Friday, 28 January 2011

Reveal The Shield Windcharger

Reveal the Shield Windcharger

The original Windcharger was a Mini Autobot in 1984 so it makes sense for his new Reveal the Shield version to be a scout class toy rather than the deluxe size used for most of the Classics/Universe/Generations/Reveal The Shield toys. However when pre-orders for Windcharger went up on the Internet they were asking up to $18.99, over twice the RRP for a scout class toy. Why? Well unfortunately the case he's in is retail poison:

2 x HFTD Backfire (repaint of ROTF Knock Out, previously found in HFTD Waves 1 & 2)
1 x HFTD Firetrap (repaint of ROTF Scattorshot, previously found in HFTD Wave 3)
2 x HFTD Sunspot (repaint of ROTF Skystalker, previously found in HFTD Wave 3)
1 x HFTD Insecticon (original toy mould, previously found in HFTD Waves 2 & 3)
2 x HFTD Breacher (original toy mould, previously found in HFTD Waves 2 & 3)
2 x RTS Chopsaw (repaint of HFTD Brimstone and not that different)
2 x RTS Windcharger (original toy mould)

(Key: ROTF = Revenge of the Fallen, HFTD = Hunt For The Decepticons & RTS = Reveal The Shield)

So to get two Windchargers toy shops have to buy ten toys that are either repaints or have been in several previous cases or, in several cases, both !

At the time this case was put up for order it was expected that this case would be the only RTS Scout case due to the third Transformers movie and it's glut of related toys looming on the horizon. However we now know there's at least one (containing Rumble, Downshift (a repaint of Hubcap) and Bodyblock (a repaint of HFTD Breacher)) and probably two (because there has to be an RTS Frenzy repaint) more cases to come.

Windcharger comes packed in robot mode and I'm going to break with tradition to talk about that first because I have some points I wish to make about turning it into car mode ! The robot mode use the red of the car shell along with a light shade of grey for most of the body along with some darker grey for the feet forearms and head. Lots of the toy is very similar to the original, but the one major change involves the chest. The font of the car is now folded down over the head similar to Jazz and Prowl. Articulation is good with ball jointed elbows, shoulders & hips, bending knees, ball jointed upper ankle and bending lower ankle. On the outside of each forearm is a 3mm bar allowing any weapon with a clip to be attached. The hands can be folded into the wrists and a gun folded out to point forward. I think these are meant to represent the electromagnets lauded to in his tech specs. Early information on this figure made it seem as these would be working magnets but they aren't, so I'm assuming this is people getting their wires crossed between what they represent and what they are.

Transform: on the face of it it's obvious. The devil is, however, in the detail. Fold the chest back to become the front of the car, noting how it secures the shoulders in place with a tab on each side of the chest fitting into a slot through the turning joint on the shoulder. Fold each hand out to the side and them turn the lower arm so that the car bodywork panels on the upper and lower arm form a continuous unit. Slide the lower half of the leg out to the side: I'd turn the toy over so the rear of the leg is facing you then insert a blade or screwdriver between the dark grey of the leg structure and the red of the car panelling and use that to push the car panelling out to the side - mine makes a little click when it locks solid. It took me ages to work out how to do that bit! Fold the foot back t the first ankle joint and then forwards at the ball ankle joint so the heel spur is alongside the inside of the lower leg. Raise the back of the body/roof of the car, fold the waist down then bend the knees, tucking the feet under the roof and bringing the legs together so they peg together and the slatted rear windscreen meshes. Fold up the rear of the car and fold down the roof, screaming in frustration when you realize that the red trapezoid panels on the top of the feet haven't gone into the matching holes in the roof. Push the arms in to form the side of the car and lock together.

What you get out of the end isn't a bad go at Windcharger's car mode. The vehicle mode is stretched, but then the original was a super deformed version. We loose the roof windows, gain an air intake on the bonnet and have the wheels reduced to more normal proportions. The roof just looks wrong without the feet lined up perfectly and I can't line them up perfectly. In my opinion the roof should have been left as a solid piece with the feet underneath. His Reveal The Shield rubsign is on the front of the car and it has a square border, in common with the Legends but unlike the dlx toys which have die cut rubsigns.

Decent update but boy is the transformation of the legs and feet annoying me!


Minibot Windcharger was repainted as Tailgate, Black Windcharger, Rook and numerous Mexican variants, while Alternators Windcharger was repainted as Decepticharge all of which would make good repaints for this toy.

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