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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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ganon578's review: Legends class Gestalt Leaders set

Name: Special Team Leaders
Allegiance: Autobot & Decepticon
Series: Universe Classics

The war between the Autobots and the Decepticons reaches its most furious point with the creation of the Special Teams. These highly specialized combat squads bring together a variety of talents into powerful and effective fighting teams, each led by a powerful leader. Each Special Team commander is a mighty warrior and brilliant leader, tested in the fires of the ancient war, and proven by countless victories.

While on vacation, I decided to pick up a Transformer while on the other side of the continent. By chance, my buddy and I needed to pick up some things at Target (and for the most part it was the only store nearby), so I swung by the toy section and found this gem. Already owning all the other Universe figures that this Target had to offer, I picked up the Special Team Leaders. I will admit that I wasnít the biggest fan of Legends class figures, but there was just something about this set. First, I didnít own any of the moulds, and second, it was just too cool to pass up. Now I can surely say that this set has made me a fan of the little Transformers.

The Special Team Leaders set is a Target exclusive, and it features five Transformers from the Generation 1 era that are the centerpieces of their respective combiner teams. These little guys are faithful recreations of their G1 counterparts, in both mould style and color palette. This set is quite nice since you get a mix of Autobots (Hot Zone, Silverbolt, Scattorshot) and Decepticons (Hun-Gurrr, Razorclaw), so itís really worth the money. Here we go!!!

Hot Zone:

Hot Zone is actually Hot Spot, but due to trademark reasons, Hasbro switched the name to Hot Zone. Hot Zone/Spot is the leader of the Protectobots, who can combine to form Defensor. Hot Zoneís fellow Protectobots include Blades, Streetwise, First Aid, and Groove. Hot Zone is a repaint (for the billionth timeÖ or maybe the third time) of a mould that was formerly Classics Menasor (also a combiner) and Cybertron Optimus Prime. Hot Zone is also one of three Autobots in this set.

Hot Zone is a good representation of the G1 toy he used to be, even in this small size. The original transformed into a fire truck cab, and now he transforms into more of a semi-truck cab. It works well enough, though. The alternate mode is very sturdy and it looks sort of futuristic, but itís not just blatantly weird or anything; it still looks like a semi/fire truck cab. If there were any parts that I would complain about, is that the back end of the truck is really long, almost like it is a flat-bed truck. Other than that, the mould is great; there are small rolling wheels (that donít work well on carpet), the detail in the mould and the paint applications are good, and show that Hasbro took some care in making this small repaint. Light grey makes up most of the color, with red, black, and silver accents. The figure also has two small Autobot symbols on the sides (which end up on the shoulders in robot mode). The robot mode is nice, detail and paint applications are great here too, and thereís a surprising amount of detail on the head. This mode is just as sturdy as the truck mode, but there is a great lack of articulation (but can you expect much movement from a Legends toy?). Balance is good, and as a display piece, Hot Zone looks strong and imposing with his large shoulders and bulky lower legs. Overall, both modes are great, and the quality is top-notch.

Hun-Gurrr:

Hun-Gurrr is the leader of the Terrorcons (Rippersnapper, Blot, Sinnertwin, and Cutthroat) which combine to form Abominus. This mould is also a repaint of a repaint, with the first appearance being Cybertron Scourge, and the second being Classics Trypticon. Hun-Gurrr is one of two Decepticons in this set.

Hun-Gurrr is a decent homage to his G1 predecessor, but there are a few things that are different. First, the color palette used to be light grey, dark grey, and a pink/fuchsia color. The greys still make an appearance, but the pink-ish color has been changed (thankfully) to a dull shade of purple. It doesnít stand out as much as the G1 version, but I think it makes him look much more intimidating (pink is a difficult color to be afraid of). Another ďchangeĒ is the addition of an extra head. The G1 toy transformed into a two-headed mechanical dragon, and now he has three heads. Maybe with time that third one just grew in. Who knows? Anyways, in alternate mode (three-headed dragon mode), Hun-Gurrr is very sturdy, and the detail is great. The mode makes Hun-Gurrr look very much like an organic dragon, but the detail in the mould gives rise to a lot of robot looking parts (gears and such). This level of detail is great for a figure of such small stature. The paint applications are good too; Purple adorns his head (which has four horns, mind you) while light grey makes up most of the body with some splashes of dark grey mixed in. A little yellow for the eyes, and you have one mean three-headed dragon. Robot mode is good too; the great paint apps are good here too along with a good deal of detail. His once large dragon head is now his chest (sporting a neat little ĎCon symbol), and the smaller heads are rotated back and hidden decently for a figure this small. One part I donít like in this mode is the awkwardness of the hands. The front claws of dragon mode are rotated to reveal fists, which are OK, but it looks like he has his arms bent, even though they may not actually be bent. The way theyíre designed doesnít give you much to do with the arms, and detracts a little from the fun. The arms, legs, hands, and feet are on ball joints though, so you can at least move things around a little. Overall, the alternate mode is great, and the robot mode is good, if a little lacking.

