Cliffbee.com: Wire Tap v20 Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Wire Tap v20
Series: Real Gear
Allegiance: Decepticon
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 black flip phone, Wire Tap v20 is a repaint of Speed Dial 800 - and like his Autobot predecessor he's essentially on a 1:1 scale. The top of his lid is painted silver while there's a small display screen sticker on top of the lid. The lid opens to reveal a much larger display. Both have orange backgrounds and display large black Decepticon logos and display the time as 3:35pm. The inner screen isn't as well detailed with indicators as Speed Dial 800's is - we have a "Menu" button and two arrows buttons on the screen but no indicators as such. All of the buttons are unpainted this time, most of the buttons have red print (numbers, etc) - save for the standard green and red handset buttons. The colour scheme is about as realistic as that of Speed Dial 800, although the stickers spoil the realism a little. The two manage a different look which is impressive when you consider that there are only so many colours you can do a fake mobile phone in without it looking really obviously fake.

   Most of the detailing here revolves around making the phone work visually, which I appreciate. The screen looks nice aesthetically, even if it's not so realistic. There's a silver border around the screen and a stamped Decepticon logo below the central hinge. 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 silver lid-release button on the right side of the body of the phone and a silver 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!

   Wire Tap v20 inherits a good phone mode from Speed Dial 800, adding a slightly evil colour scheme which still works well enough, giving him some definition and a Decepticon edge at the same time. We do lose some realism, but considering that we _want_ this repaint to have a different feel, I don't mind so much. I appreciate that the designer has tried to make a credible mobile phone mode, and that Hasbro have treated the repaint will respect rather than slapping yellow on it or something equally horrid.

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 calves, 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

   Curiously, the Hasbro picture indicates that the legs are facing the opposite direction to those on Speed Dial 800 (something I've seen some fans do on the original, anyway).

ROBOT MODE
Height: 11.5cm Width: 6cm

   Wire Tap v20 is again based around black, as you'd expect. His face is silver with some bronze paint on the edges while the lens forms a single eye. The chest is black, with the relevant red button text still visible, while the groin sports red 2-5-8-0 buttons running down the middle. His hips, upper arms and claw hands are red plastic while the forearms are painted bronze. The repaint's colours centre well here, and it's obviously the colours have been specifically chosen to again add a more sinister feel to the mould.

   Wire Tap v20'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 buttons aren't as prominent as those of Speed Dial 800's chest anyway.

   I'm quite impressed by the poseability here. 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 rotate. Following the pictures we can no longer access his knee hinges, but you have the option of turning the boots around anyway - reveal silver painted heelspurs. Wire Tap v20 stands well thanks to the heelspurs - and the stability is notable 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. Wire Tap v20 is clearly the repaint, since the colours focus more on this mode, but that's not a bad thing. The bronze paint and that stamped Decepticon logo (now on the chest) really make for a good robot mode.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. As mentioned, he is a repaint of Speed Dial 800. Highline 1070 also shares the mould.

OVERALL

   A very good phone mode and a good robot mode with lots of poseability make this a really nice Transformer. Wire Tap v20 is a decent repaint, with a different feel despite having to be reasonably close to the original, thanks to the use of a decorative red secondary colour. Whilst repaints aren't for everyone, at this pricepoint I'm fairly happy with this one, and the leg switching trick makes the pair a little more interesting - 8.5/10

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