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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Auros' review of: Depthcharge

Name: Depthcharge
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Badass
Sub-Group: NA
" Follow my orders or get out of my face!"

Brought back from the other side of the Matrix by Primus and Optimus Primal, Depth Charge knew his role in the upcoming war against the monster planet, Unicron, had only just begun. Having finally dispatched his longtime adversary, Protoform X (known as Rampage during the Beast Wars), this solemn, no-nonsense warrior immediately volunteered to assist King Atlas in operating and maintaining a refugee network within the monster planet himself. Depth Charge demands nothing less than perfection from his comrades. Anything less is unsatisfactory in his eyes and he has no problem letting any lazy Autobot know about it! His fusion-powered cybershark drone conducts recon missions and doubles as a reinforcement in battle. It can also covert into a hand-held blaster, firing dual quantum torpedoes. Depth Charge's beast form is optimized for underwater combat and can withstand the deepest oceanic pressures. Offensive weaponry in this form includes his drone and an ionic launcher mounted on the forward section of his manta ray mode. His intermediate space-cruiser form can maintain planetary orbit for brief periods of time. In robot mode, he launches ionic discs from his chest and wields an Energo-cutlass for hand-to-hand combat. Defensively, his wings can double as shields against most energy-based beams and missiles. Can also act as solar converters to store energy for prolonged missions in the ocean depths. Although Depth Charge is a skilled warrior in any situation, his abilities underneath the waves is second to none.

I've been eyeing Universe Depthcharge since its release with full intention of buying it (because the original version looked like a great mold), but had put it off forever. I did buy it and it is a pretty good mold overall and I think the Universe colorscheme is much nicer than the original Beast Wars job. It's also kind of surprising just how big the figure is for something in the $20 price-range. Both modes can dwarf certain other recent figures that fell in that price group. There are a few minor issues with the mold, but nothing serious and I'd say the figure's worth picking up.

Alternate Mode:
Depthcharge's beast mode is that of a huge, robotic stingray. Something that made this figure different from others in its original Beast Wars line was that the figure had a clearly robotic beast mode yet wasn't a Transmetal or any other variation that mixed organic with robotic parts. Depthcharge seems to be robotic through-and-through. I prefer the beast mode simply imitating organic life rather than recreating it and Depthcharge's alternate mode looks great. The tail can bend somewhat and the disc launching ability is cool in this mode. As far as being fun to play with, it is just a stingray but shooting those little discs at roommates/siblings/pets is sure to provide minutes of enjoyment. The only place where I think this colorscheme lacks is in the detailing of the head in beast mode. The solid black really lessens the impact of the head and hurts the figure in much the same way Universe Razorclaw's overuse of black hurts appreciation of its details. The beast mode looks good enough to display though, but it is huge and would take up quite a bit of shelf space.

Robot Mode:
This was the mode that really caught my eye with the original figure and it doesn't quite disappoint. There are a few problems as far as articulation goes. There just isn't enough of it! Well, not enough for a Beast Wars era mold anyway. The legs lack dynamic posing and the arms can move up and down but lack any other range of movement. I've also had problems with looseness with my Depthcharge. The forearms often come loose and the elbows aren't tight enough to keep the arms in certain poses. The tailsword also has a hard time staying in the figure's grip. The instructions present a way of transforming the fins that just won't work and even photos show the fins oriented differently than the instructions. The figure looks good displayed in this mode and despite the lack of much articulation, it's still fun to play with.

Transformation: 7 - Well-designed and required a skimming of the instructions for me.
Durability: 9 - Like a rock.
Fun: 8 - Had a cool character and that does kind of add to the fun, but the figure's enjoyable regardless.
Price: 6 - At $20, it kept me from buying it for quite some time and I'm not so sure it was worth the price. If it ever gets put on discount though, I'd say go for it.
Summary: 8 - Has a few things that bother me, but overall pretty good.

 
 
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