Cliffbee.com: Gadep Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Gadep
Series: e-Hobby exclusives
Allegiance: Cybertron
Function: Guardian Robot
Alternate Mode: Rocket Base, Rocket and Tank



ROCKET BASE MODE
Height: 24cm Length: 35cm Width: 66cm

   A blue, white and grey rocket base, Gadep is a repaint of Omega Supreme, representing the Guardian Robots seen in War Dawn. Like Omega, Gadep is a playset all on his own, including a grey and blue rocket base, a grey rocket and an oval shaped track on which a blue and white tank rolls. The colours aren't a straight swap for those of Omegas Supreme, since the layout is designed to match those seen on the Guardian Robots in the cartoon. There are actually fewer colours of plastic used here than on Omega Supreme, and the combination of colours is a lot neater. This mode is actually four separate pieces - the track, the rocket tower, the rocket and the tank. I'll cover each separately.

   The tower is more or less made of the bits left over after everything else has gone into the other pieces, yet works quite well as a tower. It's a fairly nondescript grey apparatus with some blue here and there. It does what it has to do, which is support the rocket. It serves as a good link between the rocket and track, although neither firmly attach to it.

   The track is also fairly nondescript it itself, but this is the part that takes up a good two square feet of floorspace. It's the shape of a running track, being more or less straight at the sides with grey semi circles at the ends.

   While the track provides the width, half the height of this toy is the rocket itself - which is a lot higher than the rest of the toy. The rocket is the simplest of the four elements - it's made up of two pieces only and is essentially a big grey cylinder with a tapered top and three white flames on the bottom. If the flames are closed, the rocket will not stand up on it's own - the rocket base will support it. If you want to stand the rocket by itself you can open the flames up and they form a tripod for it to stand on. They're meant to stay closed in this mode, but it doesn't really matter if you open them, and it works out as a nice option. The flames don't so much look like flames in white, at least not compared to the orange flames on Omega Supreme.

   The tank is really where all the action is. It's easily the most complex component of Gadep's rocket base mode and is where the electronics live. There's a red switch at the back, if you turn it on there are rubber wheels underneath designed to fit the track - it'll happily go around and around, until you stop it (or drain the AA batteries). At the same time the turret will rotate, the cannon will lift up and down and a red lamp at the back of the turret will flash. While I'm usually fairly unimpressed by electronic gimmicks, none of this really holds Gadep back and it's well thought out. I'm surprised the switch is red, as on Omega Supreme - there is no red anywhere else on Gadep. I can only assume that Takara assembled the electronics for both this toy and reissue Omega Supreme in a single run.

   Play value aside, it's a fairly decent tank. The treads are solid moulded, of course, and are largely covered by the white sides. It's clearly not a real tank - we'll call it a Cybertronian tank, even though this design actually predates the Transformers. On the front he sports both a rubsign and an Autobot symbol, while there are clear plastic decals in various locations on the tank. There are also decals on the other three components, but the bulk are on the tank. I haven't applied many of the stickers to my Gadep, which is evident in the photos above.

   As I've already mentioned, this rocket base is a playset all in itself. The electronic gimmicks work well and are confined to the tank, which means there's to Gadep than just electronics. The sheer size of this mode is impressive, although the Guardian Robots never transformed in the cartoon. The colour scheme works well enough here, in pure aesthetic terms it's actually stronger than Omega Supreme's.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Basically you disassemble the base and put him back together as a robot. The tank itself does transform to form the core of the robot, however. The shoulders fold down to the sides and the elbows extend. The treads extend to form the thighs, the turret flips back and rotates to form the head and the front of the tank (the battery cover) slides up to form his sternum (well, that part of the torso).

   The rest attaches to this core - the sides of the track become his legs, while the feet are the base of the tower. The tower itself forms his back (you'll actually have to attach this before you fold the turret back). There are six blue connectors (four on the tower, two on the track) that attack to his legs - the largest ones become shins. The rocket splits and becomes his forearms, and the grey track loops become wings.

