Cliffbee.com: BotCon 2009 Leozack Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Leozack
Series: Convention Exclusives
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: F-22 Fighter Jet

Thanks to fatbot for loaning me Leozack for this review



JET MODE
Height: 5cm Length: 16cm Width: 11.5cm

   A milky white F-22 with transparent aqua on the edges of his wings and the large weapons hanging under the wings, Leozack also sports solid aqua on his tailfins, rear stabilisers and tip of his nose. The canopy is gold while there are raised purple Decepticon logos on his wings. His wings are painted a metallic white, which doesn't match the milky white plastic of his fuselage very well. The "battle damage" found on the portside wing of this mould is still there - and now it's painted red just to make it annoyingly prominent. I suspect it's meant to look like blood, which is silly and unnecessary. He's a repaint of the even uglier Energon Starscream, using the colours of G1 Leozak, albeit not as well.

   There's a battle damage theme on this jet - including that aforementioned damage on the portside wing, also on the starboard air intake and portside thruster. I don't see why this was never tooled out after the first usage of this toy (where Starscream was undead). Aside from this, the plane mode itself is fairly good, although the rear stabilisers are too low, since they rest on the robot shins. There are black missiles that can sit in the launchers under his wings, and hang out the back of his wings.

   There's quite a bit of play value, he has two long energon weapons that can attach under the wings. One is a cannon and the other has a silver-painted blade on it. While he doesn't need more transparent plastic and the missiles would have been enough, he's a repaint of an energon toy, and so he come with the clear weapons. They're detachable anyway, so if you really don't like them it's easy enough to leave them aside. The Decepticon spark crystal is in a block just behind the cockpit.

   The missile launchers aren't as well designed as I'd like. The missiles secure quite firmly, but annoyingly there's no way to fire them in the standard configuration. If you fold down the wings, you can fire the missiles, but the whole idea of a wingless fighter just seems self-defeating. The wings don't clip into place as firmly as I'd like, so they often wobble around without quite sitting right - and on Leozack they pop off quite easily.

   It's possible to fold in his landing gear and rest him on the table (or whatever), although he looks better with the front wheel down while resting. The moulded front wheel folds up under the nose as you'd expect. The rear wheels are unusual in that they're moulded onto small panels that fold over, rather than on the end of posts.

   A good jet mode ruined by poor colours and battle damage that should have been retooled out of this mould a long time ago - much less bloodied. The basic idea of this repaint is good but the transparent plastic doesn't fit the character and the red paint just ruins things. The missile launchers work really well, but would be twice as cool if there was some way to fire them without folding the wings out of the way.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold up the wheels, grab the legs underneath the jet and swing them forward as far as they go. Push down on the tailfins and the arms pop out the bottom. Swing the arms out to the sides. Turn the nose & legs around 180, then fold this assembly up between the shoulders to form the robot and reveal the head. Swing the tailfins out, swivel the tailwings up to his shins, fold out the feet and heelspurs and rotate the lower legs.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14.5cm Width: 12cm

   Again milky white with aqua, although this time there's more solid aqua. His torso, thighs and feet are white while his forearms, boots, toes, the tip of his groin, head and left shoulder are solid aqua. The transparent aqua is on his right shoulder, elbows and the wings behind his arms. The weapons are of course transparent, as well. The gold canopy is now on his chest, with the spark crystal visible above tis. Leozack's face is silver with red eyes and red "ears" (a nice way to link this Starscream-esque head into the lion theme of the original Leozak). It's a decent colour scheme, but the mismatched shoulders have always been a silly aspect of this mould and I just don't see why Leozack needs transparent plastic.

   There are some really cool features here. The shoulder towers look pretty good. The wings make a great cape, as mentioned, and the central spark crystal looks really good. The wings can swing up and deploy as missile launchers over the shoulders, although they can't quite reach horizontal and get in the way of arm poseability. It's still a good idea, and the missile launchers work pretty well so this adds to the play value. The lightpipe found on Starscream is not found here, even though there is a transparent panel at the back of his head - the red paint on his eyes sees to that.

   I'm not really a huge fan of energon weapons, and while a sidekick to approximate LionBreast would have been nice, the sword and pistol are both fairly good, if a little heavy for his elbow joints. They can combine into a really long sword, but it's heavy and looks awkward, so I say leave them separate. You can attach the weapons onto the missile launchers over his shoulders, if they're deployed, but they look better as hand weaponry.

   Poseability is probably the best feature of this robot mode, and indeed the toy. His head rotates, the shoulders rotate and the elbows have hinges and swivels. The hips are ball jointed, the knees bend as well as rotate, and the feet and heelspurs can fold down making him pretty stable. It's just as well too, which these big heavy weapons he has, not only can he wield big ass weapons like an Actionmaster, he can stand upright at the same time - something the Actionmasters could never achieve. This poseability is better than that of his G1 counterpart, which is to be expected.

   Good poseability, actually good play value in general, is marred by the decision to stick with transparent plastics. I've always disliked the poor layout of transparent plastics on this mould and it really doesn't suit this character. It's a decent robot mode, but one that should have seen more solid colour.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. As mentioned, he is a repaint of Energon Starscream. He shares the mould with Energon G1 Starscream and BotCon Skyquake.

OVERALL

   I've never liked this mould and I still dislike it now. The colours work well in theory - and worked on the original - but this repaint really needed to lose most of the transparent plastic (the guns could go either way), and the choice of red to highlight the battle damage was a poor one. While this mould is more poseable than the G1 Leozak, that's to be expected, and that figure has the advantage of being able to form Liokaiser and comes with a nifty partner. What frustrates me most is that this mould has always had fixable flaws - and this repaint addresses none of those - while failing to really improve on the original toy. Granted it's easier to obtain that the Breastforce toy, but it's also far less satisfying. A BotCon toy to pass on unless it's a steal - 4/10

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