Cliffbee.com: Heatwave Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Onslaught
Series: Collectors Club Exclusives
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Weapons / Systems Design
Alternate Mode: Armoured Missile Truck



TRUCK MODE
Height: 8cm Length: 13cm Width: 6.5cm

   A transparent purple missile truck with a huge bright red missile rack on top, Heatwave is a repaint of Energon Barricade. Heatwave has two larger sets of black wheels at the front and two smaller sets at the back, and along with the front-heavy missile rack this gives him a front-heavy look. The cabin is heavily armoured with transparent red windows. He sports twin yellow headlights, and between these is an (deliberately) upside-down spark crystal. There are some red patches between the wheels, yellow missile holes painted on the front of the rack and silver panelling here and there. It's a very bright colour scheme, and while the purple is quite dark, it combines with the red to create a very bright look. There is some black in the supports for the missile rack, but it doesn't change the overall look really.

   This is basically a giant cannon on top of a truck. The missile rack attaches to the rear of the truck and rests on a black stand midway, with the eight painted launcher holes sitting about 3cm from the front of the truck, above the cabin. The entire assembly is sloping upwards at about 20, and really is the dominant feature of this truck - moreso than the giant front. The base is a ratcheting swivel, the rack can rotate 360, and there's a hinge above the swivel with a range of about 170 - Heatwave can aim in any direction. I suppose it would have been nice if the missile rack could actually fire projectiles - but it becomes Heatwave's legs and Nexus Prime's thighs so this is asking too much unfortunately.

   Heatwave rolls fairly well on his ridged tyres, and the ridges make a nice loud rumble on a smooth surface - which is appropriate for a rolling armoury. There are two hardpoints on this toy, one on either side of the missile rack. Sadly, he comes without any detachable weapons, although I can live with this for a guy who turns into a massive weapon anyway.

   Despite lacking any detachable weaponry, and despite the odd spark crystal, this is a truck mode I really like. It just menacing and powerful. Okay, so Heatwave's colours are very unlikely and lessen the visual impact somewhat - Barricade just looks more powerful - but as an exclusive repaint it works.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Quite complex for a deluxe, although it's not really difficult once you know what you're doing. Detach the missile rack's base and swing it back, clipping it onto the rear of the truck to form the waist. Split the halves of the rack itself to form his legs, unclip the tips and swing them down to form his feet, rotate the shins (you'll see why any sort of launching mechanism is impossible here) and deploy the heelspurs. Unclip the cabin section from the front, it'll collapse onto itself and over the stand to form a fairly messy backpack, (it's hindered by some retooling). Fold down his arms, rotate the forearms into position. Fold down his head and rotate to reveal the face.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14cm Width: 9cm

   Now a transparent purple robot with bright red shoulders, boots and a red head, Heatwave has black forearms, and thighs. The purple is centred on his torso and groin now, and while it's transparent this is tricky discern. Between the almost black look of much of this toy and the fact that there is actually more black, he's more sedate now. Again there's some silver detailing here and there, Heatwave sports a red stamped Decepticon logo on his right forearm (he's part of the Shattered Glass continuity - thanks to Alex for this info) while his face is black with transparent red eyes and a very useful lightpipe. It's again a colour scheme that works for this sort of exclusive, despite being fairly bright.

   Heatwave's head features circular ears that kind of remind me of Princess Leia. His overall bodyshape is blocky and stocky, and there are panels on the outsides of his forearms which look like shields, while he has tyres on his elbows. Heatwave's backpack is quite hefty and unlike that of Barricade, doesn't clip in well, thanks to the resculpting of the gestalt head hidden inside. The heelspurs make for a very stable toy, and they're really needed here since the backpack pushes further out than on Barricade. It's a messy retooling, and while I appreciate the effort, the end result is a compromised robot mode that shouldn't have had this sort of issue.

   Heatwave's blockiness masks a very poseable toy. The head turns, the shoulders, elbows, knees and hips are all double jointed and his waist turns - along with the heelspurs this all makes for a very well articulated deluxe. The feet can move around to some extent, although the backpack limits his poseability. The main downside is his lack of a weapon, and can't get away with using his cannons now since they're boots.

   This mode was strong, and still is, but the messy resculpting of the gestalt head makes Heatwave's robot mode somewhat disappointing. His poseability is still good, the blockiness of the toy fits in with his overpowering vehicle mode and while the colours are unusual he sports a great lightpipe. The lack of a weapon is annoying, but on balance this is still a decent robot mode.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   A good mould with two powerful looking modes and good play value is held back by a badly resculpted gestalt head causing stability issues and a colour scheme which abandons realism. While the colour scheme has it's own charm for a limited exclusive like this, Heatwave ends up being disappointing compared to Barricade. While I wouldn't recommend against him as part of the set, individually this is a disappointing retool - 7.5/10

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