Cliffbee.com: Wal*Mart Heavy Load Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Heavy Load
Series: Transformers Universe
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Dump Truck

Note: I don't actually have the original Heavy Load - I have Build Typhoon, the Car Robots equivalent, and so I reviewed Build Typhoon previously. For ease of comparison, I will refer to the original as Build Typhoon.



TRUCK MODE
Height: 6cm Length: 10.5cm Width: 6.5cm

   Heavy Load is one of those giant dump truck machines used in open cut mining, with 4 metre tall tyres. Going by the size of the cockpit windows, he's not as huge as a lot of these machines are, which brings him back to scale with the rest of his team. His truck mode is yellow with a few silver paint apps and a stamped Autobot logo on top of the tray. The windows are made of a transparent blue plastic. There's a brown paint wash around the base which looks pretty good. His tyres are black with bronze wheels and there are some grey and black pieces here and there, which combine with the yellow for a realistic look, although the silver on top breaks this up a little.

   The cabin sits under the left side of the tray's lip, although you can swing it over to the right side, or even in the middle. He has ladder rungs on the front, which are now unpainted (he also loses Build Typhoon's danger stripes, sadly). The the sides and back are more or less mechanical-looking details that aren't really kibble or especially truck-like. The feet actually sit on the back, but don't really stand out. The red taillights are also gone this time.

   The wheels roll fairly well, and the ridged grip pattern is actually series of indents rather than actual ridges, so he rolls quite smoothly. The tray can tilt back, so he can pour out his load of ore or rubbish or whatever you load him up with. If you can find some tiny Energon cubes to load him with, well then even better.

   The only real issue I have with this truck mode is the overall shape. He's very close to being a cube - short and wide - for a small dump truck. Yes, the giant mining trucks are about this shape, but the smaller dump trucks are longer than Heavy Load. This isn't really a big problem, since as a mining truck he looks fine. It's a solid vehicle mode, and this is the first time we've had a Transformer dump truck whose tray actually tips back. I love the brown wash but the silver on top looks silly and the loss of some of the painted detail on the front is a shame - although the brown offsets that to an extent. The overall effect is similar to Build Typhoon, but I prefer that truck mode, without the silver junk on top.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the tray, rotate the tray's strut around to the front. Flip the grey panels on the sides out to form the robot forearms, lift out the front fenders to form the upper arms. Fold the strut down onto his shoulders, rotate the cabin up towards his shoulders, fold down the roof, flip out the head and fold the roof of the cabin back up. Extend the legs, fold _up_ the feet and flip out the heelspurs. He can either hold the tray in his hand or stow it on his back.

   You have to be careful with the legs. It's easier to unfold the hips that to extend the rather tight legs (or even to pop off the legs), which is easily the biggest flaw in Heavy Load's design. It's nice that his thighs wont sink into his shins, but not at the expense of having trouble transforming him.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13cm Width: 9cm

   Again mainly yellow, with grey thighs, forearms and groin, black feet and fists and a silver face with a midnight blue eyevisor. There are quite a few truck bits visible now - the cabin is on his chest, the front tyres on his shoulders and the tray either sits quite obviously on his back or in his hand. The grey and yellow works well, but there's more of that random silver paint on his shins, which is annoying. His colour scheme here is very similar to Build Typhoon's - the eye colour, some of the brown wash and the silver junk on his legs are the only differences.

   This is a very poseable robot mode. The head turns, the shoulders, elbows and hips are ball joints, the knees, wrists, ankles and heels are hinged. Thanks to the heelspurs and long feet he's able to stand in a _lot_ of poses - even bending over to touch his toes. The shoulders are quite limited, effectively they're swivel joints, but the legs are really poseable, making it really easy to pose Heavy Load and difficult to actually make him unstable. His tray, when wielded as a weapon, forms a large claw. Pressing on the central section of the lip causes it to open up like a set of jaws - complete with teeth. The back edge even has teeth! It's a big weapon, but it's a great way to prevent the tray being pure kibble.

   The only real flaw of this robot mode is long arms. But then he's big and bulky anyway, so the long arms suit better than you might expect. The poseability is a strong point, the overall aesthetic is good, making this a good robot mode. The most notable aspect of this robot is how unremarkable the recolour is. That's what happens when you repaint a yellow toy into a yellow toy, I guess. All of his teammates join him in being yellow, so Heavy Load takes the hit for the team, I guess.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. Sold in a boxset with Grimlock, Hightower and Wedge at Wal*Mart stores. This boxset also made its way to Target in Australia.

OVERALL

   A good mould with a nice robot mode, a strong vehicle mode good and good play value. The repaint is almost trivial, but the brown wash is good and the random silver bad, Heavy Load is a trivial repaint if ever there was one. The only aspect of this toy that bugs me is the difficult to transform legs. While I would recommend the original version first, there's not much difference, and this is a mould I recommend - 8/10

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