Cliffbee.com: Volt Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Volt
Series: Generation 2
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Speed Technician
Alternate Mode: Hot Rod



CAR MODE
Height: 4.5cm Length: 12cm Width: 5.5cm

   A brick red 1950's style Hot Rod with gold flames on his roof and down his sides, Volt has a silver painted engine block with a transparent turbocharger and a silver grille. His windshield is transparent while he has open side windows. Interestingly, Volt has seats and a steering wheels moulded inside the cabin, which makes him somewhat ahead of his time. He has black painted windows on the back and black wheels with chrome tyres. This is probably the most believable of the Laser Rod colour schemes, although it's not like you see many 1950s Hot Rods on the street anyway. It's a pretty good colour scheme - the only negative is the flames on his roof are achieved by use of a sticker and the red background of the sticker doesn't quite match the plastic.

   Fairly low on detail but stylish, Volt has all the detail I really care for. He has front headlights, including transparent lenses, the flames look really good and he has the obligatory transparent exhaust pipe on the back. The engine block looks great, and I love the way the designer made a turbocharger of the transparent part.

   He'll roll along on his wheels, although there's not a lot of ground clearance - which is to be expected of a street rod. The point of the Laser Rods is light up parts, so the action in this mode is contained within the clear pistons on his engine. There's a small grey button just in front of the turbocharger, which is pretty inconspicuous but easy to find, when you push it an internal LED lights up the turbocharger. The LED is a fairly powerful red colour, impressive under artificial light and brilliant in a dark room. Incidentally, he has front suspension (sort of, it's directly linked to the button), so pushing down on his roof will also activate this gimmick. The latter works better since you invariably block the light by pressing the button itself.

   While this style of vehicle has been visited once before (Hubs and Greaser of the Hot Rod Patrol), it's unusual for a Transformer and so Volt really stands out. It's an attractive car mode, and in brick red he works very well.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Unclip the sword, fold out the back to form his legs, rotate the waist. Fold the front of the car down onto his back. Lift out the doors to form his shoulderpads and unravel the arms. Place his sword in his hand. Lastly, you can detach a small black module underneath the engine on his back and attach it to the back of his fist if you like. This module houses the LED, and will light his sword in place of the engine now on his back. If you prefer, you can leave it in his back.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 11cm Width: 8cm

   The red is joined by yellow, again with some supporting silver and the gold flames. The chest, shoulderpads and his big boots are red while his groin and arms are yellow. The head and thighs are silver while the flames are on the top of his shoulderpads and on his chest - which is the car's roof. His face is very simple, his eyes are transparent and the lightpipe works really well. Thanks to the yellow Volt is probably the brightest of all the Laser Rods (brighter even than his golden partner, Electro). The red, yellow and silver work together quite well, and I like his subtle gold flames better than the paint on most Laser Rods.

   The Laser Rods were amongst the first Transformers to attempt G.I. Joe level articulation. As with some other 1994 toys, Volt represents the Transformers' first foray into the ball joints that became the standard during Beast Wars. Volt has a metal T in his groin and ball joint in his waist (with a rubber band inside), as well as hinged knees and elbows. His shoulders have both hinges (which lift out to the sides) and swivels. Rounding out his articulation, the head turns right around. For the time, this sort of poseability was a _big_ deal - keeping in mind the best we'd seen previously was the Actionmasters. The big boots actually limit his poseability since it's difficult to find stable leg poses - the hip joints tend to give causing his legs to spread and Volt to collapse. His articulation doesn't work as well as most of his buddies, Volt still leaves the Transformers that came before him in his wake.

   The sword lights up really well, activated by the button now on his back. Even with the light on, it lights up brilliantly, and the sword's shaft glows red. There's not really any point to the lighting the turbocharger now on his back, but if you don't want the wire in the way you can leave the LED module stowed. The shape of the shaft means it glows best when viewed on angle - front on doesn't do much. Of course with the joints in his arms this is easy to achieve. That shaft is long and tapered, looking more like a martial arts sword than a melee weapon.

   Aside from the limitations on his poseability the boots present, the only other detraction here is his relatively small head - which is emphasised by the very wide shoulderpads. Whilst both the head and the shoulderpads look good in themselves, the head is lost amongst all that shoulder space.

   A good robot mode with good articulation and nice colours, Volt is still impressive today, ten years after he was released. The LED gimmick is almost a bonus - and mine is still running on the original batteries!

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   It's probably unfair on Volt that he's one of the weaker Laser Rods, since he's an excellent toy. The car mode is fantastic and the robot mode is only held back by his boots. The LED feature is fun and works very well. Volt is one of the toys often forgotten when G2 is viewed with disdain - and if you don't have him I'd definitely recommend him - 8/10

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