Monday, January 16, 2006

Galaxy Force: GC-17 Autovolt!

01.16.2006 – If you haven’t caught up with the ‘Transformers Cybertron’ line this might be a right time to take a look at the list of characters being presented in the series. Most of them are unfamiliar to the classic Generation One versions, but some have something to offer from the old school bots that we know and love.

Autovolt (US Name: Crosswise) is one of the latest characters to join the ranks of the Autobots in search of the Cyber keys. In the US English translated series he’s a ‘Monster Hunter’ a protector of the planet Earth and Takara has finally released its Deluxe Class figure introducing this legendary character to the series.

There have been different characters in the Armada and Energon series that uses some of the G1 characters, but its not like Takara had to recycle some of them too in a matter of fact they introduce Autovolt as a new Autobot to join the ranks of the Earth bound team in search for those Cyber keys in bringing back Primus to life.

In the US he’s known as ‘Crosswise’ a name which was never used by any of the classic G1 characters. At first his name sounded like one of the Protectobots, but its basically an original name after a new character introduced in the Galaxy Force/Cybertron series that’s currently being aired in the US and Japan.

Autobot Bounty Hunter

Like all the Japanese release Galaxy Force figures all of them are in window-type box packaging, which features a diorama fight scene at the back with some details of the ‘Autovolt’ character similar to the old G1 box art, but now based on the latest CG animated series shown both in the US and Japan.

Autovolt was introduced in one episode that he was frozen in North Pole along with the creatures he captured in the past, which was unexplained, where he scanned Lucy Suzuki’s Bugatti EB 16.4 Veyron sports car into his alternate mode after being freed from his sleep. Just to avoid licensing and legal problems Takara’s design modified its overall appearance, but still from a first glance you’ll notice it’s a Bugatti Veyron.

RID Inspired Design

There’s not much difference on the ‘Pepsi Convoy’ and the regular Optimus Prime but you can say that the mold use for this is different from the actual vintage that was released more than twenty years ago. But you can really see the difference when they made ‘Pepsi Convoy’ more related to the soda company’s colors.

The trailer has nothing to offer but to be the soda bottle carrier known as the ‘Bottle Station’ where ‘Pepsi Convoy’ keeps his weapon, the CO2 Gun and also where the removable fists can be stored when in vehicle mode. Other than a good transport for Hello Kitty and friends that’s about how the play value can be summarized.

RID Inspired Design

There’s a familiar look to Autovolt’s design and appearance that goes back to the 2001 Robots in Disguise Autobot cars. The similarities takes from the design cues on how it uses ball joints and lots of kibble as he wears them being part of his overall form in his vehicle mode.

You’ll notice most of the car parts that make his vehicle mode can be seen part of his body from being a challenging figure to transform from Robot to Car mode. This is similar to the RiD Sideburn figure as place side by side for comparison. But it also pays tribute to the G1 design evoking a similar appearance with Prowl as he wears the front of his vehicle that has been more familiar to those who have grown up watching the classic cartoons series.

Powered by the Earth Key

Most of the Galaxy Force/Cybertron figures gimmick comes with a Cyber Key based on which planet they came from and this is no exception that Autovolt comes with one to activate his ‘special abilities.’ The US version might come with a tampograph code to reveal something when you log in to the US website.

But in Japan it only activates what the figure have like the missile pods flipping out on his shoulder in robot mode or a special weapon in his alternate form, where you can plug the key on the tailgate. The detailed paint applications are slightly better primarily deco featuring gold deco hands, silver detailing on his missile pods, and his roof light as well as more of his rear lights are painted.

Overall not everything is perfect with Autovolt, but you can say it separates itself from its US version when it comes to minor details. Its still the same figure altogether that makes this character one of those original ones to be introduced in this series.

“Autovolt” is designated GC-17 in the Galaxy Force line of figures not sold on retail, but was acquired through Great Toys specialty shops in the Philippines.

3.5 Out of 5 Robot Points.

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