Cliffbee.com: Metroplex Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Metroplex
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Battle Station
Alternate Mode: City/Rolling Fortress



CITY MODE
Height: 22cm Length: 32cm Width: 42cm

   A sprawling white city with two extended repair bay ports that can extend to the sides or forward - depending on your preference, as well as a helipad and three towers on the central main block. Metroplex also has a black ramp leading into a cavity on the right side of the central block. Most of the toy is an off white, with the exception of the plain white helipad which sports a black and yellow "Helipad" sticker, the black ramp and some black and maroon guns here are there. The colour scheme works quite well and some blue window-like stickers on the right tower sells the city theme well.

   Most of Metroplex's accessories can be attached in this mode. At the extremities of the repair bays are mounts for his large maroon missile launchers, the black guns can be attached to the right tower and the compound gun tower slots into the back of the helipad, giving Metroplex a total of six guns - all formed from various parts of Six-Gun (which is no coincidence). The fists, loose antenna and Slammer's turret will be spare, along with the companion robots' handguns.

   You can fit four Minicars or Protectobots into the repair bays, as well as another on the helipad (Blades, basically, since he was the only Autobot chopper at the time who could fit on the helipad. The ramp seems to be more or less designed for Scamper, but there's no reason you can't drive a Minicar into his garage. You also have the option of attaching Hot Spot in repair bay mode and Silverbolt in launchpad mode to the repair bays. Each repair bay has a ramp on the sides, onto which you can drive small Autobots. The missile launcher mounts detach, revealing Scramble City style sockets, into which you can plug small Protectobots, Aerialbots or Technobots. There's a black button on top of the main block, above the ramp. if you have a vehicle (Scamper works best since he has axles), pressing down on it will send it rolling down the ramp.

   Large, sprawling and imposing, Metroplex is imposing and really is a playset all on his own. It's not as imposing as Omega Supreme's base mode, but this city mode has a lot more play value, despite the electronics that Omega Supreme has. It's quite a detailed mode, too, and the various towers give it a sense of scale. In some ways this is more of a field headquarters than a city, but that still works.

   This is pretty show like, and with Scamper included you don't need lots of little Autobots to appreciate the play value here - although the more you have the more you'll get out of Metroplex's city mode. This is his best mode, easily beating the rolling fortress mode, which is almost an intermediate mode. Big, impressive and lots of fun, this city mode is the reason you'd want Metroplex.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROLLING FORTRESS MODE

   Remove all the accessories, slide the ramp into the main body of the toy and fold up the helipad. Flip out the gunrack on top of what was the helipad, align the two remaining towers on either side, extend forward the antenna on the right side and attach the left side antenna. Fold up the ramps of the repair bays, rotate the waist of the toy so that the repair bays are pointing forward with the wheels underneath the toy. Attach the maroon missile launchers to the front platforms, the black guns to the sides of the toy and the detachable tower - upside down, with the gun that lives inside it pointing up.

   OK, this is a simplification of this transformation, and it leaves Metroplex in a configuration that's halfway between city and robot modes, adding to the intermediate mode feel here.

ROLLING FORTRESS MODE
Height: 17cm Width: 23cm Length: 32cm

   This is the robot mode with the head and arms tucked and the robot legs sticking out in front, and it kind of looks like it, to be honest. There are eight tyres underneath which exist only for this mode, but everything else is part of one of the other modes.

   It does look like an attack mode, since it's armed to the teeth, with a total of ten guns, although the city mode still looks more powerful. This is a big toy, but without the height of the other modes and with the towers tucked away you lose the sense of scale that makes the city mode so cool.

   The play value here is pretty limited. Metroplex can roll along on his wheels, but the front platforms don't stick together and on rougher surfaces will bobble around. The launchers on front can barely fire their missiles - the missiles really unlock more than fire (mine lacks the missiles, thanks to Andrew Murchison for this info). Scamper and Slammer are able to accompany this mode, however Six-Gun is deployed all over the fortress itself. The spare accessories in this mode are Six-Gun's torso and the robot fists.

