Boatshoes Beatdown: iGear Spray vs. Maketoys Hover. FIGHT!

Discussion in 'Transformers 3rd Party Reviews' started by optimusfan, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. optimusfan

    optimusfan Kill your heroes Administrator

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    Mods - Although there are already separate feedback threads for both of these figures, I felt like we needed a single place to discuss the similarities and differences between these figures. They are remarkably similar and released at practically the same time, which obviously means they're competing for the same customers in the market. If you disagree feel free to move the thread or merge it with another.

    Introduction: "Seaspray". "Captain Boatshoes". "That stupid underwater-talkin' Autobot who's only above Cosmos in the 1985 minibots pecking order". Whatever you call him, the end of 2011 and beginning of 2012 is shaping up to be a fantastic time for our seafaring friend. Not only is his recent Hasbro incarnation about to be repainted and released as a Botcon exclusive, but more importantly TWO third party companies have taken a stab at updating his original iteration with modern styling. But which version should the discriminating classics fan pick up, and which should be left to sleep with the fishes? Read on!

    [​IMG]
    If you spent a lot of time in the '80s staring at this ad you probably thought hovercrafts were pretty cool. You were also probably a pretty lonely kid.

    Round 1: Vehicle mode
    Both Spray (iGear) and Hover (MakeToys) are incredibly faithful to the G1 hovercraft design. The overall aesthetic of Hover's vehicle mode is soft curves to Spray's hard angles, with Hover being slightly more G1 accurate in body design. Hover also offers dual cockpit windows in a nod to the original toy, but the rounded back ends of Spray's turbines are both more visually pleasing and accurate compared to Hover's flat ends. Bot mode is a little less apparent on Hover's underside, but the propellers on Spray look far more realistic (and spin like nobodies business!) far better than those clipped on Hover.

    Winner: DRAW!

    [​IMG]
    iGear Spray on the left, Maketoys Hover on the right.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    The blades on each are angled as they would be in real life, unlike on the G1 toy. They will spin if you blow on them.

    [​IMG]
    Man, two great updates of a G1 character? Can you feel your hobby being cheapened?

    Round 2: Color and paint apps
    There's really no contest when it comes to paint apps with these guys. Spray features three colors: blue eyes, black cockpit windows, and a grey face. Hover matches those blow for blow, but counters with well-done additional yellow paint apps on the legs, and black and blue details on the chest. However, as much as I love the darker blue plastic on Hover, Spray's lighter color is far more G1 accurate. Round two ends with another draw.

    Winner: DRAW!

    Round 3: Transformation
    Both figures use shockingly similar transformations, with parts on each lining up limb for limb with the original. Both utilize a pivoting waist and hips section, and both conceal their legs in alt mode by tucking them up towards their chests.

    However, they do differ in one key way -- Spray's transformation is both a breeze and a pleasure, effortlessly changing from alt mode to robot. Hover, on the other hand, is an exercise in frustration. OK, so he's not MP Megatron maddening, but he's not as fun as he could/should be. As I noted in the followup to my review of Hover, his shoulders are incredibly annoying to transform. I know how the fan blade assembly is supposed to rotate around the shoulders, but it just doesn't work that well. It feels like I'm dealing with ticky-tack MP Rodimus tolerances, not with a simple minibot design.

    Winner: Spray!

    Round 4: Robot mode
    Let me get this out of the way first: when I saw pictures of Spray I thought he looked incredibly doofy. Shoulders up at head level, weird cheesegrater mouthplate, etc. That being said, he looks much better in person. Sure those elements I didn't like are still there, but the in-hand impression is much better than I expected. The strange level and placement of his shoulders is really only noticeable when you look at him head on at eye level.

    Taking that into account, I still prefer the head and shoulders on Hover. As I noted in my review, the head sculpt is beautiful. It's very accurate to the G1 cartoon much like classics Hound was, and if that's an important benchmark for you then this round is no contest. However, despite my misgivings the faceplate on Spray is more G1 toy accurate, albeit proportionately inversed (taller instead of wider) compared to the original.

