"Generations" War for Cybertron: Siege Apeface with Spasma Toy Review

in 2019, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Generation One, Generations, Titan Master, Voyager, War for Cybertron: Siege

Generations

War for Cybertron: Siege

General Information:
Release Date: December 2019/Januar 2020 (Anticipated US Release Date)
Price Point: $29.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Amazon, BigBadToyStore, Entertainment Earth, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: "SA Sonic Boom Blaster", "EM Electro Shield", Titan Master Spasma

Apeface

Note: This figure was provided to Ben's World of Transformers during Hasbro's NYCC 2019 unboxing event. I was unable to preserve a box as part of the process but I did take photos that you can see here. BWTF thanks Hasbro for the kind consideration in providing this sample for review.

Official images and text below in italics are from BigBadToyStore.com:
Build the ultimate battlefield with Transformers War for Cybertron: Siege toy figures. Siege plunges fans into the epic fight to survive on the final day of the Autobot and Decepticon battle to control Cybertron. The Decepticon resistance army and the Autobot counter-resistance fighters gear up with the C.O.M.B.A.T. (Cybertronian Omnifuctional Modular Battlefield Assault Tech) System, the universe's most advanced modular weaponry.

The Voyager Class WFC-S50 Apeface Triple Changer figure comes with SA Sonic Boom Blaster and EM Electro Shield accessories. Figure features multiple C.O.M.B.A.T. System weapon ports to attach weapons, enabling custom configurations in bot and vehicle modes. Apeface figure is a Triple Changer with ape and aircraft modes. Fans can remove the head of the Apeface figure’s ape mode and convert it to his Titan Master, Spasma.

Product Features

  • 7 inches (17.78cm)
  • Made of plastic
  • War for Cybertron trilogy introduces an expansive ecosystem of collectible figures
  • Customizable weapon loadout
  • Apeface is a triple chganger that cnverst in 41 total steps
  • Weapon accessories mod-lock together to form a larger weapon
  • Instructions may or may not include English translation

Box Contents

  • Apeface figure
  • SA Sonic Boom Blaster
  • EM Electro Shield accessories

In 1987 Hasbro introduced a new type of Transformers figure: Headmasters. These figures featured Transformers with smaller figures that would transform into the heads of the robots. Some of these characters were triple changers. In the case of Apeface, he had three forms: a jet, mechanical ape and robot. After appearing in the Titans Return line in "Titan Master" form, Apeface has returned as a Voyager Class figure in Siege!

Packaging:
Taking a cue from "Studio Series", the Voyager Class figures in "Siege" are packaged in boxes instead of the traditional bubble card used for Deluxe Class figures. These boxes are beautiful featuring an unusual shape with one flat side and one angled side. While elements of previous packaging are still found on the boxes (ex: the vertical Transformers logo, the "Generations" logo, a largely black background etc.) there is a lot more added on. First, the background is not solid black. There are designs on it that look like sparks or perhaps embers from flames On the angled side is the character's package art. In this case it shows Apeface in a pose that looks like he is landing on the battlefield. The figure itself is in robot mode behind a clear plastic window. To the left is a chevron with the character name. Below that is the "War for Cybertron: Siege" logo.

On the back of the box, Apeface is shown in all three modes. The conversion from robot to ape is described as having 21 steps while the ape to jet form has 20 steps. There is a small section that also shows Spasma in both modes. Apeface is also shown holding Caliburst and his cosell is Smashdown.

In a fun extra, shining a black light on the packaging will reveal Cybertronian glyphs. Input them on Hasbro's "Teletraan-1" web site and you get a translation. In Apeface’s case it is "TURBOWORM", a reference to his Marvel Transformers Universe bio which said, in part "...never changing his lubricant so he smells like a grease-encrusted turboworm, and spitting fuel in public,". Enter that into the Teletraan-1 site and it reveals a video featuring a wallpaper of his package art and his location as being in Kalis with the blurb "Location of Iacon power supplies and possible Energon reserves. Signs of Decepticon sabotage detected.".

Accessories:
Apeface comes with three accessories (or arguably, one mini-figure and two accessories). Here's the rundown:

Titan Master/Headmaster Spasma
While not called out by name on the packaging or instructions, Hasbro did confirm this mini-figure does represent Spasma. Spasma's robot mode bases most of its details off the G1 toy. This includes details like a head with "visor eyes" and a chest that has a design with several horizontal lines running across. This figure is the same size as previous Titan Masters, but it is not the same figure that was released in 2016. That figure used Apeface's robot mode as its design base for the robot mode. This actually uses Spasma's design from G1.

Straighten out the arms and fold the legs up and Spasma is in head mode. Since he is forming part of the beast mode head and the robot head, there are actually two face plates in this mode. One side features the robot face which is based on his animated appearance in G1. The other side features the visor eyes of the beast mode with a mouthplate with several vent lines sculpted into it. Both designs look great.

