Transformers Movie (2007) Payload Review

in 2007, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Movie (2007)

Transformers Live Action<br />

Payload Box Art
General Information:
Release Year: September 2007
Retailer: General release (Wal-Mart, Target, Toys 'R' Us etc.)
Price: $9.99 (Depending on retailer)
Accessories: None


Tech Specs:
Two things are crucial to maintaining the DECEPTICON cause and the hunt for the AllSpark - energy and currency. Energy powers weapons and combat systems, and money allows the DECEPTICONS to purchase modifications and integrate them into their bodies. PAYLOAD is tasked with seeing that DECEPTICON forces in need of either commodity get it on time and in full. He's armored and armed to plow through or destroy any AUTOBOTS that get in his way, and fast enough to outrun almost anything on the road.

Strength: 8  Intelligence:Speed:Endurance: 10
Rank: 7  Courage: 9  Firepower: 8  Skill: 5

Payload is packaged on the standard type of Transformers movie carded packaging with the edges of the plastic bubble wrapping around to the back of the card. He is packaged in vehicle mode. The curved tech detail section at the top of the bubble says "As seen in the TRANSFORMERS Video Game." On the back both modes are pictured with his weapon described as his "Automorph Attack Claw!" His cosells are Bumblebee, Final Battle Jazz, Longarm, Arcee and Dreadwing. His vehicle mode is described as an "Armored Truck Mode".

Payload was first introduced to fans in the IDW Transformers Prequel comic book as one of Megatron's attack forces along with the Dreadwing based "Seekers" and Swindle. In terms of interaction with movie characters, he is one of the characters featured in the Transformers Movie video game. He helps bolster the Decepticon forces while introducing a vehicle mode never before seen in the Transformers line.

Vehicle Mode:
Since the Transformers Movie uses the conceit of taking place in the "real world", several of the vehicles used in the toy line are based on real life vehicles such as the Camaro and the Peterbilt truck. While Payload's vehicle mode does not use a licensed vehicle, it is a type of vehicle you would see driving around town: an armored car. He has the basic design elements you would expect, a truck based front end with a hood that slopes downward and a blocky passenger section. The rear section is basically a long rectangular box where items such as money or other valuables would be stored.

Smaller details on this vehicle mode include a row of lights running across the top, small windows on the sides and even small steps sculpted into the side where a driver or passenger would step up to get into the vehicle. If you look along the sides there are sections that extend outward a bit with cross hatching details most often seen on metal plating. The back doors each have windows with small handles sculpted in the middle. I always love seeing this type of detail on a deluxe sized figure. Sculpting wise you really get a lot of bang for your buck.

Payload is mostly cast in dark blue plastic, with silver and black plastic for parts such as the sections running along the side and the wheels respectively. Paint applications are done in metallic silver, orange and red. Orange is used on the row of lights on the top of the passenger section. Silver is used on details such as the sides of the windows and the vent like sections on the sides towards the rear. Red is used on the lights in the back. The details that really help make the figure are tampographs on the hood and the sides. Each side has a shield like logo with the words "Armored Security Services" with a small Decepticon symbol underneath the words. This tamp is done up in red, white and purple. On the fron thood is a striped line going down the middle also in red and white (with a black dividing line in the center). These details not only help give the vehicle an air of reality, but the Decepticon symbol is a really nice touch since it's so small. It doesn't overwhelm any other details at all.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the front grille section 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. Reattach the grille piece to the piece extending out the back.

Robot Mode:
Most of the time, Transformer robot modes have a lot of parts from their alternate modes showing, but Payload manages to avoid that design convention. His robot head uses a similar design as the ones on Swindle and Dreadwing. It has one large round eye with smaller design elements around it such as a crest in the center and a "chin strap" on the bottom. His chest sticks out a bit, but it angles forward from the top down. In the middle, right in front of the head are four tubes going forward and down. The side panels from the vehicle mode form wing-like sections on the sides here, and if you look carefully at the parts that connect to the panels (and form in the insides) there are tons of sculpted details including wires, lines and even fan blades (a rather unexpected detail). Each arm has a small shoulder piece that extends to a large forearm giving him a brutish appearance. Each of his hands have four fingers and they are set in an open palm position with the top digits of each finger curled in slightly. That's a lot of detail for just the upper part of the body, but it continues to the bottom.

The middle of Payload's robot mode has a detail similar to one found on Swindle. There he has a series of circles in the center that look almost like a cannon. On either side are a series of vertical, angled lines. As you go down the legs they have a lot of mechanical detail, especially on the sides of the lower legs where you'll find layers of armor, gears and tubes. His knee armor has the cross hatch details similar to those on the panels on the sides of the vehicle. It's a really nice way to carry over details from the vehicle mode into a key part of the robot mode.

Payload has twenty points of articulation. The articulation is distributed very well with five points in each arm and four in each leg. The head articulation is somewhat limited. The head can turn side to side a bit, but not all the way because of the armor pieces on either side. It also helps that his legs have so many points of articulation since the big beam sticking out his back does cause a slight imbalance in the figure.

So what about that big beam sticking out his back? It's the key to Payload's rather unusual action feature. Push the beam in and the mid-section of the body extends outward and a claw extends forward, grasping at his target. It actually holds pretty firm. I managed to use the claw to pick up a Scout Class figure and it held on enough to pick up off a table.

The colors from the vehicle mode carry through here, with dark blue making up most of the body and silver parts making up smaller sections such as the knee armor, the hands and the claws that extend out from his mid-body. Metallic blue paint is found on his legs, forearms and in a neat pattern on his chest. Silver paint is used on the head and chest to fill in details such as the tubes extending forward. It is a simple use of color but effective.

Final Thoughts:
Payload is a really cool figure. I didn't expect to like him as much as I do mainly because of the huge beam sticking out his back. However his unconventional vehicle mode and his really nice robot mode won me over. Highly recommended!