"Movie Advanced" Astrotrain Toy Review

in 2014, Action Figure Review, Dark of the Moon, Decepticon, Mini-Con, Movie Advanced, Toys R Us Exclusive, Triple Changer

Movie Advanced

Astrotrain

General Information:
Release Date: August 2014
Price Point: $22 estimated (At US Based Importers)
Retailer: Toys R Us Japan
Accessories: None

Takara Tomy often uses smaller figures as promotional items when launching new toy lines. With the "Lost Age" component of the "Movie Advanced" line hitting stores, one of these premiums was Astrotrain. In order to get this figure, you had to purchase 3,000 yen of "Lost Age" figures at Toys R Us in Japan starting in August 2014. This figure is a redeco of the Micromaster/Targetmaster/Micron Payload figure included with Cosmos from last year. Check out that review for my detailed thoughts on the figure. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

Vehicle Mode:
The vehicle mode is pretty much the main reason this sculpt was chosen to represent Astrotrain. Given the character's name, the "Astro" part usually wins out if he's not a triple changer. Instead of being based on a traditional space shuttle like the one most people think of from the 80's, this model is a modified Boeing X-37. The most telling of the features on this vehicle are the two angled stabilizer fins in the back. The front end also resembles the real life vehicle. with its curved nose. The wings look more like a traditional shuttle.

In this mode, calling this figure a redeco is stretching the definition of the term. Basically all the plastic on this figure is translucent purple in this form. That's it. There are zero paint applications, not even on the windows in the cockpit section. Now, there's a certain appeal to this if you're into translucent versions of Mini-Cons/Micromasters/Targetmasters but those looking for something more robust will be disappointed. The purple is of course a callback to one of the primary colors on the G1 Astrotrain character.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Swing the wings up.
  2. Turn the vehicle around and move the robot arms up.

Robot Mode:
In robot mode there are no tooling changes to the figure. Most of Astrotrain is still translucent purple, but the center of the torso is cast in solid red. The face is painted silver. The red plastic and the silver paint help keep this mode from looking totally uniform (thank goodness).

Astrotrain's articulation is all focused in the arms, and the joints are still nice and tight.

Transformation to Weapon Mode (from Robot Mode):

  1. Straighten out the arms.
  2. Push the lower legs up.
  3. Swing the red handle piece down.

Weapon Mode:
I'll admit it. Half the reason I bought this figure was for this mode. I've always been a fan of the Targetmaster concept, and having another Targetmaster in my collection (especially a "limited edition" one) was irresistible to me at such a relatively low price (other "exclusive" Targetmasters have gone as high as $75). I love the way this weapon mode looks. The two barrels are powerful looking and I dig the extra sight detail sculpted into the top of the figure. This mode doesn't reveal any new colors, still lots of translucent purple with a red handle.

Final Thoughts:
Quite simply this figure is not for everyone. It's a very, very minor redeco of a mass retail figure and it's not even that great of a representation of Astrotrain. The thing is I love Micro-figures, especially those that become a vehicle, robot and weapon, so this guy fits the bill. However, for an average of $20-25 only hardcore fans of this kind of figure are should rush out to get it. A cool figure with a very limited audience.