Cliffbee.com: Midnighter XR-4 Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Midnighter XR-4
Series: Real Gear
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Watch

Thanks to griffin for loaning me Midnighter XR-4 for this review



WATCH MODE
Height: 1.5cm Length: 20.5cm Width: 4.5cm

   A grey watch with some light grey plastic at the "pin" areas of the band and the border of the face, Midnighter XR-4 has a transparent watch face with an LCD digital readout below that. There's a Decepticon logo on top of the face, which is raised and painted silver. There are some black painted details on the band, but overall he has less colour than Meantime - the original version of the mould, done in a darker grey. There's transparent red stopwatch details on the face, underneath the time). The grey also does a good job of hiding the various gaps in his band. The best aspect of the colour scheme is that it's quite credible and realistic. It's duller than Meantime, but slightly more realistic.

   This is the only Transformer watch mould, amazingly - Meantime was the first. Meantime is the first Transformer whose alt mode is the entire watch. And this is a pretty good watch, too. He's too small for my wrist (yes, I tried), but the band bends around and can clip together, so he may well fit on a kid's wrist.

   Midnighter XR-4 is not a working watch, since the watch part itself houses his waist and head, and the clockface rotates during transformation. On that point, I should point out that the face _does_ rotate, so if you see it facing the wrong way, it can be corrected. He displays the time as 4:35pm on Tuesday 26 July. There are two function buttons on one side which are painted silver.

   This is a surprisingly good watch mode, considering that the entire thing becomes a robot. Sure, the band is chunky and solid, but that's a given in this case. The buttons on the side are a great way to hide the top of his head, the fact that it wraps around and clips together is admirable. The band can be a little unstable as you're moving it, but the parts do clip together quite well. Considering the engineering challenge here, I'm willing to accept the minor flaws in this mode, since the designer has done a great job and chosen good colours. The colours here - unlike many Real Gear repaints - are actually more realistic than those of Meantime, if slightly less interesting.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Split the right edges of the band off to form his arms, swing out the remainder of the band to form his legs - as the groin comes together internal gearing causes the shoulderblades to lift, bring the shoulders into position and revealing his head. Fold up the feet, swing back the heelspurs. Rotate the clockface 90, flip out his hands and position his arms.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12cm Width: 8cm

   A grey robot with the clockface on his chest, light grey groin, shoulders and hips. His face is painted silver with a black head and transparent red eyes with a useful lightpipe. The colour scheme again works well even if it's very dull. The clockface on his chest is somewhat cheesy and expected, but works well enough since the Decepticon logo is very well placed here. The front of his arms are hollow, but he's poseable enough to get around this.

   Midnighter XR-4's robot mode is slightly spindly but his shoulder are wide enough that he looks okay. The antennae on his head look pretty good considering that they were buttons on the side of the watch not long ago. His limbs are all jointed in the right places, too. Basically, there's not too much that can be done with a robot mode like this, but the designer has been conservative, making sure the robot mode works first and foremost. It's worth noting that Midnighter XR-4 wears a watch of his own on his left fist, although it's not actually him, rather a similar watch.

   Midnighter XR-4's poseability is pretty good. The head and shoulders turn and the shoulders lift out to the sides. His elbows bend, and with the hollow forearms I'd recommend posing him with hands on hips or something similar. There's not much that could have been done about the hollow forearms, although the upper arms could have been done better - so despite the relative ease with which you can hide the gaps, they do count as a flaw. Anyway, his hips are ball jointed and the knees hinged, with rotators just below the hips to help the effective knee articulation. The feet and heelspurs fold down, which anchors a lot of poses. Unlike most Real Gear toys, Midnighter XR-4 has holes in his fists, although as with the others he lacks a handheld weapon.

   A very poseable figure which does a fine job of looking good despite the obvious limitations of the alt mode. Sure, he has a clockface on his chest, but he also has useful limbs and the chest doesn't look too cheesy. The gaps on his upper arms are a flaw, but overall this is a fantastic effort. The colours are very dull, so the clockface is helpful.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. As mentioned, he is a repaint of Meantime.

OVERALL

   A good repaint of a good toy, and while Midnighter XR-4 has less colour, he's a little more realistic. With sensible colours, a realistic clockface and good play value is pretty, this is a good mould. The difference between him and Meantime is minimal, I'd recommend one or the other, but not both. If you like the Real Gear idea, definitely pick one up - 9/10

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