Cliffbee.com: Squawktalk Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Squawktalk
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Interpreter
Alternate Mode: Microcassette



CASSETTE MODE
Height: 3.5cm Depth: 0.5cm Width: 5cm

   An aqua microcassette with blue painted tape details, Squawktalk has has black painted spools and a black tape indicator. The detail is less than many earlier cassettes, but notably better than on Beastbox whom he comes packaged with. Squawktalk bears "A" and "60" in black, along with the words "NORMAL POSITION" - most microcassette Transformers are metal position. The colour combination is a little dubious, and the painted details not quite as good as they could be, but Squawktalk manages to look OK.

   The painted detailing isn't ideal but is a lot better than on Beastbox, and aqua and blue isn't quite as incongruous as purple and orange. Squawktalk doesn't really stand out amongst the microcassettes as a tape.He has some bird stuff on the B side, something all the cassettes have.

   This mode really comes after the bird and combined mode in the list, which is obvious from a lack of detail on the tape side. It still works, although I would have preferred a colour other than blue for the painted section. By the time this guy came out, the cassette mode had been done many times - so while they should have no trouble nailing it, by this stage the more interesting part is what else is happening.

TRANSFORMATION TO BIRD MODE

   Open the sides to become his wings, flip out the wingtips. Fold out the head and tail, fold down the legs and deploy the rear talons. Attach the lasers on his back and you're done.

BIRD MODE
Height: 3.5cm Depth: 5.5cm Width: 11.5cm

   Essentially aqua now, Squawktalk has a grey tail, grey wingtips and grey rear talons, while the lasers on his back are chrome silver. The grey is that grey used extensively on 1987-1988 Decepticons, and works well with the aqua and chrome (why didn't they use it for the tape rather than blue?!?). His eyes are white while there's a silver sticker on his head with a Decepticon log on it. The colour scheme is quite nice, and easily beats the tape mode colours.

   I'm not certain what sort of bird this is, but it's clearly a bird of prey, the head is quite similar is those of Buzzsaw and Laserbeak. For the sake of argument I'm calling Squawktalk a kite. Taxonomy aside, the wingtips and tail have vague (robotic) feather detailing, and there's good detail on both the wings proper and the body. Unsurprisingly, Squawktalk is pretty flat, relying on the guns for shape, but looks better without them than a lot of the tape beasts modes do.

   There's not really much articulation outside the wings, which is to be expected. There are two joints at the base of each wing, allowing them to swing back and forth. There are swivels midway on his wings, which allow the wings to become legs, and they allow a kind-of flapping pose. While the joints are all geared to the transformations, the fact is that this kite looks fine in the default pose.

   I'm quite impressed by this bird - the detailing is good and the shape is pretty good considering it has to double as a set of humanoid legs. The colours work well and Squawktalk looks fairly good without the guns - a bonus for me since I have only the left side gun.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. Squawktalk was sold exclusively with Beastbox.

OVERALL

   A nice kite mode and a reasonable cassette mode, although the cassette mode isn't as good as the earlier microcassettes such as Buzzsaw. The bird is different enough from Buzzsaw and Laserbeak that Squawktalk still offers something, although not everyone's going to want three bird cassettes. Beastbox's gorilla mode is slightly cooler, and offers more originality, although I think both toys are worth picking up - and they compliment each other when combining to form Squawkbox - 6/10

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