Cliffbee.com: Clone Commander Cody/Turbotank Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Clone Commander Cody
Series: Star Wars Transformers
Allegiance: Galactic Republic
Alternate Mode: Turbotank



TURBOTANK MODE
Height: 10.5cm Length: 21.5cm Width: 7cm

   A lead-coloured truck like vehicle with ten large black wheels on either side, the Turbotank is one of the more obscure Star Wars vehicles used in this series. The wheels have silver on the outsides while there's some dark red on the body of the vehicle. There's a narrow black window on the front - the end with the antenna and a transparent grey hatch above this for the pilot. Underneath the front we see some mech mode white and orange, and there are some gunmetal painted details here and there. The colour scheme is simple, which fits into the functional nature of this vehicle. The plastic has a slight metallic sheen while the paints used are matte, which really helps the look here. While the bulk of this vehicle is lead coloured, the sculpt is far from lazy - simple but not simplified.

   This is a long, blocky, vehicle, and the scale of the thing is clearly massive. The Hasbro pictures suggest the end with the cannon is at the front, however the antenna end is shown to be the front in Star Wars Episode III - Turbotanks are briefly featured on Kashyyyk (the Wookiee planet). The trailing end is narrower, with something of a "neck" above the fourth set of wheels. The antennae and cannon can both detach, but cannot swap positions. There isn't really much in the way of features, otherwise - but as I've mentioned here is a lot of sculpted detail here.

   The play value here is minimal, but the tank does what you'd expect. The hatch opens to reveal the pilot - a small orange and white Clone Commander Cody minifigure. THe wheels all roll, while there's sculpted suspension behind them they attach loosely, allowing them to all droop to touch the table, which is nice. The cannon can rotate through about 300, and can fire the single missile. For the record, it's more movie accurate _without_ the long missile loaded.

   A good vehicle mode, with only the outbursts of mech colour at the front holding it back. While the idea is simple, the designer has not taken shortcuts here - the sculpt is great and it's faithful t the brief appearances of turbotanks in the film. It's not the most interesting vehicle in the Star Wars universe, but it _is_ well replicated.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach the cannon and antenna, set aside. Lift up the centre of the vehicle (hinge at the front), which splits down the centreline. Split the rear, pivot down and up to move the halves into position as legs, rotate the waist. Flip out the feet, extend the knees. You're meant to fold the halves of the rear in to form calves, but I'd recommend against this (I'll come back to that). Swing the front wheels out to either side, forming the arms. Flip out the hands and position the arms. Fold the cabin section onto the back, revealing the head, and swing the cover halves into position as wings. Plug the antenna into a dedicated hole on the right shoulder, place the cannon into either hand as a gun.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 20cm Width: 16cm

   The dimensions above are exaggerated by the wings. Anyway, this mech is mainly white with orange and black highlights. The lead colour is limited to the wings, which really tells us how much of a shellformer this toy is. There are wheels hanging of the shoulders, forearms, hips, knees and ankles. The helmet is that of a Clone Trooper. obviously. The sculpt is good here, as on the vehicle mode. The orange details are well laid out and there are various other painted details which augment the white and orange. While you can't get away from the giant black wheels, there's a pretty good Clone Trooper here, albeit a boxy one.

   The bodyshape is a little limited, partly because this suited human is very boxy - especially the limbs. The torso and helmet are done well, mind you, and as a mech the shape is fine. The wings and antenna help create the impression that this is a mech based on a human rather than a human anyway - which is what SWTFs are meant to be. The kibble is prominent but well dealt with. That's not to say everyone's going to like the profusion of wheels hanging off here, but at least they're all to the side of the limbs rather than on the torso or anything like that.

   The play value here is admirable. The head and waist rotate while the shoulders are on restricted ball joints. The elbows are hinged with rotators while the wrists rotate. The hips swing and lift out to the sides while the knees are hinged with rotators. If you fold down the calves, you end up with legs that get in each other's way, and the mech is forced to stand with legs apart. So I recommend leaving them out, which also means they can work as heelspurs. While the blocky upper arms restrict the shoulder movement, I'm impressed that the designer bothered with rotating wrists. There are hatches on the wheels on either hip. The left side one reveals some silver detailing while the right one actually stores a small silver pistol - so you can place that in one hand and the missile launcher in the other.

   While there's a lot of kibble on this shellformer, it has been dealt with fairly well - and there were always going to be wheels on this mech mode. Overall, I'm pretty happy with this mode. The colours and sculpt work, the play value is good and the little silver pistol is a great touch. I don't like what they've done with the calves, but that's easy enough to get around. I'm not sure that you'd like this mode if you dislike shellformers, but as they go it's a well designed one.

VARIATIONS

   The first batch, in older style packaging, came with a minifigure while the second batch, in newer packaging, did not. I have the earlier version, however the minifigure fell apart when I opened it anyway - which doesn't bother me anyway.

OVERALL

   Very much a shellformer, but a fairly good one, Clone Commander Cody does a good job of making a white mech out of a gunmetal turbotank. Both modes are details and feature good play value, and neither has any killer flaws. The vehicle mode is stronger, as is typical on SWTFs. You've got to be able to appreciate shellformers to like this toy, so if you find that design style annoys you, I won't recommend this one. Otherwise, this is a solid SWTF - 8/10

"Transformers" and other indica trademarks of Hasbro and/or Takara.