Cliffbee.com: Giant Planet Minicons Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review








Name: Deepdive
Series: Cybertron
Allegiance: Minicon
Alternate Mode: Submarine

SUBMARINE MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 9cm Width: 2.5cm

   A grey submarine with some metallic blue paint on either side, which is asymmetrical and simulates some sort of wear. Deepdive has some red paint on top but otherwise he's based on a mid grey - a perfectly acceptable colour scheme for a submarine. It's worth noting that Deepdive is the first Transformer submarine who can claim to be a realistic Earth sub, rather than a Cybertronian submarine (or something similar). He has a powerlinx port underneath and a hardpoint atop his conning tower.

   While Deepdive is mainly grey and a tubular thing, this fits for a submarine, and is far more convincing than many of the Submarines we've had in the past (especially the Pretenders). There are six torpedo hatches at the bow and dive plains behind these, while the stern sports twin screws (propellors) and small winglets. I'll admit I don't know enough about military submarines to even guess at the inspiration for this design - but Deepdive could pass as a real submarine class, and that's enough for me.

   The play value is limited to the powerlinx port and hardpoint - I haven't tested his buoyancy but can't really see anything that would keep Deepdive afloat. There are no wheels, but then there shouldn't be. The two connectors are enough to keep me happy.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Split the stern out to the sides, rotate the halves to form arms. Fold the head down from the back of the conning tower, split the bow to form legs, rotate the boots and flip up his feet. It's worth noting that the card photo (and other Hasbro pictures) actually have the arms upside down, which doesn't look so bad, although you end up with (unused) hands on top of the shoulders.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 8cm Width: 3.5cm

   Again mainly grey, Deepdive's red paint is again visible on his groin and eyestrip. The thighs and shoulder struts are purple - the latter are very short. There is some blue visible on his boots, but it's not really a factor here. Deepdive has _huge_ shoulder pylons - while 3.5cm might not sound impressive, they're proportionally huge (leaving Ultra Magnus way behind). He does get away with this - they're a feature rather than just awkward kibble, although whether or not you like him will depend on what you think of these pylons.

   The poseability here is okay. His shoulders are restricted ball joints, partly thanks to the pylons but mainly because they're quite tight. His elbows lift up 90 to reveal that the insides of the screws have moulded hands. The hips swing, the ankles are hinged and his knees are ball jointed, but the boots sit very close together and his centre of gravity is very high (thanks to the shoulder pylons). Deepdive doesn't have much in the way of meaningful action poses, but is able to stand in relaxed poses.

VARIATIONS

   None that I know of.

OVERALL

   It's quite amazing to think that we had to wait 22 years for a realistic Transformers submarine. Deepdive's vehicle mode is a pretty good first effort, even if the Minicon sizes limits it somewhat. There's a pretty decent level of detail for a Minicon vehicle and the two connectors make sure he has some play value. The robot is certainly distinct if slightly limited - but Deepdive's robot mode is by no means poor. A nice Minicon simply because he's trying something different - Deepdive's innovation is enough to overcome his shortcomings - 6/10
Name: Longarm
Series: Cybertron
Allegiance: Minicon
Alternate Mode: Construction Truck

TRUCK MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 8.5cm Width: 2cm

   A lime green truck with six peppermint green plastic tyres, silver front windows and two purple construction arms on the back of the truck. Longarm's colours aren't really reminiscent of the Constructicon colours - although they are broadly similar. The purple is almost burgundy while the green is much brighter than that on Devastator. There are some black and red painted details while his front bumper is silver. The colour scheme is okay - the green is the only bright colour here so Longarm isn't at all garish. This is the second Minicon called Longarm, although the two toys are very different.

   Longarm's two arms rest together but can turn independently. The rear arm is a crane arm while the front is a large mechanical claw. Both can lift up and down, but the range of motion isn't great - the claw can't do anything meaningful. Still, at this size I'm not complaining - Longarm can display in "working" configurations. The end result is a slightly static but still interesting truck, which has a powerlinx port underneath.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Lift up the front of the cab, flip the front over to form legs. Rotate the back half 90, fold the back end down over the powerlinx port forming the chest and revealing the head. The two sides of his torso are the middle and rear of the truck while the two purple arms become robot arms. This is a novel and interesting transformation, worth the price of entry on its own.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5.5cm Width: 4.5cm

   A lime green robot with purple arms, turquoise thighs and two peppermint tyres in the centre of his torso. Longarm's face is red, and as with most red faces on Transformers this size, the facial sculpt is lost amongst the paint. The arms are quite obviously mismatched, but with the right arm being a claw and the left arm ending in a hook, it works well enough.

