Generation 2 Space Case Toy Review

in 1995, Action Figure Review, Cyberjet, Decepticon, Generation 2

Generation 2

General Information:
Release Date: 1995
Price Point: $5.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Kay Bee Toys etc.)
Accessories: Missiles x 2

Images:

When the Generation 2 era began, almost all the Transformers released were redecos and retools of Generation One figures. Towards the end of the line however, it was comprised of all new sculpts, some of which would still be used almost a decade after their original release. One of the new sub-groups introduced in G2 was the "Cyberjet" category. The first wave of Cyberjets was comprised of three Decepticons, each transforming into a jet with pressure launching missiles and (for the time) above average posability. Space Case was one of these new characters.

Vehicle Mode:
Space Case has a very distinctive looking vehicle mode. Instead of the standard fighter jet with backward swept wings, his wings are swept forward while his vertical stabilizers in the rear angle out to the sides. The result is the look of an "X" if you look at the figure from overhead. This vehicle mode is largely based on the Grumman X-29 jet. Space Case has many of the key design elements of the Grumman such as the forward swept wings and horizontal stabilizers sticking out the sides near the cockpit. The angled vertical stabilizers in the back are a design embelishment (most likely to avoid trademark issues) and of course, there are robot parts on the bottom that stick out a bit even if you view the figure from above.

There are some nice sculpted details worked into this figure, however the colors are a bit bright and make them a bit hard to see at times. If you look carefully at the top section, you'll find panels sculpted into the wings and smaller raised details towards the back by the thrusters. The cockpit window has a nice outline around the base and running from one side to the other, but unlike many modern Transformers jets there are no seats or control panels sculpted inside.

Generation 2 was the era of Transformers that often saw the bold use of bright colors, and Space Case is no exception. His primary plastic colors are white, red, black and translucent yellow. The entire top section including the cockpit and wings are cast in white. The cockpit cover is translucent yellow. A bit of black plastic peeks through on the connection point between the nosecone and the middle of the jet. Flip the figure over and you'll see red plastic on several robot parts and black plastic on landing gear and the pressure missile launcher (more on that in a bit).

Generation 2 was one of the last lines of Transformers to use paint and stickers in combination with each other to fill in details on figures. The most dramatic paint details on this figure is a cross hatch pattern of blue and black diamond shapes running from the front of the nosecone all the way to the rear stabilizers along the top of the vehicle. The side of the vertical stabilizers facing outward have stickers on them with white, red and blue detailing matching the diamond patterns on the top of the figure. However, this isn't quite enough to satisfy the dramatic look of the figure! Painted on top of the blue and black diamond patterns is a bold red bird. This is no cute critter, this bird has fierce looking eyes and its wings extend out as lightning bolts that spread all over the back of the figure. It's a very dynamic and eye catching pattern. If you think about the fact that this is the part of the figure you would see in the packaging in stores, it made sense to make it as eye catching as possible.

Space Case comes with two long missiles, each with a section that is ball shaped. This allows it to lock into the claw-like launcher on the bottom of the figure. To launch the missile, you push it out from the back. The four notches on the missile cause a bit of pressure to be built up so when it figures it achieves some distance. This is not as effective as a spring loaded launcher of course, but it serves the purpose while cutting the cost of having to set up a spring loaded system in the figure. The missiles can also be mounted on his wings, where the tabs sticking out on four sides help lock them into place. The missiles hold pretty well against the wings. Slight shaking won't force them off but if enough play and I'm sure they'll fall off if the figure is smashed into another or something.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the missiles if attached.
  2. Disconnect the rear thruster sections from the top of the vehicle.
  3. Swing the entire red hip section down along with the robot legs.
  4. Swing the claw arm to one side and the other arm to the other.
  5. Rotate the section of the jet with the wings around.
  6. Swing the section with the wings down on the black hinges, revealing the robot head and forming the back of the figure.
  7. Rotate the lower robot legs so they face forward.
  8. Rotate the forearms so the elbow joints can bend forward.
  9. Missiles can be reconnected to the wings or held in the claw and hand.

On a side note for the transformation, some fans have enjoyed just swinging the legs down in various configurations to form Macross-esque "Gerwalk" modes.

Robot Mode:
Aside from their pressure launching missiles and jet-based vehicle modes, Cyberjets in general all had the same physical layout. The front of the jet would become their torso, wings would wind up in the back with at least one "claw" on a limb to store/fire their missile. Space Case has this layoug, with the nosecone section making up the majority of his upper body. His arms and legs are rather rectangular and blocky, which is almost refreshing to see considering most modern Transformers designs focus on being a bit more curved and organic looking. It's not so much that it's "better" but it is a nice reminder of where Transformers came from. With the wings on his back and rather thin feet, Space Case has a very sleek appearance that I like a lot. Even in robot mode everything about his design looks like he's built for speed and agility.

The head sculpt is the most complex sculpt out of the newly revealed parts. The helmet has a central crest with protrusions on the top and sides. The middle is a triangular shaped face which looks like a combination of visor eyes and a mouthplate in one. This was a very typical design used on many Transformers in G2 and I always found it to be a cool and slightly creepy looking design. Of course, this design was also meant to take advantage of the light piping ability of the head since it's cast in translucent plastic.

This mode reveals most of the red plastic hidden in vehicle mode. The red forms his upper arms and thighs while the forearms and lower legs are white. His head is cast in translucent yellow with the helmet section painted blue. This allows for some very nice light piping if you shine a light right onto the back of his head.

Space Case has nine points of articulation in this mode. That doesn't sound like a whole lot, but keep in mind that almost every point of articulation is a ball joint, allowing for a wide range of motion. This was not common at the time and the posability of the Cyberjets was one of their greatest assets as figures. As mentioned earlier, the missiles can be used as ballistic and melee weapons in this form. One missile can fit into the launcher attached to the right forearm while the other can be slipped into his other fist as a baton weapon or staff. If you wish to store them instead, they can be connected to the wings. That's a good chunk of functionality in a smaller figure.

Final Thoughts:
I tend to think of the Cyberjets as one of the lines of Transformers that acted as a bridge between traditional G1 design (where posability and sculpting sometimes took a back seat to gimmicks) and future designs such as those from Beast Wars that combined posability and amazing sculpting to create awesome figures. It's also a very sleek and cool looking figure in its own right. Nowadays it's not too hard to find Space Case on the aftermarket, and indeed the sculpt was reused years later as part of the Transformers Universe toy line so the sculpt is not impossible to find if you look hard enough. I wouldn't say break the bank over it, but it's a nice sculpt to have in your collection. Highly recommended!