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Published on January 31st, 2011 | by Sharp-O


Mint in Box #11 – Reveal The Shield Legends Wave One

A brand new year means a brand new Transformers sub-line. This time, the gimmick of the ‘Reveal the Shield’ is one that was pioneered 27 years ago! That’s right, the rub-signs return and this somehow warrants a rebranding. Apologies if this sounds churlish but the 2006 ‘Classics’ line had this gimmick too and I don’t see the logic in having this narrative mystery behind the allegiance of Transformers when most of the line is comprised of classic characters that have been known for the aforementioned 27 years. “Oh no, Megatron! Is he friend or foe? Rub the rub-sign to find out if Megatron is a Heroic Autobot or Evil Decepticon!”

Anyway, onto today’s subjects, the ‘Reveal the Shield’ Wave 1 Legends class figures. The Legends class toys are designed to be simple, entry level Transformers for small children, those with little pocket money and grown men clamouring for something other than the ‘Revenge of The Fallen’ movie toys that clog shelves to this day. This wave consists of Optimus Prime, Megatron, Prowl, Trailcutter, Starscream and Gold Bumblebee. I didn’t pick up Starscream or Gold Bumblebee because I wasn’t interested in the character and already had the mould, respectively.

Let’s crack on with Megatron who is a… rub, rub, rub …a Decepticon! Who’d have thought that a tiny gun wouldbe a bad guy? But to make sure no kiddie-winks are shot dead by Police Armed Response, they dipped his barrel in bright orange paint. I’m not going to complain about that, because I understand that toy safety regulations change every six months or so and to complain about it would be futile. This toy is brilliant. To my mind, there’s never been a Megatron toy based on his Generation 1 form (with subtle hints from his IDW design) that captured both his gun mode and robot form so perfectly. He looks like a gun and he looks like Megatron. It’s perfect and it can be held by other toys! There are clips on his handle to allow him to be held by Masterpiece Starscream (or one of the repaints of that mould) or by his Voyager class line mate, Lugnut. Such adorable nonsense.

Next up is Prowl who is a… rub, rub, rub … Autobot! Autobot police car. I find this one dubious because I’m a big fan of his portrayal in the IDW comic books. He’s the Autobot’s main strategist but he is also the most cold-blooded, amoral, questionable ‘good guy’ ever. His actions include telling a medical officer to ‘dispose’ of some humans to hide their presence on Earth, forcibly implanting propaganda into a well-known figurehead to further his own goals, ordering the release of a band of murderous psychopaths for the sake of politics and coercing a fellow Autobot into killing himself. For an Autobot, he’s so deliciously evil! His toy is an odd one because everything about him points to him being a slight retool of the Legends class Jazz from 2008’s Universe line but he’s not. Even his toy is ambiguous! He’s blindingly white, with black paint apps and ‘Highway Police Patrol’ tampographed on his doors/arms. He’s a bit plain but effective and dangerous because of it.

Rolling out with Optimus Prime now. This heroic leader is arub, rub, rub …Autobot? Is that right? Prime is chock full of awesome. He’s just a tiny version of the Prime we all remember and I love him for it. I like to have him and Megatron re-enact the truly epic “The Touch” fight from the ‘86 movie.

What? I’m not ashamed!

Both his vehicle and robot forms are perfect tiny replicas of Prime, incorporating design cues from his numerous media incarnations and toy variations. I can’t really say more on this figure, he’s just Prime.

Rounding out our Fatal 4-Way is the quite rotund Trailcutter. This figure is meant to Trailbreaker but due to trademark issues, they had to rename him Trailcutter instead. True to his portrayal as a jolly on the outside/emotionally crippled on the inside Dime Bar of an Autobot, he looks suitably large, despite his diminutive stature.  Trailcutter is my favourite out of these figures. I get Trailcutter. He’s outwardly jovial and friendly, always with the jokes and well-meaning words but inside feels he’s a drain on resources due to his size and questions his usefulness to his friends. His vehicle mode is a camper van, much like his 1984 toy but updated considerably, taking slight cues from a Cadillac Escalade and looking slightly like a heavy duty 4WD hearse. His robot form is suitably robust, with mighty tree trunk legs and thick torso. The only drawbacks I have with him are that he is pretty much hollow when viewed from behind, he could do with some more paint applications to pick out some of the gorgeous details of the sculpt, and he really needs to be bigger. For a character like Trailcutter, he needs a stonking great Deluxe toy and given the influx of previous Legends scale figures given all new Deluxe moulds, I hope to see a Deluxe Trailcutter very soon.

All these figures are the most affordable I’ve ever reviewed here and you can pick them up relatively easily. Now I have to go, I have to be in court for revealing my shield in public.

– Richard Sharpe

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The Bearded Toy Reviewer and Tokusatsu Fan.

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