Dark of the Moon Cyberverse Guzzle Toy Review

in 2011, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Commander, Cyberverse, Dark of the Moon, Generation One

Dark of the Moon

General Information:
Release Date: August 2011
Price Point: $7.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Blasters x 2

Images:

*Images and text in italics below from The official Transformers Web Site:
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!

Spring into action with this vehicle-to-robot hero! Switch your mighty AUTOBOT GUZZLE figure from tank mode to battle-ready robot mode. Then convert him back to vehicle mode so he can chase down his enemies. As the battle rages on, keep converting him back and forth, so he’s ready to face whatever his enemies throw at him! CYBERVERSE Commander Class Series 1 009 AUTOBOT GUZZLE. Ages 5 and up.

The "Cyberverse" of Transformers is partly made up of figures that are somewhere between the traditional Scout Class in size and complexity and the old Legends Class of figures. In general, Commander Class figures in the Cyberverse (not to be confused with Commander Class figures in the Power Core Combiners line) have weaponry that can be utilized by the smaller Legion Class figures. In concert with the Legion Class and playsets being released, the "Cyberverse" forms a complete world of play at a smaller price point.

As the years have gone along, several Generation One characters have found themselves reinvented for the movie universe. This goes from popular characters like Optimus Prime and Megatron all the way to Breakaway (aka "Getaway" from Generation One). Earlier in the Cyberverse line, the G1 character Powerglide was given some love in the form of a "Movie universe" Powerglide figure that paid proper homage to the G1 character of the same name. In one of the latest waves of Cyberverse figures, another G1 character gets the G1 to Movie universe treatment: Guzzle.

Some readers may wonder "Who?" and that wouldn't be surprising. Guzzle is not as well known among the masses as say Optimus Prime or Megatron, but to more hardcore Transformers fans, he's no stranger. Originally part of the Generation One line, Guzzle was a "Sparkabot", a robot whose vehicle mode was equipped with a friction motor that created sparks that shot out the back of the vehicle. He was also one of the few Autobots at the time that was expressly a military vehicle: a tank. Years later, Guzzle would appear in the "Last Stand of the Wreckers" comic book series by IDW in a much modified form, but still a tank and a rather squat looking Autobot. He was one of the more popular characters from the book, and now has made his way into toy form once again.

Robot Mode:
Generation One Guzzle had a very simple design, as most of the Sparkabots did. Basically his tank form extended out the back, you stood him up and his arms could move up and down. That meant most of his robot mode detail was on the bottom of the tank. This time out, Guzzle is more sophisticated in design, but some of these principles have remained intact. Most of his details including torso and head are still "under" the tank and sections of his treads form the sides of his arms and legs. His tank cannon even winds up on his back, just like G1 Guzzle.

Some of the smaller details on Guzzle are also borrowed from his G1 counterpart. The design of the head is heavily based on his G1 design, which had a rounded "helmet" section with a crest in the center. The face had two eyes and a mouthplate with a flattened part in the middle. Here, the design has been amped up quite a bit with extra details and a more "beak" like design at the center of the mouthplate, keeping with the design idea of Transformers heads having animal-like features. The design of the torso is also influenced by G1 Guzzle. While many of the panels on his chest are angled and flat, they do form a curved pattern as you go down to the waist section. However, the sheer amount of sculpted detail far exceeds G1 Guzzle's design. Every part of the torso has a little something 'extra' in the design such as the grille pattern in the center of his chest, hinges on his chest panels, tubes near the waist and layered panel designs on each part of the upper body. While it's no secret that Hasbro and Tomy really know what they're doing in the sculpting department, it really struck me that they went the extra mile on the design here, ensuring that it appealed to both G1 and modern sensabilities at the same time.

I mentioned Guzzle's appearance in "Last Stand of the Wreckers" differed a bit from his G1 self, and some of those differences are reflected here. On either side of his head are tubes sticking out the back at angles - a detail seen on Guzzle in the comic. The indentation in the center of his chest (where the grille is found) is yet another detail carried over form artist Nick Roche's designs. If you look on the lower part of his waist area, there are two small panels that stick out at angles. You'll also note that his tank cannon sticks up almost ludicrously high on his back. These too are design flourishes from the Nick Roche designs.

