Cliffbee.com: Photon T34 Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Photon T34
Series: Real Gear
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Digital Camera

Thanks to griffin for loaning me Photon T34 for this review



CAMERA MODE
Height: 6cm Width: 7.5cm Depth: 2.5cm

   A black mini digital camera with a flat grey around the lens, while the zoom is black. There's a silver painted flash on the top right (as you look at him), a transparent viewfinder on the left of the lens (which is actually pretty much in the middle) and on the bottom left there's "PHOTON T34" and a white Decepticon logo stamped above the zoom lens. On the left of the top edge there's a grey button. The backside has a zoom button on the top left, an LCD screen there's a picture of Frenzy. He's a repaint of Spyshot 6 in fairly similar colours. It's a good digital camera colour scheme, if not one that really offers anything different to Spyshot 6.

   Okay, so I've covered the colours and detailing all together - but then really the colours aren't much more than black and grey - he's a realistic enough digital camera. Whilst Photon T34 is notably smaller than your typical digicam, this size is feasible (if unlikely). The details are all quite well done, and while the paint mask on the back could have included some button icons, at this pricepoint I can forgive this omission.

   There's not much play value here - again understandable at the pricepoint. The one element of play value Photon T34 does have is really cool, however. The button on top clicks - there's most likely a momentary switch mechanism inside, which works very well. Sure, he doesn't take photos, but the button makes pointing and shooting fun.

   A good camera mode with ample detail and sensible colours. Camera Transformers are quite rare, which makes this mode appreciated (even if he is a repaint). The shutter button is fun, making this a little more than just a box.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Everything more or less pivots around the lens, with the wider side becoming his legs and the narrow side and top becoming arms. while the head is stowed under the flashbulb. The transformation is highly asymmetrical, and while the limbs are also asymmetrical, the end result works well enough.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 11.5cm Width: 7.5cm

   A black robot mode with mid brown thighs, shoulder struts & hands. Photon T34 has gold, grey and blue on his head, with transparent eyes and a poor lightpipe. The Decepticon logo is on its side on his right shoulder. The shins are grey and blue, the left foot is grey and the right black. The flashbulb sits at the top of his left shoulder. The colour scheme is more varied now, but still integrates both the camera colours and camera elements well. It's a fair bit darker than that of Spyshot 6, providing some real contrast now. That being said, the mid brown isn't a very attractive colour, so I prefer the colours on the original.

   I like the focus (pun not deliberate!) on the lens. It's an elegant idea and makes for a very satisfying transformation - it would have been easy for the designer to simply unfold the box that is his camera shape any old how to make a robot with crap everywhere. Instead the lens makes for a great centrepiece, as well as a rather rounded torso. The forehead is a black pseudo-flash cube, which is cool.

   While there aren't any gimmicks as such here, the poseability is great. His neck, shoulders, elbows and hips are ball jointed while the wrists are hinged, along with _both_ sides of his claws. The knees are hinged with rotators above them while his feet are large enough to ensure that action poses are generally stable. The hinges in his hands especially impresses me on a toy at this low pricepoint.

   A visually unusual robot mode thanks to the dominance of his lens, which forms a round torso. The poseability is great, along with the lightpipe. Photon T34 is surprisingly symmetrical for a toy with such an asymmetrical transformation. While I still think the camera mode is stronger, this is a great robot mode considering how ambitious his transformation is. The choice of brown plastic is odd - and while it's not a killer - it's to his detriment.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. As mentioned, he is a repaint of Spyshot 6.

OVERALL

   A good camera mode & a good robot mode, but as with many of the repainted real gear toys this repaint just feels gratuitous. The camera mode is a refreshing change from the standard stock of vehicles and animals. Photon T34 features the invention that's typical of this line. The camera mode is realistic enough, the robot mode comes off quite well considering how ambitious is transformation is. The transformation comes off well, and the robot mode is very poseable. While the only real gimmick of any sort here is the clicking shutter button, it's enough at this price point. The brown plastic on his robot mode is a negative, so I'd recommend Spyshot 6 over Photon T34 - 8/10

"Transformers" and other indica trademarks of Hasbro and/or Takara.