Cliffbee.com: Aquafend Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Aquafend
Series: "European" G1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Espionage Expert
Alternate Mode: Racing Buggy

Thanks to Tiby for loaning me Aquafend for this review.



BUGGY MODE
Height: 4cm Length: 11.5cm Width: 6cm

   A crimson racing buggy with yellow stickers here and there, transparent pink windows and a yellow protrusion on his airdam. There's a crimson bellows on the spoiler at the back, some yellow and maroon "danger" stripes on the sides (as stickers). The grey plastic tyres feature chrome paint on the hubcaps. There's a yellow sticker on the roof with a red G2 Autobot logo. Amongst the stickered detailing are the racing number 2 and some 4x4 and "4WD" stickers. It's a typically bright "European" G1 colour scheme, if not an especially attractive one. While Aquafend isn't gaudy as such, the colours just don't work as a whole. As with the other colour changers from this era, part of the toy (the area around his cockpit) is a slightly different colour - this paint is meant to turn white when splashed with hot water.

   While he's vaguely realistic by "European" G1 standards, there's a lot here that detracts from the basic realism. The stickers and a lack of details such as headlights, along with the fact that the crimson engine block behind the cabin is clearly his arms keep the realism limited. The crimson bellows nestled within the spoiler stands out more than it should. On the plus side, the airdam is pretty well done and the tyres are about the right size. The pink windows, crimson engine block and jarring yellow stickers don't help the realism at all.

   Aquafend shares a central gimmick based on a water-squirting mechanism with the other Aquaspeeders. There's a small nozzle at the front of the airdam, which shoots water stored in the bellow at the back when the bellow is compressed. It's not a terribly impressive gimmick although it works reasonably well. There's a secondary gimmick based on the painted cabin area. If Aquafend is himself shot with warm water this paint will turn white. The changing paint is unimpressive, but at least the pink paint lines up well to the pink plastic. Aquafend can roll on his tyres but the ground clearance is non-existant thanks to the tube underneath - he will rub against the table if you roll him along.

   Despite the limitations of the era this is a decent car mode. The basic shape and concept work and it's more realistic than many vehicle modes of the era. The gimmick is limited but adds interesting play value. The colour scheme is poor without being awful - it's not garish but there's not much sense to it (why is the spoiler sticker green??).

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach the gun (airdam & spoiler) from underneath and set aside. Fold the legs out from underneath, flip up his feet. Lift up the engine block, fold the rear down 90, pull the arms out to the sides and fold the back down, revealing his head. Swing the arms forward, clip the gun into either fist and you're done.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 10.5cm Width: 9.5cm

   A pink robot with transparent blue legs and elbows, Aquafend has a blue head with a silver mouthplate, a transparent pink eyestrip with a strong weak lightpipe. The chest is the cabin area of the car, so it's that painted area, with the transparent windows. The Autobot logo is now central on his chest and there are still quite a few car mode stickers here, also on his chest. The gun is yellow with a transparent red tube hanging out the back, leading to the spoiler. The colour scheme really is poor now - since his elbows and legs are transparent. This transparent plastic is fairly weak too (as is often the case with transparent plastics).

   Aquafend has very wide shoulders, with the rear wheels sitting on top as shoulderpads. His arms hang below these wide shoulders, giving him a powerful loo, although his offset somewhat by his relatively small, generic head (which is slightly sunken). The legs are a single piece although there's a distinct gap between them - they're joined at the ankles. His front wheels sit on the hips and while I'm not a fan of this look so much, the cabin as a torso and the rear wheels on his shoulderpads are well integrated car elements.

   The play value is centred on the water gimmick, of course. Pressing the bellows will cause him to fire a stream of water. If you've plugged the spoiler into his back the hose will be rather kinked and so the water won't flow as well as in vehicle mode. The other option is to let the spoiler simply hang out the back. Either way, Aquafend will hold his gun at an angle, since the hose has to wrap around the elbow joint. To be honest I think he looks better without the gun here, since the colour scheme is far more coherent without it. The torso is dominated by the heat sensitive paint, so splashing him with hot water will cause his chest to turn white. Poseability is limited to his arms swinging at the bottom of his shoulders.

   While it's dated, the idea of this robot mode is nice enough. The transparent green plastic really does hurt the look and strength of this mode, however. The bodyshape works, thanks to the wide shoulders and clever placement of car parts. The weapon is a hindrance, sadly, so I recommend considering leaving it aside for display. The gimmick adds some play value but the shape of the gun needed for this gimmick makes it annoying in this mode. A disappointing robot mode.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. He was repainted later in the same year as the Decepticon Jetstorm. Jetstorm was released in North America while Aquafend was released in Europe & Australia.

OVERALL

   A decent mould by the standards set at the time with bad colour choices that really hold it back. While the gimmick isn't really impressive, it provides some play value. The transparent green plastic was a terrible idea - and not just because it doesn't mesh well with pink - it's fairly weak and the transparent legs just look weird. I'd recommend the much nicer coloured Jetstorm instead - 5/10

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