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Perceptor was our sneak preview of wave 4, included in the display at Hasbro's pre-NYCC press event. It still baffles me just a little bit, since it's still strong in my mind the concept of something like a microscope not being kid-friendly enough or whatever to be used as an alt mode. Though come to think of it, I wonder where my Revenge of The Fallen Scalpel ever got to? Anyway, as many old rules go out the window, here we are with a Perceptor closer to G1 than anybody probably thought we'd see again. Taken on its own, Perceptor doesn't look bad. Lots of square chunks, big and boxy. It works in its way. But put side by side with the last Perceptor, and the proportions start feeling kinda weird. But this also requires handling Reveal The Shield Perceptor, and let's just not.
The scope on the shoulder stands out, so let's talk about that first. In many respects it does not have to have a negative impact on the robot mode's mobility. The arm is free to move, even if a small bit of care must be taken in doing so.
Turning the head is a little less smooth, but a reasonable range is possible. The scope kind of pushes clear on its own. You can't turn the head very far toward the scope, but... I mean, he'd just be staring at the wall of the cylinder anyway, so... Where this can start to be trouble is when it comes to balancing. It does stick a bit out the back.
And Perceptor does not have the most pronounced heels. In general, standing is not a real problem. You *can* make it tip back, but it's not about to topple on its own.
The scope is on a movable attachment. This is necessary for transformation, but has some other utility.
For instance, stowing the scope on the back. Very convenient. But this is where problems start, because all that weight is on the back, and easily defeats the heels. One choice I guess is to never store the scope this way, but assuming that's not an acceptable answer, we can go another way. The heel pieces are movable - again, transformation needs - and the joints are firm enough that they'll hold various positions. If you angle them just a little bit, it helps the robot to better withstand the weight on the back and not want to fall over so much.
The scope is also removable. It attaches to its armature by a 5mm peg.
You'll notice the cylinder itself has a second 5mm port, as well as a peg. This presents some interesting possibilities.
Mundane among them is front-loading the scope using the 5mm port on the connector arm. But this is dumb and boring.
A port on the back offers a secondary storage option if you wish. But we can still do better.
This is a 5mm port on the forearm. There's a 5mm peg on the scope. Forget sniper rifles. This Perceptor packs a fusion cannon! The only thing you really can't do with it is have it hand held. Peg just doesn't fit.
We've already seen Perceptor's arms are free to move outward, scope regardless. Past the usual bicep swivel, the elbow does a solid 90 degree bend, and... that's it.
There's no waist, seemingly based on this hinged panel being here. Which seems mainly to exist so that the hinge behind it can be hidden. Priorities, huh?
The hips are universal joints, very soft ratcheting. The range of motion is quite nice, and the joints are nice and firm.
In the process of moving the legs you're likely to encounter a transformation joint in the thigh. The hinge is fairly stiff, so accidental movement won't be a constant problem. And it softly rests itself in a straight position, so it's trying a little to help you keep everything lined up right. And as usual, there's the thigh swivels just above that.
The knee bends way deep. If not for the heel part inside, it could basically double over on itself easily. And the weird thing is, no transformations call for this degree of movement.
I already mentioned the heels having some useful if unintended flexibility. The toes can point down in a more useless gesture too.
At first glance, Perceptor seems to take one for the team, seemingly going light on paint for the benefit of someone else in the wave. But then you look at the sides of the legs and nope! That's a ton of paint application here. On both legs. Thankfully the body doesn't have to call for much paint. The pelvis is the only area with substantial color correction.
The frame around the chest window ranks up there a bit too, but largely the plastic colors do everything for themselves.
The face sculpt seems to be going for pronounced cheekbones, but everything got a bit rounded off, so the effect isn't quite as clear as was probably intended. Not terrible though. But if you want a lesson why Titan Master arms need to be thick, observe Perceptor in profile.
Titan Master Convex is essentially a tiny representation of the G1 mold. The black body could be taken as a nod toward the Microchange colors, though the red legs screw that up a bit. Quite detailed, though.
Okay, transformation one! Fold in the fists.
Slide the scope arm to center.
And pull up on the collar plate.
Rotate the arms up.
Then pull them down in to the body.
Raise the legs out to the sides.
Rotate the lower legs to point the toes up.
