Limited to a production run of 10,000, this version of the Street Action Team is painted anime-style and came with a CD single of the intro theme song from "Transformers: Micron Legend."
Wheelie (High Wire)
After almost twenty years of Transformers toys, it's about time that one transforms into a bicycle. Considering his small size, Wheelie does a darn good job of it too. At ½” in length, he features turning handlebars, independently rolling wheels and independently turning foot pedals. His main chassis is a light black with a medium blue for the seat and a blue-gray for the struts, pedals and handlebars. He can also use the pedals to help him stand at a slight angle. Wheelie’s Powerlinx connector is on the right side, just past the front strut.
Raise the seat, move the rear struts back and separate. Then lower the front struts and separate. Position the pedals to form his feet and you’re done. Although a bit spindly in robot mode, Wheelie really doesn’t look too bad. He has four points of articulation, two at the hips and two at the shoulders. His face is rather plain, however Takara took the liberty to give his eyes pupils as well as a red visor-mouth. His front wheel is attached his left hand. His right hand is more claw-like in nature, so as to hold the front tire's axle when in bicycle mode.
Amazing as it is to have a bicycle for an alt mode, a skateboard is just as cool and a rocket-powered one is even better. He’s rather think for a skateboard though. Measuring 3” in length, Bank is mostly a medium blue with some light blue a little more than halfway down the middle. The front has yellow highlights and the engines are painted silver. His Powerlinx connector is in the center underneath. He also has a knob on top that can fit into any of the connectors on the other Microns, though it is used for the Bumble transform. It’s kind of neat to have one of the Air Defense Team fly down and connect to Bank, scooping him out of harms way.
Transformation is pretty easy, though his joints may be rather stiff and provide a little bit of a challenge to get them to move. Swing the rear engine sections all the way back then rotate 180 degrees. Split the front of the board apart, bring the arms down and pivot the chest panels to reveal the robot head. From foot to the top of his head, Bank measures just under 2 ½” high. He is articulated at the hips and shoulders, though they only move out to the sides. His head slightly resembles a skateboarding helmet and like Wheelie, Bank's pupils are painted in. There is more light blue in this form coming from his arms, hips and upper legs. Yellow is not as prevalent, though it does stand out against the dark blue. The board halves behind his shoulders give him wings of a sort and really enhance his already impressive looking robot mode.
The choice in names here makes me wonder if any of the Microns are meant to be their G1 namesakes in the Japanese version of the show. At any rate, I'm going along with the asumption that Arcee is female. Although not quite as odd as the other alt modes, Arcee’s scooter mode is another first in the Transformers line. At 3” in length, she is mostly orange with a blue-gray seat, handlebars and struts and some yellow highlights for the headlamps. She rolls fairly well due to her thick wheels and low baseboard. The handlebars do move a bit, though they clearly aren’t designed to move much in this form.
By pulling out the rear of the scooter and splitting the front in half, bringing the sides down you convert Arcee into her robot mode. While some may not like her look in this mode, I think it’s rather neat. She has ball-socket joints at the shoulders and can pivot at the hips. There is more blue-gray showing since that’s the color of her arms. Otherwise, the color scheme is about the same. Her face is the same color as his scooter seat with yellow eyes. It may be her alt mode, but the face reminds me of a Go-Bot. Not Scooter per se, but another of his ilk. And while some may not like the scooter front halves attached to his arms, after playing with hers a little, I discovered that when combined with the shoulder joint, she can give a mean looking right or left hook.
And I’ll Form The Head!
To form Bumble, start everyone off in their alternate modes. Swing Wheelie’s seat to the right to reveal the robot head and bring each tire above the handlebar position. Split Bank’s back half down and bring the blue-gray sections down to form Bumble’s shoulders. Split his front half-apart slightly. Take Arcee and split her straight down the middle. Get your minds out of the gutter. Lock the handlebars into the notches in the seat and bring up the hip joint revealed in the split. Attach Arcee to Bank and use Wheelie’s Powerlinx connector to attach him to Bumble’s back.
Standing at 3 ¾”, Bumble looks fantastic. His legs are mostly orange with blue-gray and yellow highlights while his upper body is a nice mix of light and medium blues. There are silver, yellow and black highlights as well as a nicely detailed face. Bumble has five articulation points. His head can move and his arms move very well at the shoulders. His hips can move, but only outward and not too far.
Performed by Psychic Lover, Micron Legend's intro theme "Dream Again" is a good, solid rock song. As with most of the Japanese Transformers theme songs, there are a number of English words in the lyrics. The second song on the disc is in Kanji and therefore, I couldn't tell you what the title is. I don't know if this is featured in Micron Legend or not, but it is also a nice ditty. The third and fourth songs are instrumental versions of the first two tracks with only the background vocals intact.
The booklet features artwork of Ratchet, Hot Rod and Convoy on the cover. The same artwork for Convoy is on the back of the case. Also included in the booklet are the lyrics to the songs and profiles of Imajo and Yoffey, the guys behind Psychic Lover. Instructions for the individual Microns and Bumble take up the middle of the book. Surprisingly, the CD comes in a full sized case, rather than the typical CD-single case. This is likely due to the packaging need for the toys.
If you get the option to buy this set, pick up it up. Their innovative alt modes and transformations make them a must. And outside of a couple kibble issues, they all look great in either mode. The cartoon-accurate paint schemes help out a bunch too. And if you're a fan of J-Pop, you'll like Psychic Lover's music too.
|Reviewer||Richard C. Mistron|
|Date||February 13th 2003|
|Score||(9 out of 10)|