    Both figures have pro's and con's in articulation. While Hover's head can be readily moved side to side, the mid-aughts frat boy popped collar design of Spray prevents easy movement. The shoulders on each are ball joints with basically unrestricted movement, but Hover's are attached via a pivot joint that gives them some extra poseability. On the other hand, Spray's elbows are also nicely poseable ball joints, while Hover is limited to a simple hinge joint. This situation is reversed in the knees, with Hover offering ball joints to Spray's hinges. Both incorporate ball joints in the hips and ankles. Spray does offer one key point of articulation that Hover does not: a waist joint. Both figures offer a similar design to attach the pelvic and hip area to the abdomen for transformation, but Spray makes the smart move of making that attachment point a ball joint for added poseability in robot mode. The movement is somewhat restricted by his hips, but it is there.

    However, even with the slightly better articulation Hover eeks out a win in this category mostly due to his more appealing G1 cartoon inspired face.

    Winner: Hover!

    [​IMG]
    Maketoys Hover on the left, iGear Spray on the right.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Fun fact: iGear stamped their figure with a copyright, Maketoys didn't. Yeah iGear, you'd hate to have someone copy your design!

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Round 5: Miscellaneous
    The final round of this epic battle begins with a size comparison of the figures. Although Spray is larger, I feel it is a detriment here. The reason is simple: my goal with this portion of my collection was to get modernized versions of the 1985 minibots. In order to do that I need to have three legends figures (Cosmos, Warpath, and Beachcomber), as well as Maketoys Bomber (Powerglide). That's the scale we're dealing with, and I have to give Hover's smaller stature the nod. Alt mode is no contest to me, with Spray looking moderately oversized compared to the rest. Robot mode is less clear, but I still feel Hover is in slightly better scale with the rest of his compatriots.

    That being said, Spray scores bonus points for one simple reason: weaponry. Minibots tend not to be armed, Warpath's chest cannon not withstanding, but iGear's Spray is the only one of these two who thought to bring a gun to this otherwise sissy slapfight. On top of it's mere inclusion with the figure, iGear did a wonderful job making it faithful to the Seaspray design in molding it to look like a harpoon gun. At least this minibot wouldn't get left behind.

    Winner: DRAW!

    [​IMG]
    '85 minibots featuring Maketoys Hover

    [​IMG]
    '85 minibots featuring iGear Spray

    [​IMG]
    '85 minibots featuring Maketoys Hover

    [​IMG]
    '85 minibots featuring iGear Spray

    [​IMG]
    Guns on a minibot? That's just silly. That never happ...oh wait, it did.

    Conclusion: So, which of these fish-friendly robots should you pick up? You really can't go wrong with either of these figures, so the decision is going to come down to what you're trying to accomplish with your own collection. While I much prefer the cartoon aesthetics of Hover's face and his scale compared to the other updated minibots, there's no denying that Spray is a better total package -- especially given that he can be had for a slightly lower price than Hover ($18 shipped vs $40+ dollars shipped as part of a two-pack with Bomber). Spray is slightly bigger, and the harpoon gun is a brilliant touch. At this point I plan on keeping both, with Hover being displayed with the rest of the updated 1985 minibots. Spray will likely be displayed with the upscaled classics minibots (classics Bumblebee, Cliffjumper, Windcharger, etc), where his larger size and included weapon will be a better fit.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2012
  2. lildevilchick

    lildevilchick what the doctor ordered

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    Nice comparison. I'm not overly fond of Hover, mostly because I like the look of Spray's alt mode better. I've been debating on picking Spray up, but I just can't bring myself to do it yet.
     
  3. Spiff-O-Matic

    Spiff-O-Matic I can haz catch-phrase?

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    Very nice write-up! Almost makes me want to buy one or the other... almost.
     
  4. vm-01

    vm-01 Well-Known Member

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    Very detailed. But I have to be honest: having a draw was sort of a buzzkill.
     
  5. Kuma Style

    Kuma Style Toy Photography TFW2005 Supporter

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    Love this review!
     
  6. Shin Densetsu

    Shin Densetsu I WILL DESTROY YOU Super Mod

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    Very interesting man, thanks for posting! Dig the comparison pics, not sure which one I like more.
     
