Cybertron Hardtop review

Discussion in 'Transformers Feedback & Reviews' started by mag_jr., Jul 21, 2005.

  1. mag_jr.

    mag_jr. <B><font color=red>TFW2005 Article Guy</font></B> Veteran

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    I got this little guy last night (to celebrate my new job :D  ) and I thought I'd just do a quick write up.

    Vehicle Mode

    Hardtop is your basic dune buggy, one step removed from reality (probably to avoid paying licensing fees for any real life vehicle). Unlike some of the other Cybertron toys, who have more futuristic alt modes, this one sticks fairly close to reality.

    As other people have already pointed out, it's kind of odd for Hardtop to be called Hardtop since, in fact, he has no roof (or top). For that matter, he doesn't have a windshield, either. The roll-cages on the sides of the vehicle basically stand in for windows.

    Apart from that, he has a pretty good sculpt for a vehicle basic, with a good hood section in particular (painting the vent grating at the top of the hood black is a nice touch). He has some top-mounted foglights (which become his feet) as well as the expected headlights. An interesting touch is that, while his head is sort of exposed inside the vehicle, it's facing down, with his chest plate functioning as a kind of seat. An interesting way to do that.

    As far as color scheme goes, his vehicle mode is mostly a dark green, with yellow for the lights, a little silver on the hood, some gunmetal for the foglights, and black for the wheels and some detailing. I like the all-black wheels, which is appropriate for a bare-bones offroad vehicle. There's also a much lighter, pastel green showing on the back wheel struts, which features heavily in his robot mode.

    Hardtop's key gimmick is contained in his weapon (a machine gun), just like Clocker's, and like Clocker's weapon, it's removable. Unlike Clocker's weapon, using Hardtop's key gimmick in vehicle mode requires you to pull the weapon off or turn it to the side to flip the longer barrel out. Once it's out, though, you can move the gun back, so it's not really a big deal.

    Hardtop comes with the Earth Planet Key, if I'm not mistaken. It's fully painted.

    Transforming Hardtop is pretty easy, especially if you bought any of the Construction Team combiners in Energon--Hardtop has almost the exact same transform as Sledge and Bonecrusher.

    1. Pull the weapon off. Pull the legs up and back. Pull the front wheels up.
    2. Pull the arms out to the sides, then pull the front end piece down. Snap the lower waist up into place.
    3. Rotate the waist forwards, then pull his lower arms down and flip his chest plate up. Push the back wheels down on his legs to help brace him.

    Robot Mode

    Hardtop has a pretty cool robot mode, which is extremely bendy by basic standards--10 points, and that includes waist and head movement (of course, his shoulders and hips are done with ball joints, which increases his range of movement). The only big negative is that his legs are a little floppy, but I expect that with ball joints from time to time.

    The interesting thing about Hardtop's color scheme is that, like Clocker's, it hails back to G2--there's two dark colors (dark green and a magenta red that's almost dark purple) offset by a light pastel color (light green). For whatever reason, instead of being ugly, it actually looks pretty nice up close. I certainly prefer this color scheme to the one Clocker has. For detailing, you can add gold and matte orange to the list of colors (gold on the arms, orange on the chest plate).

    I like Hardtop's weapon, too, which looks like a sniper rifle when the barrel is extended. He's one of Starscream's lackeys, according to his bio, so a sniping weapon seems perfectly in character. The key mechanism on the side, rather than looking out of place, kind of looks like it might be an ammo magazine.

    Hardtop also has a neat head sculpt, which looks like a weird mating of G1 Rumble's face with Go-Bot Cy-Kill's head (although it isn't stuck inside a motorcycle's headlight). Instead of being lame, though, it makes him look mean. The eye-visor/cyclops look also is a nice break from all the humanoid faces the line has had so far.

    Overall, I really like Hardtop. He isn't quite as tall as Clocker (about one head shorter), but he's very poseable, has a better weapon, a quieter color scheme, and looks much less kibbly. Personally, I like him much better than Clocker. Definitely one of the better basics out there; give him a shot if you find one.
     
  2. REDLINE

    REDLINE longer days, plz? Veteran

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    dude, you have impressive timing! *L* I saw him at walmart today and wasn't sure if I wanted to get him or not... he looked nice in alt mode... now I know I want it! :thumb 

    Andy
     
  3. Kupp

    Kupp Ford Fanboy TFW2005 Supporter

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    He is a great figure, definately worth grabbing.
     
  4. Grimlock_13

    Grimlock_13 Reformed Geewunner

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    Seconded. I love the fact a TF (especially a Decepticon) finally has a sniper rifle!

    That plus the not too terrible paint scheme and the decent poseabilty makes for a great toy for the size. B+ for Hardtop.
     
  5. Rhinox

    Rhinox We bring surreal to life

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    Hardtop is one of the best basics I've ever had the pleasure of owning. Well worth that $6.
     
  6. REDLINE

    REDLINE longer days, plz? Veteran

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    well I just got him, and boy am I glad! I think I will get scattorshot tomorrow... I just hafta decide if I want the recon minicon team or not!

