Cliffbee.com: Landquake Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Landquake
Series: Collectors Club Exclusives
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Tank




TANK MODE
Height: 5cm Length: 10cm Width: 5cm

   A transparent red repaint of Kickback and Blight. The treads and tips of his twin cannons are painted black while the turret is a mixture of silver and light purple plastics. There are some silver painted details on the transparent red body of the tank and a Purple Decepticon symbol on the turret (raised with the relief painted white. It probably goes without saying that the colours are wildly unrealistic, but then this is a limited exclusive designed to fit into a wider theme. In that context the red works very nicely, although the light purple is a little garish.

   The turret is a little broken up, since it unfolds to become the arms and chest of the robot, and while the robot fists are visible on the back it still works as a turret. It's also where most of the action is. The front of the turret sports Landquake's spark crystal, which displays well from the front. The turret rotates right around, and while turning it will reveal the gap between his robot thighs, it clicks back into the forward facing position so you wont end up with a floppy turret as the swivel gets looser over time.

   Landquake is armed to the teeth, with the built in twin canons on either side of the turret, twin gatling guns moulded onto the front of the tank (and painted silver) while his transparent red Energon weapon clips into the fists (which is why they're visible) and gives him a further two barrels along with a radar dish. The main canons can rotate up and back to about 130, even with his extra weaponry on top, which is more than you'd expect at a basic level.

   Aside from the turret there's not much else in the way of play value, although he does have plastic wheels underneath to roll on, which is really all I ask - let's face it, tanks don't do much but roll, aim and fire. At this scale I think a working missile launcher is asking too much, and it would place restrictions on the robot mode that I'd hate to see.

   I'm not sure that a bright red tank would really work so well in battle, but other than the outbreak of purple it works for this exclusive figure. The turret provides more play value than we've seen on a low pricepoint Transformer tank ensuring this is a good little tank mode. While it's not perfect, the tank is a solid mould and the colours used here line up well with the other Collector's Club exclusives.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the Energon weapon if attached, fold out the arms. Rotate the platform on which the turret rests 180, swing down the head and rotate so his face is pointing forward. Fold out the treads so that they form panels sticking out and down to the sides, which will allow you to clip the shoulder joints onto the sides of the torso. Fold down his feet, unclip the legs from each other, collapse his chestpanel onto the torso, position the arms and forearm cannons, give him his handgun if you like.

   This is a satisfyingly complex transformation for a basic, but it's not difficult. It deals with problem of what to do with the turret better than any previous tank Transformers (while some used the turret as arms, none of those had movement).

ROBOT MODE
Height: 11cm Width: 8cm, 13.5cm "wingspan"

   The transparent red is not quite as prominent now, mainly on his torso, boots and wings. The purple plastic is on his upper arms, thighs and cannons on either side of his head. The chestplate, head, forearms and the cannons on the outsides of his forearms. His face is purple with red eyes - the lightpipe works but it's overwhelmed by the profusion of transparent red plastic elsewhere. The colours will not win design awards here - but the transparent red looks great with a light source behind it.

   So now he has eight barrels before adding his handgun which provides another two. The side canons from the tank mode are the forearm canons, which are targetable. The gunpods on either side of his head have three small barrels each and sit far enough away from his head to work as shoulder-cannons, even if they do attach to the back of his head. I actually find that the Energon chip is a little big and prefer leaving it off, but there's no problem with this, considering how well armed he is anyway. The chip looks better on this largely transparent robot than the blues one did on the more realistically (and solidly) coloured Blackout & Blight.

   The treads, dangling from his back as wings attached behind the shoulders, are very much kibble, but don't really get in the way and can fold back and hang backwards if you prefer. If you're going to have vehicle mode kibble, unobtrusive and concealable is the way to go. The other aspect that counts as a flaw is the shape of his feet - being the front of the tank they're flat panels, which is a little out of sync with the rest of this robot mode. The upside is the gatling guns now make great heelspurs for big feet, making him easy to pose, even accounting for the big treads hanging off him.

   Poseability is excellent for a basic toy, even better when you consider that he's a Gestalt limb. The head and waist turn, the shoulders, elbows, hips and knees are all ball joints while his ankles are hinged and the canons on his forearms rotate. As already mentioned, the feet anchor him quite well, so the articulation isn't wasted, and the treads can act as supports for action poses that would be unstable on other toys.

   Aside from the weird feet, this is a really good robot mode. The colours are quite poor, really, but Landquake is all about the transparent red, which lights up well. Since transparent plastics are fairly weak, Landquake needed the solid plastics for the ball joints - but I don't think purple was the best choice. He is bristling with weaponry, which I like and the play value surpasses what you'd expect of a basic. The treads are worthwhile kibble, since they're able to stay out of the way and actually help with pose stability, working as a sort of "cape" if you leave then out to the sides anyway.

VARIATIONS

   This toy was sold only as part of the Official Transformers Collectors Club 2006 membership package. I doubt there are any variations, since the entire stock was most likely produced in one run.

OVERALL

   Two fun modes, weaponry galore and a really good transparent plastic make for a fun toy. I don't like the use of purple plastic - black or silver would have worked better. Despite this I still enjoy Landquake as an exclusive because the transparent plastic makes him enjoyable. The choice of a good mould helps, and he combines with the rest of the Collector's Club set to make Nexus Prime. While he's not the best of these guys so far (Breakaway is better), Landquake is still a good effort - 7.5/10

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