   The wings actually clip into the backpack, which has a plate that lifts up, with the wings attaching underneath. This makes the wings very secure, since you've got two connecting posts _and_ the backplate keeping them on. The standard transformation uses only two of the six beige track sections as smaller wings, but if you like you can actually use all six, since each semi circle has three places it can connect (one on each piece). I'll cover these options in more detail later.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 35cm Width: 21cm standard - max is 38cm and 56cm

   A big blue robot with grey wings and forearms, Gadep has extensive white areas on his elbows and torso. His face is a transparent cockpit-like affair and there is a large Autobot logo on his chest, along with the rubsign on his waist. Again the colour scheme is aesthetically strong and probably better than that of Omega Supreme. It's more obvious now that the white of the flames is an off white compared to the straight white on the rest of the toy. The colour map of Gadep is based on the (robot mode) colours of the Guardian Robots from War Dawn, and while the cartoon changed the shape slightly compared to Omega Supreme, the colour scheme here is a good match.

   Gadep looks like a lumbering giant, since he hasn't got thighs (well, in a sense he does, but they're totally covered by his giant boots) and the torso is a big solid block. He has very little facial detail - the transparent face has a red flashing light inside it and what looks like a breathing apparatus forming his mouth, complete with twin hoses wrapping around the sides. There are simple blue eyes underneath the transparent faceplate.

   One hand will be a big three pronged white claw and the other a cannon formed from the tip of the rocket - you can attach either on either side. The claw prongs are hinged, and have three positions - open, half open and closed. Combining with this are hinged elbows with swivels in them, shoulders that rotate and another set of hinges just above the elbows that give his arms very good articulation for a 1985 Transformer mould. The head also rotates, and along with the arms gives Omega Supreme some poseability. The legs don't really have any poseability, since they're mechanical, but the arm poseability is enough for me.

   The standard wing configuration uses only one third of his grey track loops, and means while his wings stick up, they don't really hang out to the sides. If you use all the track available you'll find he has giant wings which _really_ add some width. You actually have two options - attach the wings in the middle of the loops, giving him giant horseshoe wings sticking out to either side or at the end of the loops (which is essentially just attaching the extra bits to the standard config), giving him giant semi circular, "rainbow", wings - which are the widest option. I personally prefer the most compact option, even if it doesn't make full use of the track pieces, partly since this is how he appeared in the cartoon and partly since it's the least kibbly.

   The other important aspect of Gadep is the walking mechanism. Thanks to a clever reconfiguration, the motor that makes the tank roll now allows him to walk. The head no longer turns mechanically (although you can still turn it around if you want his cannon to face forward), the lamp still flashes though, and the LED is quite bright, shining right through the plastic of his head.

   The big boots themselves don't move as he walks, instead they act as supports while the feet step forward - he kind of slides along the floor. The treads, inside the boots, actually move up and down, causing the feet to rise and fall, with the encasing boots forcing the feet to slide forward while at the bottom of their step (if you like, the feet move in small loops). The end result is a slow, lumbering gait, which works well, I'm impressed by just how stable this walk is - it's no chance of falling over thanks to the large footprints. It helps that the soles of his feet are always horizontal.

   On the back of the boots live the smaller blue clips. A lot of Omega Supreme toys on the secondary markets are missing these clips, and without them his boots don't fit quite so tightly. These clips are quite easy to lose - they'd be irreplaceable on an exclusive such as this.

   All told this is a pretty good robot mode, with good play value. The articulation is better than a lot of Transformers of the same era that _don't_ have electronic gimmicks. What's more the walking feature is actually worthwhile. The design aesthetic is clearly not Takara, which is really the main thing counting against this robot mode (assuming you aren't missing pieces). Again the repaint works well, and really matches the Guardian Robots from the cartoon.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. Since Gadep was sold exclusively through the Japanese online retailer e-Hobby, he was likely limited to a single production run.

OVERALL

   While Omega Supreme is a fun toy with a useful gimmick, I can't really recommend Gadep on the strength of the mould. In some ways his colours are an improvement over those of Omega Supreme, so he _is_ a good toy, but he's unusually large and expensive for an e-Hobby exclusive, so I'll stop short of recommending him. Having said that, this is a good repaint of a fun mould and one which ties in nicely to the G1 cartoon - so if you have the means and inclination, Gadep is a worthwhile purchase - 7.5/10

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