Height: 8cm to top of head.
Articulation: 15 total points - Swivel neck; 4 points each arm: Double jointed shoulder, double jointed elbow; 3 points each leg: Ball joint hip, hinge knee, hinge ankle.
Colors: Molded dark green, dark grey, light grey; Painted light green, yellow, tan, blue, silver, red, white.
Accessories: Guns x2
Funny story, but I have no concept of Guzzle as a character. Any Guzzle. G1 Guzzle was only an entity in the Marvel UK stories, aside from being one of the last survivors in Rhythms of Darkness - although not for very long. Movie-continuity Guzzle is even more of a nobody, with just a brief bio note that says little about the actual individual. So, why did I ever get this toy? Last Stand of The Wreckers. Despite that I have still not actually read the story to date, it was enough to know it made (G1) Guzzle a member of that typically ill-fated group. I've always appreciated the story telling mechanism of the Wreckers, as they were pulled together from several toy characters nobody was using, plus some comics-originals, and it actually made people out of them in the process. I really have to show some appreciation that this tradition still continues even in more modern Wrecker stories. The movie's Wreckers are an entirely different outfit of course, but it wouldn't be the first time I've tried to repurpose a movie toy in to a Classics setting. And you know what? It's actually a pretty good toy on top of all that.
"Autobot Guzzle consumes Energon faster than any of his comrades. Back on Cybertron, this wasn't an issue, but on Earth he is forced to find alternative power sources. Decepticons take heed, Autobot Guzzle won't be stopped by a fuel shortage!"
With that in mind, the main element pulling this away from serving a Classics role, at least to my eye is the arms. The wide set of the shoulders, and the thick, blockiness of the upper arms for that matter is not any problem at all, and indeed would be something I would seek out for such a purpose. That the transformation jointing and the intended articulation work together so well that there are situations where the toy can draw its arms across its chest (though not really both at once) is a highlight in what is from the start a good arm build. For better or worse depending on your perspective, the movie influence is out in force from the elbow and down. The elbow is a narrow stalk bridging the upper and lower arms. It benefits poseability by keeping plenty of space between sides to let the elbow have room to move freely, and in fact could work as a full double elbow joint if not for one of the vehicle mode wheels limiting the movement of the hinge at the upper end. But a series downside from my point of view is that as a result the arms become very long overall, reaching nearly down to where you assume the ankles should be. The forearms have a series of curved elements sculpted in, depicting the sort of organic-mechanical style of the movie Transformers. It's also kind of a symptom of a general problem I have with movie designs, where they're more robots wearing vehicles than they are robots who are vehicles. This makes Guzzle appear to have a fully formed forearm with a tank-skin sleeve on the outside. I think where it really gets to me though is the clawed hand, with three long, narrow digits. Their arrangement contributes to what I see as the excess length of the arm too. This isn't necessarily a gripe against the movie style either. I have a kind of expectation of a character who turns in to, or at least wears a tank: This should be at least partly a physical power character, and that to me calls for fists.
Amazingly, the small, sunk-in head can turn a small amount, but essentially
has "back stops" preventing more than the tiniest movement. Plus the difficulty
of grasping the head and getting leverage enough to move it, I'd just act like
the joint wasn't even there to start. Plus the helmet is all painted, and you
stand a good enough chance of scratching the paint accidentally, it's not worth
the risk to me. The gun on the back has more or less a universal joint at its
base, free to swivel in a full circle, and raise and lower within a limited
range. Except that it's useless. There's no way to position the cannon to even
vaguely point forward, there's no advantage in balance or anything else to
cause the gun to need to move in robot mode. And it doesn't get any better in
vehicle mode, I'll go ahead and spoil for you. The torso sculpt tries to depict
some tank elements that have been creatively arranged on the robot, although I
would say the color variance between modes makes that seem less convincing.
There's a lot of mechanical details visible around the waist. Compared with the
smoother, flatter surfaces of the upper torso, I'd say it's analogous to an
exposed belly - in this case to permit freedom of movement for the "real"
version, even though there is no waist articulation of any kind on the toy.
Incidentally, the face sculpt is really complicated and busy, but between the
tiny size and it all being layered over with blue paint, from any kind of
distance the detail vanishes and it looks like a basic faceplate.
The legs may be the most simple parts overall. There's no great amount of design sculpting at work besides the minimum needed to imply the vague shape of the robot's legs within the tank shell. Though the details are vague over all, effort is made to give some sense of mechanical structure, such as the facade of cylinders that would be part of the knee joint. The hip joints are set pretty wide, and while that does allow a great deal of space for the legs to move, in functional design terms I'd say this is a product of how the transformation works rather than a conscious choice in the service of articulation. The pair of large toes on either foot, besides being reminiscent of a Ninja Turtle actually provide a solid platform for the figure to stand on. Of course without a great mass to support or balance, the demands on them are very minimal. They give a good look to the robot mode, especially with the channels cut along the soles to make the impression of a treaded foot. If you fold the feet up just a little bit, you can see pistons molded leading to the back of each toe, implying a function in powering their movement. It's a surprising attention to detail since the only time you'd see them without specifically looking is when they just happen to show in vehicle mode. Other such superfluous detailing can be found in the ankle shrouds, where details representing the inside of the drive wheels are visible. The poseability in the legs is not great, but it's good for a toy of this size. As noted, the hips end up with a wide range of motion, but the knees and ankles are just straight hinges. Thanks to the needs of transformation, the knees can bend back over on themselves completely, plus the ankle hinges are stiff, so it's possible to hold more than simple standing poses if you put a little thought behind it.
A drawback of this rugged build is that the vehicle has no integral moving elements. The turret doesn't rotate - which I'll grant is a more common state than a turret that does turn in a realistic way - but more than that, the gun doesn't even have the ability to elevate. Despite being designed with a universal joint at its base, the gun is tabbed in place on both sides by the surrounding turret structure. If there is a greater reasoning to the gun being immobilized, it's beyond me to see, because all I can gather is that extra effort was put to make sure the cannon would not be able to move on its existing joints. I sure hope whatever Guzzle may need to shoot at is standing directly in front of him, and has made sure not to be on a hill, or even just be especially tall! Guzzle does have four small wheels under his tracks, as many tank mode Transformers do. Between the light weight and very very low clearance the wheels provide, the tank tends not to actually roll along smooth surfaces, instead just seeing the wheels drag along.
The main gimmick is combining the two weapons, to make... a slightly chunkier, more complicated gun! I guess it's nice to be able to present that as a play feature for the toy, but I'm just as inclined to keep the guns separate and have Guzzle dual-wield. I'd be careful when combining them and changing modes on the missile launcher, since there are stress marks visible on mine from those actions.
As of this writing, Guzzle is not too hard to find as stores slowly work to move out their DOTM back-stock, especially smaller toys like this that were distributed in droves. It's certainly worth putting a little effort in to tracking down. Guzzle scores a Very Good on the Figurereviews.com Non-Numeric Rating Scale. I almost want to wish it had been a little bit bigger toy, but I have this odd feeling that it wouldn't have been so good if it were a Deluxe.
|Date||March 15th 2012|
|Score||(8 out of 10)|
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