"Timelines" Nacelle Toy Review
Release Date: July 2015
Price Point: $297 (Total cost for Transformers Collector's Club Subscription Service 3.0, Nacelle is one of seven figures)
Retailer: Transformers Collector's Club Exclusive
Accessories: Missiles x 2, Missile launchers x 2
Nacelle was the second figure released in the "Transformers Collector's Club" subscription service 3.0. The character is based on a version of the Seeker mold that was shown in an old Japanese catalog before the designs for the Seeker "reinforcements" (Thurst, Dirge and Ramjet) had been finalized. This mold had the wings from Thrust but featured a red, white and blue color scheme. This figure even made it to a color prototype stage used in early Japanese Transformers illustrations, but it never saw release in the Transformers toy line. Of course, part of the fun with the "Timelines" segment of the Transformers toy line is creating new versions of toys we never had the chance to purchase before, and Nacelle represents another of these figures.
Like the inspiration for this figure, Nacelle is a redeco and retool of the sculpt that was originally released as Classics Starscream. This figure has been used a lot. Not counting the Japanese releases and the upcoming G2 Starscream (also a part of the "Transformers Collector's Club Subscription Service 3.0") these releases include:
- Skywarp (Target Classics exclusive)
- Dirge (Timelines)
- Thrust (Timelines)
- Thundercracker (Timelines)
- Acid Storm
- Starscream (Universe 2.0)
- Dirge (Generations)
- Thrust (Generations)
- Thundercracker (Shattered Glass)
- Bitstream (Timelines)
- Hotlink (Timelines)
- Sunstorm (Timelines)
More than any of my previous reviews of this sculpt (and its variants) the list above is relevant because the more a set of tools is used, the more wear and tear they undergo. Unfortunately that applies to this particular figure. This review will focus on the changes made to the Seeker sculpt for this release. If you want to see my original thoughts on this sculpt, read my Classics Starscream review, and then the Timelines Thrust review to get a good look at the two sculpts that were mashed up for this release.
Structurally speaking, Nacelle is an interesting combination of parts. The base body is the Seeker body from the Classics Starscream mold. This includes the nosecone and the center of the jet fighter's body. The wings and rear stabilizers are from the "Timelines" Thrust sculpt, which was exclusive sold at Botcon 2007. These parts were made especially for Thrust in the Botcon 2007 set and they are not the same parts as the "Generations" Thrust figure which came out in 2010. That figure featured all new parts designed by Hasbro and Takara, though it shares some aesthetic touches with "Timelines" Thrust. Now, Thrust (be it "Timelines" or "Generations") was a "Conehead" Seeker figure, which meant in robot mode the nosecone of the vehicle formed a helmet around the robot face. This meant both figures had a shorter and more round looking front end than the Classics Starscream mold. In this mode you can see the nosecone is thinner and longer than the ones used on Thrust making this a rather unique combination of parts. Another interesting touch is the use of the longer weapons under the wings (such as those included with Classics Starscream) instead of the more blunt ones like the ones that came with "Timelines" Thrust sculpt.
Unfortunately, while Nacelle is an interesting concept in terms of parts, there are quality issues with the figure. First, the wings pop off very easily. This primarily happens during transformation. Also, the rear stabilizer fins are reversed, with the right one on the left and vice versa. Unfortunately this causes them to have to be angled downward slightly to have the small circle on them fit into the hole on the sides of the vehicle's rear section. To be fair, from a distance you would probably not even notice this. However look at it closely and it's very obvious.
Nacelle is mostly blue in the center, with white plastic used for the wings and rear stabilizers. The cockpit is cast in translucent orange and the nosecone is soft black plastic. The launchers are white with blue missiles. These base colors come from the promotional pictures of the Diaclone figure Nacelle is based on.
Red paint is used extensively on the wings. You'll find it on the middle section of each wing and as line details on both the rear stabilizers and the front section of each wing. Blue paint is used on the cockpit section, mostly to color in the area where "metal" parts would wrap around the cockpit "glass". The figure also features some awesome tampograph detailing on the top of the air intakes on either side of the cockpit. These are reminiscent of the stickers from the G1 Seekers and include trapezoid and circular shapes in black, red and yellow. There are also three Decepticon symbols on the figure: one on each wing and one on the nosecone. The finishing touch are stickers applied to the four circles on the top of the wings. These stickers feature orange circles with white in the middle giving the impression of something burning with energy.
From a deco perspective this mode looks fantastic and I'm really happy with this aspect of the figure.
Trasformation to Robot Mode:
- Swing the chest section forward.
- Rotate each wing around.
- Swing out each robot arm.
- Swing down the end of the nosecone.
- Rotate the cockpit piece around (the robot head will now be facing forward).
- Swing the cockpit section down, the swing the chest piece up over it.
- Swing out each robot fist.
- Attach each missile launcher to one of the arms, or they can be held in the fists.
Due to significant tooling degradation, the wings are very prone to popping off during transformation. I also managed to pull the right leg off of my copy of this figure just by pulling the lower leg down. Most parts will snap back into place, but the wings in particular do not feel very tight.
Once you've transformed (and reassembled) this figure, it looks really great in robot mode. Unlike the vehicle mode where the blue stayed in the center and white was used for the wings, this mode has alternating colors that give it visual variety. Examples include the upper arms being blue while the forearms are white and the thighs being red while the lower legs are blue. Sure there is a good concentration of blue on the torso section but that's where the paint apps come in!
One thing I always have faith in is that the paint applications on "Timelines" figures will be impressive, and Nacelle is no different. Silver is used on the chest and the air intakes on either side of the head. Red is used for the face and details on the waist area. The eyes are painted yellow which contrasts nicely with the red. Yellow is also used on the turbines inside his chest and on the top of the knee armor. White paint is found on the lower legs and blue is used on the feet.
The finishing touch are Decepticon symbols on the upper arms. Of course, since the wings flip up onto the back, this mode also shows off the red from the wings and the Decepticon symbols. This deco looks fantastic. The bright colors really pop off of the darker blue plastic and the unique combination of parts gives him a distinctive appearance.
Functionally all the joints in this mode are tight. However, I noticed the way the feet are more easily moved now than before. It's not a deal breaker, but there's a definite difference between the original versions of this sculpt and this one. I suspect this is due to wear and tear on the tooling. Also, since you need to move the wings back to point the weapons up at certain angles, the wings tend to pop off so you have to pop them back in.
Nacelle makes me a sad panda. The deco on this figure is fantastic. I love the use of the Botcon 2007 Thrust parts along with the Starscream "head/nosecone" to create a unique combination of parts. However, the quality issues with the figure make it barely worth retail price, no less the extra cost of a club exclusive figure. I did ask around to see if these problems were common and they are, it's not just my copy of the figure. Sadly, despite a very strong deco this figure fails to live up to its potential.