Cliffbee.com: ROTF Depthcharge Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Depthcharge
Series: Movie Tie-ins
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Attack Boat



BOAT MODE
Height: 4.5cm Length: 11.5cm Width: 3.5cm

   A light blue attack boat with off white stealth markings, Depthcharge is low on colour but high on detail with various hatches, panels and deckguns all over him. There;s a grey Autobot logo on the portside and "Allspark" light blue on the bridge windows, but it's a very simple colour scheme. In truth I would have liked some more colour, but the scheme is pretty much as most naval boats go - plain and functional.

   I can't recall a Transformer attack boat before - not that we've had many realistic boats anyway. He's at the smaller end of naval vessels, the type which is more about speed and manoeuvrability than long deployments at sea. There's a bridge in the centre with a communications tower behind that and a sort of spoiler at the stern. There's a large deck gun in front of the bridge and subtle canon-like elements on either side (which are actually the robot hands, but they're designed to look like some sort of weapon here). I don't know a lot about boats, so I've no idea if Depthcharge is based on an actual vessel, but he is quite realistic.

   There's no play value here. The bottom is flat so he can stand on the table - effectively he's missing everything below the waterline, so when on the table he looks like he's at sea. There are no wheels and the weapons are moulded only, so Depthcharge is restricted to sitting there, looking like a boat. I rusted a Seaspray as a child so I'm not going to see if he floats, but I think that's unlikely.

   A decent attack boat mode if a little sparse - it would have worked better at a higher pricepoint where Depthcharge could be afforded more moving parts. The colours work, mind you, and the detailing is pretty good for a scout. And hey, Depthcharge's giving us an altmode we've not seen before, which is always welcome.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

  

Split the front half and fold over to form his boots, fold away the communication tower to form his heelspurs. Fold down the side cannons, split the stern and fold his arms down to the sides. Lift up the shoulderpads, rotate the "spoiler" halves to form shoulder cannons, lift out his thumbs. Rotate the waist and you're done.
ROBOT MODE
Height: 11cm Width: 9cm

   A light blue robot with black thighs, upper arms and shoulder struts, Depthcharge has black silver and gold details on his chest while his face is black with a silver mouth and Allspark blue eyes. The colour scheme works well enough although his dark and broody face looks like it belongs on a Decepticon. There is no Autobot logo visible here, by the way.

   The bodyshape here is unusual - specifically his boots. They're the front of the boat, and they slant backwards quite noticeably, with the black thighs sticking out from the insides of the boots, which looks strange. I should mention that Hasbro's picture (used above) has the legs mistransformed - the tower isn't stowed. You can actually leave it out or stow it half way if you prefer, reducing or eliminating this slant, although the legs end up awfully long. None of these configurations gives Depthcharge good legs. They're also left his shoulderpads down and neglected to rotate the cannons.

   Depthcharge's poseability is hampered by the leg design - it's not easy to stablise the legs thanks to the odd hinging in his knees, and getting the broad feet level can be tricky. The shoulders and hips are ball jointed while his head and waist turn. The elbows and thumbs are hinged, along with the knees, but the latter has some other problems. Overall his arms are very poseable but the legs are just plain fiddly.

   A bit of a letdown, sadly. They've tried something different in the legs, but it looks awkward and really affects the poseability and stability. Above the knees, Depthcharge is quite nice - the colours work well, the facial sculpt is nice and the shoulderpads & cannons look good. It's a shame the boots dominate since everything else here is good.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   Depthcharge has a good boat mode despite its simplicity - it's a little dull but works as well as you'd expect at this level. The robot mode is dominated by weird knees and boots - had they held back the ambition and gone for legs that work he would have been a much better toy. While I don't dislike Depthcharge, the robot mode ends up being more annoying than anything else. The vehicle chosen is one we've never seen before, which largely saves Depthcharge - 6/10

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