Bend the mid thigh joint and point the lower legs to the toy's front.
Peg the kneecap to the inverted shoulder.
Start to flip out the heel parts. The feet also need to be folded down, and it's easiest if you do that at the same time you bring the heels out.
Flip down the Autobot symbol panel.
Then open the chest, and using the bottom of the double hinge, open it out as the specimen tray.
Finally, orient the scope to finish.
I mean... it hits the essential beats for a microscope, right? The shape is basically there. Might be a bit wide up the middle, but then so am I.
Right, so this isn't a vehicle, and so, how does a Titan Master interact? It's true that this is the first Deluxe without an actual enclosed space for a Titan Master to occupy. So instead you lay Convex out on the specimen tray. Which I guess is now more of an exam table. There are grooves at either end which the heel spur should catch in, but the spacing is off, so it doesn't hold at all.
In any case, this is the gimmick for Perceptor. You put a Titan Master in the tray, and then look through the scope at them. The scope actually does magnify, though its focus range is very narrow and has a tiny viewing angle. The knob does adjust the position of the second lens, though that's not always a help. Basically, it does work, which is cool, but it's a big pain to use it. Often literally when you account for the eyestrain.
Now, onward to transformation two! Which is not that much of a process.
Untab the legs from the body, then flip them around to the other side.
Rotate the legs up until the tabs on this side meet the shoulder slots, and tab it back together. The goal is to look like this:
Pull the scope forward, and you can tab the end to the collar for stability. I only figured that out after the gallery had been shot, sadly. Anyway, raise the little silver panel, and fold the chest panel back in partway.
This is the tank mode. It's not present in the instructions or package photography. An official image of it exists in press kit materials, but that's it.
Let me explain the theory of how the Titan Master works here. There's a notch and a tab behind the upright silver piece. As far as I can see, the tab is supposed to wedge between a Titan Master's toes, and along with the notch catching the heel, hold it in place standing. The tab is too thick to fit in the intended space, however, leaving no way to secure a Titan Master to this mode. I got it to work exactly once, and then never again. You can balance a Titan Master in the appropriate spot though, it just isn't stable at all.
That flub aside, I don't have a problem with this mode. It's kind of an Autobot equivalent to Galvatron, which is an amusing enough idea. It holds together solidly, too, so besides being a tiny bit goofy weird, there's nothing wrong about it. Just a shame that probably a lot of people will never know about this since it has become completely undocumented. It adds a nice bit of extra play that makes the whole thing more interesting.
Perceptor's accessory is a Babyseat Cannon in the style of a sniper rifle, complete with attached bipod. Comparatively speaking, this one doesn't look awful. The seat part is low profile, and while wide, doesn't immediately look unforgivably wrong.
Alas, Perceptor's articulation is mostly not up to the task of holding this like a rifle, and certainly not assuming expected sniping poses. But Perceptor has other ways to have fun with this gun.
The scope's connecting arm has a 5mm port. The most useful application of such is for the tank mode. Replacing the scope cannon with the rifle actually looks pretty decent. It also gives a solid seat for Convex or someone else.
The way the connecting arm works means you can't directly replace the scope with a gun in microscope mode. But you *can* put a gun on the scope.
About the only problem is limited storage options. The 5mm port on the robot mode's back is useful for stowing the rifle in that mode, as well as tank mode.
But it's not so simple in microscope mode. And in any case, these don't always play entirely well with posing.
Meanwhile, in any mode you can always attach the rifle to one of the arm ports as a turret or somesuch, if you like.
Maybe unsurprisingly, the microscope mode might be the weak link in this package, though just barely. It's clear sacrifices happened just for the sake of making Perceptor a science gadget, like having no real home for Convex outside robot mode. And then there's burying the tank mode despite parts and paint work that exist only for its sake. Perceptor is pretty fun, and has more to do than your typical Deluxe, and I like that. It's just when you start really thinking about it, and looking closely, there's more than a little that ends up not making much sense. Like an extra hinged panel in the torso that's referenced nowhere, serves no evident purpose, and yet has paint on the surface *underneath it*. It seems like there's probably more of a story to Perceptor than we can see. I'd love to hear it someday so I can finally understand the mysterious secrets of my toy.
|Date||February 6th 2017|
|Score||(8 out of 10)|
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