Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Review: Transformers Shattered Glass Octopunch

Of the numerous toys which began life in the 80s, the biggest of them all was/is Transformers. Pretty much continuously since 1984 there have been Transformers of some kind or another on sale, be it the original stuff, G1, Beast Wars, Armada, Bayformers... Hasbro cleverly manages to reboot the line every couple of years so it's always new and fresh.

Along with the biggest toy line comes the biggest toy convention. BotCon has been running since 1984 and each year the official Transformers convention produces a number of exclusive toys. Almost always these appear on ebay immediately afterwards for inflated amounts of money and those who couldn't attend the convention try and decide if a 'deluxe' scale figure is really worth £100.

This year one of the figures on sale was an update of the 80s classic Octopunch (who isn't a deluxe scale & didn't cost £100). Originally Octopunch was a Pretender, with a small transforming robot encased in an outer shell, but like all the updated Pretenders Hasbro have released in recent years this figure more or less ignores the inner robot and concentrates on the outer shell. This isn't a problem as the shell is generally the most famous look for the character, only tending to use the inner part in comic stories etc when the outer shell has been destroyed or suffered heavy damage.

This is supposed to be a 'Shattered Glass' version of Octopunch. In Transformers-lore, the Shattered Glass universe is one where all the Autobots are evil and the Decepticons are good. What this means in practical terms is that a load of figures can be produced in whatever colours the Powers That Be decide, but with names that might entice buyers who would otherwise have passed.

I'm not really a fan of Shattered Glass and as a rule never buy the toys, but I made an exception in this case. Usually the Shattered Glass paints bear absolutely no resemblance to the 'normal' universe version. Octopunch is an exception in that his colours are exactly the same as the G1 figure (holding the two side by side it's really hard to see any difference at all in the colours), which makes you wonder why the toy was put in the alternate universe at all. My only hypothesis - and it could well be wrong - is that Hasbro has plans for a 'mainstream' release some point in the future. For the time being, however, you can simply stick a reprolabel over the red Decepticon logo & turn it purple.

Octopunch is a repaint of Seaspray, and it was a good choice of base robot. No, it doesn't have the tentacles of the original (beyond the ones painted on the front), but I can't see it being long before someone starts selling them. It was hoped by fans that he'd receive a new vintage-looking helmet, but this wasn't to be. The one he comes with, however, looks fine and in many ways suits Octopunch better as a head than it did Seaspray. Again, I can't see it being long before a fan starts selling a more G1 accurate one if it really bothers you.

The robot of G1 Octopunch turned into a crab. This time he turns into a hovercraft. Quite a difference, but then there was never going to be a way to get a green & purple robot to turn into an orange crab. Transformers are robots, not magicians.

The joints are a bit more loose than Seaspray, but they're not overly loose. Octopunch stands and can be posed with no problems.

Overall this is a nice figure which does a decent job of updating the 80s version. At BotCon Octopunch was bundled with Spinister, whom a lot of people were more interested in. As a result Octopunch can be found for a reasonable price if you hunt around and - if you can find him for a price that doesn't make your wallet too angry - I'd definitely recommend picking him up.

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