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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Numbat's review of: Battletrap

Name: Battletrap
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Assault Team
Sub-Group: Duocons

Quote: "We're only halves of a whole, but double the trouble."

He's the wrestling tag team of robots. Likes to trap his foe between his jeep and helicopter vehicles and have "fun" with him -- knock him back and forth a bit -- before finally destroying him. Jeep maximum speed of 90 mph, range 600 miles. Helicopter maximum speed of 780 mph, range 1200 miles. In robot Mode, carries double-barreled assault missile launcher with leaf-imaging for night-firing capability.

The Duocons, Battletrap and Flywheels, are interesting Transformers. Released in 1987 they are slap-bang in the middle of G1, yet are somewhat prophetic. They are gestalts in the same sense as G1 Overlord or Armada Tidal Wave two vehicles forming one robot. Unlike Tidal Wave (and especially Overlord!), there is little transformation involved clip the one to the other, and the robot springs up. Also, unlike Tidal Wave, they were rather small...

Both are rather nifty, but Battletrap was always my favourite. Plus, without doubt, he has one of the best names in the long (and often sad) history of Transformers... (and it remains unique to this figure)

[Note: Hasbro clearly had never heard of the word 'synergy' at this time - it could have been used to clear up that wordy quote! And, let's face it, not a lot of the tech specs were aimed at the right level for the kids targeted...]


Alternate Mode:

Being a Duocon, Battletrap has two simultaneous alternate modes.

The first we'll talk about is the jeep. Measuring close to 3 (18cm) long, I think it is the strongest of the ground vehicles the Duocons offer. Whereas the folding necessary for the flip-up robot transformation presents constraints on the realism of Flywheel's tank, this armoured jeep suffers not one whit! The detailing is decent, with vents on the bonnet, and a winch up front. Unfortunately, though, the radiator grill and lights are the subjects of a single matte sticker. The wheels are molded plastic long gone are the days of rubber!

The solid dark blue of the vehicle is nice suitably evil whilst not over the top. The red windows (detailed by matte stickers again) are a little unusual, though but I'm gonna find myself eating my own words again, and saying that the colour suits this vehicle. Black would have been too dark, and I suppose light blue too friendly. I'll settle with red in this case.

Battletrap's double-barreled assault missile launcher (the two coke bottles sellotaped to a cereal box...) fits on the top of the jeep, and doesn't look half bad, as far as these crazy 'attack' modes go. Unfortunately, I lost this little piece of plastic during one of my many house moves in the last few years. And it made it so far too...

The other vehicle that makes up this duo is a pale grey helicopter gunship. It's a really nice mold, and looks like it could take out an enemy tank even if it is only around 3 (19cm) long! It has fun rotating rotors... and a purple sticker on the tail! Seriously though, it is quite fun for the simple fact it's a nice looking military helicopter and the matte Decepticon logo is really cool, in my humble opinion.

And, as a bonus, both vehicles have their own heat stickers! So, if you happen to live in a country or area with sensible temperatures, they ought to be fun...


Robot Mode:

The robot mode is where these guys come to life literally. Although, just for a split second.

Clip the helicopter to the roof of the jeep (missile launcher removed), and a robot springs into existence!

Although I like to have an intelligent transformation (I'm not huge on complexity for the sake of it), I do like this. But, not as much as a regular well thought out Transformer. Still, the result in nice and well balanced.

At around 3 (19cm) tall, he's still a wee guy for all the plastic that goes in there, but he does look quite nice in overall design. The helicopter makes his upper body, chest and back, revealing his blue head. This leaves the Decepticon logo standing proud on his chest. The head sculpt is pretty cool, with silver goggles, and a sinister face. On either side of the head are little shoulder pillars, which would appear to be a little nod towards the original Seeker design.

Unfortunately, the mold kinda goes downhill from here... literally. The arms are silly short things, with no articulation, and the legs likewise. The feet, being the front of the jeep, are huge, and have no definition as individual entities. Of course, this is really the result of the interesting transformation gimmick, and the capabilities of the times. But it does still make a difference...

In this mode, the missile launcher would fit on his shoulder, looking pretty nice compared with his bud, Flywheels, who had to carry his gun eternally pointing towards the ground...

Overall, I do like the Duocons, and Battletrap is definitely the better in my view but I could see how someone could argue the other way. That just shows how close they are. Still, the transformation gimmick gets old quick, and they are not particularly good display pieces. If you have limited space for you collection (as I do), I would not recommend these guys to fill it.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation: 3 Ok, it's piss easy. But it is rather fun, all the same.
Durability: 8 Battletrap has survived well, but the matte stickers are flimsy and rip easily, and I can see the springs becoming a problem in the future. The gun is actually a good size and can attach in both modes, so there should be no problems there (but I still lost mine in my adulthood so the moral is avoid if jumping from one conservation contract to the next!).
Fun: 3 He's quite fun, and looks quite cool, but is not a great display piece and is somewhat limited in action!
Price: 6 His price varies across the board, for little rhyme or reason that I can fathom. I've seen the two Duocons go as a set (missing weapons) for 2.50 ($4.70) in good nick, and Battletrap on his own (missing weapon again) for 10 ($19), in the same condition! Of course, if you want boxed, you're looking bigger-bucks - 50 ($94) upwards.
Overall: 4 I wouldn't say he's a must have in fact, despite his plus points, I would say that there are better Transformers to fill your collection but the appeal is always gonna be there...

 
 
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