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! 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! iGear Spray on the left, Maketoys Hover on the right. 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. 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! Maketoys Hover on the left, iGear Spray on the right. Fun fact: iGear stamped their figure with a copyright, Maketoys didn't. Yeah iGear, you'd hate to have someone copy your design! 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! '85 minibots featuring Maketoys Hover '85 minibots featuring iGear Spray '85 minibots featuring Maketoys Hover '85 minibots featuring iGear Spray 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.