This time around, it’s time for a Transformers review! Transformers have been a large part of my childhood and it’s great to see updated versions of classic characters through the Generations line. The earlier versions (First Generation or G1), although pretty cool in their own right, often had limited articulation and were not very accurate to their on-screen portrayals (when you’re a kid, a little imagination goes a long way :D). Nowadays, technology allows for more ambitious engineering and designing to get the toys to look closer to their on-screen counterparts. The Transformers movies by Michael Bay (love them or hate them) created more opportunities to push the boundaries of Transformers designs by incorporating strange, new, alien features into the mix. Whereas lines like Generations and Universe – even Masterpiece – use new techniques to create a “classic, but updated” feel. Generations Springer definitely fits that “classic, but updated” style. Springer was one of the first “Triple Changers” in that he can transform into robot, helicopter and ground vehicle/car mode. It’ll be interesting to see his various modes with a newer/modern feel.
Springer is a Voyager Class which means that he’s taller than the average Deluxe Class Transformer. His colour scheme mostly consists of coloured plastic which is complemented with the odd paint app here and there. His colours are reminiscent of his G1 days and he also has a few features that carry over from his original appearance. He has a somewhat lean figure which can allow for some dynamic posing. If it weren’t for the visible tyres, he could probably pass for some sort of robot action figure.
Compared to most action figures, Transformers don’t come with a whole lot of accessories. They often only come with a gun or melee weapon of some sort. Springer comes with a large double-barrelled missile launcher, and his helicopter blades can convert into a neat sword. The missile launcher looks pretty cool, but the firing mechanism is not. Rather than have the usual spring-loaded system, it uses some sort of “ball” that pops out when you push the slider forward on the top of the gun. It’s pretty lame so don’t expect to hit any far away Decepticons any time soon (unless you want to just throw the missiles at them). The launcher may be a bit of a dud, but it looks cool and at least I like how the helicopter blades convert into the sword.
Normally Transformers don’t have all the articulation that you would want due to limitations that can emerge through the transformation process. Springer on the other hand, feels like an action figure that happens to have 2 other modes to transform into. His head can turn left and right, as well as look up and down to a good degree, but there is no left or right tilt. The shoulders move freely and hold their position well. The elbows have a fairly solid ratchet but can only bend 90˚. The wrists have a swivel and can bend inwards slightly, but that’s due to the transformation process. There’s a swivel at the waist which I was not expecting and the hips have a very good range of movement. He can do the splits in both ways if you want. The knees have a solid ratchet to them and like the elbows, can only bend 90˚. The toes can point, but like the wrists, it’s due to the transformation. The base of the feet are set at an angle so that he can pose with a wide stance and still be stable.
Transformation is fairly straight-forward. Beginners may have to refer to the instructions, whereas experienced collectors of Transformers will be able to judge what goes where and how. I’ve lost my instruction sheet but I can still transform Springer with no issues. It can be a bit confusing though because most things tab into one another while some things don’t.
Heli mode is not as aerodynamic as you might expect, with the end result looking more like some sort of gunship (a bit like G1 Springer really). It all holds together quite well except for the side assemblies – they don’t seem to tab into the torso anywhere for added stability. Heli mode reminds me of one of those old-school arcade shoot-em-up games with the top-down view. I can picture Springer flying over a scrolling landscape laying waste to anything that moves or has the audacity to fire a shot in his general direction.
In car mode, everything seems to click and tab together a bit more securely. Funnily enough, to me this mode also has an old-school arcade feel but with a road-warrior twist. Although it seems I can never quite get all the panels to come together properly. I could be missing something, or it could just be another case of iffy quality control. I do like how you can store the sword underneath, but it makes a small ground clearance even smaller.
Transformers Generations Springer (Voyager Class) is definitely a welcome addition to any toy collection. He’s lots of fun in all modes, even though attaching the missile launcher to his vehicle modes makes it look kind of ridiculously oversized but hey, it’s an option. It’s good to see the old Transformers crew get new versions to bring them into the modern age. I find myself preferring to get them in either the Generations or Universe line as you can get pretty decent figures for a reasonable price.
Springer can be found at the link below along with other Transformers in the Generations range.