Cliffbee.com: Longview Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Longview
Series: Movie Tie-ins
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Binoculars



BINOCULARS MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 6.5cm Width: 8.5cm

   A yellow and black set of binoculars, Longview's body is yellow while the edges are black. The colour scheme strongly reminds me of Bumblebee - it's that sort of yellow. There's a forward facing Autobot logo on top, behind this five painted adjustment buttons and on the left side his name in a outline, italic font. I guess it goes without saying that there's colourless plastic on the lenses at front and back. Impressively the underside doesn't have a robot detail. The underside is largely black with some yellow, including panels covering assembly screws (mine is missing one panel, and has a single screw visible on the right side). The colour scheme is realistic enough, other than the name and faction symbol. There are metallic blue robotic eyes visible at the front (underneath the glass), which is the only hint we have that there's a robot here.

   Longview isn't quite life sized - in fact he's probably half the size he should be. Still, the idea works quite well and while he'd still be too small for most kids, the size is good for smaller children. You can look through the lenses - there are shafts through the toy, although there's no magnification. While the field of vision is blurry, I don't expect much of a basic toy. The buttons on top are just for show, of course, but I like the fact they were added. You can lift up the top panel, which reveals a picture of Cybertron Crumplezone. The picture is upside down, but is easy enough to rotate if you have an artknife to lift it.

   While this is a fairly simple block of plastic, the details Longview does have sell the binoculars mode well. We haven't seen this sort of mode for a long time (the less said about Armada Laserbeak the better, IMO), and that alone makes him interesting. The colours work and there's really no kibble at all.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Unclip the grip at the sides, releasing the back of the toy. Pull out the back sections to form legs, rotate down. Fold out the front lenses, completing the arms. Fold the fists out from within the grip sections (lower arms). Rotate the large yellow panel with the Autobot logo over onto the underside, forming his chestplate. The head will come with this plate, although you'll probably have to rotate it forward a little. Push the skidplate down (the head lifts it up), fold down his feet and you're done. A clever transformation that's complex enough at this size without being difficult.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13cm Width: 8cm

   Again Longview is yellow and black, with a yellow chest and head along with yellow boots. The arms, feet, groin and thighs are black while his face and fists are grey. The Autobot logo is in the middle of his chest while there's a colourless wraparound eyevisor (think Robocop). The colour scheme is still similar to that of Bumblebee, and really gives Longview a G1 feel.

   Longview's robot mode wouldn't be out of place amongst the Microchange line. This is the line which gave us most of the non vehicle/beast G1 toys (Megatron, Perceptor, the tapes) - but there's more than that. The bodyshape reminds me of Microchange. This aspect helps Longview's G1 feel for me - making me a real fan of this robot mode. The chest is quite wide and the upper arms are the larger lenses, which protrude forming shoulder pylons. I like the shoulders, they make a nice feature but don't get in the way of anything.

   The poseability is easily better than the Microchange standard, with 20 years of toy technology to draw on. His neck and shoulders are ball jointed while the hips swing and lift out to the sides. His elbows, knees and ankles are all hinged and Longview is quite easy to stand. The fists are solid and he lacks a weapon, limiting the play value. While I wouldn't mind a weapon, I'm not that worried here since Longview is meant to be maybe 20cm tall anyway.

   While the robot mode is simple, there's enough poseability to give him some play value and he looks really nice. The colours, shades of G1 and scale all work in his favour. The only notable negative is the lack of a weapon, but it's not something that bothers me.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. Farsight T-20 is a blue repaint of Longview.

OVERALL

   A fun little toy which harks back to a previous era of Transformers. Longview's binoculars mode is well defined with some nice details while the robot mode is attractive and reasonably poseable. With shades of Microchange and modern jointing, he combines G1 and modern lines well. It's nice to see a break from the vehicles and beasts, and I'm glad that this toy is well executed. The lack of a handheld weapon is the only significant negative - 8/10

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