Cliffbee.com: Octane Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Octane
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Fueler
Alternate Mode: Fuel Tanker Truck, Commercial Jet Airliner



TANKER TRUCK MODE
Height: 4cm Length: 18cm Width: 8.5cm

   A light grey truck with silver tank at the back, Octane has a midnight blue cabin area and four light purple plastic tyres. The colour scheme isn't really inspiring - an awful lot of Decepticons during mid-G1 featured either the grey or purple Octane sports (and a few have both). The entire tank is chromed, which is nice but can't really make up for the laziness all over this toy. There's a rubsign and indent on the top of his tank. Much of the detailing on this truck mode is achieved with stickers, including stripe stickers on the sides and hood of the longnose cab which sport Decepticon logos. There's some silver (non chrome) paint on the exhausts on either side of the cab.

   This is a very broken up truck, with a mid section full of kibble, including two really obvious purple chunks sticking out the sides (robot arms). The front has no headlights or grille - instead we get black transformation hinges against a light grey background. I don't see why we could get black plastic for these hinges while his tyres are purple. There are two tyres at the front and another pair towards the back, with an unpainted grey set of tyres moulded behind the rear wheels, which looks really cheap (we're talking bad Micromaster standards).

   Octane has pretty much no play value here. The wheels (along with third grey pair hidden underneath) roll, although not well since the false wheels at the back rub against the table. False wheels and hidden wheels at once make this truck rather unfocused. The biggest shortcoming of this mode is a giant piece of chromed plastic forming the centre. Not only is Octane cheating, but this piece is simply set aside for jet mode, and of course can be lost.

TRANSFORMATION TO JET MODE

   Detach the clip in panel and set aside. Swing the sides of the truck cab out and forward, plugging in the plane's tail as you clip them together. Turn Octane over and lift up the tailwings, slide the front of the jet up, unfold the robot arms to form under-wing engines. Fold out the sides of the tank to form wings, fold over the rear wheels of the truck to form the nose of the jet.

JET MODE
Height: 7cm Length: 21cm Width: 18.5cm

   Now mainly light grey, Octane has dark grey wings and a dark grey tail. Those seemingly needless wheels in the middle of the truck are now on top of the fuselage (begging the question - why the hell are they even _on_ this toy?). The windows are blue stickers and there are purple wheels underneath the nose, with the false wheels behind them. There are stripe stickers on the wings with Decepticon symbols, similar to those of his truck mode. This jet is dominated by grey and has no passenger windows - Octane's colours would be suitable for a cargo plane, save for the purple here and there.

   The jet is Octane's better disguise, although it's far from perfect. Those random wheels on top look bad, and the section of the fuselage just behind the wings is a mess. The lines are more or less plane lines however, and the wings, tail and tailwings are all about right. Octane is the only non-Concorde commercial Airliner we've seen amongst the Transformers, and would have to be at the lower end of G1 plane modes.

   Again there's not really any play value. There are four wheels underneath - the two at the back are actually on the roof of the truck cab but they don't really stand out on truck mode. This is an unremarkable jet with a lot of junk here and there, but he's still a better jet than he is a tanker. This mode isn't really what I'd call clever in the way it deals with the other alt mode, unlike most Triple Changers.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold the tail section back to truck position, fold over the rear wheels back. Split the front of the jet to form his legs, fold the front of the truck over to form the chest and reveal the head. Rotate the arms over the wings, give Octane his gun, split the tail as a handheld shield while the tank cove can clip onto the outside of either arm.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 19.5cm Width: 16.5cm

   This robot mode is more truck than jet, although there's no chrome on the front of the robot proper. The central strip of the torso is midnight blue while the dies of the torso and the legs are light grey. His arms and head are light purple while the face is silver. The dark grey wings stick up from behind the arms at about 45 angles, and they look pretty good. The only chrome we get here is on the add-on arm shield, while the tail shield is dark grey and the gun purple. The Decepticon logo from on the front of the truck is now on his groin.

   While there are some problems, this robot mode works reasonably well. The wings are cool and the truck cab for a chest is nice. I'm not so keen on the legs - there's a gap around his ankles and the thighs are awfully narrow. The gap between his legs is fairly narrow, which highlights the slender thighs. His facial detail is pretty good even if his eyes are silver like the rest of the face.

   The shields are little more than a way to use the two add-on pieces from the vehicle modes. Octane can barely hold his tail shield, it fits into his hand very loosely and the chest gets in its way. The arm shield is a little better since it plug in firmly. The wings do get in its way but you can always fold them back (which still looks ok). There's not a lot of poseability here - the wings fold back as mentioned while the shoulders swing and the elbows bend on double hinges. There's no poseability in his static-looking legs.

   Well, he has a more dynamic robot mode than Broadside, and the wings look good. The legs are pretty bad and the tail shield is a joke, frankly. This is probably the least compromised of Octane's modes - but that's more an indictment on his vehicles modes than a compliment. This robot mode is of a similar standard to many Triple Changer robot modes, to be honest, but it feels worse since it's linked to two poor vehicles.

VARIATIONS

   Originally released in 1986, Octane was reissued as a Classic in Europe and Australia during 1991.

OVERALL

   I wouldn't say he's the worst Triple Changer, but there's not much between Broadside and Octane. Octane is more adventurous than Broadside, which is why I'm giving him the nod. The truck mode is bad, the jet mode okay, and it's the only standard jet airliner alt mode we've seen, which is the best part about it. The robot mode is reasonable without being anything special - a disappointment when both of his vehicle modes need add ons to hide the robot. Triple Changers are a really cool idea when they come off, but Octane doesn't quite work. If the ambition was matched by the end result, Octane would be great, but the designer got lazy - 3.5/10

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