Movie Advanced Dispensor Toy Review

in 2014, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Deluxe, Movie (2007), Movie Advanced

Movie Advanced

Dispensor

General Information:
Release Date: July 2014
Price Point: $25 (Japanese Retail); $30-40 (At US Based Importers)
Retailer: Japanese Exclusive
Accessories: Blaster

Images:

*Official photos are from Toys R Us Japan.

For the "Movie Advanced" line of figures, Takara Tomy decided to bring back a character from the first film: Dispensor! Originally a one scene gag and product placement for Mountain Dew soda in the first film, the character was popular enough that he later popped up as a non-transformable "Robot Heroes" figure. Now he's finally a full blown transforming figure. The original toy line for the first live action "Transformers" movie featured several characters who did not appear in the film itself, but rather served as part of the film's "off screen" universe. One of these was Payload, a Decepticon who transformed into an armored truck. Payload's sculpt was chosen to be the one used for Dispensor, which is a bit of a surprise since this sculpt was originally quite the pegwarmer (I liked it, but I was one of the few who did). I recommend checking out my original review. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

An interesting note: if you look at the packaging art for the figure, it looks like the designers may have originally wanted to use the Arcee sculpt based on the way the top part of the body is connected to the lower part, but this sculpt ultimately won out.

Vehicle Mode:
Payload's vehicle mode was intendedl to be an armored truck like the kind you'd see picking up money from banks. It has an extended front end with a large cage on top of its grille. The sides have some really nice detailing including a metal plate pattern complete with raised, angled details. The back section is a boxy, rectangular piece which is meant to be the area where the valuables being transported are stored. Given all this, Dispensor's deco is a testament to how a new deco can help you see a sculpt in a whole new way.

First let's start with the basics. Dispensor's primary plastic colors are green, dark silver and black. The green makes up most of the vehicle, with the silver used on the front and sides. The wheels are cast in black. The green is the standout color here since it is the main color the Mountain Dew brand uses on its packaging and promotional material. The paint colors used on the figure include black, yellow, red and silver. The black is used to paint the windows and a large Decepticon symbol on the hood. Yellow is used for lights on the front and long the top of the vehicle. Red is found on the rear lights of the vehicle, which seems insignificant but most Transformers nowadays have almost no paint on the back of the vehicle even though there are sculpted details there, so this is a welcome sight. Silver is found on the sides of the wheels and on the back window. This is already a nice looking deco, but what sends it over the top are the tampographed details.

The sides of the vehicle have a logo for "Mood Whiplash", a reference to Mountain Dew's energetic reputation. The logo has the word "Mood" in red on top and "Whiplash" in green on the bottom. This is the inverse of the Mountain Dew logo, which uses the green on top and red on the bottom. Behind the logo is a yellow circle with green inside it. The stylish lettering and colors serve as an excellent parody of the real life Mountain Dew logo from that time period. This is already both amusing and fantastic, but the pièce de résistance in this deco is found on top of the figure. There, you'll find tampographed details of what appears to be a vending machine! Featuring a dark green background, the "Mood Whiplash" logo on top and several "cans" of the soda in "windows" along with a dispensing opening on the bottom, it would appear Dispensor isn't just a truck, he's a truck carrying a dispensing machine on his back! Now, given the scale, this would be one incredibly large vending machine, so the other way you can interpret this is that Dispensor is sort of a triple changer now. Stand the truck up on its back and he has a "dispensing machine mode" (just ignore the large truck front sticking out the top). Like Dispensor himself, this feels more like a gag than something to take too seriously (or think about too hard). I found it brilliant and amusing all at the same time.

To give you a little more bang for your buck, the designers sculpted a new weapon to be included with the figure. Based on the weapon he was shown using in the live action movie, the weapon appears to be a cannon with six barrels. In the film, it looked like he was launching cans of soda at people - so that's what this weapon looks like. You can interpret the cylinders that make up the barrels as either soda cans or just barrels of a weapon. Either way it's quite hilarious. This weapon has a piece that sticks out the back with a hole on the side. This connects to a small peg that sticks out the side of the vehicle. For those curious, this small peg was found on the original Payload figure so this is not a retooled piece.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the weapon and set it aside.
  2. Lift the top of the vehicle's storage section and swing it all the way back.
  3. Flip the vehicle over and swing down each of the front wheels. Swing these sections back to connect them with the rear wheels.
  4. Swing the front section of the vehicle down to begin forming the robot legs.
  5. Split the front section of the vehicle in half.
  6. Rotate the waist piece around.
  7. Swing the grille sections up.
  8. Swing up each section from the front of the vehicle to form the robot feet.
  9. Rotate the panels from the side of the vehicle down.
  10. Separate the halves of the storage section (where the robot head is) and swing them out to the sides, then flatten the panels against each side.
  11. Open up the panels on each forearm and swing out the robot hands, then close the panels back up.
  12. The weapon can be attached to the peg on either forearm.

Robot Mode:
Dispensor's robot mode features an all new head, replacing the "one eye" head of Payload. This head sculpt is based on his on-screen appearance featuring an insectoid like design with pieces that extend out the sides on the top of his head resembling antennae. His mouth area has mandibles and he has four eyes that add to the insect like appearance. It's a creepy head sculpt for sure and definitely looks like it belongs to a Decepticon and not an Autobot (who tended to have more human or mammalian type head sculpts in the movies). The back of his head has some nice details including some cylinders which vaguely recall the soda cans he dispenses and the design of his weapon.

Like the vehicle mode, Dispensor's primary plastic color is green. You get to see some more silver scattered about on parts like his shoulders, feet, knee armor, hands and the claw weapon embedded in his torso. The new head is cast in a darker green than the rest of the figure. The silver is a nice way to break up all the green. While the green fits the theme of the character, his on-screen counterpart did have some dark silver on him as well.

paint colors are surprisingly simple but effective. Red is used for the eyes and details on the middle of the torso. Dark green is used on the arms and legs. Silver is found on the head on both the front and back. I was very surprised by that since most head decos are relatively simple. Some tampographs are used on the chest, where angled panels have parts of the "Mood Whiplash" logo on them. I love the way it looks like parts of the vehicle mode have "warped" to form part of the chest. The weapon is cast in silver (lighter than the dark silver on the figure itself) with green painted on the cylinders.

The joints on the figure are pretty tight, but the large bar sticking out the back of the figure does cause an imbalance by design. You can lean the figure forward slightly and he stands just fine. The weapon included with the figure can attach to the small pegs on the forearms. You swing the forearm panel open and tuck the hand in first, giving the forearm the appearance of having "transformed" into the weapon, much like Dispensor's on-screen appearance. The claw weapon in the chest still works. Push the back piece in and the claw extends forward and the claws grasp. Yes, the bar sticking out his back is really awkward looking, but if you can get past it he's a fun figure.

Final Thoughts:
Dispensor is absolutely awesome. It's a surprising redeco with a sense of humor. There's also a lot of deco on this figure, something that has been a bit lacking in many of the US releases (though to be fair, the average price for a Deluxe in Japan from the "Movie Advanced" line hovers around $25 USD). I liked this sculpt the first time out, and I love this version of it as well.