Cliffbee.com: Energon Wing Saber Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Wing Saber
Series: Energon
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Bomber Plane

Thanks to Goktimus Prime for loaning me Wing Saber for this review



PLANE MODE
Height: 8cm Length: 12cm Width: 35.5cm

   A wide flying wing, Wing Saber is a mixture of reds, white, silver, blue, black and charcoal. While he manages this mix fairly well, it's not a great colour scheme. The reds are concentrated towards the centre while the blue and charcoal are towards the tips and the other colours are all over. The silver is laid out to create the illusion of a stealth bomber, although there's far too much kibble around them for this to have that sort of radar profile. There are large red Autobot logos on top, on red blocks. The logos themselves are sculpted, painted red with white relief. While this is a fairly attractive plane mode, the colours are messy and this is by no means a realistic plane.

   There are transparent red elements in the middle including stealth engine intakes and cockpit windows. Behind the cockpit are some kibbly bits composed of hollow plastic - they're actually the robot head - that look too much like kibble. There are large charcoal double cannons on the wingtups and transparent red missile launchers under the wings - both of which look like forced add-ons.

   While Wing Saber is essentially power armour for Optimus Prime, this mode does have some play value. There are fold down wheels under the nose and either wing, all of which roll. The missiles fire fairly well, although neither the launchers or the cannons on the wingtips are targetable. Unusually for a toy of this size and era, there are no electronics.

   While the idea is nice and different, Wing Saber's plane mode isn't that successful. I would have prefer the stealth elements be abandoned than forced onto such an unstealthlike flying wing. The colours don't impress me - even if he manages to carry so many colours well. The play value does what it has to, but it's not enough for me to really warm to this flying wing which plays second fiddle to the power armour role of this toy.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold away the wheels, rotate the cannons on his wings 180. Fold the wingtips down, rotating the tips themselves through 180 as you go, forming boots. Stand him up and turn around, fold away the missile launchers on his knees. Flip up the the tailfins to form hip plates, lift out the head halves and clip together. Swing the forearms out from within the red blocks, pivot the blocks down and it to form his arms. While it's not a simple transformation, it's geared to creating a robot mode without asking anything of the engineering, so that the power armour has room to move.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 24.5cm Width: 16cm

   A largely red robot with sole yellow, black and silver elements here and there, Wing Saber has blue legs and charcoal boots. His fists, thighs and elbows are black while his face is silver with blue eyes. Again the colours are mixed although this time the red dominates, and we lose most of the silver. The Autobot logos end up on his shoulders. While the colours are more unified, this is his weaker mode so it's about even.

   The shoulders are while with red pylons, this is a bulky robot overall, if not an impressive one. The chest detailing has a distinctly anime feel about it, which means the detailing is good, but the detail he does have is very generic - you can't tell that Wing Saber transforms into a plane. As with everything else about this toy, the robot mode is limited so that the power armour works. In fact, the toy splits down the middle in both modes, allowing him to form arms and boots for the powered up Optimus Prime. The boots further detach from the upper half of the top. Curiously, the robot splits right down the centreline - head and all.

   This is a very static robot mode. The elbows bend - too low - and the knees can rotate a little. We do have the option of swinging out the missile launchers on his knees, but since they're detachable I'd much rather the option of placing them in his hands. There's a single powerlinx port on the outside of his right forearm - the left has Wing Saber's spark crystal. The boots are fixed in this mode, and do little during his transformation. As arm armour they grow elbows and hands. The upper does the same, with his waist becoming elbows. Wing Saber really gives a lot of himself, and suffers as a result.

   While Wing Saber looks okay, he looks fairly generic, and the play value here is awful for an ultra sized toy. The colours are okay, perhaps a little better than on his plane mode, but they're nothing special. Underwhelming in every way, this robot mode stands there and looks mediocre.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   Despite over 15 years of toy technology, Wing Saber is on par with God Bomber as power armour Transformers go. With average colours, a very forced stealth bomber mode and a robot mode that has laughable play value, Wing Saber is a poor effort as a standalone Transformer. While he can combine with Optimus Prime, that toy comes with power armour anyway, which makes Wing Saber even less compelling. I do like the idea, but the Cybertron version is much better. For the completists only - 2.5/10

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