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TRANSFORMERS TOYS AND MERCHANDISE SECTION

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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
Robot Mode:
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Kenori's review: Wire Tap V20

Name: Wire Tap V20
Function: Hacker
Sub-Group: Real Gear
"Cracking the Signal."

WIRE TAP V20 is a master code slicer for the DECEPTICONS. No matter how tough the encryption, no matter how tight the security, WIRE TAP V20 will find a way through. He’s a genius at compromising people’s computer systems. Wireless carrier waves allow him to remotely access your computer from the other side of the house, emptying bank accounts, cracking government code, and filling your browser history with compromising links. With him in your house, nothing is safe.

I've been in love with Transformers for many many moons. But I didn't start seriously collecting until a year or so ago. I was low on cash then and I happened to be browsing the toy isle and I came across the Real Gear line. At only $7.00, it seemed like a good price. After shuffling through some of them, I happened upon Wire Tap at the back of the rack. Now being a phone tech support guy, I thought this little fella would be perfect for my desk.

Alternate Mode
My favorite mode. Wire Tap, if you haven't guessed by now, is a cell phone. He looks to be based on some of the older Nokia devices. The main colors of this mode appear to be Black (predominate) and silver (outlining the top, the bottom that eventually becomes the feet, and on the side buttons). A crimson-ish red is used for the actual numbers of the device, except for the call key, which is painted a dark green. The only niggle I have about the colors is the Decepticon symbol on the very top of the device, which is painted the normal purple. It defiantly contrast to the rest of the device, and stands out pretty well. I would say paint it the same red as the rest of the buttons, but that's just me.

The buttons themselves don't push down, which is understandable. But, neither does the scroll bar in the upper middle, which really isn't understandable. I don't see why the couldn't use a little circular bar and make a little working scroll bar, but for 7.00, I can't really complain. The flip screen itself is a little stiff and takes a little force to move up, but that's really not much of a problem, and keeps it secure for the robot mode.

There are two stickers that are used for the screen. One is on the flip up cover, and bears a black decepticon symbol over a field of orange-red. The other is on the actual main screen, and has another, larger autobot symbol in black with the same orange-red hue. Both display the time at 3:35, though what significance this has (if any) is lost on me.

Overall, the color scheme is well done for the alt. mode and the phone looks great. There is very little kibble and every thing fits really well together. One niggling of annoyance is the fact that if you close the lid and look at the top of the phone, you can clearly see his two little prong hands. It doesn't really take away from the toy, but pickier people might not like it.

Also after some extensive play through over the past couple of months, the front cover sticker is faded and peeling pretty badly. Might have to get a replacement for that.

Transformation
Probably the easiest transformation I've ever seen (with the possible exception of G1 Bumblebee). The only problem I seemed to run into was that, when transforming him back into alt mode for the first time, if you didn't notice that the little prong hands were supposed to go onto the little connectors on his shoulders, then he looks a little awkward, but that was probably just me.

Robot Mode
After the two second transformation time, we are left with a fairly decent robot. He looks a little bit bulky, almost muscular, in the shoulders, due to how broad he is.

The color scheme for robot mode is a little bit different than in alt mode. the hand, arm, shoulder, and knee joints are a lighter shade of red than what was used on the buttons, and there is a copper tinge on part of the arms and highlighting the face.

The head itself is silver and capped with the camera lens from the phone, which becomes Wire Tap's eye. Unfortunately, the head doesn't move at all, so posing him in anything except looking straight forward makes him look ridiculous.

The figure's legs don't have very much flexibility, with only two points of articulation apiece: one a hinge joint, the other a peg and hole joint, allowing very limited posing.

The arms, however, are another matter. They feature a ball joint on the shoulder, a ball joint at the elbow, and a little hinge for the wrist. While not providing as much movement as some of the other, more expensive figures, it is possible to put him in a few cool upper-body poses.

My only major problem with Wire Tap is that, because of the way the flip top has the stickers on it, the only thing they could do with it was put it on his back. It is very large and prevents most forms of posing, and since the head is directly attached to it, it's impossible to turn his head without lifting up the screen, and this just makes him look silly.

Transformation: 2/10. Honestly a brain dead monkey could do it. The only reason it isn't a 1 is because of that small trouble with the hand prongs.
Durability: 7/10. Everything feels solid and since I have had it a year nothing seems to be loose. The only reason it didn't get higher was because of the stickers, which seem to have problems with peeling.
Fun: 5/10. He is fun to transform back and forth, and can be fun coming up with funny posses around the other, bigger bots, but thats about it.
Price: 8/10. Considering the 7.00 price tag, I'd say he was worth it. Anything higher than this though, and you'll just be wasting your money.
Overall: 6/10. He isn't very mobile from the waste down (snicker) and, but this little guy really has grown on me. I would say if you're jonesing for a little (and I do mean little) Transformers action, or you just like cell phone robots, then go pick him up.
 
 
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