Even with all the G1 related love, it is important to note the more "movie universe" oriented design elements of his figure. His lower arms have many of the curved and sharp looking design elements that movie figures are known for, down to his hands which are actually made up of three clawed fingers each. His feet are sectioned off into two big "toes" in front, a common design trait among movie-based Transformers. What I appreciate however is that these movie elements blend so well with the G1 elements that I can imagine some G1 purists still being willing to pick this guy up and incorporate him into their "Classics" collection, which is a compliment to the design.

Guzzle is cast in three plastic colors: silver, dark grey and green. The green plastic makes up most of his arms and legs. The silver parts form the connecting points such as his elbows and shoulder joints. The dark grey plastic is used for other parts including his cannon, feet and weapons. His paint colors are inspired by his G1 and "Wreckers" appearances. The most bold color is yellow, which is used to paint the entire front half of his torso section. Beige is used on his head and inner thighs. A very light shade of green paints the tread details, which then extend over to robot details on his shoulder armor. A bright, metallic blue color is used to paint the face, another inspiration from G1. Finally, a spot of red paint is used to paint an Autobot symbol on his chest. Overall, this paint job is simply spot on. The colors take proper G1 inspiration while looking great in their own right. I was really happy to see Hasbro go with a bold, bright yellow and blue on the face and torso. The colors practically explode off the canvas of darker plastic colors that make up most of the figure.

There are sixteen points of articulation on this figure in robot mode. This includes four points of articulation in each arm and the ability of the cannon on his back to turn and tilt. Ironically, he can only use the cannon in this way in robot mode due to the way his transformation scheme works out. Guzzle comes with two small weapons. one looks like a blaster (or machine gun if you prefer) while the other is a transformable weapon that looks like a rocket launcher in one mode, but then can extend one barrel out allowing you to connect both weapons together. These are standard "Cyberverse" weapons that can be held by any Cyberverse figure with the appropriate hand design or clips.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Take the weapons out of Guzzle's hand(s) for now.
  2. Push both feet up.
  3. Swing each of the forearms back.
  4. Swing the shoulder sections up. At the same time the forearms will begin to form the turret.
  5. Swing the panels on the forearms back to complete forming the turret.
  6. Swing the panels on the sides back.
  7. The weapons can be combined and attached to the top of the turret or placed there separately.
  8. Move each thigh up so it is next ot the waist section.
  9. Swing the lower legs down, and connect them to form the rear of the vehicle.

Vehicle Mode:
Like his G1 counterpart, Guzzle is a tank in vehicle mode but this time out he's an M-1 Abrams tank, a vehicle that has been used by other Transformers in the past. It has the distinctive boxy shape of the Abrams including the rather flat turret section. There ar elots of details to behold here including what look like a series of four exhaust pipes on either side of the turret, hatches sculpted into the top of the turret, the individual wheels of the treads and raised circles on the sides representing bolts. I'm happy to say that the vehicle mode sculpt is just as intricate as the robot mode.

As you'd expect, the vehicle is almost entirely green plastic, with much of the robot mode on the underside of the vehicle. The light green paint seen on the treads in robot mode is also found here along the sides. Silver paint is used to paint the exhaust pipes on the turret, giving some much needed color to that section. White paint is found forming an upside down "V" shape towards the front of the vehicle on the sides. Finally, yellow paint is used for hazard lines on the back along with the alpha numeric code "C-313". This code actually refers to the Japanese "code number" of the G1 Transformer "Hardspark" who was a redeco of G1 Guzzle. I love these little references to Generation One, especially one as obscure as this.

Sadly, the design of the turret does not allow it to turn. Say what you will about them being unposeable bricks, but at least a lot of G1 tanks could turn their turrets, a trend that seems to be going away. Oh well, it's still worth it for this awesome sculpt, and he is choc full of weaponry on the top of the turret and he looks fantastic. The vehicle rolls on four small wheels located on the underside of the vehicle.

Final Thoughts:
Guzzle is a fantastic "update" of a G1 character. Like Powerglide in the Cyberverse line, I have lots of love for this figure, so much so that I think I want another to display with my 'Generations' Transformers. Highly recommended!