Name: Zoom Out 25x
Series: Real Gear
Alternate Mode: Compact Video Camera
VIDEO CAMERA MODE
Height: 7cm Length: 8cm Width: 7cm
A grey video camera with some darker grey and silver elements at the top - Zoom Out 25x's colours are all very similar shades. There's a transparent lens at the front, along with a microphone and a flash bulb while the rear features an eyepiece and red (painted) recording indicator LED. There are silver painted moulded buttons on the left side, with forward/play stop and reverse buttons along with a couple of generic buttons. Also on the left side, hinged at the top, is a viewing screen. The screen has a sticker with an image of Cybertron Override, a recording indicator, timer icon, battery indicator and a time count (7:47, a theme across the Real Gear line). The colour scheme is drab, but then video cameras aren't really designed with interesting colour schemes - that the colours used here are credible is enough, really. The sticker is a little cheesy, but serves its purpose. Lastly, there's a stamped Decepticon logo above the eyepiece.
There's not all that much play value here, but the two aspects that you'd really expect are available - you can look through the eyepiece, since there's a tube between the transparent plastics used on the eyepiece and lens - and the screen stows. The screen sits on a double hinge, with a rotating joint, allowing it to stow for storage and transport. Zoom Out 25x is able to stand upright, both with the screen stowed and deployed (the latter with a little work).
The right side of the camera isn't much to look at - you can see his head (but not the face, thankfully), as well as a hinge involved in transformation. There's a belt-clip like detail on this side however - and the sculpt on this camera is generally pretty good. I should point out that there's a sculpted door on the left side, below the buttons, which looks like it could be a memory card cover.
While one side suffers from being the "back" side, this really isn't any different to most Transformers (the undersides of cars and plane rarely look that good), and the "front" side is quite well done. The play value brings all you'd expect - certainly at this scale - while the painted details and sticker bring the camera to life. It's a good mode overall, and is much, much, better than the only other Transformers video camera, Armada Laserbeak.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Flip out his head, pull the card cover down and around to the right side, forming a chest plate. Swing down the flashbulb/mic and recording indicator sections to form legs, which will also reveal the stowed arms. Stow the screen on his back, swing out wings from the back of the screen.
Height: 11cm Width: 9cm
Again, Zoom Out 25x is mainly grey, with cobalt blue forearms and a cobalt blue head. His claws, upper arms and thighs are darker grey while his face is painted a slightly lighter shade of grey and his eyes are red. The right eye resembles a red LED (recording indicator) while the left is your standard Transformer eye. The Decepticon symbol now sits on top of his left shoulder, the viewing tube actually runs across the top of his torso, and is wider than the rest of the toy (ignoring the wings). Again Zoom Out 25x's colours are quite subdued - they don't need to be now. The addition of cobalt blue elements is enough for me, since it adds some more colour whilst keeping a similar feel to the camera mode, although he could have gotten away with some brighter colour.
This is a high asymmetrical robot mode, although a glance you can miss it. The shoulders and boots are sculpted rather different, but share the same shape on either side, and I've already covered the eyes. The left shoulder rotator resembles a focus dial (this side has the lens), the left is just some sort of ring. There are shades of Reflector here, with elements such as a flashcube visible, although I think this is more down to similar alternate modes and the scarcity of camera Transformers than any deliberate homage.
Zoom Out 25x's poseability is okay, if not great. The head is on a restricted ball joint while its transformation hinge fills in the gaps caused by the ball joint's limitations. The shoulders swing and the rotators have sideways hinges below them, although the latter aren't so useful since there's effectively mid-bicep. The elbows are ball jointed whilst his pincer-like claws are fixed. The hips and knees both have two joints each, allowing for a wide ranges of leg poses. Whilst he lacks any heelspurs, the footprints are big enough that Zoom Out 25x's range of stable poses is quite impressive. It's a shame the excellent range of leg poses isn't matched in his shoulders, nonetheless some cool running poses (and the like) are possible. The wings, which are more like beetle wing covers than real wings, aren't much more than a way of making the screen involved in transformation. I personally prefer to simply leave them stowed, although I will credit the designer giving the underside of the wings a rather detailed robotic sculpt.
Other than the slightly awkward shoulder jointing, this is a good robot mode. The wings don't contribute, but they hardly get in his way either. The legs are great, the arms quite good and there's a nice spattering of camera elements here. As with many of the Real Gear toys, there are shades of Microchange in the design, and I've already mentioned commonality with Reflector.
None that I'm aware of.
While the idea of a Transformers video camera isn't terribly exciting - they're usually fairly formless boxes in greys and blacks - Zoom Out 25x does a good job of it. The camera mode _looks_ like a video camera rather than just a lump thanks to the designer paying attention to detail, and the play value is pretty good for this size. The robot mode looks nice and while there are some shoulder issues, his legs give him some nice poses. The colours are drab, really by necessity, but not so much that the toy itself is uninteresting. I do wish Hasbro wouldn't tack number onto the Real Gear names - Zoom Out would have been better sans the 25x - but that's not enough for me to dislike this guy, even if he is likely to be last on the alphabetical list for quite a while. Original and well designed - 8/10