  7. Satomiblood

    Satomiblood Prototype Black

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    Hover does look better with a legends-based minibot collection. However, I feel that iSpray works better as a standalone figure if looks are any indication. I've yet to pull the trigger on these guys.

    But the real question is...can either of them float?
     
  8. kmoua7

    kmoua7 Well-Known Member

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    "Bot mode is a little less apparent on Hover's underside, but the propellers on Spray look far more realistic (and spin like nobodies business!) far better than those clipped on Spray. "

    In your Round 1, that last word there I think you meant to say Hover. Since you have both you can make the ultimate Seaspray and pop Hover's superior head design on Spray ;)  Nice review btw.
     
  9. optimusfan

    optimusfan Kill your heroes Administrator

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    I agree. I originally had it written with Spray being the winner as I felt he is the better total package for the money, as I noted in the review. Then I put him next to the other figures I'm using as my '85 minibots and I just couldn't do it. I also just got him, so I didn't want the "newness" factor to cloud my judgement. The bottom line is neither figure is perfect and they're both good in their own way, it really just depends on what you intend to do with them.

    Good, then please shoot me some "supa' clear" comparison pics so I can replace the "baby is asleep and I have 20 min to shoot some images with my $5 DIY lightbox" pics! :lol 

    I saw your post in one of the individual feedback threads yesterday and almost tried this last night. Almost...

    Thanks. You have no idea how much I had to focus each time I wrote one of their names. "OK, this is iGear so I need to write 'Hover' here..no wait, it's 'Spray'!" :lol  Seriously though, if I missed just one I'm going to consider that a win.
     
  10. Rewind

    Rewind Space Hipster

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    Wonderful review. I kind of wish I could cram both of them together for one perfect Seaspray.
     
  11. Satomiblood

    Satomiblood Prototype Black

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    Haha! I was only being 45% serious when I made this request. I just thought it'd be funny and cool to see someone take either Seaspray and put him in a tub full of water.
     
  12. ErechOveraker

    ErechOveraker I'm with Plowking.

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    Great review, only nitpick is it would have been nice to see a pic starting out with a graphic telling you which one is which. Like, I know which one is the MT and which one is the iGear, but I'd be hard pressed to tell you which one was Hover and which one was Spray.

    *waves dramatically from the lazy seats
     
  13. optimusfan

    optimusfan Kill your heroes Administrator

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    Excellent point. I've added clarification to a number of the captions and in the opening paragraph. If it's still confusing I can change it throughout. As I noted earlier I frequently had to stop and think about who was who while writing it!
     
  14. NICKBOT

    NICKBOT Entitlement? Piss off.

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    Fantastic review and a GREAT idea for a thread. 3rd Party is all about sink or swim with so many options. I hope the comparison reviews keep on coming! I hate to say it, but I think iGear won this round. Decision made.
     
  15. Spether

    Spether Well-Known Member

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    Great review OpFan. I also think Spray has the edge here. Besides the accurate color scheme the arms look more solid. I also like the idea of the waist movement, even if it is limited.
     
  16. Anguirus

    Anguirus Well-Known Member

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    This has the best thread title I've ever seen.
     
  17. Angelwave

    Angelwave Physical Maintenance.....

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    :lol  I was thinking the same thing.

    I have to say, I have always preferred IGear's Spray better. Very cleaned, yet very detailed update of 80's Seaspray. Definitely the one I'd choose to place with the vintage G1s
     
  18. Valkysas

    Valkysas Attack Buffalo

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    Don't agree with the "draw" for vehicle modes, with the gaps and random yellow leg chunks on Spray in alt mode.

    Other than that, good review, and I'd agree with everything else.
     
  19. Ezilla82

    Ezilla82 Expect the Unexpected.

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    Hover's face looks good like ole G1 self, but Spray's is my fave because despite it looking like he's wearing a cheese grater on his face he looks badass. Almost like Mortal Kombat's Scorpion. So I might get him when I get the chance..hopefully.
     
  20. Nemesis251

    Nemesis251 Wants 3rd Party Knock Out

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    Good review but with the "Boatshoes Beatdown" title I was expecting more action scenes. At least one of them dropkicking somebody.
     

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