Cliffbee.com: Hacker X3 Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Hacker X3
Series: Movie Tie-ins
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Handheld Games Consoles

Thanks to griffin for loaning me Hacker X3, making this review possible.



CONSOLE MODE
Height: 5cm Depth: 2cm Width: 11cm

   A black handheld games console, wider than he is tall. Hacker X3 features dark grey sides and a screen in the centre. On the screen we see a picture of Optimus Prime fighting Megatron and an Autobot logo. He's a repaint of Power Up VT6, with a switch of grey and black (along with a darker grey). The right side (as we look at it) of the console features four game buttons - red, blue, yellow and green, the left side has a single light grey button pad, under the screen are two more light grey black buttons. There are royal blue buttons on the top corners, rounding out a fairly simple yet credible colour scheme. The screen is more of a TV with the display it has, more than a video game. The colour swap doesn't really make a difference - this repaint is quite arbitrary.

   There's really not all that much to this mode - it's a box with screen and buttons. To be fair to Hacker X3, that's exactly what most handheld gaming devices are. He lack any obvious cartridge port or disc bay, which is really the only other aspect I could ask for - but this isn't something I'm worried about. I'm more pleased with the fact that the are no gaping holes or anything along those lines.

   We don't get much play value - I wouldn't expect him to contain any sort of actual game at the basic pricepoint. The coloured buttons and directional button pad have springs or something underneath, so you can press on these buttons. While he's small, he is big enough to be held - and potentially played with - in adult hands.

   A good console mode, although considering the shape required, that wasn't too much of a challenge. Don't get me wrong, Hasbro could easily have done the thing in fluorescent orange or something - but didn't. The buttons are cool, the screen is decent if more of a TV display than anything else. The repaint doesn't really offer anything new compared to Power Up VT6.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Pull down the sides to form the legs, plug the groin pieces together and rotate his boots. Pull the purple buttons out to the sides and down, forming the arms. This also pushes the head out from the top of the robot. It's a very simple - and unimaginative - transformation. It's essentially a copy of Soundwave, without the effort than made the same idea work in 1984.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12.5cm Width: 8.5cm

   A black, grey and royal blue robot with a silver face and transparent blue eyes with a useful lightpipe. The chest, arms and shins are black while his shoulder struts and thighs are grey. His feet, fists, hips and groin are royal blue. The eyes look very alien which is kinda cool, although he doesn't quite manage the Little Green Man look of Power Up VT6. The legs are a mess, with big gaps in the front and the painted feet looking weird. The big screen on his chest is a distraction here, but his colours are fairly subdued otherwise so it doesn't stand out awkwardly.

   While the eyes work well, I don't think much at all of his legs and the chest panel doesn't help. Leaving the screen sticker on the front doesn't show much imagination - in this sort of design the sticker has to work for the robot mode, and it doesn't. Anyway, the Autobot logo on the screen is again visible, and this is again his only allegiance symbol.

   Hacker X3's poseability is decent, if slightly below the high standard which seems to be the norm for the Real Gear line. The head turns, his shoulders rotate and lift out to the sides while his elbows are ball jointed - although they bend inwards. The hands are pincers which don't close, although the wrists can fold in. His hips are ball joints and there are rotators below them. His knees only fold forward, and there's nothing approaching ankles. So his arms are fairly poseable but the legs don't offer too much movement, I'm afraid.

   Easily his weaker mode, and Hacker X3's robot mode is the weakest amongst the Real Gear line, in my opinion. The poseability isn't poor - but it's not as good as the other Real Gear toys. The screen on his chest works better here than on Power Up VT6 - and this robot mode is a slight improvement despite the loss of the Little Green Men theme, thanks to more muted colours. Despite this, this repaint is again fairly arbitrary and unfocused.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. As mentioned, he is a repaint of Power Up VT6.

OVERALL

   A fairly inconsequential repaint of a fairly poor toy, Hacker X3 loses some of the bright colours of Power Up VT6 and the image on his chest is less cheesy, but it's also less console-like. He loses the green eyes, which was perhaps Power Up VT6's best aspect. The console mode is fairly solid, the robot mode poor, and overall, there's nothing compelling here - 4.5/10

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