I can see it now “Pirates of the Cybertronian: Curse of the Black Hole.” With Disney’s sequel to their blockbuster pirate movie Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl and WWE’s pirate wrestler Paul Burchill, it was only a matter of time until Hasbro jumped on the pirate band wagon too. For years I’ve been speculating on the naval build up of the Decepticons, in my previous review of Dreadwing, and the lack of response from the Autobots. Now at last the Decepticon navy has a captain, and what a captain he is!
Cannonball’s vehicle mode is the same as Red Alert’s, based on the Dodge Magnum, a muscle-car station wagon. Rather than the lame rescue vehicle motif’ of white with blue stripes and red windows we get a much darker décor. Cannonball is primarily black with purple windows and teal detailing. On the top of the vehicle we see a very voodoo looking skull, complete with wavy dreadlocks, purple lights, and a gold dome that will later become Cannonball’s head. The sides also have voodoo like design with the dancing skeletons. I personally don’t care for the side skeletons but it does fit overall. He also sports some silver detailing around the wheels, down the center of the hood, and across the top of the windshield as a gradient for the driver to prevent glare from the sun for the driver.
I know what you’re thinking, “A pirate character should be a boat-based transformer like Dreadwing or Thunderblast.” At first I would be inclined to agree but after long thought I’ve decided that pirates use boats for travel across water, as we saw in Pirates of the Caribbean they also invade coastal towns, that is why we have a car as a pirate. I imagine him and his fleet, Mirage, Dreadwing, Sharkticon, Tidal Wave, Thunderblast, and the Mini-con Sea-team cruising the ocean bombarding towns and the occasional Autobot with Cannonball riding Tidal Wave’s transport section with the top folded up but the mini-con seats left folded up also. That section of the dark fleet looks like a type of hovercraft to me so I see it moving right up the beach and cannonball driving off to pillage.
We get a great looking bot mode too. Gold shows up a lot more prevalently here. The arms and legs are revealed gold and the blue paint on Red Alert has been changed to silver. I still don’t understand why you can’t wear gold with silver but Cannonball pulls it off. His face is black on the left side alluding to an eye patch even though his eye isn’t covered. He maintains the same accessories, hammer and claw, that attach to the end of his laser/welder left hand. I think a mace and/or hook would’ve been more fun but I love how you store them under the hood. The doors still become shoulder-flanking shields.
I skipped Red Alert so I was very surprised by the transformation process. If he seems a little short it has to do with how his legs fold inform both ends of the vehicle. I was wondering why we could only see two wheels in bot mode. You could give Cannonball four legs if you really wanted to, two more arms and you got an octopus pirate, but they fit together nicely to form knees and hips. He can pose in lots of dramatic ways. Some have said that he should’ve had ball jointed hips but that would be next to impossible the way he transforms.
Cyber key Feature:
This is probably one of my favorite Cyber Key actions, dual blasters flipping out on both sides of the car/shoulders. They look cool when exposed and are hidden well, unlike Crumplezone who I’ve also reviewed.
I love a repaint if it’s better than the original and this one definitely is. While it doesn’t fit into the storyline you can make up your own easily enough that might even be better. Cannonball isn’t your typical repainted figure; Hasbro has gone out of their way to create a unique figure that adds much needed depth to their lineup. Personally I wouldn’t be surprised if this showed up again as a Botcon exclusive with minor remolding of the chest, head and top of the car to become Shockwave. He’s already got the blaster left hand and shockwave’s head might blend in better at the top of the car.
|Date||May 25th 2006 |
|Score|| (8 out of 10) |