Cliffbee.com: Nightbeat 7 Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Nightbeat 7
Series: Real Gear
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: MP3 Player/Condor



MP3 PLAYER MODE
Height: 7.5cm Depth: 1.5cm Width: 4.5cm

   A red silver and light metallic blue box with a transparent blue window at the top - representing a display, and five light grey buttons at the bottom surrounded by very light blue borders. The colours are reminiscent of those found on iPods and similar players, and while they avoid stepping on Apple's toes, they do enough to ensure that Nightbeat 7 actually looks like like a digital music player - unlike the original version of this mould, Booster x10, whose colours are wholly geared towards a condor mode tribute. Nightbeat 7 comes with a circular light blue accessory which sports a grey rubber loop on one side and a blue post on the other. This accessory is meant to represent an earpiece, but there's no wire connecting the two pieces.

   Oh the difference colours can make. Unlike Booster x10, Nightbeat 7 actually works as an MP3 Player instead of a garage door remote. I still lament the lack of a sticker or soemthing on the window, but a blue backlit screen is so much more likely than orange for an MP3 player. The buttons lack markings - nothing defines them as play, rewind etc. The window is still generic, as I mentioned - but it represents an improvement over that on his Decepticon predecessor. The earpiece is essentially sitting aside and not forming part of this device. There's not even any way to attach the earpiece. You can clip the black loop on the earpiece over the top of your ear - it's composed of a soft plastic.

   The idea is still fairly weak, but I have to say that Nightbeat 7 looks about 10 times more convincing as a personal digital music player than Booster x10 does. The colours are actually quite nice anyway, and they really help guide the fairly generic details of this mould in the right direction. The blue window makes a big difference, too. I appreciate that this toy's colours have been chosen so that his alt mode works - as opposed the colours that ruin Booster x10's alt mode. I still lament the lack of some features - indicators on his buttons, a better display and a string connecting the two pieces is sorely missed.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Flip out the tail from underneath the button pad, pull out the sides to form his wings, revealing the head. Unfold the legs from underneath the buttonpad, which forms the body of the bird. Lastly, pull out a small tab underneath the silver post which plugs the earpiece over the buttonpad to form a weapon on top of the bird.

CONDOR MODE
Height: 6cm Width: 17cm Length: 10.5cm

   A silver and light blue condor with grey legs, transparent blue midwing areas and blue painted eyes. There are red stamped Autobot logos on his head and the gunpack - the latter is actually visible on the headphone mode. The G1 Laserbeak tribute is still reasonably obvious but Nightbeat 7 is his only character in these colours. The proliferation of metallic silver and blue paint makes this a really nice colour scheme - Nightbeat 7 might lack in the G1 tribute, but he's still a great looking bird. I'm happily surprised by these colours - I didn't expect this toy to looks so nice in condor mode.

   It's a pretty nice condor mode, which makes sense when you consider how heavily weighted the design emphasis is towards this mode. The wings and tail work well and the single cannon on the back gives a weapon to a toy without hands. The head looks good and the feet are quite bird like. There's not much MP3 player here, mind you. The cannon is the post of the earphone, whose outer shell sits on his back, but these look like condor bits anyway. The covers which form the outside edges of his wings are the only distinct alt mode aspects - not that they look too much like MP3 players piece with the generic window on them - but they're clearly a shell.

   The style of this condor mode - and the fact that it's a condor - make this mould atypical amongst the Real Gear toys, but the range of movement is still impressive. The head can rotate a little, the ankles and hips are hinged, the wings lift up and can collapse in slightly if you like. The really loose ankles on Booster x10 have been tightened here, which I'm quite happy about.

   A great condor mode and while there's no G1 tribute here now, the colours look nice and the play value is slightly better on this figure than previously. Nightbeat 7 might not appeal so much to G1 fans but I really enjoy his condor mode.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   A far more focussed toy than the other version of this mould, and while there's no G1 tribute I think Nightbeat 7 is better for it, since his MP3 player mode is allowed to look like an MP3 player, rather than just supporting the condor mode. There's a nice balance, mind you - it's still an attractive condor mode. There are still physical shortcomings in the alt mode, but it's allowed to actually work this time. They've also tightened the ankles, which helps the condor mode. I do wish there was a cord connecting the two pieces, Nightbeat 7 works on a level that the tribute-focussed Booster x10 doesn't. If you're interested in the Real Gear line on its own merit, rather than being interested in a tribute, then I'd get this version of the mould - 6.5/10

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