"Generations" Combiner Wars Reflector Toy Review

in 2016, Action Figure Review, Botcon, Combiner Wars, Decepticon, Generation One, Generations, Legends

Generations

Reflector General Information:
Release Date: April 7, 2016
Price Point: $69.00
Retailer: Botcon 2016 Exclusive
Accessories: None

It is common practice nowadays for Hasbro to develop a sculpt with two heads built into the tooling. This allows the option of reusing the tooling with a retool/redeco ahead of time. It also reduces the cost of having to spin up new tooling later on for a new head. That said, these alternate heads are not always used. This was the case when Legends Class Shockwave was designed. An alternate head was developed to turn the sculpt into Reflector: the G1 character who turned into a camera. Reflector was originally based on a set of three robots from the Micro Change series in Japan who formed a camera when combined.

While the three robots who made up Reflector were different in action figure form, the same animation model was used for each "Reflector team" member in the cartoon. Taking that as inspiration, this exclusive uses the Reflector head tooling Hasbro made, but never released and was put out as a three pack of identical Decepticons reflecting its cartoon roots.

Packaging:
Reflector is packaged inside a sealed plastic bag. The three members of the group are packaged together in weapon mode. There are three copies of the instructions and tech specs included with the figure. While the three figures are identical, they are identified by their G1 names: Viewfinder, Spectro and Spyglass in the tech specs.

Weapon Mode:
In G1 Reflector's alt mode was a camera, but this time out he's a weapon. Now, if you stretch your imagination a bit you could see this form as some type of scifi Cybertronian camera with a really long telephoto lens. You can even look at the targeting panel on the top as some type of fancy viewfinder. Or you can ignore all that and just say Reflector got tired of taking pictures and decided to take names instead.

In this form there are no tooling differences between Reflector and Shockwave. All the main details remain the same including the eight sided barrel opening, the "blade" like details on the sides and the "fins and engines" in the back. Like Shockwave, you can keep the handle swung down so Reflector can be used as a weapon by larger figures with 5mm ports or you can swing it up to create a pseudo-"spaceship" mode.

Reflector's color scheme, Fun Publications used his animation model as their main reference. This in turn was based on the member of the team known as Viewfinder, who formed the center of the camera mode. His main plastic colors are translucent green, purple and silver. The purple color is more based on the animation model than the toy, which mainly used blue.

The paint colors on this figure include purple, black, silver, light blue, grey and red. The purple color is used to paint several sections such as the barrel of the cannon. Black is used in the middle and back. You'll find silver peeking out in the back. On the sides are light blue, grey and red details towards the front, inspired by details from stickers on the G1 toy. A Decepticon symbol is tampographed onto the top of the weapon. In front of that is the word "REFLECTOR" in red letters. This is directly inspired by a stickers on the G1 figure that had the word "REFLECTOR" on it. I really appreciate how much effort went into this mode. There's a lot of paint on this form and it looks fantastic.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Swing the back section down, then straighten out the arms.
  2. Split the front of the weapon out to the sides.
  3. Swing the legs up at the hip joints.
  4. Straighten out the lower legs, then swing the legs down and rotate the lower legs around.
  5. Swing the arms out to the sides and down.
  6. Rotate the forearms around.
  7. Swing the handle back, revealing the robot head.

Robot Mode:
As mentioned above, this sculpt uses the unused Reflector head that Hasbro developed for this figure (often known as a "pretool"). The head sculpt is based on the animation model from G1. It features a rounded helmet section with a crest in the center and a face with rectangular eyes, a prominent nose and thin mouth. This is roughly based on the designs of the Spyglass and Spectro action figures (leaning towards Spyglass). It looks really great and its in perfect proportion with the rest of the figure.

I have to admit when I first saw this at Botcon I was not 100% sure it would work. However the more I look at this figure, the more I like it. The only part that rubs me slightly wrong is the left forearm, which has a blaster on it instead of a regular fist like the animation model. Everything else works however including the translucent panel on his chest, which serves as a callback to the lens on a camera.

The same colors from the weapon mode carry over to this mode. Most of Reflector winds up being purple whether it's painted or molded plastic. The purple paint and plastic colors really match up nicely. Some of the joints like the elbows, thighs and feet are silver. The chest is translucent green. Grey paint is used for the face and parts of the lower legs. Red is used for his eyes, the forearms and parts of the knee armor. Light blue is found on the lower legs. Contrasting heavily with all the dark colors is silver, used to paint the forearms and the area surrounding the translucent chest panel. The finishing touch is a tampographed Decepticon symbol on his left shoulder. Like the weapon mode the colors on this mode are fantastic. They pay homage to both Reflector's animation and action figure roots.

All the joints on this figure are nice and tight. I checked all three of the figures in my Reflector set and they all felt about the same, which is not shocking since this sculpt has not been used that many times compared to some other "Combiner Wars" figures. The 5mm port on the right fist holds weapons nice and tight.

Transformation to Camera Mode:
I am not going to take credit for this particular mode. It was shown off at Botcon 2016 in the display case, but there are no official instructions printed for it. However, industrious fan Robowang came up with a Pictoral guide in the Allspark. This primarily revolves around using the panels on the arms of each robot to connect to the next and some creative folding of panels and limbs with a touch of imagination. There is at least one other version of the transformation you can try.

Camera Mode:
No matter which "camera mode" you choose to use it's really fun and cool that you can even assemble three of these figures into something resembling a camera. In all fairness I'm kind of amazed how well it works. The two figures on the sides do look like the body of a camera. The barrel in front looks like a long lens for a scifi or futuristic camera. Mind you this form isn't the most stable, but with a bit of imagination it's pretty cool.

Final Thoughts:
I loved this basic sculpt as Shockwave, but somehow it manages to work as Reflector. I'm really impressed with the deco and the head sculpt looks fantastic. This was an unexpected and fun exclusive from Botcon 2016.