Cliffbee.com: Overlord Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Overlord
Series: Japanese Generation 1
Allegiance: Destron
Function: Emperor of Destruction
Alternate Mode: Spyplane, Tank, Base

Thanks to Pulse for loaning me Overlord for this review



SPYPLANE MODE
Height: 11cm Length: 32.5cm Width: 23.5cm

   A black spyplane with white at the base of his wings and lilac tailfins, this vehicle is based on the the SR71 Blackbird (think Snapdragon). There are some inaccuracies, but the Blackbird is quite obviously the inspiration. The canopy at the front is transparent amber while there are Destron logo stickers on the nose and wings. The colours are typically mid-G1 Decepticon (well, Destron), and while white and lilac aren't colours you'd expect on a SR71, it looks fairly good.

   While it's clearly a spyplane, there are a couple of elements that break things up. There's a post sticking out in front of either wing and the obligatory recess on top for the Godmaster (Powermaster) engine. Neither are dealbreakers, mind you. The seams and various other moulded details make for a pretty good plane overall. There are lilac points on his wings and much of the underside is white but there's enough black to sell this as a spyplane.

   There's not a lot of play value in this mode. There are three small wheels underneath allowing the plane to roll. It tends to tip over fairly easily since the front wheel is actually closer to the back than it is to the nose. Essentially, the play value in Overlord comes is not so much in the individual aspects but the number of options he offers, so I can deal with a static plane mode. I do wish it was more stable, however. The cockpit opens, allowing Mega to lie inside (or Giga, if you prefer - however this vehicle is meant for Mega). You can of course plug Mega into the engine slot, although this unlocks the transformation - the sides actually slide back once he is inserted.

   A fairly simple jet for the size, but this spyplane does what it has to do. The size of this jet is impressive, and befitting of a landmark toy like Overlord. The colours are suitably Destron, with black and lilac, and while I would have preferred a wheel closer to the nose, I'm still happy enough with this plane.

TANK MODE
Height: 7cm Length: 21cm Width: 11cm

   A blue bank with a fixed white turret and a lilac cannon. The treads are grey and there's black connectors on the front with a lilac patch at the back. There's a transparent amber cockpit on top of the turret, right side, rounding out a fairly straightforward colour scheme. There are stickers on the front of the turret bearing Destrons stickers, but otherwise this tank has fairly large single colour areas.

   The downside of the simple colour scheme is that tank feels fairly simple for the size. While the level of detail here is actually standard for the time, the large expanses of blue in particular give this tank a simple look. There are moulded pipes on the sides of the turret and sculpted details on the treads, along with various other sculpted details.

   The play value is again fairly minimal. You can open the cockpit and place Giga inside, or clip her into the enginebay on the left side of the turret (which releases the transformation, and can cause the cannon to fall off). Typically for a G1 tank, there are four small black wheels under the treads on which you can roll this tank - although the weight of the tank means it'll side on hard surfaces. The cannon can lift up to about 15 (and drop about the same), allowing some aim. The turret is fixed, since it splits during transformation.

   Again this tank is fairly simple and does what it has to do. It's clearly a tank, not some random cybertank - even if the level of detail is low and the colours are simple. I do wish it could somehow combine with the plane for a double vehicle mode, but otherwise I'm happy enough with this tank.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Plug Mega in, the sides of the plane should spring back a little and unlock. Plug Giga into the tank, pull the sides apart and set aside the lilac cannon. Detach the front of the plane and set aside. Fold up the wingtips, swing back the rear wheels of the plane, plug the halves of the tank onto these wheels to form legs (right side becomes right, left is left). Stand Overlord up, slide out his feet and attach the teal shinpads. Slide out the fists, rotate the head, fold out the chest panels and plug the jet onto the post on either arm to form a shield.

   You're actually meant to unplug Giga & Mega from the enginebays once you've begun the transformation, so that you can plug them into bays on his chest - revealed when you open the chest panels. Giga goes on the right, Mega on the left, and this time they activate weaponry, which I'll come back to.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 34.5cm Width: 23cm

   Overlord himself is a mixture of colours, since he's a fusion of two vehicles. Having said that his two main colours are not formed from pieces visible in the vehicle modes. His torso is blue, along with his head and thighs while his hips are grey, shins teal and feet lilac. The arms and the panels on the outside of his chest are white along with the outer shins. There are lilac cones on top of his shoulders, and his handgun is also lilac. The jet-shield on his arm is black on the outside and white on the inside, with amber cockpits on both sides, while his face is silver with red eyes. The colour scheme comes together surprisingly well considering how many different colours come together here - and this is helped by the large expanses of colour.

   The details here are well thought out, and well executed. The face is simple yet well sculpted, the Godmasters make for nice, chrome, badges on his chest, the teal shinpads works surprisingly well and the cones look nice. The fact that he has half a plane as a shield actually adds to Overlord's majesty, giving him a colossal look. He's one of the tallest G1 Transformers, anyway, coming in at pretty much the same height as Scorponok. It's easy to look powerful at this scale, but Overlord's majestic shoulders and overdone shield are nice touches.

