Just got this guy the other day. He's an interesting figure, and part of a rather unique Transformers concept. I've often wondered if Pretenders were meant to be human-sized, as a thirty foot tall human wandering around wouldn't fool much anyone!
I'll start with the packaging. It's pretty standard G1 for the fourth year. It continues the Autobot style red boxes that fade into black near the top with a background grid and a box flap with the transformers logo. This logo is a bit different however. It has Transformers all on one line, and 'Pretenders' below it, with no faction symbol in the logo. Makes me wonder if this was intended as a genuine sub line, much like the Dinobots in Beast Machines. The rear of the box has tech specs of course, and a nice piece of art showing pretenders and powermasters fighting, along with Powermaster Optimus Prime. It's a fun action scene.
The pretender shell is a blonde human wearing some kind of space suit/armor. The suit is mostly dark grey, with bright red and gold highlights. Part of the arms and gloves are a lighter grey, which makes for a nice contrast. The arms are a soft rubber rather than hard plastic, and also have the only articulation available on the shell. One notable point of interest in this pretender shell is that only the top half on the head is visible. There is a very high collar that covers the ears, mouth and bottom half of the nose. The shell comes with a helmet and belt that help hold it closed, though it snaps together quite well.
Waverider himself is quite slim and trim compared to his Pretender shell. Mostly black with grey thighs and feet, and a gold visor, he's a bit plain. His face and torso bear a passing resemblance to Jazz, though the shape of the head is quite different. The skimmer cockpit is also gold, and sits where Waverider's butt is.
Articulation is limited. The head can look down due to the transformation scheme, the arms rotate at the shoulder and fold onto Waverider's back, and the hips and knees bend to the sides.
Waverider's vehicle mode is passable. It's an 'aquatic sea-skimmer' , which barely manages to not look like a robot with hands going backward and legs folded to the side. The simplistic transformation scheme isn't as advanced as some mini-cons, but considering the design restraints of having the figure fit inside the shell, that's understandable.
Overall, this is a fun figure. Not great with transforming, but as a curiousity and considering that I mangaged to get it almost complete, I have a bit of fondness for it. As far as pretenders go, I'd prefer Bludgeon or Thunderwing, but Waverider's not bad.
|Date||February 1st 2003|
|Score||(4 out of 10)|
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