Cliffbee.com: Universe Overkill Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Overkill
Series: Universe
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: T-Rex

Thanks to Griffin for loaning me Overkill, making this review possible.



T-REX MODE
Height: 15cm Length: 20cm Width: 8cm

   An off-white Tyrannosaurus rex with cobalt blue limbs, a blue lower jaw and some blue on his back. Overkill has silver toes on his hind legs, transparent yellow eyes and a transparent yellow spark crystal (with a stamped silver Decepticon logo) on his left hip. There's a yellow patch on top of his head which gives him a lightpipe - except the yellow plastic is barely transparent so the lightpipe isn't much use. The colours are similar those of the original Overkill toy.

   While the original Overkill is a tail dragger, scientists have since revised theories regarding this dinosaur and now believe the T-Rex walking on two legs with the tail and head level with one another (think of a seesaw in mid swing). This toy is designed to work in either position, allowing both show accuracy and realism. The detailing is purely robotic, so it's works as Overkill (even if the fact that this is a Grimlock repaint means it's not obviously Overkill). I appreciate that this is a modern design which has a G1 feel to it - even if the semblance to G1 Overkill is more colour scheme than design.

   Overkill now sports a blue missile launcher on his back - and while it's detachable you're probably better off leaving it there, since the post it attaches to looks odd on its own. Essentially the launcher sits over his back, and resembles a bayonet - complete with a silver knife underneath. It's nothing like the silver cassette weapons of the original, but it's a nice weapon on it's own. The launcher holds a single transparent yellow missile, which fires quite well. If you've got Overkill in taildragging mode, the upwards angle makes for a spectacular launch (and if you're not careful, a hunt for the missile over the other side of the room).

   As well as the missile launcher, Overkill also gains some poseability. The hips swing and lift out to the sides while the knees bend and rotate. There's also some movement in the claws, allowing for stable walking poses. The short forelimbs are on restricted ball joints and move about as much as you'd expect vestigial arms to. His head can lift up and down (which allows for both standing poses) while the lower jaw opens and shuts. The tail is composed of four segments and a tip, all of which can swing from side-to-side, giving Overkill a poseable tail, with joints tight enough that it'll hold the pose you give it.

   A good dinosaur mode that's both anatomically updated and able to tribute the older style stance of G1. The deliberately robotic sculpt is nice and while this mould was never designed with Overkill in mind, it works well enough thanks to a good colour scheme. The dinosaur is easily his better mode, and since the original never had a robot mode, the more nostalgic of his modes.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove and set aside the tail and missile launcher. Pull out the front of the dinosaur to form legs, lifting up the upper jaw to form the feet and lowering the lower jaw to form heelspurs. Split the legs and fold away the forelimbs, fold back panels to reveal the waist. The upper body goes through several twists and folds. The hindlegs become the robot arms in a fashion similar to those of Pretender Grimlock. The tail becomes a handheld whip and the launcher also becomes a handheld weapon.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14cm Width: 8cm

   An off white robot with extensive cobalt blue highlights, Overkill has a yellow eyestrip and that yellow spark crystal now on his chest. The colour scheme is quite simple really, even if there's a fairly complex mixing of white & blue here - there's very little else happening here. While the colours do represent Overkill well, there's no reference point in G1, (where he had no robot mode), so it doesn't feel especially like the a tribute to the original toy.

   The idea here is right, but there are a few simple things that really let this design down. The boots are huge in proportion to the thighs, and while he looks fine in standing poses, it does look a little strange once you try for dynamic poses (as well as causing stability problems). The mid section of the dinosaur body unfolds to reveal the head, with the black panels folding out to form shoulderpads. While these pads have tabs that correspond to sockets on the torso, they don't line up correctly - instead the panels sit slightly higher than they should.

   The level of detail here is generally good, in contrast to some of the sloppy aspects I've just mentioned. This robot mode feels like it was slightly rushed - a lot of effort has been put in, but a few more tweaks were needed. The transformation which brings us to this point is quite clever, and while it's not the same as G1 Grimlock's, it's quite cool. The T-rex head is now his feet while the hindclaws sit behind his forearms. The shoulders would look really nice if they didn't have the screws so prominent, and the head fits the character perfectly.

   Overkill's poseability is good although with some limitations. The head turns, although the loose shoulderplates will try come with it, so you have to grasp these before you move his head. The shoulders swing and lift out to the sides while the elbows are hinged and there are rotators just above the elbows themselves. The wrists are fixed - they had to be really, with the claws attached directly below. The waist rotates and the hips are ball jointed, while the knees, ankles and heelspurs are all hinged. The legs take a little bit of work in some action poses, since the knees are quite high, but once you find a stable pose Overkill will hold it. The high knees are actually kneecaps - from the inside of either leg you can see proper boots, with the knee joints sitting behind and below the kneecaps. Combined with the poseable tailwhip and missile launcher, the poseability gives Grimlock good play value, although the weight of the tailwhip limits his stability a little.   

   The screws in his shoulders and loose shoulderplates drag down what could - should - have been a really nice robot mode. There's not a not here that really says Overkill - he does feel more like a forced repaint of Grimlock. The play value is still pretty good but the T-rex is better in pretty much every way.

VARIATIONS

   As mentioned, he is a repaint of Classics Grimlock.

OVERALL

   A good toy, although slightly below the standard set by some of the Classics toys. Grimlock is still a nice figure, and easily beats the simplified Pretender as a tribute or some of the odd name reuses we've seen in recent years. The shift in transformation and loss of chrome don't really count against this toy - the transformation actually gets rid of kibble compared to G1 and is interesting on its own anyway. I really wish those damn screws weren't so visible - but despite that flaw I think he's worth picking up - 7.5/10

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