Cliffbee.com: Speed Dial 800 Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Speed Dial 800
Series: Real Gear
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Mobile/Cell Phone



PHONE MODE
Height: 9cm Depth: 2.5cm Width: 4.5cm (closed)
Height: 15cm Depth: 5.5cm Width: 4.5cm (open)

   A dark grey flip phone, Speed Dial is essentially on a 1:1 scale. The top of his lid is painted cobalt blue while there's a small display screen sticker on top of the lid. The lid opens to reveal a much larger display. Both have blue backgrounds and display the time as 7:47 PM, while the inner screen has a large red Autobot logo and the smaller screen has a white logo. The inner screen has all the usual indicators - signal strength, battery life, button functions and an alarm bell icon. The control buttons are painted metallic blue while the number buttons are unpainted dark grey plastic, while most of the buttons have cobalt blue print (numbers, etc) - save for the standard green and red handset buttons. The colour scheme is fairly drab but quite realistic which is important for an alt mode like this, so I'm quite happy with it.

   Most of the detailing here revolves around making the phone work visually, which I appreciate. The Autobot logos on the screens are all we get in the way of Transformer elements here. The keypad looks quite convincing - well as much as it can in the circumstances (it splits into three later). There's a ear speaker slot on top of the phone, a non-functional navi-key on the keypad and pads on the inside of the flip. There's a lid-release button on the right side of the body of the phone and a volume control on the left, while there's a camera lens on the underside of the hinge, complete with a transparent lens. There's even a little hoop on top of the lens for you to attach a lanyard!

   I really like this phone mode. I appreciate that the designer has tried to make a credible mobile phone mode, when it would have been easy to make him some stupid colour like green or red with his name in big letters. While this makes Speed Dial 800 rather subdued, it also makes the alt mode work. There have been knock off transformable mobile phones, but none I've seen have taken the concept as seriously as this. Perhaps the best thing I can say about this mode is that if you were to walk past someone on the street talking into Speed Dial 800, you probably wouldn't realise the phone wasn't real.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Open the flip and rotate, fold it back down underneath the phone. Pull out the sides and swing down to form legs, rotate the boots so that the outside of the phone forms his shins, fold out the feet. Pull out the side panels with the controls (volume, etc), lift up to form the arms. Rotate the arms into position and open the panels below the lens to reveal his face

ROBOT MODE
Height: 11.5cm Width: 6cm

   The robot mode is based around dark grey, as you'd expect. His face is metallic blue while the lens forms a single eye. The chest is also metallic blue, with the relevant button details still visible, while the groin is grey with 2-5-8-0 buttons running down the middle. His hips, upper arms and claw hands are black while the forearms are painted cobalt blue. I wouldn't say this robot mode's colours are great, but they're okay. The robot mode's colours understandably take a back seat to those of the phone mode.

   Speed Dial 800's robot mode is inevitably dominated by phone elements, although this isn't a bad thing. The lens as an eye is rather unusual and take a a little bit of getting used to, but it's a perfectly viable option. If you don't like the keypad on his torso, you can actually alter the transformation so that it's on his back, although the back of the phone is all grey, and makes for a rather dull robot mode in my opinion.

   I'm quite impressed by Speed Dial 800's poseability. The head is basically fixed, since if you want to use the joint below it you need to lift the back up to the point where the joint is useful, you have no chance of standing him up. The shoulders and elbows are ball jointed while his claw hands are on hinges. The hips swing and lift out to the sides while his knees bend and rotate. The feet are essentially fixed, but the heelspurs are nice and big, allowing Speed Dial 800 to stand in a wide range of poses, which is quite impressive for a guy with such a large piece on his back. It's worth pointing out that the backpack is able to sit very close to the body, which really helps the stability of this robot mode.

   A good robot mode that manages to integrate a lot of the phone elements without looking cheap. What really impressed me is just how poseable this guy is despite the huge piece of kibble on his back. Visually he never hits the highs that the phone mode did, but I wouldn't expect that to be the case. I would have liked to see Speed Dial 800 with a weapon, but then none of the Real Gear toys come with hand weapons.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. Wire Tap v20 and Highline 1070 are repaints of Speed Dial 800.

OVERALL

   A very good phone mode and a good robot mode with lots of poseability make this a really nice Transformer. Speed Dial 800 is the first telephone Transformer we've seen, which in itself is a good reason to pick him up. We haven't seen many toys along this general theme since the original Microchange based toys of early G1, and while I can't say I want to see a hoarde of mobile phone Transformers, the occasional change from the endless sports cars and fighter jets is certainly welcome. My only real complaint is his name - it's simply awful - and while I get the idea that it's meant to sound like a phone model number, it doesn't work for a character name at all. This is a interesting and fun toy that I definitely recommend - 9/10

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