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

Name: Meantime
Fuction: Temporal Warrior
Subgroup: Real Gear Figures

Meantime is one of the most powerful of the Real Gear robots. Itís just too bad he uses his powers for nothing but trouble. He can speed up, stop, and even reverse time up to ten minutes. Rather than using his powers to make chores or homework go by faster, though, he likes to hang out at skate parks, where he speeds time up to cause huge wipe outs, then reverse it so he can watch the accidents again.

Two of my favorite scenes in the movie are when the programmerís blackberry gets zapped by the All-Spark and turns into a vicious (and heavily armed) killing machine, and when the Mountain Dew Vending Machine comes to life. And while I would sell my soul for a version of the latter, I was excited to learn that Hasbro would be releasing a line of movie figures in the Scout price class that would follow the idea that ordinary objects could become Transformers. Unfortunately, the resulting line did not reproduce the wacky awesomeness of the killer blackberry, nor did it branch off into new and bizarre transformations. Granted the lineĖas it was probably meant to from the startĖseems to be designed to more accessible to children (a good thing considering the complexity of the more expensive figures), but I remain extremely disappointed that Hasbro missed this opportunity to create some very unique figures. *sigh* Okay, end rant.

ANYWAY, in the pre-movie bliss, I neglected the Real Gear figures precisely because they seemed cutesy and pedestrian. However, in light of the current Transformer drought, Iíve been forced to stare at the Real Gear figures cluttered the pegs. Thus it was that I found myself considering the usefulness of a Transformer that turned into a video game, or a camera (ah, Reflector where have you gone?). Although, I didnít intend to purchase any of them, I was content to imagine Jazz or Soundwave rocking out to a transformable MP3 player. Then on a weekly store run, I found I figure with the ultimate alternate mode, a mode so saturated in awesomeness that I was afraid I might discorporate if I touched him. What was this form of forms, you ask? A watch. Thatís right, a WATCHĖto make sure Megatron doesnít miss his soaps, I guess. Faced with such utter nonsense (but what awesome nonsense!), I just had to buy him.

Alternate Mode:

Yep. Itís a watch. Actually, snide jokes aside, Meantime has a very good watch mode, at least as good as a fake watch that turns into a robot can be. The watch band is molded with an intricate but simple design that could be found on a real watch, and the watch face is molded with little nubs where a real watch would have buttons to access its other functions, the pieces that become part of the robot head are cleverly placed here to form the buttons that the set the clockís time. Nice. Turn the watch over, and youíll find a mechanical sculpt on the opposite side of the watch, including some cogs and gears, a nice detail that could easily have been left out. The LCD (itís a digital watch) shows a time, 5:17:40, and date, Wed. 01-02. Iím sure this time has significance of some sort, but I donít know what.

Meantime is mostly a very dark shade of purple, with some orange stripes on the watchband and on part of the watch face. Grey also appears sparingly. Purple appears on the Decepticon symbol molded above the LC display, which is the typical greenish color with black writing.

There arenít any gimmicks or weapons for Meantime to use in the mode, and the watchband is too short to fit on an adult wrist, though Iím sure itíll fit a childís wrist just fine.

Even though heís a watch, Meantime manages to pull off a pretty good alternate mode.

Robot Mode:

Hopefully, you didnít strain yourself getting him into robot mode. You didnít? Good. Take a moment to congratulate yourself.

Back with me? Okay. For having just been a watch, Meantime has a pretty standard robot mode. Arms, legs, faceĖeverything is pretty much in human proportions. No, thatís not bad, I just mention it because a lot of the Real Gear (not to mention Movie figures) have bizarre proportions, have pincers for hands, etc. Meantime, on the other hand, is a very traditional robot. All his colours carry over from watch mode (say that without giggling, I dare you), and the only new sculpting detail appears on his now visible robot face and hands. Even so, he looks very sleek and agile, and with twenty-one points of articulation, five of which (shoulders, hips, head) are on ball joints, Meantime can strike some very dynamic poses.

One point of awesome detail is his left wrist. Meantime is wearing a miniaturized version of himself in watch mode!

Transformation: What!? He comes with instructions? 3/10

Durability: His hips are a little loose, but theyíre on ball joints; otherwise, his clock face only twists ninety degrees to the left, and itís NOT on a ball joint. I can see an over zealous kid trying to get it to twist the rest of the way and breaking it off. 6/10

Fun: Okay, letís be honest, he turns into a watch; not a lot of play value there, even though he does look pretty good. However, the poseability of his robot mode more than makes up for it. 8/10

Price: 6.99 US. Standard for a Scout class figure. If he came with/had a weapon, Iíd say he was worth that and more, but as it is I wouldnít go much over retail price.

Overall: Meantime is a neat little figure, plus he turns into a watch. Even if you are not interested in the Real Gear figures, Iíd recommend giving Meantime some consideration. 8/10

 
 
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