Guzzle - Dark of the Moon - Figure

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

Author: ExVee

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!"

Robot Mode

Okay, so this isn't quite the Wrecker you've been looking for, at least depending how forgiving you are of movie-inspired detailing. But it's close. And some design aspects were actually lifted from Guzzle's appearance in Last Stand of The Wreckers, the most notable of which are the cylinders flanking the head, which were an original design element by artist Nick Roche. I'll go ahead and admit that my desire for the toy was based on acquiring potential Wreckers for my Classics shelves. While I won't hold a bias against the toy for not completely meeting my desires, please understand if some observations are held in comparison to that ideal.

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.


The legs are particularly irritating to get together with the arms when going to vehicle mode. It helps to remember to leave the knees bent and only fold the back half of the tank up in to place as one of the last actions. But nothing will really help the process of clipping the limbs together because of the way it relies on securing two sets of tabs at the same time without leaving room for the needed sliding movements. Otherwise, it is a simple matter to maneuver the few parts around, as would be expected of a toy of this pricepoint.

Vehicle Mode

The vehicle form comes together very solidly, but does get left with some serious transformation seams serving to distinctly section out the main vehicle body as well as the turret. This is an aspect of plastic tolerances above anything else - my sense is that all things being equal everything should settle in where the parts would fit very closely together. What's happening is the hinges, tabs, and grooves don't all fit precisely like the toy was engineered for. Should a recolor of this mold come out at some future point, I'd have hopes that it would close up some of these spaces through the variances of the different plastic colors. But it does hold together very well. Once the toy is in vehicle mode, the parts aren't going to randomly detach or slip apart. So much so that opening the sections to transform to robot mode might be a little tough to start. But my first preference for a vehicle mode is to not be something that I have to be mindful of how I handle it for fear of things falling apart. Especially for a tank, it's so great to know I can just grab this, and it's sturdy enough to keep all its bits together no matter what.

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.

Based on an Abrams main battle tank, Guzzle makes for a fairly realistic vehicle replica. There's little in the way of deco in this mode, but that helps the accuracy. Besides some generic military-styled striping patterns, Guzzle has a "C-313" tag on both sides, a call back to the Japanese product code for their use of the original Guzzle toy. Guzzle's tracks are a very light shade of pale green, which in some lighting looks very close to grey. A dab of silver on either side of the turret to highlight the anti-personnel launchers accounts for all of the vehicle form's paint. Thankfully, tanks are usually solid masses of sandy tan, or sometimes dark green as Guzzle is. Between that and the little bit of visual interest created by the sparing color accents, it still looks good being 90% unpainted in this mode.

The sculpt is equally well realized, with a great deal of surface detailing. Access hatches, armor plates, venting, even the tie-down loops used to secure real tanks to transport vehicles are represented here. The attention to detail is the usual high standard brought by Transformers sculptors. Ultimately, the only things spoiling the illusion of the tank are a small gap between the turret and main body of the tank, in which part of the robot arms is visible, and the very front and rear of the tank body showing signs of the vehicle structure not being as deep as it should be. As long as you don't turn it over and look directly at the underbody though, there's extremely little of the robot evident to remind you that this is a Transformer.


Guzzle comes with two guns. As is the gimmick with Cyberverse toys, the weapons are designed to be universal among the whole Cyberverse range. Both guns have 3mm peg handles, which fit in to a space at the very base of Guzzle's claw hands, or sockets on top of the turret in vehicle mode. One gun transforms very simply. In its base state, it's a multi-tube missile pack, similar to ones seen on other tank Transformers relatively recently. A design also borrowed by the Gundam Ground Type, for those who are familiar with that series. The launcher can flip one of its missile tubes down and forward to become a rifle. Surely that's very handy after launching all of your missiles! The other gun does not transform, and is styled to look like the tank commander's gun station. As a result it has a rather busy appearance, with a lot of extra gear sculpted on besides just the basics of the weapon.

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.

Closing Remarks

Guzzle is a pretty nice little figure. It's important to be clear when approaching it that it is very strongly movie styled, and shouldn't be considered for incorporation in to a Classics display unless you're especially forgiving of those kind of design elements. I know that they're not a deal breaker for a lot of people. If you can or are looking at it for what it is, I'd say they did a really nice job with it. The transformation has the one unpleasant aspect, but the robot mode is unusually well articulated for this size class, and the vehicle mode is a fantastic representation of a realistic tank in a very small package.

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 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.

DateMarch 15th 2012  
Score 8 stars (8 out of 10)  


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