    Andy I give Hardtop :thumb :thumb !
     
  7. Cheebs

    Cheebs Well-Known Member

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    As soon as I see this guy in stores I'm grabbin' two of 'em....And one's getting a new paint job. :) 
     
  8. @l3x

    @l3x Well-Known Member

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    Got him today. Great posability, nice proportions, good head sculpt. The colors really aren't bad in person, though they still could have been better. It's kinda funny though how the decepticon symbol is almost blue, not the pinkish purple that it usually is. He also has a pretty cool weapon with a decent gimmick.

    Overall, I give Hardtop an A-. If not for the funny colors, it would have been just a little better.
     
  9. Chosen

    Chosen Space Ninja

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    I love this guy! While every time I look at him, I keep thinking of ways the sculpt could have been done better - altogether, the vehicle mode looks a bit mismatched - the flaws are incomparable to all the cool points of this little guy. He makes his big cousin Sledge proud. ;)  B+/A- for me, but he's just touching that A+ as far as I'm concerned.
     
  10. Chaos Incarnate

    Chaos Incarnate Not just a name.

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    Really sweet figure, I'd give him a straight 8 out of 10. My biggest beef with him is that I have trouble getting his legs to stay put in alt mode.
     
  11. Nerd Bomber

    Nerd Bomber Consulting your needs

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    Best Basic TF to hit the shelves in a long time.
     
  12. Heat Guy

    Heat Guy Well-Known Member

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    This little dude is sweet! To be honest I first picked him up just cause I wanted another planet key but he became almost as cool as Hotshot (not the character, the figure).
     
  13. Swoop X

    Swoop X Beware Of The Decepticons

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    Something worth getting.
     
  14. Xcandescent

    Xcandescent TRUKKS are the new MUNKYS

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    I skipped Hardtop the first few times I saw him, due to the GIANT EXPOSED HEAD in the front seat, but I changed my head after reading these reviews.

    He's a nifty figure, but obviously he ain't perfect -- especially when you compare him to the figure his transformation is based on.

    Hardtop has almost the exact transformation as Energon Sledge/Bonecrusher. I say almost, because a couple of changes were made that seem subtle, but actually make the figure harder to transform:

    - The legs/knees/waist are loose as hell, and don't peg securely in alt. mode. The latter is BY DESIGN; the legs are held in place by half-notches, instead of the full clips on Sledge.

    - The arms are now doors, which hold the front seat in place. Also, the forearms have extra plastic which prevent easy access to the shoulder panels.

    This makes transforming back to alt. mode more difficult for two reasons. On Sledge, you could hook your thumb under the shoulder panels, and swivel the whole mess pretty easily. You can't do that as easily on Hardtop thanks to the extra plastic. The front seat goes between the doors at a very specific angle, so getting everything lined up and snapped together takes a good deal more fiddling.


    The other major change is that the rear wheels don't go anywhere in the transformation. The instructions indicate they should rotate down slightly, probably to act as heel supports. However, this limits posability. The alternative is rotating the wheels up (which is doable, but not by design), which gives you more posability -- which is undone by the ultra-loose joints.

    I like the folding-down seat as chest bit ... I just wish someone had the forethought to HIDE THE HEAD if they wanted to have a visible seat.

    The weapon is all right. Sniper rifle turns into ... longer sniper rifle. Kinda redundant, but looks good either way. (Better than Sledge's claw, anyway.) Downside here is that the Cyber Key gets in the way of holding the weapon (ala Ransack); you have to either extend the arm, or take the key out.

    Articulation is awesome, just like Sledge was. Unfortunately, the loose joints keep him from holding most poses ... which sucks, because he'd easily be the most posable of the scouts.

    In summary: Nice figure, held back by floppy joints and odd design changes.

    Final grade: B

    -XCN-
     
  15. Brodimus Prime

    Brodimus Prime Matrix Templar

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    I picked him and Excellion up the other day. Great deal getting the two of them for only $15. Hardtop is sweet for a basic. Very posable, with a simple transformation, and a cool alt mode. And I just love Excellion. Best...Hot Shot....EVER!
     
  16. giga-galvatron

    giga-galvatron Decepticon S.T.A.G ******

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    I just grabbed Hardtop this pass Monday and well I was impressed with his transformation and he is one of the best basics soo far.
     
  17. AndreyOfDoom

    AndreyOfDoom maximize

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    Does that black part on his chest open to reveal something?
     
  18. Xcandescent

    Xcandescent TRUKKS are the new MUNKYS

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    It's a seat.

    -XCN-
     
  19. Feralstorm

    Feralstorm I ship Nick & Judy TFW2005 Supporter

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    Woulda been an ideal place to stamp another Decepticon symbol, too.
     
  20. Sonscreen

    Sonscreen Casual TF collector<br><b><font color=#FF0000>aksm TFW2005 Supporter

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    I finally found this little guy. He's a great figure for ANY size class and is just as fun and articulated as Energon Sledge/Bonecrusher.
     

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