Monday, 4 June 2012

TransFormers Collectors' Club 2006 Members Incentive (Timelines) Landquake

(Members Incentive Monday #4)
If I remember correctly, 2006 was my first year as a member of the Club, and the Members Incentive figure did - I must confess - leave me wondering if I'd made a terrible mistake. I knew the plan was for a 5-year Energon/Superlink-based gestalt, but the tank mold was easily the most underwhelming of the bunch.

Vehicle Mode:
The first thing that strikes one about this is that it's a tank made almost entirely out of transparent red plastic... only the turret is made out of opaque plastic, in blue and grey. It's a weird kind of tank regardless of the colour scheme because of the turret's two side-mounted cannons and integrated grenade launchers, rather than the traditional single-cannon arrangement of real-world tanks. Yes, I realise the folly of comparing a transparent red tank to anything real-world but let's not forget that this was originally a component of Energon/Superlink Bruticus Maximus, appearing both in yellow and in green.

As noted in that original write-up, the turret rotates a full 360degrees, the gun barrels can be raised (curiously, I noted some kind of restriction on this in that original write-up, and now cannot figure out what I meant, as they move perfectly well...) and the addition of his Energon weapon - another double-barrelled gun with integrated radar dish thing - makes him rather formidable-looking. Overall, I think he looks like some kind of drone tank, rather than the kind that would be manned.

The only real downside to this model is the very obvious 'Powerlinx' port on the rear which, molded in the pale grey plastic, sticks out like a sore thumb.
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Robot Mode:
Pretty much all of the Energon/Superlink gestalt components were basically made entirely of ball joints, so Landquake is very poseable but, like Swindle and Blight before him, tends to be rather back-heavy and the design of his feet doesn't help.

Colourwise, he seems more balanced in this mode, rather than being a big block of transparent red with a blue and grey turret, thanks to the main bulk of tank parts being covered up by the grey chest, or sticking out of his back. The largest area of transparent red visible in this mode is in his legs, and parts of that are covered up with silver and black paint.
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One massive problem with this mold was always that the Energon weapon was an extremely tight fit to the fists. I tended not to attach the weapon in vehicle mode because removing it for transformation could be so troublesome. On this one, the Club Exclusive, Limited Edition, Members Incentive release, one of the fists has actually cracked quite near the 'knuckle' simply due to having had the weapon plugged in. I'd almost expect this from transparent plastic, but this is the opaque pale grey plastic... the location and extent of the crack make it rather difficult to fix, too.
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As mentioned early on, I was rather underwhelmed by this as a Members Incentive figure. It's not bad... but this mold is a prime example of why the 5-year Gestalt plan wasn't necessarily such a great idea: the components, in and of themselves, are rather dull. Looking back on it now that I have the full set, I think it'd be pretty cool if the Club released a boxed set of Nexus Prime, for all those folks who missed out... but just getting something like this as a freebie isn't exactly exciting. Thankfully they've moved on to bigger and better things since.

One thing that confuses me about Landquake is that he's a Decepticon with a purple symbol, like 2008's Topspin, but was characterised as being fairly neutral and uninterested in conflict, while Topspin was slightly creepy and more believable as a Decepticon. One might almost suspect that Landquake must therefore be a Shattered Glass Decepticon... but then his symbol is the wrong colour and, anyway, 2009's final component - Heatwave - was from the Shattered Glass universe.

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