWII theme of his vehicle mode, with mechanical detailing such as rivets on his thighs & groin. Powerdive even sports false wheels on his chest & has gunmetal mechanical detailing on his waist.

   The play value is minimal for a toy this size. The propellors can still be spun, but this isn't that successful here since the engineblocks are under his forearms - you've pretty much got to stick your hand in the way of the actual blade to reach it. And then there's the fact that spinning rotors on his forearms just isn't the same as in plane mode. The gatling guns sit in his hands now and work well as handguns. His head turns while the shoulders swing and lift out to the sides. His elbows are hinged with rotators and there are extra hinges below them that swing the forearms out to the sides - not especially useful, really. His waist is fixed while the hips swing and lift out to the sides. The knees and ankles are hinged (thanks to Matt Edwards for this info). So overall the poseability is decent.

   While he has bad forearms, Powerdive looks pretty good thanks to a good sculpt with clever features that tie into his vehicle mode well. There are some nice visual elements such as the gatling guns and missileracks on his hips. The colours take his garish G2 look and tone it down, so he actually fits in with the G1 Generations characters nicely. I do wish there was a Decepticon logo here - though he's doing better than Highbrow who has no allegiance symbols at all.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. As mentioned he's a retool of ROTF Highbrow.

OVERALL

   A toy that stands out thanks to the unique vehicle mode, and Powerdive is pretty much worth the price of admission just for his unusual plane plane mode. As Generations repaints go it's an unusual choice of character - but it's obscure enough that the repaint actually works - while there are strong movie stylings here the toy is able to fit in with other Generations moulds. The colours update Powerdive well - the G2 colours are here but in more tasteful tones. His transformation is clever by necessity, making this a good Transformer despite the flawed hands in robot mode. The alt mode is different enough to make him worthwhile despite the flaws of his robot mode - 8.5/10

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