Cliffbee.com: Hightower Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Hightower
Series: Transformers Universe
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Crane

Note: I don't actually have the original Hightower - I have Build Cyclone, the Car Robots equivalent, and so I reviewed Build Cyclone previously. For ease of comparison, I will refer to the red original as Build Cyclone.



CRANE MODE
Height: 7cm Length: 10.5cm Width: 6.5cm

   A yellow crane with big black tyres, bronze hubcaps and some brown (dirt) around the lower edges, Hightower has a black hook, transparent blue windows and a red stamped Autobot logo on the right side. Despite the roll call of colours, this crane is all about yellow. He's a small crane, with a single cabin rather than the dual cabin setup most Transformer cranes seem to be (think Hook). There are some silver and grey pieces here and there, which compliment the yellow and black to achieve a functional look. While he's not as striking as Build Cyclone, he's perhaps more realistic, and the brown wash of "dirt" looks good.

   The cabin sits on the right side of the platform, with the crane arm in the middle. The cabin is made of transparent blue plastic, with the cage painted yellow, and has a moulded door on the side. The logo is behind his door, on the right side. The crane arm does not extend, although there are moulded extensions near the end. The arm, hook and base of the toy all have detailed sculpt, with aspects such as grip moulding on both the base and platform, rivets, consoles and hoses.

   The wheels roll fairly well, and the ridged grip pattern is actually a series of indents rather than actual ridges, so he rolls quite smoothly. The crane arm can lift up and if you raise the platform about half a centimetre, it can rotate. The hook can swing back, but this is linked to the gun mechanism so moving the hook is out. Of course, you can deploy the gun - a long grey barrel lifts out from the crane arm, which is quite cool and gives Hightower a nice attack mode that doesn't require any add on pieces. There are black stabilisers which can fold out from within the front bumper - a really nice touch.

   I don't have any real complaints here, although some more movement in the hook would have been cool and an extendable crane arm would have been nice. But that's the price you pay for the attack mode. The colours are well done and the detail is impressive. This repaint works well, with the brown wash a clear highlight. The silver painted details are a little random, but aren't too prominent (unlike on some of his teammates).

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the platform, extend the rear to form his boots. Flip the silver panels on the sides out to form the robot forearms, lift out the front fenders to form the upper arms. Fold _up_ the feet and flip out the heelspurs. Attach the platform as a backpack and fold out the robot head. Detach the crane arm and convert to cannon mode. Open the cabin and take out his pistol. Give his weapons.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13cm Width: 8.5cm

   Again largely yellow with black feet and hands, grey thighs and forearms and a grey groin. Hightower has a silver face with a midnight blue eyevisor (he looks like Robocop!) and there's some silver on the chest. The front tyres sit on his upper arms, which are big and boxy and his feet are long black affairs. The colour scheme here works well again, despite so much yellow.

   Hightower has easily the best weaponry amongst his teammates. The handgun is cool, and unlike the other weapons in this group, is not all all kibble. The cannon is very long and heavy, but is a far more convincing handheld weapon than Heavy Load's claw-shield or Grimlock's shovel of doom. Unlike my Build Cyclone, Hightower's elbow is strong enough to support the weight of his big weapon. Having said that, unlike the other members of the team, the weapons can stay attached to the backpack if you don't feel like using them. You can even attach the crane arm backwards and deploy the cannon overhead. The backpack itself is detachable, but necessary since the head is attached - and the possibility of a missing head is the biggest flaw in the design of this robot mode.

   This is a very poseable robot mode. The head turns, the shoulders, elbows and hips are ball joints, the knees, wrists, ankles and heels are hinged. Thanks to the heelspurs and long feet he's able to stand in a _lot_ of poses - even bending over to touch his toes. The shoulders are quite limited, effectively they're swivel joints, but the legs are really poseable, making it really easy to pose Build Cyclone and difficult to actually make him unstable.

   The arms are a little longer than they should be, but this fits in with his general bulk. The main (potential) shortcoming is the detachable and potentially losable head. Despite this, Hightower's robot mode is still a good one, with great weaponry and poseability. And he's even got the Robocop thing happening. The colours aren't quite as nice as those of Build Cyclone, but the yellow works well enough.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. Sold in a boxset with Grimlock, Heavy Load and Wedge at Wal*Mart stores. This boxset also made its way to Target in Australia.

OVERALL

   A great toy with two detailed modes, Hightower has detail, play value and poseability all wrapped in a solid colour scheme. The losable head is a minus, but not a deal breaker. I wouldn't recommend the set over the originals, but if you missed the originals, then this one's a winner - 8/10

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