   There are four weapon options here - well, three and a bit. When you plug in Giga, a twin cannon pops out below her. Plugging in Mega causes a six-barrelled cluster bomb rack to push out below. The large lilac gun is actually a missile launcher, firing a single black missile (although Overlord comes with three). Lastly, you can detach the half-plane as a sort of short range fighter (Giga piloted this in the Masterforce cartoon). I'm slightly annoyed that there's not really anywhere to put the tank's cannon in this mode - mind you the teal shinpads don't form part of either vehicle mode. There are a bunch of other accessories that come with Overlord that can't be used here - they come into play in city mode only.

   The poseability is what you'd expect of a G1 city Transformer. His head turns, the shoulders swing= on ratcheting joints (you have to swing the chest panels back in to give the arms clearance). His legs are fixed, and while there are no heelspurs - or heels - Overlord does have cleverly concealed heel bumps ensuring he stands without any issues. Yes, he's very static but that's normal for this sort of figure. The pop out weapons provide enough play value here anyway - poseability isn't that useful when the figure is this big.

   A well laid out robot with a rather eclectic but decent colour scheme, Overlord manages to look impressive despite being fairly static, and there are some nice weapon options here. While he won't really have the same iconic look as other city Transformers for those who haven't watched Masterforce, Overlord has the same impressive scale and bulk of the other city Transformers G1 gave us.

TRANSFORMATION TO CITY MODE

   Okay I'll summarise here. The plane opens out to become the central piece, the nose and sides (his arms) becoming towers at the back. The shinpads become ramps down to the side platforms - the boots opened out. There are various add-on accessories including a third teal ramp at the front, purple guns and scanners and a small grey truck with black wheels, on top of which is an enginebay for either Godmaster to plug into. Again, the lilac tank cannon is left aside - but everything else can be used here.

CITY MODE
Height: 27.5cm Width: 66cm Depth: 23cm

   A big, wide, very expansive, battle station. All of the colours come into play here in various locations, and the colour map is more complex here than anywhere else on the toy. Between the two enginebays, the grey truck, the tank cockpit on the right (as you look at it) platform and the amber cockpit on the central tower, we have five places we can put the Godmasters. There are five guns in various locations, while the robot mode gun actually becomes a tower, sitting behind the left platform. There are two smaller white ramps which are contained within the legs and a three piece claws that folds out from the right platform. All told, this is a very impressive city mode.

   While the sale is impressive and the layout leaves us with very little obvious kibble here, this bases isn't not as stable as I'd like. The teal ramps that join the platforms to the central piece don't actually clip in on either side - instead they rests in grooves. This is fine for display, but you only have to touch Overlord for this city to need repairs. The ramp at the front is in a similar position, however that one is more stable since it rests on the ground. Again the three wheels underneath - the plane wheels are under the central piece - rock to the side too easily, only adding to the instability.

   The play value here is impressive, with all the ramps, guns and various places for Giga and Mega to go, there are some options here. I really do with the ramps anchored properly, but other than that I'm happy with the play options here.

   While it's unstable, this city mode's dimensions alone are enough to make Overlord an impressive display piece. The weapons and options also help, even if the play value they provide is hampered by the instability. There are better cities to play with, but he's one of the better ones display wise.

GIGA

   A teal Godmaster with black limbs and a gold face, the engineblock on her back is chromed gold. There isn't really much here to define her as female, so you have to use your imagination. Considering how simple this figure is, it probably goes without saying that she's nowhere near as detailed as the cartoon character. Still, her colours work, and I love the chrome gold.

MEGA

   A teal Godmaster with white limbs and a gold face, Mega shares his limb sculpt with Giga, although his torso and engineblock are different. The engineblock on his back is chrome silver, and there's no ponytail on his back, unlike on the show - this figure is too small for that sort of detail, which was added during the animation design process anyway.

VARIATIONS

   None as such, although Overlord was released in Europe and Australia a couple of years after his Japanese release, in packaging that resembled the later Pretenders. Both packaging versions contain the same toy, as far as I am aware.

OVERALL

   A big, fun playset, Overlord is the only double Powermaster (well, Godmaster), and the combination of two vehicles is quite novel. His robot mode is good, the vehicle modes solid and the city mode displays well. The city is a little unstable, but overall I'm happy enough with this set. Overlord very much feels like something out of anime (which he is), so you'll get a lot more out of this toy if you've seen Masterforce. He fetches very high prices, so I'm not really sure that he's value for money - Overlord is good but not great - however he does what he's meant to, and represents the cartoon character nicely. If you have the funds and the desire, I doubt you'd be disappointed in Overlord, but he is one for the converted - 7/10

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