Monday, 9 March 2015

TransFormers Collectors' Club BotCon 2011 (Timelines) Shattered Glass Galvatron

Shattered Glass was a somewhat predictable idea, but executed surprisingly well... and Fun Publications certainly know how to milk a cash cow. Despite the focus of BotCon 2011 being the extended TF Animated story of The Stunti-Con Job, they saw fit to thrown in a couple of off-theme attendee exclusives. One was a bizarre repaint of the Classics Seeker mold as Action Master Thundercracker, while the other was an utterly glorious addition to the Shattered Glass line-up - Megatron resurrected, once again, as Galvatron!

Vehicle Mode:
The Live Convoy mold is one of the decent-but-not-great helicopter alternate modes. Where it loses points is the gaping hole in the vehicle mode - visible in my side view photos as the angled lighter grey patch just in front of the black block below the engine exhausts - and the distinctly unfinished-looking patch just before the tail. Other than those, the model is pretty cool and well-featured, from the button-activated rotor blades, to the landing 'wheels', to the spring-loaded retracting winch, and even the key-activated gimmick, which flips the exhausts forward and turns them into spring-loaded missile launchers.

The colourscheme certainly telegraphs that this is Galvatron, with its G1 cartoon-referencing purple, grey, red and black. The details of the paint job seem a bit more intricate than those of Live Convoy, and Galvatron also features different printed text - "Life Flight 1" on the lefthand side and "EMS LF-1" on the tail, rather than Live Convoy's simple "Rescue" - and a whole different symbol printed on the doors. I'm not entirely sure what it's supposed to signify... Perhaps something Cybertronian..?

Mine has a small fringe of overspray of the purple paint on the left side of the tail but, otherwise, looks pretty damned good.

Robot Mode:
The moment you see this mold in purple, it becomes obvious how well-suited it is to portraying Galvatron. The chest may not be exactly G1-style, but it's an excellent homage. While it's largely unpainted, the red highlights are intended to reference the robo-6-pack of the animation model, though it's interrupted by the black plastic junction piece between the chest and the groin, which was left unpainted. Possibly intending to minimise the impact of this, a band of black paint was added up the centre of the waist. Other odd details are nicely picked out on the forearms and shoulders, and his lower legs feature paintwork referencing the 'boot' details of the G1 toy and animation model.

Personally, I'd have liked a bit more paintwork on the chest to bring out some of the larger molded details like the pipes on either side of the central protrusion, but it looks pretty cool as it is.

Considering the head is the unaltered Live Convoy sculpt, cast in purple plastic and with lighter blue light piping, and the face painted flat gray, it is surprisingly effective as Galvatron - certainly moreso than it was as a version of Springer.

Using the Galaxy Force Live Convoy mold would have seemed weird had not one of Fun Pub's staff customised the rather dull Hasbro Springer repaint into Galvatron for his own amusement. This served as the inspiration for a Shattered Glass Galvatron to rise from the wreckage of SG Megatron after Cyclonus' betrayal. What's odd is that he doesn't seem to follow the otherwise well-established pattern of SG characters taking the colourscheme of their closest opposite from the 'normal' continuties. That said, SG Megatron used the look and colourscheme of an early-G1 Megatron (probably because the mold would have looked terrible in Optimus Prime's red, white (or silver) and blue), so it makes sense that SG Galvatron would retain G1 Galvatron's colourscheme and, frankly, he looked better in the cartoon's purple and grey than the toy's mixture of greys.

I'd wanted to pick this up since it was first shown online, but was rather difficult (not to mention expensive) to get hold of in the wake of BotCon 2011... and if he was available, it tended to mean having to buy 'Action Master' Thundercracker as well. He seems to be easier to find now, and is much more likely to be available on his own - perfect for those who are as bored as I am of the Classics Seeker mold, even without lurid colourschemes.

In a lot of ways, this makes for a better homage to G1 Galvatron than Energon/Superlink Galvatron, even though that was specifically designed to resemble the G1 animation model.

Since this is a BotCon figure, it's worth briefly mentioning the nonsensical bio he gets, which opens with the line
"After his brush with death and subsequent rebirth, Galvatron became an even wiser and more compassionate leader of the Heroic Decepticons"
So... How did that work, precisely..?

It does win points for actually explaining his weapons, even if it does try to claim that his missile launchers are 'chemical laser cannons'. It then loses points for throwing in elements of story that may or may not relate to events shown in the Club's newsletter comic, but which simply waste five lines of text on the character's bio card. It also appear that the colourist wasn't aware that this was Shattered Glass Galvatron, as his eyes were coloured red.

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