Glyph, Tap-Out & Rook - Universe - Figures

The year 2002 saw something rather wonderous in regards for the BotCon and BotCon Europe exclusive toys: the return of the G1 Autobot Minicars as new characters. Sure, they are made from the molds of the recent Fun-4-All keychains, but the return of more G1 molds as new characters seems like a nice, thanks-for-the-memories touch. Glyph and Tap-Out were exlcusive to BotCon USA while Rook was exclusive to BotCon Europe. Thanks to a recent clearance sale on the OTFCC site and a trade, I was finally able to obtain these nifty little toys.

Function: Archaeometrist
"Erudition is the privilege of those who observe detail."

One of the final survivors of a doomed Autobot exploration mission, Glyph has spent several hundred years stranded on a world that has become, for her, not unlike an immense science experiment. A natural researcher and forensic scientist, Glyph's advanced hermeneutic circuitry allows her to analyze and decipher even the most cryptic of patterns and language structures. Exceptionally bright and intellectual, Glyph maintains a nearly manic attentiveness to detail. Fascinated by the sheer complexity of alien cultures and their histories, Glyph's eye for even the most obscure of minutiae has become unmatched among her colleagues. While highly skilled and intelligent, Glyph's robot form is neither particularly strong nor durable.

Strength: 1 Intelligence: 10 Speed: 3 Endurance: 2
Rank: 7 Courage: 7 Firepower: 1 Skill: 10

Set Includes
Packaged in a small baggie, Glyph includes a tech specs card and keychain attachment. Since I learned through experience with my Bumblebee keychain that these things don't take beatings well, I opted to not attach the keychain portion of the toy for fear it might tempt me to use it as such. The tech specs card is done in the same style as the 1985 Action Cards (which you can see here) and the keychain portion is actually a fairly sturdy piece of work and nice and silvery-shiny too. Glyph herself is a recolor of Bumblebee, who is a Microchange Volkswagon Beetle. She is mostly a nice, shiny blue with light gray for her bumpers, windows, and undercarriage. An Autobot symbol is on the roof and the typical Bumblebee spare tire sticker is on the back of the flat, chrome panel in the back. Glyph also has a small loop on her left rear bumper designed to attach to the keychain.

Extend the front car section forward and flip up. Pull the wheels out to the sides and flip the back panel up. Position arms as desired.

Transformation Completed
In robot mode, Glyph has a little more gray showing with her arms and legs exposed. Her face is painted yellow and her helmet a blue that closely matches her torso color. Glyph has articulation in the shoulders and the ankles, though the latter are due to her transform.

Function: Bodyguard
"Never quit."

A former prisoner of the Decepticons in the infamous grease pits of Polyhex, Tap-Out is one of the most durable and effective hand-to- hand combatants in the Autobot ranks. Extremely agile and physically resilient. Tortured by his tragic past and his harsh treatment at the hands of the Decepticons, Tap-Out has devoted himself to the protection of all innocent life. Though he covers his internal anguish with a cheery and optimistic demeanor, Tap-Out maintains an almost religious devotion to the individuals he protects. Extremely brave, Tap-Out's tendency to act first and ask questions later borders on recklessness, and often lands him in needlessly dangerous situations.

Strength: 7 Intelligence: 6 Speed: 8 Endurance: 9
Rank: 3 Courage: 10 Firepower: 1 Skill: 9

Set Includes
As with Glyph, Tap-Out includes a tech specs card and keychain attachment. Using the Cliffjumper mold, a Microchange Porsche 924, Tap-Out is mostly dark green with a slight metallic shine. His bumpers, undercarriage and windows are a dark gray. He has two Autobot symbols, one on his roof and the other on the back of his rear chrome plate. He also has a small loop on his left rear bumper designed to attach to the keychain.

Extend the front car section forward and flip up. Pull the wheels out to the sides and flip the back panel up. Position arms as desired.

Transformation Completed
Tap-Out shows more dark gray, arms and legs again, than he did in vehicle mode. His face is painted a silver-gray and his helmet a green that closely matches his torso color. As with Glyph, Tap-Out's articulation consists of shoulders and ankles.

Function: Journalist
"History always favors the victor at the expense of the truth."

A one-time war correspondent during the Great War, Rook was famous for keeping his cool under fire on the battlefield. Never one to give up the opportunity to give the populace the truth behind the headlines, Rook made it his personal mission to report the actual state of affairs, no matter the cost. He never distinguished between Autobot and Decepticon - each had their own stories to tell, regardless of their philosophy. Welcomed by Optimus Prime and tolerated by Megatron, Rook gained the respect of both faction leaders by refusing to back down from asking the tough questions, even if it meant jeopardizing his life or career. Rook became infamous during a particularly brutal siege, where Megatron and his troops were cornered in a abandoned outpost on the far side of Cybertron's Mithril Sea. He entered the fortress and convinced Megatron to work out a temporary withdrawal from the region. The irony of the situation was he had already convinced Optimus Prime of the very same thing! After a tense stalemate, both sides withdrew from the warzone and refocused their resources elsewhere during the war. When peace finally came to Cybertron, Rook realized his negotiation skills could be put to use with his penchant for reporting. Capitalizing on his celebrity status from his wartime exploits, Rook is able to get the real story behind the latest news no matter where, and when, it happens.

Strength: 2 Intelligence: 7 Speed: 5 Endurance: 6
Rank: 5 Courage: 8 Firepower: 2 Skill: 9

Set Includes
The only difference between the way Rook and the other two are packaged, outside of the print on the baggie being different for BotCon Europe, is that he lacks a tech specs card. The above was transcribed from the TF: Universe section at OTFCC. Also, Rook's keychain loop is in the front-middle of his car form, which is a Microchange Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. He is mostly gray with a black undercarriage, blue windows, and a very shiny chrome grill. An Autobot insignia is on the left side of his hood. In a way, his color scheme is almost opposite to that of Glyph, bringing back memories of how some of the Micromasters were set up with two color schemes per patrol, each reversed once to give a sence of unity to the team.

Flip the rear sections of the car up and back. Extend the front tire sections outward to reveal the arms. Stand and position arms as desired.

Transformation Completed
His upper torso is black in robot mode and his upper legs match the chrome of his front grill. His mouthplate is painted a silver-gray and his eyes are molded the same blue as his windows; his rear windows are visible on the fronts of his lower legs and feet. As with the others, Rook's articulation is in his shoulders and ankles.

I really enjoy these toys and having them brand new reminds me of when I bought Bumblebee, Cliffjumper, and Windcharger - who was my second Transformer I purchased back in the day - in 1984. I also enjoy that the characters are non-traditional. After the past few lines and now with not including tech spces on the packaging (and being so far behind with their online tech specs), it's refreshing to see a scientist, bodyguard, and journalist as opposed to the numerous versions of warrirors that seem to dominate the more current lines. If you get a chance to pick these up in a trade or for a decent price, I paid $10 a pop for Glyph and Tap-Out which was a pretty good deal considering what they were going for at one point, I highly recommend it.

Vehicle mode information taken from Antarctic Press' Cybertronian TUTRG Volume 1. Thanks to 3H for having their sale and to Defensis Prime for the great trade.

ReviewerRichard C. Mistron  
DateJuly 10th 2003  
Score 10 stars (10 out of 10)  

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