Razorclaw:

Razorclaw is the leader of the Predacons (Divebomb, Headstrong, Rampage, and Tantrum) that combine to form Predaking. This figure is a repaint of Legends of Cybertron Leobreaker, and Classics Leo Prime. It is also the closest representation to date of the ďDawn of Futureís PastĒ version of Razorclaw. Dawn of Futureís Past is a comic storyline under the Transformers Timelines series that revolves around the Beast Wars universe.

Razorclaw is by far my favorite figure in this set. The mould is great and it very closely resembles its G1 predecessor. Yellow is the major color of the mould, and black, orange, and red add some contrast to the figure. The alternate mode is that of a lionÖ a robotic lion. Either way itís a great alternate mode, and it has the same feel as Hun-Gurrr: animal type alternate mode, but enough robotic detail to make it still feel like a robot, and closely linked to G1. Thereís some decent movement in the legs and arms in this mode, and the tail can be moved around a bit too. Speaking (or typing) of the tail, it has a barbed end to it, which looks very wicked, and seems like it would come in handy in a fight. His shoulders and mane are really bulky too, which is really reminiscent of an actual lion. Moulded detail is great; there are a lot of small designs in the face and in the mane that give it that touch of quality. That quality is transferred wonderfully in robot mode. Articulation is OK (pretty good for a Legends figure) and the colors are a little more spread out. This makes the paint apps stand out a little, and gives a little more prominence to the red which is somewhat absent in the alternate mode. Again, the shoulders are bulky here, which gives him an impressive look. There is one part that I feel is quite quirky: the feet are moulded as such that it seems like heís wearing high heel shoes. If thatís the only problem with the figure though, Iíll be willing to let it slide. One other nice little touch is the small Decepticon symbols on the arms. The purple symbols are well detailed and stand out on the black background nicely (theyíre trimmed in white). Overall, I think this figure is the best of the bunch. A great robot mode, a great alternate mode, good quality all around, and who doesnít like a Transformer that can wear heels and still tear you apart?

Scattorshot:

Leader of the Technobots (Strafe, Lightspeed, Afterburner, Nosecone), Scattorshot (also known as Scattershot in G1, but probably renamed for trademark reasons) is the centerpiece of the combiner known as Computron, that was apparently created from Grimlock who had brains at the time (thatís the abbreviated version of the story; you can check it on the internet sometime). This version of Scattorshot is a repaint of the Vector Prime figure from the Cybertron Legends class.

As mentioned above, this is a repaint of the Vector Prime mould, which has a great amount of detail in such a small figure. In alternate mode, Scattorshot transforms into a Cybertron-type space ship. Heís very close to his G1 predecessor in both color and alternate mode. Personally, I think the Vector Prime mould fits the character well; the main colors in the palette are off-white, red, and a darker red, just like in the earlier toy, with a small bit of light blue (in the face and chest). The alternate mode is really good; high quality that marks this entire set is in this figure too, thereís a high level of detail in the mould, and itís very sturdy. One aspect of this mode that is really hard to ignore is the complete lack of hidden robot parts. The face sits on the top of the spaceship, and since itís painted light blue, it sticks out like a sore thumb. The arms are folded as such that they run along the sides of the ship and arenít tucked away either. The legs fold under the ship decently, but itís still obvious that theyíre folded legs. I must say that the transformation is definitely not tricky or even clever, its main job is to get pieces into an alternate mode look, and thatís the purpose it serves. Robot mode is a little better though, and I was very astounded to see how well the colors matched up with to the old G1 figure in this mode. There is a lack of articulation though, and even though you can move his knees, hips and ankles, there really isnít much you can do with him besides stand him straight up. On the back of the box, it shows Scattorshot with a bent elbow, but believe me, those arms sure donít bend. Theyíre molded solid, and if you try to bend themÖ SNAP! Not that Iíve done this, but I can imagine what it would be likeÖ The other problem with the robot mode is that the wings of the ship donít have anywhere to go. They stick out and serve no real function in this mode other than to get in the way. The figure itself is a great representation of G1 Scattorshot, but Iím afraid that thereís just a few too many quirkís about this figure that detract from the fun. Donít get me wrong, heís still neat, it just feels like a little more engineering would go a long way.

