Saturday, 19 May 2012

Transformers Prime Cyberverse Wheeljack & Starhammer

I think it's fair to say that the Dark of the Moon Cyberverse Action Sets were something of a mixed bag both in terms of toy quality & distribution. Here in the UK we only got the first wave. But Hasbro likes the idea of larger Cyberverse items for the figures to interact with so here we go again.

The Cyberverse vehicles were offered in the Argos catalogue in the UK for £19.99. The catalogue came out the end off January and stock was first available in store nearly four months later on May 14th! And that's the first anyone in the world saw them at retail! In way of apology Argos reduced the price on all it's Transformers toys by 25%-33% the following day bringing this down to a very reasonable £13.32, cheaper than the RRP for the action sets. Seeing as the Action Set boxes were about half the size you're getting a very reasonable deal. They've been sighted in UK TRUs as well and the case assortment is 2 x Wheeljack with Starhammer and 1 x Knockout with Energon Drill which says that there's a better chance of walking into Argos and getting passed a Wheeljack than a Knockout. I can testify to this: I've visited three Argos so far, they all had one toy and they were all Wheeljacks. Slightly worryingly when I went to several well known US Etailers to check the case assortment I was unable to find the Cyberverse vehicles listed.....

Inside the box comes the Legion sized Wheeljack figure, his two swords and two missiles. The Wheeljack looks decent enough, albeit with a much larger painted window on his chest than the larger deluxe toy. He's got ball jointed shoulders & knees, bending hips and ankles that bend as part of the transformation. Two types of plastic are used: white for most of the toy and dark grey for the upper legs, shoulders, wheels & waist/backbone piece. On his back are two 3mm peg holes which allow you to plug his swords into for storage - tip them the right way and the handles sticking over the shoulders look like the wings on the original Wheeljack toy. In fact this Wheeljack wouldn't look out of place alongside your Legends & EZ-Collection figures as a stand in Generation One Wheeljack.

The swords themselves are moulded in clear aquamarine coloured plastic, also found on the Starhammer vehicle, curved with a 3mm peg handle which Wheeljack can hold in each hand, yes Prime Cyberverse Legions have 3mm peg grips on both hands, unlike the Dark of the Moon Legions which only had one. There's two smaller pegs on the swords handles: one pointing outwards towards the cutting edge of the blade and the other pointing to the side. The swords are unique with the side handles pointing in opposite directions. If you get two identical swords then the toy's been packed wrong!

Transformation: Remove the swords. Fold the feet back under the lower legs. Pull the shoulders down. Fold the back panel up over the head. Peg the feet together and fold the waist back under the body putting the top of the lower legs along the underside of the chest. Fold the arms back to form the sides of the car.

Pretty decent car mode, screaming Wheeljack at you. The back peg holes are now on top of the car allowing you to mount the swords or any other Cyberverse weapons. The twin guns that come with Optimus Prime make decent dual cannons for him.

Onto the Starhammer.

Compare to the previous Action sets this is a hefty piece of kit, getting near to the sort of size of the Ark set. We have a central core body connected to an upright wing on each side, a little like a TIE Fighter in Star Wars. There's a 3mm Cyberverse post hole and a 5mm Mechtech size post hole towards the front of each wing plus a 3mm Cyberverse post on the outer edge & top of the missile launchers found to the rear of each wing.

The main core of the ship has a seat for a figure on the top of the vehicle. In front of that is the default position for the electronic light up weapon on the toy, which I'll come to in a moment. This is set in a 3mm wide slot which allows it to move backwards & forwards, setting into a large aquamarine cannon mounted on top of the cockpit hatch. This weapon is also mounted using a 3mm peg and can be removed to use as a hand weapon for a Cyberverse figure. There's a further 3mm Cyberverse peg port on the front of the toy. The Cockpit hatch, with a clear aquamarine oval window in the front, opens to allow you to sit a Cyberverse figure in it. Wheeljack is a perfect fit as you'd expect (but modern Hasbro Star Wars Pilots have sometimes been a bit dodgy at fitting in their own vehicles!) I've been experimenting with the Wave 1 Prime Legions and Bumblebee, Ratchet & Vehicon all fit fine and Arcee needs her backpack manoeuvring but Cliffjumper's hips don't allow his legs to bend enough to fit. Mounted in the underside of the ship are 3 red wheels that allow the vehicle to role along on a flat surface.

One of the main features of the vehicle toys is that they have a light up weapon aboard, termed an Energon Charger in the instructions. The one on this toy is moulded in clear aquamarine plastic and is attached to the main body of the toy by wires sealed in clear plastic that descend into toy through a hatch that can be raised to reveal a compartment for some weapons storage. Sadly the swords don't fit inside. The Energon Charger is activated by a button with an Autobot symbol on it causing the Energon Charger to glow with a green LED within. Why green? Apparently Blue LEDs cost more to produce - I can remember years ago owning a Star Wars POTF2 Obi Wan Kenobi toy with a green light up light sabre which was just wrong. So why didn't they use a clear LED? I've got freebie key rings with clear LEDs in (I use them to test lightpipes). A clear LED would make the Energon Charger glow the colour it's moulded in and any attached toy glow that colour instead of the green they'll glow if you use this weapon. Because yes, you can attack this to other clear toys to light them up. The front of the Energon Charger is a 5mm hollow tube with a 3mm bore down the middle. This allows you to plug Cyberverse weapons in, but with varying results depending on the weapon & colour. The tube also fits the odd ports on Cyberverse Optimus' back and also Minicon ports allowing you to light up the Powercore Minicons. The Energon Charger has 3mm handles on the top & bottom, plus two more 5mm hollow tubes on either side allowing it to be held as a weapon by either Cyberverse or larger figures or mounted on the Starhammer vehicle.

The Starhammer vehicle itself transforms: slide the seat on the top of the toy backwards. This pushes the base of the wings out to the sides, slanting them, and moving the missile launchers forward. Handle bars then fold back from the top of the missile launchers.

The resulting battle station mode is wide that the vehicle, with the bottom edge of the wings now being revealed to have the Cyberverse base connectors on them which have risen up to about the right level for them to be attached to other toys. There's an expanded deck section between the body and each of the wings allowing a figure to stand and hold on to the handlebars at the back of the cannons. They're mounted at the right height for Commander Optimus Prime to use but smaller toys, such as Legion Bumblebee can also use it is they're standing on some of the mechanism that moves the missile launchers forward. The missile launchers, moulded in a darker grey to the rest of the toy each take a clear yellow missile which is fired using a trigger on the top. The rear of each launcher has a slot which fits round the Energon Charger allowing it light the missile up.

The vehicle is made up of several different grades of grey plastic:

The cockpit hatch, wings & seat are made from the lightest grey plastic
A slightly darker grey makes up the majority of the vehicle body
An even darker grey forms the extending panels out the side of the body and the storage hatch
The darkest grey forms the missile launchers.

All the mechanical pieces that move the wings & weapons around plus the handlebars, missile triggers and wheels are an orangey red plastic while the ends of the missile launchers, main weapon, light up weapon & cockpit canopy windows.

That should give you an idea of what bits you could colour differently if Hasbro ever produce a new version of the toy.

Don't buy this toy expecting a collectors product: this is a good fun toy with play features and compatibility with other toys. It's fun. A fab toy to play with.

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