Cliffbee.com: Movie Hardtop Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Hardtop
Series: Movie Tie-ins
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Dune Buggy

Thanks to Pulse for donating Hardtop for this review



BUGGY MODE
Height: 5.5cm Length: 9cm Width: 6cm

   A charcoal Mad-Max style dune buggy with black plastic tyres and running boards along with a large rear-mounted black gun. There are silver highlights here and there, including the headlights and floodlights behind the open cabin, along with some olive green hints here and there. There are black S7 logos on either rear fender, rounding out a dark but sensible colour scheme for a functional combat vehicle. This is one of the better repaints amongst the movie scouts, and compares quite favourably to the Cybertron original, or the repaint from that line, Swindle.

   The cabin itself has an open roof, but behind this is a hard, charcoal and silver top where the cannon mounts, justifying the name. Other than a hollow undercarriage from the back and a visible robot head inside the cabin, this is a pretty good buggy at this size. The face is not visible and there's a little seat inside the cabin, so the head doesn't really trouble me, and unless you peer in you wont see the head anyway.

   As detailed as this buggy mode is, the best part is the cannon. It _really_ suits Hardtop and can turn around in its mount. If you plug his black Planet Key into the black base of the cannon, the inner section of the barrel flips out, extending the barrel. Both longer and shorter configurations look good, although in this mode the extended cannon is a little niftier. The ridged wheels spin quite well, making a lot of noise as they do so, he'll roll a foot or so if you push him off on a hard surface.

   Other than the head inside his cabin, Hardtop's vehicle mode is pretty much all good news. The repaint works very well and the level of detail is impressive. The buggy itself looks good and the weapon works well as does its gimmick. Unlike some Cybertron alt modes, Hardtop's weapon doesn't rely on the Planet Key to deploy - rather it enhances the weapon - a definite plus for me. This mould actually fits into the movie better than most of the scouts, since he has a fairly realistic and detailed vehicle mode in credible colours.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the cannon, unclip the front wheels and lift them up on top of the bonnet. Flip the sides out and into the sides of the bonnet, then fold in the front of the car underneath the seat to form his chest, and fold the seat down to form his chestplate. Unfold the arms, rotate the waist and fold down the legs. Give Hardtop his gun and turn down the rear wheels on his boots as heelspurs.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 9.5cm Width: 6cm

   Hardtop is still based on charcoal, but the others colours play bigger roles his. His upper torso and head are olive green while his thighs, groin and waist are black. His shins, chestplate and face are silver while there are danger stripes on his knees. His eyes are yellow. There are some other touches of yellow and silver here and there - just enough to offset the darker colours. This is a well balanced repaint, with a different feel to both Swindle and Cybertron Hardtop. Incidentally, there are no Decepticon logos anywhere on this toy.

   With boxy, poseable limbs, big boots and an overall stocky appearance this robot mode looks like something out of the Marvel G1 comics. There are hints of the buggy mode, notably the floodlights for feet and the mount on his left knee. The chestplate no longer looks like a seat, but still makes a nice feature.

   The Planet Key gimmick still works although the gun suits better if it's not extended, since it can sit lower without scraping the ground. The block sits on the right side of the gun, so Hardtop's best holding the gun in the right hand - otherwise the Planet Key will push into his chest. On mine at least, the right hand doesn't grip it very firmly - which is the only feature on this toy I'm not happy with.

   Hardtop is well articulated, and nothing is impeded. The head and waist both turn, the shoulders and hips are ball joints while the knees and elbows are hinged. The heelspurs do a great job of stabilising the toy, the footprints are fairly big and the long gun can also act as a counterbalance in various poses. The end result is a very poseable figure with a wide array of stable poses, including quite a few that would cause most Transformers to fall over (leaning back, on one leg, etc).

   I _really_ like this robot mode, Hardtop is a fantastically poseable little toy that also looks good. This is a very well considered repaint, too, with a good set of colours used well. There's nowhere to stow the Planet Key other than in the back of the gun, but you can easily set it aside.

VARIATIONS

   As mentioned, he is a repaint of the Cybertron toy of the same name.

OVERALL

   A great mould with good articulation, attractive modes and a credible vehicle which fits into the movie line quite nicely for a mould that originated in the Cybertron line. This is a really good repaint, too, with a good base of dark, military colours and just enough silver and yellow to compliment the dark base. The weapon is well designed and manages to not be reliant on the key. I'm just not getting tired of this mould, and while I'm not going to recommend all three, this is a good repaint. If you missed the Cybertron versions, I'd strongly recommend this one - 9.5/10

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