Series: Robots in Disguise
Alternate Mode: Harley-Davidson Motorbike
Thanks to Tiby for loaning me Axer for this review
Height: 8cm Length: 11cm Width: 4cm
A black Harley-Davidson with transparent plastic on his windshield and headlight, Axer sports silver on his engineblock, headlight assembly and on his wheels while there are champagne gold highlights here and there. It's a fairly similar colour scheme to the original version of this mould, G2's Road Pig - but then Harley-Davidsons tend to be based on black. There's a transparent exhaust pipe on the left side, which is the main addition that prevents Axer from treading on trademark. The colours work well and manage to create a different look to the slightly brighter G2 toy (although Road Pig is sedate by the standards of that line). There are purple Decepticon logos stamped onto the sides of his fueltank.
Axer is a pretty detailed bike for this size - with the engineblock, speedo and tachometer. There are no brake levers on the handbars unlike on Road Pig, which I guess makes it easier for GI Joe/Microman figures to ride Axer (not that RiD had any human figures, mind you). There's also moulded suspension and a diffusion pattern on the headlight and front indicators (which are composed of the same colour transparent plastic as the headlight). There's even a kickstand underneath. The transparent tailpipe is really his only diversion from reality, but it has a good reason for being there.
Pressing a small silver button behind the handlebar will cause an LED to light up at the base of the exhaust (inside the red block), and there are some internal notches allowing the red light to refract near the end. This gimmick is both easy to activate and not ridiculously easy to accidentally activate. There's a wire hanging off the left side, but it's black and you hardly notice it. Adding to the impressive Laser Rod gimmick are the spinning wheels and the kickstand which allows Axer to stand with ease. The front wheel cannot turn from side to side since the handlebars split from the fork when he transforms. Still, I'm quite happy with the play value here - Axer is pretty good compared to many Transformers bikes. Even though this mould is over 10 years old, this bike compares well with modern Transformer bikes.
Other than the wire and tailpipe need for the Laser Rod thing, this is a pretty realistic Harley-Davidson. The colours do a good job of treading the line between staying black and not looking the same as Road Pig. With a useful LED gimmick, clever kickstand and good detailing, this is a good motorbike mode.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Lift the storage box behind the saddle up and back to form his boots. Swing up the sides to form his forearms, swing up the shoulders. Deploy the rear wheel on his left knee, fold down the windshield and headlight as a torsoplate and fold the front wheel down onto his back. You'll need to fold down the kickstand on his left shoulder and push the wire over his right shoulder.
Height: 10.5cm Width: 7.5cm
A very black robot mode - moreso than Road Pig, Axer has some silver on the headlight assembly on his chest, transparent plastic on his chestplate and eyes but is really all about black. The head is quite ninja-like, even though the transparent light sabre with silver top isn't really a ninja weapon. The colours are nothing like his Actionmaster namesake, incidentally. His eyes sport an effective lightpipe. The windshield is now a groinplate with the lights upside-down as his chestplate. With no champagne and little silver visible, the colours are very sparse but work thanks to the ninja-like head. A more visible Decepticon symbol would have been nice - the pair on his ankles barely count - but Axer does look good.
Axer has a fairly obvious gap between his thin thighs, since the rear wheel that now sits on the outside of his left knee has to squeeze in there. His knees are a tad lower than they should be but otherwise this is an attractive robot mode. The torso prominently displays the front of the bike while the tailpipe-lightsabre on his right arm looks very cool. The kickstand sits on his left shoulder without getting in the way. My only real complaint is that the forearms are hollow when they don't really need to be - although this isn't much of an issue in black. He has holes in his fists when he doesn't need them so that helps offset the forearms.
Axer is quite poseable, using the ball joints that started to come into their own on the Laser Rods. The shoulders, elbows and hips are ball jointed while the head turns. His knees ratchet but are too low for any bent knee poses to really work - but he has fairly big footprints so straight leg poses that rely on the hips work (much better than they do on Sideways, who has tiny feet).
The button on his saddle is now underneath the chestplate, and there's another on his back that's easy enough to activate - simply push on his backpack. The chestplate has been modified so that you can press on it to activate the LED - something difficult to do on Road Pig. The gimmick is equally effective in this mode, and the lightsabre makes for a great weapon - I don't miss a handheld weapon. Incidentally you can remove the transparent exhaust pipe, with a little effort, and the LED housing can unclip from it's mount on the elbow, although there's no real reason for you to do so (I suspect these were done in the interests of durability - easy to reattach).
Despite the awkward knees and thighs, Axer still has a strong robot mode. Considering how realistic his alt mode is, this robot mode is surprisingly poseable. The ninja theme is very strong here and and the gimmick is useful without being in the way. Again he does a good job of using the black yet stick creating a different look to Road Pig.
None that I'm aware of. As mentioned, he is a repaint of Road Pig. Robotmasters Double Face also shares the mould. Axer was sold in a two pack with Sideways.
One of the earliest Transformer motorbike moulds with a realistic alt mode and a concerted attempt at a poseable robot mode, yet it still stands up today, making this a decent repaint. I'm impressed by how well they've managed to stick to the Harley-Davidson black yet still give Axer a different look to Road Pig. The ninja theme is strong and the gimmick works well. I'm not sure I'd recommend the two pack if you have the original Laser Cycles, but they're both decent repaints, so if you're interested it's a worthwhile pack - 8.5/10