Silverbolt:

The Aerialbots (Air Raid, Fireflight, Skydive, Slingshot) are lead by Silverbolt, the Aerialbot that is afraid of heights (according to his Universe Ultra class bio). This version of Silverbolt is a repaint of Legends of Cybertron Thundercracker, and also a repaint of the Legends class Starscream from this very same Universe line. Coincidentally, you could assemble all the Aerialbots in the Legends class by picking up this Special Team Leaders set (Silverbolt), the Aerial Rivals set (Skydive, Air Raid) and the Classics Legends Fireflight. Well, youíd be pretty close anyway; you would just need to find a suitable replacement for Slingshot. If you have the money, go for it!!!

In alternate mode, Silverbolt is a jet that is very reminiscent of an F-18 Hornet. Thereís probably a real jet counterpart that it matches, but thatís about the closest match I can think of. All in all, the alternate mode is quite stable, and is a solid representation of G1 Silverbolt, right down to the robot-tacked-to-a-plane look. The main color palette of Silverbolt is a very light grey with dark grey, red, silver, and gold highlights. In his jet mode, the paint detailing is really nice. The red highlights that run down the side of the jet fade into silver by the time they hit the tips of the wings, and silver is also detailed on the tail wings. A small Autobot symbol can be found on the top of the jet too. The mould detail in both modes is very light; all the other figures in this set are brimming with detail, and this one is really kind of bland. Itís still a nice mould, but more detailing would be welcome. The jet mode is really solid; I donít think things will break off, but there are sections of the figure that donít hold together well in jet mode: First, when you swing his body up to connect the nose of the jet to the body, the seam where they connect never is fully closed. Maybe itís just mine, but it doesnít seem to fit together tightly. The second flimsy part is Silverboltís weapon. Yeah! A Legends figure that actually comes with a weapon! Anyways, when you slide his weapon under the bottom side of the jet, it always pops off. I havenít found a good way to get it to stay in place, but I will mention that it is on a little ball joint, so reattachment isnít a problem. Silverboltís robot mode is also very solid, just like the jet mode. The one problem I have is articulation. I know, I know, heís only a Legends class figure, but there really isnít anything at all that can be done aside from moving his arms. His legs are stiff, they have no knees to speak of, and his head doesnít swivel. His feet are huge in proportion to the rest of his body, but that is actually a good thing here, as it gives him a solid base to stand on. Balancing him is not a problem, even when you point his gun arm straight up for shooting Decepticons. The gold cockpit that rests on his chest is a nice little bit of detail, and itís the only part that doesnít match well with the G1 version; the first toy used to have quite a bit of red there. Lack of movement and all, Silverbolt has a pretty decent robot mode, a nicely painted jet mode, and is a decent overall version of the G1 Silverbolt in small form.


Marks out of 10 (As a Set):

Transformation: 3. In all the transformations, thereís nothing tricky or noteworthy. Theyíre simple yet fun.
Durability: 9. This set has great quality. Anything that could pop off is easily reattached, and I donít think theyíll break anytime soon.
Fun: 9. Itís a neat set. You get 5 leaders of combiners in Legends form. If youíre lacking shelf space, theyíre great versions of the characters theyíre based on, and you get a good mix of Decepticons and Autobots. Plus, some of them actually have weapons!!!
Price: 10. I picked up mine for $16 US. Thatís a great deal considering normal retail of individual Legends ranks in at $4-$5 a piece. So you get 5 Transformers for $4-$9 cheaper than buying them individually (not that theyíre sold that way). Thatís a bargain.
Overall: 9. This is a great set; not perfect, but great. Quality is top-notch, the mix of characters is great, and they all have ties to combiners from G1. You should at least find a Target or your countryís equivalent and heavily consider it. How can you go wrong?
 
 
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