Transformers Movie (2007) Meantime Review

in 2007, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Movie (2007), Real Gear Robots

Transformers Live Action Movie

General Information:
Release Year: August 2007
Retailer: General release (Wal-Mart, Target, Toys 'R' Us etc.)
Price: $6.99 (Depending on retailer)
Accessories: None

Images:

Tech Specs:
MEANTIME is one of the most powerful of the REAL GEAR ROBOTS. It's just too bad he uses his powers for nothing but trouble. He can speed up, stop and even reverse time up to ten minutes. Rather than using his powers to make chores or homework go by faster, though, he likes to hang out at skate parks, where he speeds time up to cause huge wipe outs, then reverse it so he can watch the accidents again.

Strength: 5  Intelligence:Speed:Endurance: 4
Rank: 7  Courage: 7  Firepower: 5  Skill: 9


Packaging:
Meantime is a carded figure, with the "Real Gear Robots" logo in a semi-circle around the edge of the bubble interior. Like all Real Gear figures, there is a phrase on the packaging indicating something about the character. In this case it says "Time to waste." A small note on the front indicates "Not a working watch". The background uses the silver, metal look of the movie logo with a Decepticon symbol behind it. There is no package art, just a photo of the figure on the lower left. On the back right above the tech specs is the following text: "Congratulations on purchasing this fine Real Gear Robots product! You've uncovered one of the most closely held secrets on Earth, known only to very few humans. The power of the Allspark has been unleashed, and machines all over the world have come alive. Unlock their secrets and join the battle!" It's kind of neat since tis is akin to the type of message you would find in a manual when you purchase an electronic device (minus the stuff about your device coming to life of course).

It is no secret that the Real Gear Robots line of Transformers is meant to pay partial homage to the roots of the Transformers. Back in the days of G1, there were plenty of Transformers who became every day objects. Among the many lines Hasbro brought into the Transformers fold were the Kronoform line of transformable toys. These simple digital watches were able to transform into all manner of forms including jets, scorpions and robots. The Real Gear line continues this tradition with Meantime, a Decepticon disguised as a watch.

Watch Mode:
Meantime is styled as a men's watch. The face is large and generally circular with several small sections sticking out on the sides. You can imagine all sorts of reasons for these but mainly they help you rotate the piece during the transformation (and yes, they look kind of cool). Along the right curve on the face are a series of indented lines that give the watch a distinctly tech look. Should you wonder what side this guy is on, just look at the area above the LCD display which has a prominant Decepticon symbol sculpted right into the plastic. The LCD display is an irregular shape since the section below it goes in a straight line and ends in a circle (another neat, tech looking design).

Look at the sides of the watch and you'll find non-working buttons on either side. On the right side (if the watch is facing you) is a large button akin to one used to set modes on a real digital watch. On the left are two smaller buttons sticking out that on some watches help you switch from function to function and adjust numbers.

The wrist bands are all sculpted in solid plastic since they form parts of the robot mode. Running along each bandare a matching set of details including indented lines, a six sided shape (almost a diamond shape) in the middle and H shaped designs towards the ends. Each band is segmented with three joints to allow the strap to curve. On the top band, you'll find two ball joints at the end. On the bottom band you'll find two holes that correspond to these ball joints. Curl the two towards each other and you can connect them to wear. This does not fit on my adult wrist, but I can easily see a child being able to wear this watch without a problem. This element of the figure's playability adds to the fantasy that Transformers can be objects that you see every day, even something you wear like a watch!

Meantime is cast in silver and a light purple color (almost blue in shade). Most of the figure is the light purple plastic while smaller parts such as the joints on the top and bottom connected to the watch piece itself are silver. Paint applications are done in neon orange, silver and purple. As you can guess the Decepticon symbol on the top is colored purple. Line details, the indentations on the side of the LCD and the pattern of shapes on the lower part of the LCD are all painted neon orange.

The LCD screen itself is non-functioning, but the colors chosen for it make it look very real. It has a greenish background that has a glow to it that one would expect of a real watch. The numbers and letters on top are in black. The upper left hand corner indicates an alarm is set, the time is set to "5:17:40am" with a date of "01-02" indicated as Wednesday with the letters "WE". According to what I'm seeing on the calendar the next Wednesday that will be January 2 is in 2008 so this definitely fits in with the modern day era. For those curious if "5:17" has any significance in the Transformers universe, it does. 5/17 was the date that the extended trailer for the "Transformers Movie" was released, and certainly marks a big day in Transformers history.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Separate the right and left halves of the bands. The top segments will stay together.
  2. Swing the sections where the top segments stayed together down to form the robot legs.
  3. The robot head will raise up at the same time, make sure to connect the two halves of the robot waist.
  4. Swing each outer segment on the ends of the feet back, then flip up each half of the robot feet.
  5. Rotate the watch face so it is right side up.
  6. Swing the robot arms down and swing out each fist.

Meantime's robot mode is one of the taller robots in the Real Gear line. He owes a lot of this to the fact that the wristbands become his arms and legs. Their sheer length gives him a tall look, but he's not weak looking in any way. His shoulders extend out very wide because of the way he is jointed and his arms are relatively large. Since the wristbands have a segmented design, his arms and legs have that look as well. With the upper body the only thing I find distracting is the fact that his arms are made up of hollowed parts. I would have preferred his arms rotate around instead, but this is a minor quibble.

Meantime's head design is an interesting one. The buttons to adjust date/time settings wind up on the ends of horns sticking out to the sides. His face is slightly reminiscent of G1 Rumble and Frenzy with a central crest, visor eyes leading to a nose and section with a wide mouth. The G1 Rumble/Frenzy influence continues on his legs. If you look on the lower legs there is a detail with a raised diamond shape in the center with two triangles coming out of it horizontally. This matches a similar detail found on the leg stickers of G1 Frenzy and Rumble. I think it's really neat how a bit of homage was worked into this figure without it having to be something audio related such as a cassette. The details serve the dual purpose of adding visual appeal to the figure while giving a nod to the past.

Since so much of the watch mode already shows in this form, there are few new colors to be found. The robot head has some silver on it on both the crest and mouth section. The eyes are cast in translucent orange which goes with the orange paint used on other parts of the body. This makes it sound like there is not a whole lot of paint detail, but the chest is choc full of details since it is made up of the watch face.

Meantime has seventeen points of articulation thanks to the need for the wristband segments to bend. I was honestly very surprised how much articulation he had, with ball joints on the arms to boot, allowing for a wide range of movement.

Final Thoughts:
Meantime is a great combination of a cool alternate mode, nicely designed robot mode with a touch of homage material. When it comes to everyday objects, you don't get much more ordinary than a watch. This is a fantastic example of what a Real Gear robot should be. Highly recommended!