Cliffbee.com: High Score 100 Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: High Score 100
Series: Real Gear
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Gamepad



GAMEPAD MODE
Height: 7cm Depth: 3cm Width: 9cm

   An off white handheld game controller (for PCs, games consoles, etc) with grey controls and grip on both the inside and outside of the handles. He's roughly crescent shaped - as they usually are. Most of the grey plastic used here has a rough texture, designed to correspond with the tactile feel of the rubberised plastic usually found on these things. The grip on the outside of the handles is noticeably glossy - it's painted, and while the shade is the same, these spots are smoother. There are a couple of metallic pine green paint applications and a black Autobot logo at the top of the central section. While the off white does show up the seams here, High Score 00 has both a credible and aesthetically pleasing colour scheme.

   Okay, time for a button roll-call. The right side (as you face it) has four rounded buttons, the left has a four-way directional pad, between these is a slider. At the base of the central section we have two truncated joysticks, designed for thumb operation. Between these are three smaller, green (painted) buttons, which would function as minor controls. There are two top edge green (painted) buttons, rounding out a full set of buttons. While there'll be gamepads out there with more controls, I appreciate that High Score 100 hasn't been over simplified.

   There's not really much play value as you'd expect. He's smaller than most gamepads - designed to suit kid hands only, I guess. Having said that you can still grip him in both hands. The joysticks move around, although the other buttons are fixed. The slider _does_ move, but as part of his transformation - if you do slide it you might find his head pushes out. It will also cause the top edges buttons to swing down - they're not as solid as I'd like in this mode. There's no cord, so I guess we'll call this an RF or WiFi based model.

   While the loose panels on top are somewhat annoying, this is still a good gamepad mode on balance. It's a believable mini gamepad. The seams are distracting - he would have worked a little better in black - but there have been a lot of dark Real Gear toys already. High Score 100 continues the trend of consumer electronics focused Real Gear toys - so far only Longview bucks this trend.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Lift up a small panel on the top edge, just near his allegiance symbol, slow love the slider - which will cause the green buttons to swing under and the robot head to lift out. This step is fiddly - the panels holding the buttons pop off fairly easily (but pop on again just as readily, at least). Turn him over, unclip the insides of the handles, pull down to form his legs, extend the ankles and fold down his feet. Rotate the main button pieces to form shoulders, rotate the outsides of the handles into place as lower arms. Pivot his groin forward, click his head up into position and you're done.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 9.5cm Width: 7.5cm

   Agai High Score 100 is based on off white - the green is a little more prominent, with the "L" and "R" marked top buttons now sitting on his torso, forming a collar. There are also green stripes on his shoulders. Much of the robot only area is grey - the inner thighs, feet, inner shoulders and mouthplate are all grey while his eyestrip is the dullest shade you could have that's still magenta. It's a good colour scheme, and I'm happy to see that they're finally adding two allegiance symbols to Real Gears - they're an identical Autobot logo on his groin.

   His forearms are big, long, stocky things and his thighs are curved backwards. This might sound awkward, but it's not really - High Score 100's robot mode is more gorilla than humanoid - and I suspect this is deliberate, since the simple face really fits into that idea. His articulation (which I'll come to on a moment) allows him to stand on all fours, in true gorilla stance, although his face will be looking down.

   I like how the designer has integrated the gamepad elements here, without creating kibble. The buttons on his collar are well integrated, yet the sculpted letters are apparent, so you know they're alt mode pieces. The grip is still visible on his forearms and the joysticks sit on the outsides of his hips.

   Poseability is really good - as tends to be the case in this line. His shoulders, elbows, neck, waist, hips and ankles are ball jointed while the knees bend back. The neck and waist are restricted a little since both joints are involved in the transformation - the face turns ands the waist rotates. The feet are big enough that most poses are stable with a little work. The elbows essentially bend _inwards_, giving him a brutish look, allowing him to lift his clenched fists up. I don't mind this since it again fits the gorilla morphology, and works well if he's on all fours.

   While I had some minor issues with his gamepad mode, I'm not complaining here. High Score 100's robot mode is cute yet rugged with a well developed gorilla shape and good alt mode elements incorporation. The colours work, the poseability is great and he just _looks_ sweet. This is easily his better mode.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. I am hopeful of a black repaint. Maybe with a silver back!

OVERALL

   A wonderfully creative toy with great robot mode play value and two inventive modes. We've never had a Transformers gamepad before and there hasn't been a gorilla-styled robot mode since 1988. The gamepad would have worked better in a dark colour, but the designer hasn't neglected it - the tactile feel of the buttons and grip proves that. The edge buttons come off easily in transformation - but the alt mode is still nice and the transformation is creative enough without kibble that I can overlook the loose pieces. If you like the Real Gear line, I'd recommend High Score 100 - 9/10

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