Cliffbee.com: BotCon Double Punch Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Double Punch
Series: Convention Exclusives
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Modes: Construction Vehicle, Jet



CONSTRUCTION VEHICLE MODE
Height: 17cm Length: 25cm Width: 22cm
(exact dimensions will depend on tail and claws, might be more or less depending on pose)

   A black construction vehicle with iridescent pink, bright orange and teal highlights, Double Punch is a repaint of Energon Scorponok based on the Actionmaster of the same name. He's garish in that Euro-G1 kind of way, and works well since there's a distinct neon theme here. Since he's using an Energon mould, there are some transparent blue elements, which are based on the mid blue legs of the original. There's a silver panel on top with a backwards facing purple Decepticon logo. He's distinctly different from Energon Scorponok - who is also very bright.

   This vehicle is clearly designed to resemble a scorpion - it's immediately obvious from the shape. There's a symmetry to the choice of mould - Energon Scorponok and Double Punch are both based on G1 Scorponok. He has mouthparts, black curved protrusions on either side of the grille. There's also an overhanging tail (with a hook instead of stinger), the claws are pink digger buckets and there are transparent blue claws hanging off the back of the treads pink buckets sit on the front. The main body is still very much construction vehicle, with the treads, a cabin, grille and some orange pistons on either side of the engineblock for decoration. The fusion of the vehicle and scorpion themes is so well done that Double Punch manages to effortlessly be both in one glance.

   There's a lot of detail here, with an awful lot of mechanical detail all over this guy, far too much to really go through. The highlights are moulded Decepticon logo on the roof, which faces backwards and has raised relief painted purple, teeth on the various buckets and a lot of pistons/pneumatic arms here and there.

   The outer claws (buckets) can lift out to reveal transparent blue missile launchers which will fire black missiles about half a metre. The black inner claws will open as the outer claws are opened, which is a nice touch. The arms themselves have shoulders that rotate on two axes similar to those of G1 Scorponok. The mouthparts can lift up, there are teal cannon blocks on the sides at the back and there are two orange wheels underneath each tread allowing Double Punch to roll. The tail is hinged at the base and midway, while the hook can fold up to form a tip. There's an orange pointed cockpit-like slider on top of the tail, sliding it back will fold out twin transparent blue cannons, which look rather cool.

   As is typical of BotCon repaints, the electronics have been stripped out here. I'm not really a fan of the electronics on Scorponok anyway, so I don't see this as much of a loss.

   This is a very good vehicular mode for what it is. It fits the character well and is quite similar to the original's scorpion mode. The colours are amazingly bright but are well implemented here and sell this toy as Double Punch. The scorpionesque earthmover thing works very well and the attention to detail is top notch here. The play value is good although of course the he lacks electronics.

JET MODE
Height: 8.5cm Length: 33cm Width: 25cm

   An impressively large jet compared to the more compact land based vehicle mode, this jet blurs the line between an intermediate mode and a true third mode. I say that because there's very little in his engineering that exists solely to make this very different mode possible. It's certainly different from the land vehicle though - the engine block splits and repositions on either side of the cabin, the tail swings underneath and becomes the long nose of the jet. The treads become the back and the underside buckets swing out the side as pink tailwings (there are probably the only joints that is specifically for this mode, a few connections go into it, though). The cockpit on the scorpion tail is joined by another (unpainted) one further back, and the cabin of the land mode (which has a transparent window, incidentally), is still present towards the rear. The claws have rotated back and there are transparent blue spines that stick out as wingtips.

   Despite not really asking much in terms of engineering, this is still a worthwhile mode. In reality this _is_ an intermediate mode, but it's a very strong one. The sheer number of design elements here that relate to the scorpion or construction themes tell you that this was thought up as a rearrangement of the earthmover mode. There are six wheels underneath which Double Punch has solely for this jet mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   From the earthmover mode, unfold the treads out to the back to form his legs, lift up the buckets to form feet and lift out the heelspurs. Open the halves of the engineblock out to 45, lift up the cabin roof, flip out his head and close the roof again. Rotate the claws down to form his arms. You're meant to leave the tail sort of hanging on his back and lift it up for "attack mode", but you might as well just lift it up over his head now rather a-la Beast Wars Scorponok rather than having this tail sort of sit there awkwardly, trying to drag him over backwards.

   There are some minor finishing touches, such as rotating the teal cannons now on his hips forwards, sliding out the cannons on his tailtip and folding down the claws on his knees. You have the option of detaching the transparent blue guns on the sides of the cabin for use as handguns, and you can also leave the kneeclaws out for extra kick-in-the-crotch goodness.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 29cm Width: 22cm

   The dimensions I quote are assuming you have the tail deployed rather than hanging in the no-mans-land on his back. Double Punch is again based on black with lots of neon overlaying this, with black shins in the form of the treads and a head with a gold face and blue eyes, to match his G1 version. There's a transparent blue visor which is new to the character. The chest is a burnt orange, just as on the original. This colour is visible in earthmover mode, but it's more prominent here. It doesn't quite match the rest of his orange, but is true to the original colours so I can deal with the fact that it's slightly off-kilter.

   The tail, head, overall leg shape, claw-arms, fold down chestplate and of course tail on his back are all elements this toy shares with G1 Scorponok, making the tribute work well here - just as the colours do. The missile launchers are again useful, and sport hardpoints allowing you to attach Minicons to Double Punch's arms.

   With the launchers, handguns and tail cannons Double Punch has a total of six barrels. The poseability is good, with two joints in the tail, a head that turns and an eyevisor that lifts up. The shoulders have two rotators, the elbows bend in and out (and combined with the shoulder rotators, this provides enough elbow movement to keep me happy). The hips turn, the knees bend and twist while the feet can lift up and down. The tail can tip Double Punch over in some poses, but it's flexible enough that it's not a major problem, and the heelspurs are useful (mind you, without them, he can't stand at all).

   Between the poseability, weaponry options and attention to detail in his colour scheme, there's quite a lot happening here, and most importantly the tribute works very well here. For a Transformer with a vehicular alt mode (two in fact), Double Punch is quite playable. And with the bulky claws and towering tail, he also looks imposing. This is a robot mode that's both playable and displayable, two aspects that aren't always combined in one toy.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. Double Punch was exclusively available at BotCon 2010, and was likely limited to a single production run, making variants unlikely. As mentioned, he's a repaint of Energon Scorponok.

OVERALL

   A very well thought out mould and an incredibly appropriate tribute. While the colours used should be awful, they're combined well and fit the character, making this colour scheme work. The mould is very good with lots of attention to detail and three imposing modes. The play value is surprisingly good for such a mechanical toy and while the electronics have been removed there's enough here anyway. While BotCon toys are very pricey affairs, this is a good mould and a very clever tribute, so if the idea of Double Punch appeals you to and you have the funds, I'd recommend him - 8/10

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