   Longarm is quite poseable, with shoulders that swing and lift out to the sides, a rotating waist and hips and knees which swing independently. The right arm is slightly bent, since it's the claw arm, while the longer left arm is straight. The end result is a fairly poseable little Minicon. The right arm looks better posed than the straight left arm and it'll take some work finding a stable walking pose, but Longarm is still fun.

VARIATIONS

   None that I know of.

OVERALL

   An innovative Minicon with an unusual Transformation and two fun modes. While he has his shortcomings, there's enough here to make Longarm an enjoyable Minicon - 7.5/10
Name: Overcast
Series: Cybertron
Allegiance: Minicon
Alternate Mode: Bomber Plane

PLANE MODE
Height: 3cm Length: 7.5cm Width: 6.5cm

   A navy blue military plane with giant purple bombs under either wing, Overcast has a silver cockpit roof and silver on his wingtips and tailflaps. The small windows and tall fuselage suggest this is a large plane - if not for the bombs I'd call this a cargo or transport plane (in truth, it's really a hybrid of styles). The tail sits above the fuselage while the wings attach to the top of the fuselage, both of which are consistent with a large military transport plane.

   The detail on this plane is generally good, with the highlights being four jet thrusters moulded towards the base of his wings. There are moulded plane seams all over, including on the wings and tailfins and a powerlinx port underneath. The bombs under his wings, which are 7cm long on their own, are ball-socket type missiles and both can fire independently.

   While this is probably the least memorable vehicle of this trio, his colours are probably the strongest, and Overcast completes a Sea-Land-Air trinity, which is rather cool. The missiles, which dominate this plane, give Overcast more play value than either of his teammates in their respective vehicle modes.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   More or less a copy of Obsidian. Swing down the rear, split to form legs and flip up his feet. Fold the nose down to form a chestplate and flip his head up. Lastly, unclip the missile launchers to form arms.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 6cm Width: 6.5cm

   A navy blue robot with purple arms and thigh, Overcast has a grey head with a red eyestrip, grey feet and extensive silver paint on his boots and chestplate. The bodyshape is pretty poor, with the chestplate sticking right out (similar to the G2 GoBots), the arms being little more than missile launchers on stems and the legs sloping backwards since they're the part of the fuselage that tapers to to the tail. Despite this, he still looks okay (if not good), partly because the missiles dominate and partly because the tail halves form effective heelspurs.

   The arms on their own are really short claws, they look better with missiles loaded even if this means Overcast can't grasp anything. There are limited ball joints at the shoulders, while the launchers themselves are on stems (which end in the ball joints, close to his body). The hips are ball jointed and the knees hinged, but Overcast is too front heavy to allow for any real leg posing. The useful poseability is in his arms, and basically this means you can aim the missiles.

   The missiles fire, although you can't lift the arms above the horizontal plane, so you'll need to hold Overcast up to get any real range. The launchers are the highlight of a very limited robot mode. Granted he does have nice colours and makes for a decent Obsidian tribute, but this is the weakest robot mode in this set.

VARIATIONS

   None that I know of.

OVERALL

   The most limited member of the team in some ways, but also the least ambitious. The missile launchers are quite cool and while his plane mode is okay, the robot mode is mediocre. Overcast is the weakest link here, although he still has something to offer - 4.5/10
TEAM OVERALL

   Perhaps the coolest aspect of the Giant Planet Minicons set is that it features all new moulds - a welcome change from the profusion of meaningless Minicon repaints over the years preceding its release. There is more to this set mind you - amazingly, Deepdive is the first Earthen submarine Transformer - and does a decent job of it, while Longarm is quite innovative. While the less interesting Overcast has nice missile launchers, his biggest contribution to the set is rounding out the Sea-Land-Air theme. If you like Minicons, I'd recommend this set despite some individual flaws - 6/10

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