Cliffbee.com: Robotmasters Star Saber Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Star Saber
Series: Robot Masters
Allegiance: Cybertron
Alternate Mode: Space Cruiser



SPACE CRUISER MODE
Height: 5cm Length: 14.5cm Width: 12cm

   A red, white a blue space cruiser with some dark grey bits and a sky blue painted canopy, Star Saber sports stamped Autobot symbols on his wings, which sit at the back of the toy. This cruiser is more or less arrowhead shaped, with the small wings at the back forming back edge of the triangle. There's a sizeable gap between the two milky white boosters, which is faithful to the original Star Saber toy. This colour scheme is stereotypically Autobot, with colours that are almost synonymous with good guys. The colours work quite well, although the concept is a little boring.

   This toy is a scaled down, reengineered, copy of the G1 toy, which was released late in Japan's G1 run. This is a fairly faithful reproduction, save for some simplifying done to fit the new size class. What this translates to is a blocky, stylistic jet mode that's nothing like either the original G1 or more modern lines such as Energon. In truth it's not a great jet mode - the original was built around the double brainmaster concept and it's jet mode suffered as a result. As with the original, the helmet of the robot mode sits on the back, almost like a growth, and like the original this is a space ship because the designer says so. What makes this worse is some details that prove the focus of this toy was the robot mode (and combined robot form). There are some really obvious screws on the boosters, which can't really hide when on an unpainted milky white. There are some attachment pegs and slots - for the combined robot mode and there's a slot on the top for the sabre blade, which is just incongruous no matter how you look at it.

   There's really not much play value here. The blade can slot on top, as I said, but this is really just for storage and I don't like either the slot or the look of this giant grey blade just sitting there. You can't attach Star Saber's handgun in this mode, which is a shame since it'd have been a decent addition. There are no wheels underneath, and he tends to wobble around on the point of his groin (no jokes, please), which is the lowest point underneath. You can easily flip out the feet to stabilise him, although I'm disappointed that you have to - it wouldn't have been much to mould some fake wheels on the underside, on the back of the feet or somewhere.

   As you can probably tell, I'm not really keen on this cruiser mode. To be fair to the guy who designed it, he was already pretty limited by the crappy vehicle mode of the original, but there are some problems introduced here that could have been avoided. I'd strongly recommend leaving the blade off in this mode - set it aside with the handgun which sadly won't go anywhere.

SMALL ROBOT

   The original Star Saber was a double brainmaster - the front section (IE the nose and canopy) of the cruiser - detaches to become a small jet, which resembles an earthen fighter. On both this toy and the original, this smaller jet transforms into a robot and into the core of the large robot's chest. On the original, there's a smaller, Nebulon sized, figure that forms the core of this robot in turn. Of course, since this thing is now smaller than the original Nebulon, there's no smaller figure now.

   The jet mode is pretty cool for the size, and while it's very simple it works as well as I'd expect it to. The transformation is basic, with the nose detaching to form the hilt of the sabre, or a shield which can sit on this robot's arm. The small robot has a blue chest and silver face, grey arms and thighs and red boots, as well as a stamped Autobot logo on it's chest. This figure isn't really much more than a bonus amongst the whole Victory Saber set, it's nice that they gave it the shield and some poseability (shoulders, hips), even if the Nebulon figure was clearly not possible.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach the smaller robot, remove the nose and fold it up. Slide it into the chest cavity, fold his helmet down into place, flip Star Saber up, detach the trusters and swing down to form his legs. Flip out his feet, position his hands and give him his handgun. Lastly, attach the blade to the hilt and give Star Saber his sabre.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13cm Width: 8cm

   Still red, white and blue, Star Saber's limbs are now mostly white, his torso is mainly red and the blue is mainly trim, although it comes into it's own on his fists and thighs. The colours are well used and while the colour scheme might be boring in the cruiser mode, it comes into its own here. His head is red with a silver mouthplate and bleu eyes, while there are dark grey antennae on either side. The antennae, along with grey spines on top of his shoulders, are made of a soft plastic - probably part safety, part durability. There's some yellow on his kneecaps and Autobot logos stamped on his upper arms.

   Again, this robot mode's form is dictated by that of the original, and it's quite faithful for the most part. The face is now part of the helmet, whereas it rose from within the small robot on the original (the brainmaster concept in action). As I've already touched on, it's a pretty nice looking robot mode. The proportions are good, the head works and he certainly looks like an Autobot leader (which he is).

   There's slightly more poseability here than on the original - which was an unposeable brick. His shoulders and hips are restricted ball joints. His shoulders rotate and the legs can swing out to the sides, the other planes of movement really only have wiggle room. Mind you, this wiggle room makes a difference - whereas the original would inevitably stand at attention, Star Saber can now stand in slightly more relaxed positions which really helps.

   The sabre is a long silver affair, and the blade is composed of a soft grey plastic, unlike that of the original which had a rigid, chromed blade. I'm neutral on the sabre, really - I'm glad he has the weapon but without rotating wrists he can only hold it upright. The blue handgun is new to the Robotmasters version - as seems to be the trend in this line, and unlike some Robotmasters guns, suits him very well.

   A pretty good robot mode, although it's really one for the G1 fans. Poseability is limited but better than on the original. A nice looking robot mode, and it's obvious far more of the toy has gone into this mode than his alt mode.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, although as mentioned this is a scaling down and updating of a G1 toy.

OVERALL

   A contrast between a poor space cruiser mode and a well done robot mode. Star Saber's real strength is in his combination with Victory Leo. While he's an improvement on the original in many ways, he does regress in some ways - mainly because of size limitations. I wouldn't recommend him on his own unless you're a fan of the character and don't want to pay the silly eBay prices for the original, but he's worthwhile as part of the Victory Leo set - 6/10

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