Clay's review of: DeceptichargeName
: Warriorish RacerSub-Group
Honda strikes again! Not only have they vetoed the inclusion of the gun barrel from the get-go this time around, but they've also molested the concept of the figure by bastardizing the name itself!
Various names for this toy may have had included: Drag Strip, Thrust (a Japanese Beast Wars II reference), and Wildrider. Honda apparently rejected all of these, so Decepticharge was a last ditch effort to name the toy, which Honda accepted. The name comes from Decepti
Also, just because I haven't seen anyone else point it out, the 'new' packaging for the Alternators (the red boxes) do have very faint images of the character art on the insides of the boxes. Very subtle, but a great effect. Perhaps too subtle for people to notice, though.
I'd highly recommend looking up KCC at TransRepro
if you want a reproduction gun barrel. I actually had mine before the Decepticharge arrived in the mail, and I'm very pleased. It makes the figure seem all the more better when it's actually complete.Vehicle Mode
The vehicle itself, as a race car, is actually quite nice, including many references in the sponser decals just for fans. These include, but are not limited to: "Energon Power", "Cybertronian Radials", "Destron Oil", "Hyperlinq Racing", etc, etc. Basically, this is a transformer race car with transformer ads. It's as if an over-hyped toy brand has officially imploded into itself and created a black hole of marketing. Or something.
The physical differences between this toy and the original release of the S2000 mold include a new roof, a spoiler, and a new head. Though billed as a closed-top only model, it does in fact come with the same little convertible piece as Overdrive/Windcharger to maintain the variability of having the top up or down.
The paint redecoration itself is quite spiffy, but it does have a few very minor flaws. The yellows on the doors don't precisely match up with the rest of the car. It's not as noticable as Swerve, but it is there.Robot Mode
I usually skimp out of describing the transformation process in great detail, but for this one, I will make a small note: this is probably the simplest, most straightforward of all the various Binaltech/Alternator molds thus far. There is no learning curve or minute detail to master in order to be able to transform the figure correctly. Given that, if you're the kind that likes to transform things once and then display them in one position permanently, I would recommend getting any release of this mold to help change your ways.
Anyway, the robot itself is essentially a yellow and black Overdrive with what was supposed to be Windcharger's head, which was supposed to go on the Mustang remold, which turned out to be Wheeljack. Maybe the name 'Decepticharge' isn't quite all that inaccurate or inane afterall. Well, not inaccurate, at least. Of course, with the yellow/black race car motif, I'm struck as to whether to call it Drag Strip, or identify it as a Beast Wars-era Buzzsaw.
The figure has the same abilities and detriments as the previous releases: great arm articulation; slender, near kibble-free build; a good use of the hood to make a decent back; car parts getting in the way of the knee articulation; etc.
The final matter about the robot mode is the weapon minus the barrel. Actually, it's not a weapon at all - it's a scanner, according to the box! Of course, it's not that I'm foaming at the mouth because it doesn't have a suitable weapon - lots of the figures I like don't even have them to begin with - it's the fact that the part is incomplete that bugs me. I suppose Hasbro couldn't do much for this release either, but I'm sure if they had more time to think of work-arounds, they could've thought of something like, say, including the barrel in a plastic bubble on top of the box as a "Special Super Extra Free Toy!" like they did with all the surplus Minicons attached to various larger figures towards the end of the Armada line. That way, it wouldn't technically be part of the toy. Too bad Hasbro doesn't have a suggestion box...Transformation
: 10 - Probably the best of all the Alternators for reasons of brevity, simplicity, and minimal impact on the appearance of the figure.Durability
: 10 - I've already dropped it a few times, and it seems fine to me. (I usually end up dropping all the figures I review. Lucky me, eh?)Fun
: 7 - Incomplete parts just irk me.Price
: 9 - $20 retail. These things have about the best bang-for-buck of all the various transformers out at the moment. Since Decepticharge is very new and in limited supply, however, prepare to witness the laws of supply and demand if you venture online to find this figure.Summary
: 9 - All in all, still pretty snazzy. I would definately recommend this over the Honda-maligned Windcharger (both have incomplete parts) simply because this is only the fifth Decepticon in the line. Given all the other positive points, I'd say they do outweigh the negatives. Pretty neat figure when all is said and done, and a completely different decor from the upcoming Binaltech counterpart.