Perceptor Toy Review

Individual Review

Name: Perceptor
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Scientist
Alternate Mode: Microscope

Height: 15cm Length: 10cm Width: 11cm

   To this day Perceptor still has what is probably the most unique alternate mode of any Transformer, although Reflector would probably argue. He's a somewhat angular microscope, slightly smaller than lifesize, but perfectly suitable for a kid. It has some magnification, too, although it's hard to really use him for any meaningful magnification due to him having a plastic mirror. He's basically a mix of blue, claret and black with a vermilion section next to the mounting surface. Rather than having a horseshoe shaped base, it's three sides of a square.

   There are three chromed silver knobs on him, the first, on the scope part, is functional, serving to change the focus of the scope. The other two, on the sides of the main section, are really for decoration only. On a real microscope they'd be used to raise and lower the mounting platform or scope. The other main feature is a huge Autobot insignia on his scope. The most heroic piece of lab equipment ever!

   While he's more colourful than most real microscopes, he does look distinctly like one, and has token magnification. It's a very show-accurate mode, too.


   Fold up the mounting platform and the mirror, twist the horseshoe about eight times to form the legs. Slide in the extensions on the bottom of the legs and fold up his feet so he can stand. Extend out the arms and rotate them down. There's little flaps on top of the shoulders so the arms aren't hollow. Fold these down. Slide the fists down. Straighten the scope and fold it down to rest on his right shoulder. Slide out his head, using the dial on his back there just for this purpose.

   All of what I just said is reliant on a two things - you have the shoulder flaps and the scope. Along with the decorative dials, these pieces are missing from many Perceptors. I got mine without a scope, but had already managed to find an intact scope before I found the toy. The support legs on the scope break very easily, so there's lots of broken scopes out there that wont attach. Lastly, he comes with both a claret handgun and a black missile launcher with vermilion missile, so he has his hands full in battle.

Height: 19cm Width: 8.5cm

   In robot mode, Perceptor is a mix of claret, blue and black with chromed silver highlights. The vermilion of the microscope mode is pretty much concealed under the silver chest panel. Red is his dominant colour in this mode, and is well blended with the blues and blacks on his forearms, feet, thighs, groin and head.

   He's got yellow eyes and a silver faceplate. There's rather prominent silver knobs on his forearms (assuming you have said knobs). But the most dominant aspect of the robot mode is the rather large scope on his right shoulder. It _really_ resembles a rocket launcher or other ranged attack weapon, and contrasts sharply with his role as a scientist not really into the whole conflict thing. He's also quite stocky, too, which really makes him something of a gentle giant, if a rather well armed one.

   For 1985, Perceptor is a very poseable toy. Due to the manipulation of the horseshoe base into legs, he's got two sets of swivel joints in the hips and the knees. There's a fair bit of poseability in them, too helped by solid feet on which to stand. And you can fold the toes forward to give him a more natural looking stance. The shoulders and elbows are swivel joints - and the swivels in the elbows are not part of his transform at all.

   Something of a tacked-on mode, this is basically a flattened out microscope with the scope as a cannon. It looks reasonable, although it's very flat for a tank. The eyepiece of the scope is the front of the turret, whereas the lens of the scope is the front of the shoulder-assmebly in robot mode. It's not a fantastic mode, but it's there, it's better than some of the modes the sixchangers have (actually, better than most of Quickswitch's), and it gives him an excuse to have treads with concealed rolling wheels underneath the base (on the back of the robot calves).


   Perceptor was reissued in Japan during 2005 - the Anglophone version. Magnificus, a limited Japanese release, is a reissue of the Microchange toy which Perceptor is based on, using the tank as his primary alt mode.


   A decent toy. His only real drawbacks are the number of things you can lose. The big one, in terms of crippling the toy, being the scope. Nonetheless, the scope mode is good, poseability is excellent and he has a decent third mode, that seems to have been an integral part of the design process rather than a quick add-on like most of the Scramble City leader base modes. The colours work well,. The claret-vermilion combination is a little strange, but the latter is used sparingly and doesn't get in the way. I give him 9/10, and most of the missing point is due to his tendency to shed pieces

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