Cliffbee.com: Overcharge Toy Review

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Name: Overcharge
Series: e-Hobby exclusives
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Spaceborne Trooper
Alternate Mode: Tank / MIG Fighter Jet



JET MODE
Height: 5cm Length: 13cm Width: 10.5cm

   Overcharge is a reissue of the Diaclone toy on which Blitzwing is based, so this review will compare the two toys. Overcharge's jet mode is predominantly off white with a blue nose and blue canopy, which is more realistic than the purple of Blitzwing's jet mode. There are two die-cast strips on his wings, which are painted the same off white as the rest of the toy, and this matches much better than the grey paint Blitzwing has. His silver tailfins are also die-cast. This jet is quite chunky, since the wings form the sides of a tank - they're way too thick for wings. There are dark green wheels visible on top of his wings which are for tank mode, also. On the back you can see some beige tank treads, but there's also off white tailwings and twin jets. There are Decepticon logo stickers on each wing.

   There's a mould change to the turret of the tank mode, which was actually implemented for the reissue Blitzwing, which anchors the turret (it can fall off original Blitzwing). A by product of this change is that the barrel will stick out behind Overcharge, by at least a centimetre. The underside of the jet is of course all tank parts, but this cannon is the most visible part. You can slide the turret forward a little to lessen the visual impact of the cannon.

   The turret has moulded rear wheels and a die-cast metal front wheel. It's a shame this wheel and it's strut are the one piece, so the wheel doesn't roll. He has missile launchers built into his wings, like most Diaclone toys they don't fire far, if at all. Still, the missiles can be loaded and then stored in tank mode when the wings are folded up so you wont lose them.

   This plane mode is a lot better than Blitzwing's thanks to a much more sensible colour scheme. Not that Blitzwing's is bad, but Overcharge's colours work much better for a MIG. The cannon at the back is annoying and rolling wheels would be nice, but for a 20 year old mould this is a pretty good MIG considering it has to become a tank.

TRANSFORMATION TO TANK MODE

   Fold up the front wheel, fold the nose under the plane. Fold the metal tailfins forward. Swivel the purple wingtips forward, then fold in the tailwings. Turn the toy over, swivel the turret around and push it back to slide the cannon out. You're meant to have the plane's nose at the back, although Blitzwing was portrayed in the cartoon with the folded up nose at the front. You can always point them in opposite directions - it's a nifty way to differentiate the two tanks actually.

TANK MODE
Height: 3cm Length: 10cm Width: 5cm

   The tank mode is essentially dark green, with gold treads and some off white remnants. The green contrasts sharply with the beige used on Blitzwing and makes more sense (although beige still works, unlike purple). This green also contrasts with the lighter off white plane mode - at a glance you'd think this is a different toy if you didn't know better. The treads are painted in a chrome gold, which is not terrible realistic but it's cool that Overcharge scores chrome nonetheless. The off white outbreaks are mostly at the back, and include a rather visible plane nose.

   Whilst the nose on the back is a flaw that's hard to miss, it's not unforgivable - although Overcharge doesn't have the show-accurate excuse, so it loses it's charm now. The toy has small wheels on the underside and can roll, and the turret swivels 360. There are two front-mounted floodlights. Overcharge has a Decepticon logo sticker on top of his turret and a rubsign at the back of the turret.

   The visible nose makes this the weaker of Overcharge's two alt modes, but it's still a good tank mode, and the dark green colour really works here. The launchers are no longer accessible but he can roll on tiny wheels so it all evens out I suppose.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Slide the turret forward which will lock it into place. Fold out the wingtips and swivel the wings forward 180. Lift the robot up, slide down the legs and fold out the tainfins to form the feet. Lift out the arms and extend the forearms. Stand him up.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12cm Width: 10cm

   Overcharge's robot mode is a mix of off white and green, which shouldn't be a surprise. The shoulders & upper arms are green while his forearms, torso and lower legs are off white. His feet, which are the tailfins, are die cast silver, his thighs are really skinny black affairs, the waist is the same black. His head is painted blue, with red eyes and a white mouth. It's worth nothing that Overcharge's head and nose are the same colour while Blitzwing's are different. This is a great colour scheme, despite two dull colours. You really get the feeling that Overcharge is a cold killer, which is in keeping with his "military hardware" bio. Again the colours provide a great contrast with those of Blitzwing.

   He has both a gun and a sword for this mode, both are off white but neither are overly impressive, The missiles can be mounted in the launchers, but point straight down so are really only there for show if at all.

   Overcharge's real flaws come to the fore in robot mode. His arms, which fold out from the wings, look like they're sticking out of the main body. Whilst it's not horrible, it's not fantastic, and it means he can't stand at attention - his arms are always slightly forward. His feet are on the sides of his legs. While they're tight now, older Blitzwings are notoriously difficult to stand, so I'm hoping Overcharge doesn't end up needing to lean on stuff like my original Blitzwing does. The other flaw he has is really skinny thighs. They don't hurt play value, but look a little odd. Having said that, the black paint helps immensely, since your attention is drawn away from the thighs, you notice all the off-white instead.

   This is a flawed robot mode, but the colours are nice and considering the age of the toy it's a pretty good effort. Perhaps surprisingly, Overcharge doesn't really look like he was formed from a tank since the turret is on his back and the treads hidden. The jet elements are clearly visible, mind you. Aside from the fin-feet, the wings form a sort of cape. Which does look nice.

VARIATIONS

   Originally released as a Diaclone, which was recoloured as Blitzwing. So with Overcharge's release this mould comes full circle. I've never seen an original Diaclone version, but I suspect it would have a detachable turret similar to the original Blitzwing.

   Overcharge comes with six different faction symbols, so you can change his allegiance. Well, sort of, since each mode really needs it's own sticker and there are only two of each faction. The rubsign is a Decepticon rubsign. This sticker sheet is a nifty little bonus.

OVERALL

   A great mould considering it's age and I've grown fonder of this mould over time, as I came to appreciate it in context. The jet mode is great, especially in off white, the colours are both markedly different from those of Blitzwing and more realistic, making Overcharge compelling as repaints go. While he's a limited edition toy only sold in Japan, if you liked Blitzwing (and the Triple Changer concept) you'll like Overcharge, and if you can get your hands on him, I'd recommend him - 7/10

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