Cliffbee.com: Slapper Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Slapper
Series: Robots in Disguise
Allegiance: Predacon
Alternate Mode: Frog

Thanks to Griffin for loaning me Slapper, making this review possible (I have since acquired Slapper).



FROG MODE
Height: 6cm Length: 12cm Width: 8cm

   A dark red frog with silver toes and some black on his upper legs, Slapper has some gold and purple on his back along with three different chrome colours - oranges on top of his head, blue on his back and green for his eyes. This is a rather unappealing colour scheme, something that seems to be inherent in the mould - TMII Spittor's colours were also quite ugly. Mind you, at least that toy had a theme amongst its colours - something Slapper lacks.

   Slapper is fairly well sculpted, which is standard for a Transmetal II mould. As you'd expect there's an asymmetrical mixture of organic and robotic elements, with warts and hooks the most prevalent elements. He has webbed feet with claws, which is very unnatural for frogs, but then with the aposematic colouring and abundance of warts I think they're trying to make him as threatening as possible. He'd want to be threatening since camouflage is not an option here.

   The hips, knees and ankles are all ball jointed and the mouth opens (although it's the upper jaw that moves), giving Slapper good poseability. This is somewhat wasted since the front legs are significantly longer than they should be, so most poses look gimpish. There's a pink Predacon spark crystal inside the mouth, along with a black mace-tongue which cheats by attaching rather than coming out of storage. The chrome blue tail section is a fold out claw, with a ball jointed base, adding to the play value. The idea is admirable, but since the legs are out of proportion, most poses where it would be useful aren't really worth doing.

   A rather ugly frog mode with bad proportions. The colours really don't mix well and the limbs are out of proportion, and the poseability is nowhere near enough to save this frog mode. Granted the detailing is good, but with colours this ugly, that's the last thing you'll notice.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   There's a lot of contorting and twisting for what ends up being a pretty involved transformation for a basic. The front legs become the legs and the hindlegs the arms, but this is more than a stand up and repose affair. The robot head is stowed within the mouth, the upper jaw becomes the right shoulderpad and the backplate the left shoulderpad. The tongue becomes a handheld mace, giving Slapper something to hold.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 11cm Width: 11cm

   There's more black and less chrome in the robot mode, which is good to see, even if this robot mode has it's own problems. The boots and forearms are red while the upper arms, thighs and groin are black. The waist is purple while the chest is red with some black and white elements. The head is red with a white face and blue eyes. The right shoulderpad is red and chrome orange with green eyes still visible while the longer left one is red and purple with the dark blue claw on top.

   It only gets worse, really. The head is attached to the front of the chest, giving Slapper a severe hunchback. Yet the bottom of the head is flat, so it looks like his head has been cut off and stuck on. The shoulderpads are really bad kibble, and while they don't impinge on shoulder movement too much, they're very lopsided and a mess of colours. There are no hands, only the hindfeet from beast mode, which sit on the end of his arms rather awkwardly. The forearms are the undersides of the hindlegs and have gaps, which isn't really a major issue relative to the rest of the problems.

   I really don't get this robot mode. More than anything else, I've never worked out why the head is tacked onto the front - it wouldn't have been hard to put it on top of the torso (where it belongs!). The sculpt is good, especially on the limbs (which are, after all, frog limbs), save for the gaps in his forearms. While the sculpt doesn't have the ugly feel it did in beast mode, it's still not really a high point. The mace-weapon plugs into holes in either hand (well, as much as he has hands), but doesn't really add much considering it's an add-on in both modes. The mace itself is OK - it would have been more useful if he had proper hands to hold it.

   The poseability here is good. The hips, shoulders, knees, ankles and elbows are all ball jointed and work well. The wrists are hinged and the waist rotates. The "neck" is also a ball joint, but the head can only look down thanks to the stupid design. The fold out claw adds somrr play value, but since it sits on top of the awkward left shoulderpad, it's not a great addition.

   This is a pretty bad robot mode.I didn't think much of it when I got TMII Spittor, and if anything the colours here are worse. The play value might be okay, but in truth Slapper looks awkward in any pose. I'd honestly recommend a Throttlebot over this, even if the poseability here is better. At least they have heads on top of the torso.

VARIATIONS

   Released in Car Robots as Gushar, who was slightly modified for the US market as Slapper. Neither version is much good.

OVERALL

   A mess in both modes, with a colour set that can best be described as haphazard. The mould was bad enough the first time around - a repeat is just silly. The only reason you'd want this toy is because in the US he was sold in a three pack with Dark Scream and Gas Skunk. I went against this and just bought Gildo, the Car Robots version of Dark Scream. A toy I'd recommend avoiding - 1/10

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