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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Blackjack's review: Crosshairs

Name: Crosshairs
Allegiance: Autobot
Size Class: Scouts Class
Accessories: Energon Star; Crane-Gun Assembly; Wheel/Axe Halves

So during the boom of the first movie line, Hasbro doled out several Energon and Cybertron mold repaints as Walmart exclusives, usually as new characters homaging old ones. One of these repaints is Crosshairs, a repaint of the Omnicon Strongarm from the Energon line. Crosshairs’ bio puts him to be similar in behavior with the original Crosshairs from the G1 line, a meticulous Targetmaster who acts as the Autobots’ armourer. The movieverse Crosshairs was, likewise, a meticulous armourer who won’t let you take a weapon out of his extensive armoury without filling out forms detailing what they needed it for. It’s certainly a quick repaint to pad out the line, but the fact that they took enough care to get the trademark for Crosshairs (it’s a great name) back and give him the correct characterization… of course the colours are brown instead of the original Crosshairs’ bright red and blue, but, hey, it’s a different character, no?

Of course, in the tie-in comics he was reduced to a generic heroic Autobot thing that probably died off-screen or something, so there’s not much to say about him.

Alternate Mode:
Crosshairs transforms into a generic military jeep, albeit one that has two larger rear wheels. He’s painted mainly in two fetching shades of sandy and dark brown, with gray rounding up the rest of the details. A desert camo detail is painted lovingly over his hood and sides. It’s rather gratifying to see such a small-release repaint get so much detail in painting. The overall effect seems to homage Outback, sort of, due to the large black cannon attached to him, which isn’t a far stretch, for the Strongarm mould has been redecoed as Outback once before. Of course, Crosshairs was released during the ‘Allspark Power’ subline imprint, which means there has to be some baby blue thrown in somewhere in order to represent the Allspark’s power. Or something. On his vehicle mode, at least, the baby blue is placed on the side of the vehicle in stripes, as well as what would become the crotch in robot mode. It’s not that jarring.

Crosshairs has quite a decent amount of moulded details, including chairs (which would be impractical in a real vehicle) and a windshield crafted out of hard plastic which resembles real glass. There is an Autobot symbol moulded (but not painted) on one corner of his vehicle mode, and under it is a Sector Seven symbol, which means Crosshairs has taken the form of a Sector Seven vehicle. The jeep doesn’t do anything to hide the robot mode chest, but it’s close enough to the blocks on a jeep that it works. The head, however, even though it’s pointing to the floor, is pretty blatant.

Having repainted from an Omnicon mould, Crosshairs comes with a bunch of accessories, this time cast in a subdued shade of translucent grey, as opposed to the offensively bright primary colours they used to be. The energon star pegs onto what would become Crosshairs’ chest, but is part of the jeep’s rear here. It looks silly plugged in to his alternate mode, but the alternative would mean a glowing silver Autobot symbol… which looks even more out of place. Oh well. The other three pieces hide as vehicle mode kibble. One acts like a crane plugged onto a corner of the jeep, but while it does have a hinged crane hook, it’s blatantly a gun… and Crosshairs is painted like a military jeep. The other two halves form wheel halves which are supposed to peg onto Crosshairs’ robot head and masquerade as a spare wheel, which works quite fine… except that while one half has a peg that securely attaches to Crosshairs’ noggin, the other simply sits there, meaning it can and will fall off at any time in vehicle mode.

Crosshairs rolls pretty well in vehicle mode, and his crane-cannon thing can be angled. You can also bend the windshield towards the hood, which is a nice touch. He’s a rather fetching jeep as well, with cartoonishly (yet not unrealistically) large wheels.

Robot Mode:
Crosshairs’ transformation is rather simple. The blatant torso part becomes the torso, of course. The rear wheels rotate on its fake half and reveal the arms, the head rotates, and the front half of the jeep rotate and unfold to become the legs, with the windshield acting as the feet. The overall result is a rather stockish robot, which gives the impression of a brawler. Again, his primary colours are still browns and grays, but Allspark baby blue crisscross his thighs and dot his shoulders. It’s a bit irritating to see baby blue there, which detracts from the otherwise beautiful paintjob. Crosshairs has a rather surprisingly versatile amount of articulation. His head turns, his shoulders are ball-jointed, his elbows are on hinges, his waist rotates (!), his thighs and knees are jointed, and even his feet, by virtue of being windshields, can angle a little. Sadly, his thighs cannot be articulated so it’s pointing backwards due to the chair kibble getting in the way.

He’s also got these cute warrior skirt flaps on the sides of his waist.

Again, the accessories come into play in robot mode. While it’s not executed elegantly, I like how the Omnicon weapons hide as kibble in the vehicular mode, and transform into weapons in the robot mode. The energon star, obviously, remains in the same position, but the instructions suggests two ways on how to display the rest of Crosshairs’ weaponry. The first is to leave the crane-cannon on Crosshairs’ shoulder (well, the thick kibble that forms part of his thick shoulders), while the wheel halves peg onto Crosshairs’ real shoulders as… shields or something, I don’t know. This looks rather ridiculous.

The second one is that Crosshairs holds the crane-gun by the business end, and the wheel halves plug into the other end to form an awkward-looking axe. To be honest, it isn’t so much an axe as a club with circular ‘blades’ attached to it, but as a kid I thought it was awesome. The fact that Alex Milne reimagined Crosshairs as wielding a simply ginormous non-kibbly battle axe in Reign of Starscream helped too. As a kid, I thought this was quite cool, although it kind of clashed with the mental image that an armourer should use firearms.

Crosshairs is a rather decent Scouts class figure, and indeed most of the Energon-era Scouts toys are pretty good and stand proudly compared to some modern toys of similar size. Crosshairs, in particular, is my personal favourite mould out of the Energon repaints from the movie line.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation Design: 7/10 It’s pretty serviceable and simple, although the fact that the robot torso isn’t hidden kind of feels lazy.

Durability: 8/10 One of Crosshairs’ wheel halves, the one that doesn’t peg into the other in ‘wheel’ formation, is bound to go missing if you don’t keep the weapon as an axe. Holding that giant axe also puts a strain on the elbow joints. Otherwise, though, he is a solid toy.

Aesthetics: 8/10 Quite tastily done, with a fetching colour scheme in both modes, and they went through all the trouble to paint the desert camo deco on his hood, which can’t be easy. Compared to how lazy many of the more modern Scouts class toys are… shame on the baby blue, though.

Articulation: 8/10 Crosshairs has great articulation for a Scouts class toy his age, including the ever-elusive hip joint. Some of them are restricted, however, by kibble, such as the aforementioned thigh problem.

Fun: 9/10 He’s a jeep with a cannon that transforms into a robot with a giant axe and he’s totally a meticulous, stuffy weapons expert slash armourer… what’s there not to have fun with?

Price/Value: 8/10 You get what you’re paying for, at least.

Overall: 8/10 Crosshairs is one of the better Energon-era moulds, and has a pretty great paint scheme. I won’t really recommend picking him up if you already have any of the prior uses of this mould (the movieverse Strongarm looks pretty spiffy as well) but if you don’t, and you can find him for cheap, Crosshairs is worth a look-see.
 
 
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