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

Name: Overlord
Allegiance: Destron
Function: Ambassador of Destruction!
Sub-Group: Godmaster
"DISRELIVE!"

An amalgamation of killing weaponry, he can rapidly produce missiles and other weapons with his internal arms factory. Intensifying the mightiest super-god power ever, he can inflict destructive damage on the regenerative abilities of the Cybertrons' transtectors. (Thanks to Doug Dlin and primesaber.com for the translation.)

The pictures for this review are from the European version of the figure since Reflector didn't have access to a digital camera for the review. If anyone has a Japanese version and would like to contribute, please email Sir Auros.

"It's okay / Allow yourself a little hate" - NOFX, American Errorist I know you're jealous. I would be too. 'Cause not only do I own Overlord (one of the most hyped-up and drooled-over Transformers anywhere ever), but if you hadn't guessed by the info above, it's the Japanese version. Which isn't any different than the European version, except by the packaging. Which I also have.

I know. I'm pumped too. Please, save your applause, shoes, and throwing knives for after the show.

Overlord was released in Japan in 1988 as part of the Super God Masterforce subline, and in Europe in 1991. He was a Godmaster (the Japanese version of western Powermasters) and was unique in that regard by being the only Transformer that could utilize two engines simultaneously. In the cartoon, he was the field commander of the Destron forces and one nasty fella. His Godmaster partners were Mega and Giga, some sort of weird romantic(?) couple. I won't say any more. You'll have to buy some tapes and find out.

Tank Mode:
I don't know much about military hardware, but I've read that Overlord's 8.25"x4" tank section is based on the M1 Abrams. I can't really comment on how close to home the design is, but I can say that it's nicely detailed. The base/body of the tank is a probably-not-too-realistic blue and sports a number of neat little details, from rivets along the edges to crosses over storage compartments. The non-functional treads are a dark shade of gray, which really compliments the body. The turret is an off-white and also features a few interesting details like rails around the sides and back. Giga can fit in an engine slot on the left half of the turret, or he can hide in human mode under the transparent orange canopy on the right half. Orange? It uglies up the colors a little bit, but not as much as the purple barrel (which would be great if it wasn't lighter than Destron insignias flanking it). Poseability here is nonexistent, save the vertical motion of the barrel. I would have liked a rotating turret, but considering that the thing splits in half to become Overlord's legs, it's understandable.

Jet Mode:
Even if you don't know a thing about planes, you can probably recognize the jet portion of Overlord as being based on the SR-71 Blackbird or whatever it's called. It's apparent that this becomes most of the robot body: the Megajet measures at just a hair under 13" long by 9" wide. Almost the entire frame is black when viewed from above, giving it a serious and convincing look. Like the tank, there are a number of little details engraved all over this thing, such as ventilation grates and random sleekness lines. Mega can act as a relatively tiny engine smack in the middle of the jet, or she can lie down (on her face or on her back - you make the call!) in the cockpit. Flawed articulation disallows her from sitting in any pose that would look natural for a fighter pilot. Luckily, no one cares, because the transparent orange on the canopy looks much better thanks to the bit of black paint applied to it. The engines (or, uh, whatever they are) flanking the body are the same off-white as the tank's turret; the rudders and cones protruding from the engines are the same purple as the barrel. Maybe it's that the colors are a bit better distributed, or maybe it's that the primary color is the universally-workable black, but the scheme on this one just looks a little more natural. By the way, don't look on the underside. The designer didn't do a terrific job hiding the robot mode, and the landing gear is just damn silly.

Base Mode:
For as intimidating as his profile makes his weapons factory mode sound, it's a little disappointing. Don't get me wrong, the thing is surprisingly huge: 26"(!)x11"x10". All of the colors from the vehicle modes show through on this one in fairly even distribution, as well as the seafoam used on the engines' chests. This mode allows you to attach accessories that can't be used otherwise: a dual cannon, a six-round missile pack, a radar dish, and some vague pronged thing I can't identify. Lotsa guns, for sure. You can also stick one of the engines into a little gray non-transforming grocery cart thing for extra vroomage. The only accessory that doesn't have a home in this mode is the tank barrel. I appreciate that efficiency. There are also a few extra features that are hidden in other modes, like the tank halves' dual cannon and claw with three points of articulation (sadly, they're all on the boom rather than the claw itself), and another dual cannon on the jet's underside. The arms are very poorly disguised, as the hands are actually needed to hold some accessories, but there are little details that kind of make them look like towers. Oh yeah, and there's a hatch at the top of the central tower (also unused in other modes) where a Godmaster can watch the nothing happening, but I can never get it open without hurting myself... Okay, so the base isn't so bad. I guess it's the seafoam on the connecting ramps that reminds me that this thing is just a few scattered parts slapped together in a none-too-sturdy fashion. The ramps are held on by the gravity honor system and do easily fall off; the jet section tends to topple over anytime it wants. There certainly are heftier Transformers bases.

Robot Mode:
For how huge his other combined mode is, it's almost surprising that Overlord measures in at only (only, he says!) 13.5". But remember that this was before we had our Unicrons and our Omega Primes, so that was pretty gigantic way back when. The robot mode doesn't really showcase anything we haven't seen before, unless you were good and didn't look at the jet mode's underside, in which case you're getting your first view of Overlord's face and torso. The previously dominant black gives way to a lot of blue this time, which would make a nice even look except for that damn seafoam on his shins. The head sculpt is pretty neat - it kind of looks like there are guns sprouting upward from the sides - and his silver face and red eyes go quite well with the scheme. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of cool details here save for the arms (which we saw last time) and the panels covering his Godmaster cavities. Popping engines in there both makes Overlord look more menacing and reveals a dual cannon and six barrels of destruction from his lower chest. The jet pod on his arm can be detached to do fly-y things, and it even comes with its own landing gear. Overlord's gun is also a missile launcher, if you care. Unfortunately, this is where the fun stops. He has a total of five articulation points (neck, shoulders, and hips; I guess sitting down is a greater priority for the Destron leader than, I dunno, walking). This, along with his very blocky appearance, really threatens to slap him into the brick stereotype. Sorry, big guy, but you brought it on yourself.

Tran-- Oh, whoops.

Godmasters:
They need a blurb. Although cursed with being Godmasters, these little guys are almost neat. The do share identical parts for limbs (except coloration - Giga's black, Mega's white), but a nice touch is that the sculpts clearly show body shape variance for male and female. The engine modes don't really look as functional as other Power/Godmasters, but if you believe a jet or tank is running on something that size, it doesn't really matter what it looks like... The best part is that they're surprisingly detailed: each even has a tiny little sculpting of the outline of a Destron symbol. If only they made stickers that small.

Transformation: 4 - It'll take you a minute with all the parts to throw around, but the fundamental design is far from complex.
Durability: 8 - Keep a Zip-Loc handy for all the parts, but don't worry about anything snapping.
Fun: 6 - Its saving graces are being huge and having so many modes. Other than that... there are better toys.
Price: 3 - Whuf. I paid $300 for mine. If you're not picky, you can find the European version for... $50-$100, I'd say. Anybody wanna make a deal? I got mine for a MISB RiD Scourge and a complete G1 Bombshell w/box. European version.:P -Luke
Summary: 5 - It's certainly a neat toy to own, and I'd recommend it if you have cash and no addictions (like, say, food). Just don't make my mistake.

 
 
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