   It's nice that they gave Metroplex wheels for this mode, but it's still little more than an intermediate mode. It does add to the playset as a whole, so I'm glad they included this mode, but it's a fairly minor part of Metroplex's appeal.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the missile launchers, swing down the legs and fold up the shinplates. Swing down the arms, rotate his shoulder-guns and attach the fists. Press the little black button on his back to pop out the head, and swing up his maroon antennae. Deploy the missilerack on his left breastplate. Give Metroplex his missile launchers as handguns. You can also detach the black shoulder-guns and use them as handguns, although the missile launchers won't fit into the shoulder sockets. Curiously, these sockets are Scramble City sockets, so you can arm him with attack-mode Protectobots if you want (c8

ROBOT MODE
Height: 28cm Width: 52cm

   A giant stocky, white robot composed of a series of blocks, and despite the asymmetry of the city mode this is fairly symmetrical, although the chest is asymmetrical. There are maroon and black highlights, and his head is black with giant maroon antennae. The face is entirely chromed silver with red eyes, which looks really cool. The nose, mouth and chin are all moulded into the face, which also features cheeklines and the eyes are also moulded, with the red paint in the recesses. There's also silver at the top of his thighs. There are various red and black stickers visible, which make this Metroplex's most colourful mode.

   Metroplex has a total of eight guns, and he sports a rubsign just below his chin which is relatively tiny on this hulking robot mode. There's a giant Autobot logo on the right of his chest and a smaller one on his right shoulder. As well as the antennae on his head, Metroplex has very tall spines on his shoulders and twin maroon cannons behind his right shoulder and twin white cannons on the left shoulder that can lift up to about 50.

   Slammer and Scamper are again available in this mode, and if you strip Metroplex of his sidearms and the maroon cannons on his back, so is Six-Gun. The robot itself is very unposeable - the shoulders ratchet up and down, allowing him to aim his missile launchers, and the wrists rotate. The missiles can of course fire and the left shoulder cannon moves, as mentioned. I don't so much mind the lack of poseability - only the walking bases have good articulation in robot mode. And the simple fact is that this is a huge robot mode, impressive next to most other Transformers.

   The cartoon is quite accurate to this mode, and it's huge and impressive. The three companion drones supply a lot of the play value here, which is slightly disappointing, but then this robot mode is more about impact than anything else, and looks good, with liberal use of chrome, antennae and spines, and lots of detail.

Six-Gun

   The tallest of the three companions, but also the weakest. His legs are the maroon missile launchers, the black guns are his arms and the helipad gunrack his torso. The twin maroon cannons form a backpack, but can be left off if you like. For those keeping count, Six-Gun is actually composed of six weapons with eight barrels. Oddly, he has his own black handgun, which is a little redundant when his arms are large guns anyway. The face is simple and unpainted and the only poseability is swinging arms. Six-Gun's components arm Metroplex in all three modes, so considering how weak this robot is you might just prefer using the weapons and not worrying about Six-Gun.

Slammer

   A small white tank, who's mission in life is to form a tower of the city mode, and Slammer has a spire underneath for this purpose. There are tread stickers on either side and the turret which attaches for tank mode, making a simple yet distinct tank mode. While it's totally static this is a better tank companion that Six-Gun is a robot sidekick, and since it's only needed for one mode, forming Slammer doesn't detract from Metroplex himself. The attachment point on Metroplex is actually one of his wrist sockets, so you can attach Slammer in either mode in place of a fist if you want to.

Scamper

   The best of the companions, Scamper is included solely to allow you to utilise the ramps and repair bays without needing to purchase a Minicar or Protectobot - although you still need Blades if you want to use the helipad. His car mode is 8cm long and entirely black, with six wheels and three axles (which is impressive), allowing him to roll down the city mode ramp quite well. It has twin cannons on it's roof, which double as the robot arms.

   The transformation involves lifting up to top of the car, folding the roof down to form his back and moving the arms from his back to his shoulders. The arms are held in place only with friction and are quite loose on mine. He has fistholes on both hands and can hold his gun in either hand. As with the car mode this robot mode is entirely black with a simple face. The only colour on the entire figure is the Autobot logo on his chest. The robot mode is far too weak for this to work as a standalone Transformer, but it's pretty good for an included car that's only really there to give you a companion vehicle. My main complaint is the ease with which his arms - and his backplate - detach.

VARIATIONS

   The initial version had rubber tyres, the later version, which is far more common, has plastic tyres. The Encore reissue features rubber tyres. Metrotitan, a late G1 Japanese toy, is a repaint of Metroplex. The rubber wheeled version has chromed silver on the thighs, which is replaced by silver stickers on the plastic wheeled version (thanks to Chris for this info).

OVERALL

   The city mode is great and the robot mode imposing and detailed, but Metroplex is probably the weakest of the city Transformers, thanks largely to his dependance on detachable accessories. Some, such as the handgun for Six-Gun, are expendable, but the hands, kneecaps, Slammer and the missile launchers are important for various modes. The only major flaw of this toy is the central swivel in his waist. Snapped or accessory-less Metroplexes are far too common, but if you can track down a complete one then this is a good playset - 6/10

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