Cliffbee.com: Devcon Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Devcon
Series: Convention Excusives
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Cybertronian Space Ship



SPACE SHIP MODE
Height: 3.5cm Length: 11cm Width: 20cm

   A cobalt blue flying wing with brick red along the front & rear edges & cockpit at the nose, which itself has six small black windows. There's some while on the top - notably the cannon right at the back - and a stamped Autobot logo pretty much at the centre of the wing. The colours match those we saw in the G1 cartoon (the single episode that is the source of this character), although the red here is a little more sedate. It's an attractive colour scheme, with a very simple layout.

   The vehicle mode doesn't match the longer form seen in The Gambler, since Devcon is a retool of Scourge. Still, it has boosters like that form & the colour ratio is about right - blue with some red. It's a wide & aerodynamic ship. The sculpt is pretty good with depressions on the wings allowing air intakes into his jet engines (and also allowing you to see his white hands inside, if you look carefully). There's a few seams and the like on the wings as well, and the wingtips are pointing down.

   There's not a lot of play value here. The cannon on top is fixed and there are no other weapons in this mode. Devcon's undercarriage can fold away and he'll happily lie on his belly. All three undercarriages sections (one at the back, two towards the front) are red and none feature actual wheels. His robot mode weaponry is stowed inside the wings, but he can't really use them here.

   A good vehicle mode despite being a little static. They've done a good job of making this Not Scourge & the layout of colours does make this look like Devcon despite being notably different in form to his look in the carton.n

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Open his wings to reveal the weaponry, lift out and close the wings again. Fold away the landing gear, unclip the underside (with wings attached), allowing the front to unclip and extend as legs. Fold back the cannon to reveal his head, pull the head out. Fold out his feet, lift up the panel with the Autobot logo, slide the chest panel back & rotate his waist. Rotate the legs, stand him up. Pivot the underside plate onto his back, with the wings hanging as a cape. His engines become arms, and while the forearms are fairly standard - the fists slide out - there's a rather clever but difficult to describe contortion used to form his shoulders. Lastly, unfold the gun, clasp the top section on and place in either hand.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14cm Width: ~15cm (depending on what you do with the wings)

   A cobalt blue robot with red boots and hands along with various other minor elements, Devcon has white thighs & upper arms, a silver face with light blue eyes & a white cannon on his head. There are a couple of minor yellow highlights. The colour scheme is a pretty good match for that seen in The Gambler, with a little more red (and that added yellow). The layout looks good and is quite faithful to the cartoon, aside from the wings which the cartoon lacked. The tips of his fingers are painted white and there's no Autobot logo now. Aside from the lack of insignia, my only complaint is that the red plastics now revealed don't quite match the brick red paint (although it's very close).

   White the vehicle mode isn't that close to the cartoon, this robot mode is actually a strikingly good match considering it's a mould designed for someone else. The resculpted head (and cannon) helps tremendously, of course, but the general shape of the chest & boots are a good match - this is a great choice for Devcon. I'm happy to report that the wings are hinged in such a way that they'll stay out of the way of his limbs while still allowing the backplate to sit flush.

   The play value here is essentially just the poseability. Well, and Devcon's ability to stow his weapon in his cape, I suppose. The head is ball jointed, allowing him to aim the cannon on his head. The shoulders swing and lift out to the sides while his elbows are hinged with rotators. The wrists rotate, helping him aim. The waist turns, but it doesn't look very natural since both the waist and groin are wide (this is really just a joint for transformation). The hips are ball jointed with rotators just below them to assist his hinged knees. Devcon's ankles are hinged and he has fairly meagre heelspurs. Devcon can be a little back-heavy, so I'd recommend a wider pose for the wings, bringing his centre of gravity forward. Overall it's good poseability, although some poses can look a little weird with his wide shoulders. My Devcon tends to do the splits - I suspect this is a combination of mould degradation/different plastic tolerance & the thighs sitting slightly wider than they're meant to (which in turn is, I suspect, due to them being assembled on the wrong sides). While Scourge's thighs also sit wide, the hip joints are tight enough for this to not be noticed. I swapped the thighs on mine (reversible, needs a screwdriver though) and now he's quite stable & to be honest looks better - I'll probably eventually do the same with Scourge. The gun can actually split into two, which can then be held in either hand (you'll need to fold out the post on the "top" piece first).

   A great robot mode despite no gimmicks. The retooled head captures Devcon perfectly and this robot form suits the character amazingly well. The colour scheme is good despite a slight mismatch in the reds here & it also fits the character. The weaponry is useful & he's quite poseable. I've no idea if the slightly loose hips on mine are the same on others, but it's easily rectified & this is an adult aimed toy anyway so the fix isn't beyond the read of the target audience. It's not a perfect robot mode but good enough that it was worth the wait.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. As he was available exclusively at BotCon 2014, Devcon was likely limited to a single production run, making variants unlikely. As mentioned, he is a retool of Scourge; he also shares the mould with TakaraTomy's Generations Ratbat.

OVERALL

   Well it took almost 30 years, but we finally have a Devcon toy (after the non-starter first teased as BotCon 2001). It's a shame he's a convention exclusive really, as he's one of the most prominent cartoon-only characters (probably only bested by Arcee). It's a good mould with good engineering & two attractive moulds & a retooled head that suits Devcon very well. The colours are also a great match to G1, so assuming you're willing to seek out this limited toy, it's an exclusive worthy of the show-only character who managed to score his own feature episode (well okay, he shared it with Smokescreen) - 9/10

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