Cliffbee.com: Shattered Glass Galvatron Toy Review

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Name: Galvatron
Series: Cybertron
Allegiance: Heroic Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Eurocopter Dauphin Rescue Helicopter (thanks to Fit For Natalie for the model)

Thanks to Kup for loaning me Galvatron for this review



CHOPPER MODE
Height: 8cm Length: 26cm Width: 6.5cm (propspan is 20cm)

   A grey and mid purple rescue chopper with some lack and bright red highlights, Galvatron has some orange painted details here and there, a red Heroic Decepticon logo on his engineblock and transparent blue windows. The rotors are black along with the wheels underneath and missiles visible under the rotors. While the colours are a tribute to G1 Galvatron, they're closer to those found on Universe Galvatron, and he's effectively taking his colours from that toy (which features a similar bright red). It's a rather bright colour scheme, but it's not garish - unlike many recent BotCon toys, he doesn't really have a G2 feel about him. The colours work well together even if they're not that realistic. He doesn't really feel a lot like G1 Galvatron, given the profusion of red here and the vastly different alternate mode. He's a repaint of Cybertron Evac, in vastly different colours.

   He sports a main rotor with four blades and twin tri-blade stabiliser rotors encased in the tail. There's a purple winch unit on the starboard side with a black hook, giving him a strong rescue theme - along with the various orange writing which reads, "EMS LF-1" on the tail and "LIFE FLIGHT-1" on the starboard. With a bottlenose, aerodynamic shape and four moulded wheels underneath, Galvatron looks quite realistic, even if there are some kibbly connections underneath the engines (which are themselves missile launchers). The transparent blue and red Planet Key plugs into the back of the engine unit.

   The wheels can all retract (well, the rear pair fold out to the sides), and he'll happily sit on his belly. The main rotor spins freely and while the tail rotors are a little hard to access, they also spin well. There's a red plunging button on the port side just below the main rotor, pressing it in repeatedly (it's spring loaded and will automatically spring out) will cause the rotor to spin - as long as you keep plunging. This works well and looks really cool, so long as you have all four blades. The blades detach very easily and the entire rotor can also detach.

   Pushing the Planet key all the way in will release the engines, which swing forward as missile launchers, and reveals the red triggers. The missiles will fire a couple of feet, which is far enough to make them fun without you having to locate them across the room afterwards. Considering that we don't get spare missiles (we never seem to anymore, mind you), this is a good thing. The hook on his winch can be pulled out, it's on a cord maybe 8cm long, and the hook and cord are strong enough to hold light items. There's a red button on the winch itself which retracts the cord, and it spring back quickly.

   While the loose rotor blades are annoying, everything else about this chopper mode is great. The gimmicks are simple and focused, all work well. He even avoided a mould with silly electronics (which would be stripped out on a BotCon repaint anyway). The colours aren't quite G1 Galvatron but they're very close and it's still a pretty decent tribute once you put aside the difference in alt modes.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold the rotor into a single, compound blade, retract the cord if it's out and fold up the landing gear, release the launchers. Unclip the nose and fold the bottom of the chopper (including the windshield back), clipping the waist together. Rotate the waist, split the legs and rotate the boots, fold the nose halves forward to form his feet and flip out his heelspurs. Split the rotor base and fold the halves out to form arms, then split the tail out to the sides to form wings. Swing back the engine assembly to form a backpack, slide it up to reveal his head. Swing the arms in, rotate the winch (right forearm) and rotor assembly (left forearm), open the forearms, flip his fists out and close again. Swing the rear wheels on his hips down as hip plates.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 17cm (22.5 if missiles pointing up) Width: 14cm (22 with wings deployed)

   Galvatron is now mainly purple above the knees with grey boots - matching his appearance in Transformers: The Movie. His thighs, feet, hands and elbows are black while his face is painted grey with transparent blue eyes (and a nice lightpipe). There's some of that red on his abdomen, a nice reference to the "pecs" of the G1 character. There's also red & black painted details on his knees which match G1 as well. There's no obvious allegiance symbol here - the Heroic Decepticon logo is on the left arm's kibble now. It's a well laid out colour scheme which makes this mould work well as Galvatron (Shattered Glass or otherwise!). The head even works well for the character, despite simply being Evac's head.

   The grey halves of the tail form wings behind his shoulders and there's some arm kibble - the rotor attaches to the outside of the left forearm, and now has restricted movement, while the winch is on the back of his other forearm. We have a couple of options here. The wings can actually fold down, giving him less kibble and also less grandeur. The missile assembly can sit flush on his back or lift up over his head, thanks to two hinges. The wings, which I guess qualify as kibble, can get in the way of the rotor spinning (and by extension, the left arm's articulation). But hey, choose what works for you.

   There's some more kibble in the form of the windshield halves, which sit on the outsides of his ankles. They look fine and don't get in the way of anything so I'm not going to complain. If anything they're a feature, as much as the melee weapon that his rotors have become. The missile launchers are also a dominant feature, and one that really adds to the majesty of the toy (something the wings also do, if you want them out). The head doesn't exactly have a crown, but the three protrusions on his head really do match the crown of G1 Galvatron.

   All three gimmicks are again available, although some functionality is lost on two gimmicks. The winch is unaffected, but the rotors will only spin in one direction (forward, if you think of them as a wheel), the limitation is actually affected by the angle - it'll only spin "backwards" when horizontal. The plunger still works, although you'll need to have the wings down to really make use of it. The missile launcher gimmick is more or less intact, although there's now nothing covering the triggers when the launchers are stowed - he'll fire his missiles at the table if you're not careful. Of course the entire rack is now able to move, giving him a ground-to-air/ground-to-ground option, which is a plus. While he lacks handheld weapons, he does have standard fistholes. Mind you, with the missiles and rotor of death, Galvatron doesn't really need a gun. I suppose an orange tubed cannon would have been a nice part of the tribute, but that was never part of Evac's repertoire.

   Considering how lifelike the alt mode is and how many gimmicks we have, Galvatron's articulation is impressive. The head rotates, the knees, hips, elbows and shoulders are all hinged with rotators, giving him full movement (so long as the wings aren't in the way). The feet and heelspurs fold down, giving him some meaningful leg poseability. The toy is somewhat topheavy, but with a little effort, most poses are stable.

   A good robot mode with slightly less useful but still fun gimmicks, good coolers and a surprisingly good tribute considering the mould chosen. With good poseability and a clever colour scheme, this mode's a winner.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. Galvatron was available exclusively at BotCon 2011 and was likely limited to a single production run - making variants unlikely.

OVERALL

   A great repaint of a great mould, Galvatron is nonetheless overshadowed by Shattered Glass Thundercracker (okay, given that Thundercracker is brighter than most flares, outshone is probably a better description). He uses a Cybertron mould which also reduces his profile, but it's an excellent mould with two good modes and great play value that avoided lazy electronic gimmicks. The colour scheme is decent but not spectacular in vehicle mode but really comes together in robot mode - where the tribute is expertly handled. While other BotCon toys might be more compelling, if Galvatron interests you and you have the means, I'd definitely recommend him - 8/10

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