Friday, May 24, 2013

Transformers Generations Voyager Class Springer 30th Anniversary action figure review

Following up this week's Transformers Generations Blitzwing review here's the second triple-changer in the wave, Autobot Springer. You may get mixed, biased reviews about him online because of the massive influx of Warbot Defenders, the 3rd party Springer, that went up on ebay when he was announced. A lot of the elite collectors who shelled out a hundred bucks for a smaller, less articulated, lego-brick-esq 3rd party figure are raging because it's no longer desired. Some have gone so far as to demand hasbro provide them with renumeration for their loss (you didn't make the character soon enough so it forced me to overpay for a copyright infringing stand-in!) and one internet manchild even started a propaganda plot on multiple sites trying to convince everyone the line was cancelled so they'd drop their preorders. It was a sad, sad day for Transformers fandom but it just goes to show you how passionate fans get about the Transformers license. Springer actually had a deluxe Generations done of him just last year in the form of the Asia exclusive repaint of Tomahawk that I reviewed here so you can have both scales in your collection. How does he stack up against his buddy Blitz and today's current offerings? One word: DAMN.

Springer's sculpting is to put it lightly, absolutely 100% astoundingly amazing. He looks like Springer, his proportions are perfect, his headsculpt is flawless, and I cannot find one gripe about how he appears in robot form. In an era of hollow Transformers Springer is not one of them. Ok I take that back. The insides of his thighs have hollow spots BUT THAT IS IT. Every other part of him is filled in solid with sculpt. His hands are even sculpted with more detail than normal. I was floored by the difference of design between him and Blitzwing. Heck, him and any other Transformer I own. Springer is just that impressive looking. Hasbro even went to the extent that you can extend his shoulder pauldrons up and to the side to simulate his look in Last Stand of the Wreckers. The moving pads serve no other transformation purpose other than to give you a bonus look to him. Bravo!

But with an amazing sculpt you're expecting a brick right? Nope. Springer's articulation is above and beyond what we have previously had and borders on Masterpiece level. His ball jointed shoulders can be raised an lowered on dual joints, his head has a great ball joint, hinged and swivel wrists, waist that turns, and full range of motion on every limb including moving toes and heel. His feet are sculpted in a side-step angle so he has no ankle rockers but that's the only missing part. Springer can hold his sword in both hands (or at least mimic it since the handle is too short for that), aim any direction, side kick, uppercut, it's truly amazing. This range of articulation coupled with the sculpt means you will get some great looking poses out of him.

Paint application here is very clean and consistent over the entire figure. His main colors are molded in plastic with little painted details here and there to break up the colors. Springer's chest is very bright yellow and you may want to do some panel lining or something to bring out the detail that's on there but lost because of how bright the plastic is. The inside of his rims are painted, yay! That's been missing on what, 90% of all recent Transformers? Even the tiny wheel nubs of his knee guards are painted.

Springer's accessories include a large double barrel missile launching gun and a transforming sword that doubles as his rotor blade. Both are excellent, the gun having a double-trigger that fires off the missiles separately depending on how far you push it. Springer's rotor sword has multiple hinge spots that allow you to twist, transform, and lock it into place in both modes. It also looks awesome in both modes without sacrificing sculpt for functionality. The sword stores underneath in car mode and the cannon attaches with a special hidden clip underneath in helicopter mode. The cannon's handle is also hinged so you can aim it up/down when it's on top of the car, how cool is that? You can also combine both weapons to form a Gunblade!

Uh-oh here comes the transformation part. A triple-changer that looks good in robot form, but what about the other two? They're perfect, done, go buy him. That could be the end of the review, heh...but I'll elaborate. Springer's armored car mode rocks. It's sleek, large, and there's no kibble from his other modes. In fact there's no feet, hands, head, or anything sticking out of ANY of his modes. This is a first for me because even Transformers with just two modes usually have some kibble or parts showing. It's even all hidden when you flip the car upside down. What sort of wizardry is this hasbro...and why haven't you been doing this from the start?

Helicopter mode is no slouch either and it's remarkably simple to get Springer from robot to car, or car to copter, or any direction of transformation simply because each part of him is engineered perfectly. Everything pegs securely into something. Arms become doors which become fins. Feet become wheels which become tail sections. The hood of the car slides back and the sides lock on to become the cockpit and the copter mode doesn't suffer at all. I could very well see someone buying three Springers just to display him in each mode because they look that good.

I apologize if I sound like I'm gushing over this figure and have a bias. I actually look for problems and love figuring out fixes (like poor Blitzwing's issues, yikes). But I have nothing to fix on Springer and enjoyed him right out of the package. This is very rare for me and I'm still looking at him thinking we just got the next Generation of Transformers figures right here. Springer even looks good from the back! Compared to his buddy Blitzwing in the same assortment you have a Masterpiece figure here.

So what's the verdict on Springer? You buy him. You find him, you order him, you trade for him, you add him to your collection and never let him go. Our sponsor Big Bad Toy Store has him, Blitzwing, and even his remold/repaint Sandstorm who looks equally awesome. You can also snag him from Amazon and get free shipping when it's sold directly from Hasbro not a private store, and you order $25 or more. So there you go. Springer is my favorite Transformer in my entire collection now. Not because of the character but because he's a solid, super articulated voyager class figure with great accessories, three great modes, and thoughtfully designed in every aspect. Hasbro/Takara if you keep making figures like this you'll put 3rd party companies right out of a job.

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