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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Knightdramon's review of: BT-12 Overdrive

Name: Overdrive
Allegiance: Autobot (Cybertron)
Function: Strategist

Talk about a controversial release. When the BT line made its debut, we were treated with old school G1 characters. Smokescreen, Sideswipe, Hound, Tracks, Meister and so on. Then Grimlock came along, but he was still seen in G1.

Overdrive was the first non-show character that's been released in the Binaltech line so far. His G1 toy was only offered as a give away by mail figure to those who sent an application or something like that (hey, don't look at me like that! I wasn't born back then!).

No more talking about the past; let's focus on the present, shall we?

Following the trend set by his autobot predecessors, Overdrive comes in a fairly small metallic grey box. There are windows on four sides of the box, allowing for a pretty good view of the car inside. Included with Overdrive is a black display stand, instruction booklet, collector's card and his accessories. I don't know if this has been a common problem or limited only to my product, but the huge gun didn't quite fit with the booklet and card, and has thus made a slight bent in both of them.

The instructions are top notch, as always. The system description manga drawing could have been better, but I'm not complaining about it.

However, the packaging gets an 8 out of 10 this time. For some reason, the plastic tray that holds Overdrive is slightly messy at the front. I only noticed that after taking him out.

Vehicle Mode:
Overdrive comes as a Honda S2000, a very sleek sportscar. Unlike the car models used for Lambor, Tracks and Grimlock, this one is available in Europe as well. I haven't had a chance to look at the interior, but the outer shell matches the one depicted on this figure.

Overdrive spots a shiny red paintjob, which varies greatly for the other two red cars released in the line so far. It's more of a darker red, but not as dark as on BT 08. Unfortunately, some parts of the car (namely, the plastic bits) are painted in a different shade, creating a nasty contrast.

Speaking of contrast, Overdrive features more die cast parts than anybody else in the line. Around 85-90% of the cars outer "hull" (for a lack of better word) is made out of die cast metal. The front part besides the grill, the canopy, the doors and the rear part are all metal parts.

What differenciates Overdrive from a 1:24 scale model of a Honda S200? Not that much, that's for sure. The front wheels turn in unison and feature rubber tires. The canopy opens to reveal the engine. The doors have reflective side mirrors and can open to the sides. The steering wheel can turn, and the seats can freely move back and forth. The trunk opens (just don't try to fit anything in) with ease, and the car can alternate between an open top or a hardtop.

However, it should be noted that the specific change isn't built in. Instead, you have to remove the false roof hatch and replace it with the normal roof, which clicks in place.

All in all, I can't say I'm not impressed with the car mode. He's the smallest BT in car mode so far, but he is well crafted and let's face it, that's how the S2000 model fares when compared to vipers and mustangs. Definitely one of the strong points of the figure.

Robot Mode:
Overdrive features one of the most painless transformation schemes in the line so far. Next to Meister, he is the easiest to transform. Every other mould had some sort of fault that made the process terribly hard or complex. That's not the case with Overdrive.

Combining the lower body mechanism of Lambor\Dead End with the upper body mechanism of Tracks\Ravage and vastly improving them both, you can't go wrong with his transformation. The front part separates and extends, but there's nothing obstructing his heels this time. The rear part offers more mobility to the arms, something Tracks was lacking.

I'll go into detail and analyze each area of Overdrive, starting with the legs. The front part is coloured black, reaching up to his knees [resembling boots] while the thighs are painted in a gray tone. Metallic silver adourns sculpting on part of his 'boots', offering some nice details. He's supposed to be a robot after all, right? What's wrong with having tubes and vents?

His waist features a blend of red, black and silver, which continues in uneven doses the further you go up. The autobot logo is embedded on a silver 'platform' resting on his impressive chestplate, prominently showing off his alegiance.

The arms follow the pattern, but replace the silver tone with a flat gray one (the hubcaps) and add some chrome (his exhaust pipes).

The head is beautifuly designed and detailed. Following a trend set by his two predecessors, Meister and Grimlock, it's a black helmet with a blue visor and eyes sculpted on the face beneath. The visor is not that nice though, at least to my eyes. It's way too clear and shows off most of his nose and big eyes. Would have worked better if it covered a smaller area or if it was as dark as depicted on the box.

Overdrive comes with two accessories to use while in this mode. A shield [basically, the roof of the car mode] and a really long riffle. All the fuss about the riffle was made because the American version [named Windcharger] was missing the barrel. Honda apparently wasn't fond of one of their cars having a gun [war tool]. Oh well, their loss. Overdrive looks cool with both of his accessories, giving the impression that even though he is a strategist, he knows his way around in a battlefield.

Articulation wise, the figure dissapoints a little bit. The joints are all there, but basically, the mould limits itself. The legs can move forward and to the sides, the heels are on a ball joint, but the knees have limited mobility. I've tried it, and they only bend that much before the die cast parts of the front get in the way. And one of his legs cannot go back all the way because the steering wheel is in the way.

The waist is able to turn, but only up to a point because the hood will eventually end up at his face or scrapping against an arm. The lower arms are perfect and can move in almost any way, but the shoulder's aren't. The chest panel won't let them turn all the way, making Overdrive unable to point the gun at chest level. Plus, the weight of the metal eventually makes the shoulders slouch down...

All in all, Overdrive is a great mould. He has an easy, non-frustrating transformation, and that's a plus in a line with moulds like Tracks and Grimlock. He looks fantastic as a car, and makes an impressive robot mode. Unless you want to replicate a yoga stance with him, he's perfect. The long gun barrel is, in my opinion, only a plus.

Transformation: 8. Challenging, easy learning and clever. No complaints from me.
Durability: 9. Nothing prone to breaking, but I can foresee the shoulder joints wearing out by supporting all that weight.
Fun: Nice looking, has some mecha elements (I still think they need to make them more gundam-ish) and comes with cool acessories.
Price: He's a new BT, so he costs around 44-50 dollars, depending on the store. Not terribly expensive, considering what you get.
Summary: 8. Alternator fans like this specific BT for his gun, and he's not bad on his own. Can bolster your bot ranks (as if they aren't already outnumbering the cons!) in an impressive, stylish way.

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