Cybertron Overhaul My Overhaul Gallery Another 18 months, another Transformers toy line, Cybertron. Gone are power linking and the search for the energon stars and weapons. It their place we have a quest for Planet Keys, scattered across four different worlds. As gimmicks go, this is not a real improvement. The keys have little play value, offering all the drawbacks of the Armada minicons, without the benefit of actually having minicons. Fortunately the money saved on the gimmicks seems to have been put into sculpting and articulation, which is what most collectors have been clamoring for. My first review for this line centers on what will undoubtedly be one of its most controversial figures: the Scout Class Autobot Overhaul. Vehicle Mode A green 4x4, at first glance I thought this might be the new incarnation of Energon Ironhide, as it shares many of the same features. For the most part the vehicle mode works; issues that were problematic for the $20 Ironhide are more easily forgiven in a toy two size classes smaller. Overload’s vehicle mode is a bit stubby, but I think retains believable proportions. The sculpt is fine – not too much detailing, but no less than is really required. It is essentially kibble free. Critics of Energon will be glad to see Hasbro finally remembered how to hide a head, this time in the tire mounted on his back. There are some issue with the windows. Opaque plastic was used, which hurts the “realism” of the design. I think its much more forgivable in a basic sized figure, but it will likely turn some off. More offensive to my eyes are the very visible screws in the side windows. These are used to secure the shoulders of the robot mode. Given the size of the vehicle, these are rather large obtrusions, and take away from the illusion. The color scheme is much like the sculpt – appropriate, but not terribly good either. A green body serves as the base for most of the vehicle, with black plastic used for the tires (including the spare). A rusty, metal flake paint is used for the front and side windows. Gold lines are added to the hood and doors for detailing, with a bit of silver lining the bottom of the doors. The two front headlights are painted bright red, and the roof lights and two hood lights are bright yellow. The only other visible color is a translucent red square on the spare tire. Overall it’s an ok scheme, but I think it could have been better. Rust is not the best color for windows; it keeps the overall “earth tones” theme, but simply does not look very attractive. Some paint on the hubcaps would have been nice too. The slot for the Planet Key is in the back, over where the license plate would normally be. Overhaul comes with a key for the Jungle Planet, presumably to emphasize his rugged, rough and tumble attitude. In this mode the key does nothing – the missile it is intended to fire is blocked. However, if the missile is loaded, its US-Saftey-Inspection-Approved long shaft sticks out very visibly. I would suggest keeping both the key and missile away from Overhaul while in vehicle mode. Robot Mode The similarities to Ironhide continue in both his transformation scheme and in robot mode, especially in the legs. This is not necessarily a bad thing, given that Ironhide was a Mega sized toy. My first impression of Overhaul is that he is short, stocky, and powerful- it is hard not to see him as an homage to Wolverine. He seems quite tiny to me, barely over 4 inches tall, and very nearly as wide. I am pretty certain that makes him shorter than most of the Energon basics, though I suppose his width may be distorting my perception. I like his general robot design. Most of the recent basic sized figures tended to be on the wimpy side, but he seems to take a big step in the opposite direction. I was always a fan of small, tough bots like G1 Brawn, and this seems to be a deliberate attempt to honor that tradition. Heavy lower legs and forearms do give some feeling of strength, with the wing-like doors further broadening his profile. His head sculpt appears fixed in a scowl, and three Wolverine-like claws on each arm complete the package. I have yet to see the cartoon, but if he is anything like he appears, he could be a very fun character. There are some nice details added in this mode. His head appropriately evokes Wolverine’s mask. Decent light-piping does a good job of bringing out his narrowed eyes. A unique feature is his forearms, which are angled inward, again evoking a classic Wolverine pose. In robot mode Overhaul remains mostly green, but more colors are added to the mix. His head, chest, shoulders, feet and claws are black plastic, and his forearms, pelvis and thighs are tan. Silver and gold are used for most of the highlights, with especially effective applications around the missile port and on his “mask.” Only one Autobot symbol is sculpted on his right shoulder. The Planet Key gimmick actually works in robot mode. The missile is inserted into his chest, and I think nicely blends into the overall design (the shaft still sticks out the back, but seems far less egregious here than in vehicle mode). Inserting the key into his back shoots the missile with decent force. Hypothetically he has good articulation - swivel joints in the head and waist, ball jointed shoulders and hips, and hinged elbows and knees. If you want to push things you can add additional points on the claws and feet, all of which move for transformation purposes. The legs have a great range of motion, but it in the arms where the it falls apart. The way the shoulders are attached to the doors greatly limits the range of the ball joint. Worse still, the inwardly angled forearms make it even more difficult to position his arms in more than one basic pose. Given that the claws should be a major feature of the toy, it makes no sense that the designers would then go out of their way to make them completely useless. It makes me wonder if the designers actually tried playing with the damn thing. Overall I can’t emphasize enough just how much I want to like this toy. His vehicle mode may only be average, but his robot mode is inspired. However this is the rare case where one bad decision completely destroys his play value. I can only imagine how disappointed most kids will be upon opening him up. I can only recommend him to those who will be happy to leave him displayed on a shelf. Grade: C- (as a toy, D). PS: I just switched to a new server for my photos. For some reason the picture sizes are inconsistent, even though they were all taken at the same resolution. It'll take me a few days to figure out all the bugs. PPS:As I post this we are getting the first images of Cybertron Brushguard, a repaint of Overhaul. Its cool tha he's a Decepticon, and the colors look to be an improvement, at least in vehicle mode. Sadly it does not look like the arm issue has been corrected.