This figure is cast in purple and off-white plastic. There is black paint on the arms and beast mode head plate to provide extra detailing. The eyes for both face plates are also painted red. Spasma's own eyes and face are painted silver and red respectively. Frankly I am surprised this much paint was used on a Titan Master but it looks great!

SA Sonic Boom Blaster
The blaster included with the figure is mostly based on the design of Apeface's G1 blaster. It is flat and fatures an angled section in the back with a small targeting scope on top. There is a 5mm peg at the bottom, allowing other figures to hold it. The front has a small point to attach Blast Effects. This piece is cast in black plastic with no paint.

EM Electro Shield
Based on an accessory included with G1 Apeface, this piece looks like a small hang glider. The middle is a raised section and the sides feature "wings" that stick out to the sides then angle upwards. This acts as a shield in robot mode and stabilizer fins in jet mode. This piece is cast in translucent blue plastic with a heavy dose of red paint on it to (partly) match up with the red on Apeface himself. The peg on the bottom is 5mm, allowing you to attach it to 5mm ports on other figures.

Robot Mode:
G1 Apeface was a bulky robot with a gigantic back pack and in some respects rather awkward looking. Siege Apeface seeks to pay homage to the original design with heavy refinement. The result is a figure with a much more well proportioned robot mode. Sure, there is still a jet cockpit and nosecone on his back, but other bits like his beast mode arms are firmly tucked away in the lower legs. Even with this alternate configuration, there are lots of parts that call back to G1 Apeface. These include:

  • The head design is based on his appearance in the G1 cartoon which is different than the Titans Return Apeface, which based its appearance on the G1 Apeface package art.
  • The center of the chest features a raised panel detail that is based on the movable panel on G1 Apeface that would reveal his power stats when his Headmaster was connected. Siege Apeface does not have any such feature so the design nod is appreciated.
  • The rear beast mode legs wind up forming the sections next to the shoulder. These make his chest extra wide and offer up a distinct, curved section next to his shoulders. These sections also feature squares with vent details inside of them like G1 Apeface.
  • Each shoulder has a triangular design sculpted into it, a callback to similarly shaped stickers on G1 Apeface's shoulders.
  • The sections of the legs connected to the hips feature "V" shaped designs which are similar to stickers in the same area on G1 Apeface.

Overall, Apeface looks fantastic. He looks like a great update of the original and manages to look bulky but sleek at the same time (partly thanks to the wings on his back).

Apeface is cast in black, purple, red and off-white plastic. These are all largely based on G1 Apeface's colors. Some fans have complained about the off-white color, but personally I like it. It has an almost pearlescent quality about it that I think looks great. The other colors contrast boldly against it. Paint colors include purple, red, silver and gunmetal grey. The colors are distributed beautifully. Now, those who hate the "battle damage" details on Siege figures will really be upset with this figure. He has silver "battle damage" on his shoulders and all over the lower legs. Personally? I think it looks fantastic and it is character appropriate. Your mileage will vary.

There are nineteen points of articulation in this mode. This includes four points in each arm and five in each leg. Due to the way the figure is built (and transforms) he does not have waist articulation. each arm has three 5mm ports on the sides and of course, 5mm ports in his fists. The wings on his back also have 5mm ports, allowing for limited weapon storage since the jet cockpit partially gets in the way. No worries however, the cockpit itself has two 5mm ports. While the sides of the lower legs do not have 5mm attachment points, each lower leg does have one in the back. On top of all that, he also has one 5mm port on the bottom of each foot to attach Weaponizer parts or Blast Effects. If you want to pose this figure on a Bandai base, you can use an attachment point on the panel attached to the jet cockpit. He also has four pegs to attach Blast Effects (two on the shoulders and two on the torso).

One bad thing: the 5mm peg on the blaster appears to be slightly too small so it does not attach too securely to the ports. However, other parts (like his shield) attach just fine.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the head and set it aside for now.
  2. Detach the accessories and set them aside for now.
  3. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  4. Swing each fist into the forearms.
  5. Swing the back half of each lower leg out to the sides.
  6. Lift the jet mode cockpit up.
  7. Lift each wing up slightly and swing it out to the sides.
  8. Swing each purple foot piece up.
  9. Swing each of the lower leg front panels up against the torso. There is a small tab on them that connects to a corresponding slot on the torso under the chest.
  10. Swing the sections that formed the back of the lower legs up to form the sides of the vehicle.
  11. Swing the jet cockpit forward.
  12. Flanking the cockpit are pegs. Snap those into the slots on the panels that formed the heels in robot mode.
  13. Attach the shield to the 5mm port on the top of the jet.
  14. Attach the blaster to the 5mm port under the nosecone.

