Monday, 25 June 2012

TransFormers Collectors' Club 2009 Members Incentive (Timelines) Heatwave

(Members Incentive Monday #7)
I have to confess that, after a rather disappointing first few years of Members Incentive figures, Heatwave actually managed to be an exciting final component for the Club gestalt. Firstly, it would feature a whole new head sculpt to make the combined form - Nexus Prime/Maximus - a truly unique robot... Secondly, the Energon/Superlink Barricade mold was the only Energon/Superlink torso that I didn't already own in some form at that point.

Vehicle Mode:
This is a very different thing to G1's Combaticon leader - rather than being an armed military transport truck, it's an armoured mobile missile platform. Of course, being a Club Members Incentive figure, it's been made using a good deal of transparent plastic and, bucking the trend of the rest of the set, it's blue/purple transparent plastic, quite close to the colour used on Topspin. Overall, this means that the first one in the set, Skyfall (nothing to do with the Bond movie) is very much the odd one out - not only is the only one who really fits his allegiance (Topspin does, kind of, but Breakaway is more neutral and mystical).

This is not a bad mold, all told, though it does take 'Visible Robot Head Syndrome' to a whole new level, with the head clearly visible and facing forward, right in the middle of the vehicle. OK, so it's only visible from the side and, if it was turned round, it might just look like part of the vehicle... but it's still a bit crap.

Like the components, there's plenty of silver paint to bring out the details of the mold, as well as some yellow for his lights and missile pods, and the transparent blue/purple is dark enough that it doesn't immediately stick out as being transparent.

The coolest feature of this mold is the fully mobile missile launcher, which swings around nicely and tilts upward, and the vehicle remains (mostly) stable and fixed to the ground wherever it's positioned.
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Robot Mode:
The Barricade mold was one of the better gestalt torso bots, apart from the backpack. It's well-proportioned, well articulated, and stands well in some dynamic poses. It's not encumbered with disproportionate limbs like Steamhammer, and it's not made of empty spaces like Afterburner. That backpack, though? Wow, it's enormous. It is literally the entire front of the vehicle which, I'm sure, could have been put to better use, considering how much is simply protruding chest even in combined form. The little heel spurs (which actually seem to have been attached upside down, since the angled part is pointing down, reducing their effectiveness) mostly counteract the top/back-heaviness of the mold.

The really bad news is that, like Steamhammer and Afterburner, this mold had no additional weapons. This being a Club Exclusive, the omission of a weapon - even if it had been a premium extra offered in the Club shop - is that much more galling, since it means that the combined form will have no additional armament, or even more realistic hands and feet, to match the artwork from the Club comic.

Still, Heatwave, in and of himself, works pretty well. Despite being molded in mostly deep blue/purple and the Club's strangely pastel-y red (how do you turn red into a pastel colour?), other colours - black plastic, silver and yellow paint - liven him up... though I do feel that the chest could have done with a bit more than that splodge of silver in the middle.
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Heatwave was a welcome final part to the Club's 5-year gestalt, not only because it completed Nexus Prime/Maximus, but because it convinced me to pick up the Energon/Superlink Combaticons. I'd been considering them, because of FansProject's Crossfire set. I was OK with the idea of picking them up regardless, but actually getting my hands on Heatwave - the same mold as Barricade - convinced me the old gestalt set would be worth picking up so I could make a 'proper' Bruticus, rather than the half-arsed Energon/Superlink version that only used two different limb molds.

Weird, perhaps, that a free figure led me to pay through the nose for premium, fan-made toys and a full Energon gestalt to make use of them... but I guess that's what fandom is all about.

Nexus Prime/Maximus to follow on the next Members Incentive Monday...

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