Cliffbee.com: Energon Slugslinger Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Slugslinger
Series: Energon
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Twin-hulled Cybertronian Jet



JET MODE
Height: 4cm Length: 14cm Width: 15cm

   An odd mix of black, grey, cobalt blue and olive green plastics with transparent yellow cockpits, Slugslinger has metallic blue and orange paint highlights added to the mix. While none of the colours user here are bad, Slugslinger looks like he's wearing everything he owns at once. If he'd lost the orange and olive green this colour scheme would look a lot better. As it stands, it's fairly mediocre, being so disorganised and disjointed.

   The metallic blue paints on top and cobalt blue and grey plastics are elements that should have been played up, too. With the twin hulls and flat, wide wingspan, this jet mode really resembles the G1 toy of the same name, which was blue and grey. Between the two hulls there's a missile launcher sticking out, with the just the yellow missile tip exposed and the rest hidden under the fuselage. This launcher cannot be fired in jet mode, so the missile is purely for display. There are moulded VTOL turbines on the wingtips that feature hardpoints, as well as four moulded wheels on the underside, all of which can retract. As you'd expect there's a spark crystal visible, on the back between the wings, which is pretty much the highest point on the jet.

   All these nice moulded features yet Slugslinger has trouble holding together. The hulls tend to flop around a little, a couple of extra tabs keeping things in place would have been really nice. He doesn't crumble but the hulls really shouldn't be this flexible. It kind of adds insult to injury that the missile is fixed but the hulls are not.

   A really great concept, and while it's still a fairly good jet mode, I'm really quite frustrated since it so easily could have been a very good jet mode. Lose a couple of colours, secure the hulls - even if you don't free the missile - and this would be a great jet mode for a deluxe.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Very complex, so I'm not going to describe every step, or we'll be here all day. The hulls, though a fair bit of contortion, become the legs with the noses becoming feet. The wings become his arms, again through their share of twists and turns, while the head comes from under the spark crystal, which ends up on the chest. The launcher ends up as a shoulder cannon. An amazingly complex transformation with lots and lots of internal jointing, which is why the hulls are so unstable - so many joints with some wiggle in them.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 20cm Width: 13cm

   The dimensions above are misleading, since he's only about 14cm at the head, with an impressive wingspan on what is actually a slightly built deluxe. The robot mode is mainly black and grey with an olive green chest and olive green feet and blue ankles. The face is metallic blue with small yellow eyes (and a working lightpipe). This is a much better colour scheme, with the orange and green sitting on the fringes and the black and grey working together to give Slugslinger a unified look.

   If anything, Slugslinger is a little on the lanky side, although it's more a case of huge wings overshadowing the robot itself than Slugslinger being scrawny. The wings attach to the back of his shoulders while the missile launcher comes over his left shoulder joint, and attaches to the back of his torso. While the wings are, strictly speaking, kibble, they work well as wings for this mode, and along with the missile launcher, canopies on his shins and centrally placed spark crystal, make Slugslinger a pretty well designed robot. While the orange paint prevents me from saying this is a great looking robot mode, it is a good one.

   His face is asymmetrical and with a monocular right eye and mechanical right side, really looks like that of TMII Dinobot, while the fins on his head remind me of Beast Machines Jetstorm. The end result is a head that's quite distinctive for an Energon toy, and one that looks _nothing_ like the head of his G1 namesake.

   The wingtips hang off the back of his forearms and there are blue tapering blocks on his ankles, both of which add to this mode. While there isn't that much jet in this mode, combined with features such as the ankles, shoulder launcher and detailed head, I'm pretty happy with how they've put him together. The only real addition to the paint mask for this mode is a stamped Decepticon logo on his left shoulder, which looks good there.

   As you'd expect of such a complex toy, this robot mode is quite poseable. The shoulders, elbows and knees are all double jointed while the hips are ball joints. The ankles hinge and the feel have heelspurs (that move with the feet), allowing for stability in an array of poses. The missile launcher is on a double hinge, so can lift up and even swing over, pointing down on his back. It's actually a fairly powerful launcher, too, it'll easily shoot a metre, so make sure you don't lose the single missile! The robot mode wings and jet wings on his forearms are movable, which helps with both dynamic posing and weight distribution. There's some kibble (rear wheels and some other junk) on his upper arms that will get in the way of some poses, but on the whole this is a really poseable toy.

   While the colour scheme isn't quite as cool as it should have been, it's a lot better than that of the jet mode, and along with the detailed face makes for an attractive robot mode. The wings work in his favour, he's very poseable and the missile launcher works very well. I suppose my only real complaint is that Slugslinger can't detach his launcher and hold it in his hand, but if you like you can grab other Energon weapons and pop them in his hands.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   A good toy with a decent jet mode and a good robot mode with lots of playability. He's not as cool as he should have been, thanks to someone deciding orange paint was a good idea, but definitely worthwhile. Not really a strong resemblance to the G1 character of the same name, but a good homage nonetheless - 7.5/10

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