Vehicle Mode:
Apeface's jet mode looks like a more refined version of the G1 jet. That said, both are basically big bulky jet fighters. Indeed, if you told me this was some type of Cybertronian troop carrier I'd believe you. Like the G1 version, much of the robot and beast mode parts form a bulky center and rear section with small wings on top and the shield/fins in the middle. The nosecone is much more narrow than his G1 counterpart and it looks great.

This mode shows off a lot more of Apeface's red colors via the cockpit/nosecone section, wings and fins. The rest mostly features the off-white plastic, which makes it different than G1 Apeface who shows off a lot more black plastic in this form. Most of the paint apps in this mode wind up on the cockpit section with red and white paint. The nosecone has silver "damage" on it. A purple Decepticon symbol can be found in front of the cockpit window (which is cast in translucent blue-green).

Apeface features two 5mm ports on the wings and three on the sides (though really only two are useful since the ones on the robot arms are right on top of one another). There are also two on the bottom (via the robot feet) and two under the nosecone. Unfortunately, the attachment points on the wings are not very tight so don't expect to turn the jet upside down with Battle Masters attached on top. Detach the shield/fins accessory to reveal a translucent blue-green cockpit cover. Lift it up and Spasma can fit inside. You sort of have to lean him back a bit to be able to close the cockpit, but I'm glad this even has this feature!

In another nice touch, the robot chest section has a port for a Bandai base so you can display the figure in this form as if it is "flying". On top of all this, there are two small pegs on the top of the vehicle that allow you to attach Titan (or Prime) Master figures to ride along on top. I love this touch since it offers compatibility with figures that have not been in stores for years, but are likely still on the display shelves of many fans.

Transformation to Beast Mode (from Vehicle Mode):

  1. Detach the accessories and set them aside for now.
  2. Swing the wings back.
  3. Lift the jet cockpit section up.
  4. Attach the shield/fin piece to the center port on the back.
  5. Rest the cockpit section against the shield/fin piece.
  6. Move the sections that formed the back of the robot legs out to the sides, then forward.
  7. On each lower leg piece, swing out the beast mode arms and hands.
  8. Swing the rear legs and feet out, angling them so they align with the arms.
  9. Swing the beast mode head forward from under the cockpit.
  10. Attach Spasma to the beast mode head with the visor eyes facing forward.

Beast Mode:
Apeface's beast mode is aggressively retro. There is no pretense of being a techno-organic creature or a Transformer disguised as a real animal. He has some design elements that are similar to an Earth gorilla, but he is very blocky and chunky in places with robot mode bits hanging off of him. It is clear he has this mode clearly for its combat capabilities and not hiding out on Earth. In that respect it is very much like G1 Apeface, down to details like his very sharp looking teeth (sculpted into the lower mouth piece of the beast mode head), long front arms, short legs in the back and the robot arms hanging off the sides of the rear legs. Even having the vehicle mode parts on his back is a callback to G1 Apeface. These design elements may not look particularly sleek or elegant, but they are definitely true to the character.

This mode shows off a few new sections and thus shows off some new details. The aforementioned head looks great with its red visor eyes and sharp looking teeth. His front arms have some sculpted details based on stickers from G1 Apeface. Meanwhile, the feet and hands are purple and show off individual digits at the ends. A tampographed Decepticon symbol on his left shoulder helps tie everything together, reminding you of who this war machine works for!

There are thirteen points of articulation in this mode. That is way more than G1 Apeface. Among these points of articulation are the head and arms, which are connected via ball joints. This allows for a wide range of articulation. For instance, his head can look forward, up, down and to the sides (in contrast, G1 Apeface was stuck looking down).

Adding to the play value, Apeface's arms and legs all feature 5mm ports. There is also one you can use on his back via the underside of the nosecone. They are a bit hard to see, but both his shoulders in this mode feature pegs to attach Blast Effects. On top of all that, there is a peg behind the beast mode head that allows you to attach a Titan/Prime Master figure! Want more Titan/Prime Master figures along for the ride? His shoulders feature pegs for them on top, adding some fun play value.

Final Thoughts:
Apeface is a really fun figure and he is wonderfully retro. I think this is one of those figures where its strengths can also be seen as its weaknesses depending on your perspective. If you were looking for a "Thrilling 30" style reimagining of the character, this is not it. This figure is clearly intended to be a modern update of the G1 toy (robot parts hanging off in beast mode and all). In that respect, it succeeds but I can see how that may turn some fans off. Recommended!

Pros:

  • A more articulated and detailed version of the G1 Apeface figure.
  • Backwards compatability with Titan and Prime Masters adds to the figure's play value.
  • Fun play value (between triple changing, Blast Effect compatability and 5mm ports galore).
  • Nice deco.

Cons:

  • Not a radical reinterpretation of the character (which some fans may have wanted).
  • Lots of "battle damage" deco (this is only a con if you don't like it).
  • Some 5mm ports could be tighter.