Energon Toy Reviews: Energon Saber

in 2003, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Energon, Mini-Con, Superlink

Energon

General Information:
Release Year: November 2003
Retailer: General Release (Toys 'R' Us, Kay Bee, Wal-Mart etc.)
Price: $6.99 (Depending on Retailer)
Transformation Difficulty Level: 2
Accessories: None

Images:

Although the age of Armada has passed, the faction of Transformers introduced in that series is still around. Yep, we're talking about Mini-Cons. Several Energon toys have Mini-Con Powerlinx points, and the peg and hole sizes in Energon are standardized based on those of Armada. But rather than having to purely rely on the Mini-Cons from Armada for your Energon characters, Energon will also feature Mini-Cons at the basic price point. The first of these released is the Energon Saber. The Energon Saber Team is a retool and redeco of the Air Defense Team, which formed the powerful Star Saber. The Energon Saber Team is not made up of the same characters however, as each has different names. If the names sound familiar, they should. All of them have been used for other Mini-Cons in Armada. This review will cover the changes made to the toys, for more detailed information and transformation steps, please read the Air Defense Team review.

Scattor

Vehicle Mode:
Scattor is a retool and redeco of Jetstorm. Like the original, his main body has a lot of translucent plastic. In this case however, the plastic is yellow colored, with two shades of metallic silver filling out details on the edges. The newly sculpted piece is the top of the jet (mainly the middle and wings). Instead of being a more Earth-like plane looks more like a futuristic fighter plane now. Rather than a simple "two wings" design like Jetstorm's, the wings actually form an "X" shape (when you look at it from above). The wings look really sleek and there are neat vent sections on the right and
left.

Everything else on this toy has remained true to the original sculpt. Both the cockpit and tail pieces are the same. Nowhowever they are colored dark blue, with a silver stripe running through the front piece. This is actually my favorite of the three "new" vehicle forms. It looks very sci-fi and isn't just a redeco of Jetstorm (which has been done over many, many times at this point).

Robot Mode:
In robot mode, you see a lot more translucent yellow plastic on the arms, chest, lower body and head. The legs are still gray, but a different shade than the original. The extra two wings from the vehicle mode can still be seen here, so even if the colors don't clue you in, that will remind you this is not just a redeco, but also a retooling of Jetstorm's mold.

Skyboom

Vehicle Mode:
Skyboom is a redeco and retooling of Sonar. Unlike the other two team members, you can only change a shuttlecraft's form so much. So in essence, Skyboom has the same form as Sonar, just with a couple pieces given more detail and small wings. Skyboom is a combination of colors. A medium gray color makes up the nosecone/cockpit and rear half of the vehicle mode. The middle section is the same translucent plastic that Scattor and Wreckage have. The center is painted gun metal, which looks really nice. The larger, rear wings are dark blue with silver detailing.

The translucent yellow pieces are resculpted, giving much more detail than the original Sonar had. There are more ridges and lines and on either side are smaller wings. I really like the resculpted pieces to the point where I prefer them over the original. The gun metal color is a great touch that works with the yellow but doesn't overpower it.

Robot Mode:
In robot form, we see a lot more of the gun metal color, and the extra wings Skyboom has are now on the legs. Most of the upper body is gray with the chest and face painted silver. The recoloring and the small wings on the legs do help the robot form look a bit more impressive. He looks like he is somehow more suited to the air or space with those wings (which I'm sure was the point).

Wreckage

Vehicle Mode:
Wreckage is a redeco and retooling of Runway. In this mode, Wreckage undoubtedly has the most significant retool out of all three team members. The entire top portion of the original plane has been replaced with something that makes him look like a ship right out of a sci-fi space show. Rather than the sleek, thin wings and cockpit sections, Wreckage has a wide nosecone/cockpit section which then spreads out into two wings. Along the edge of these sections are partitions that look like they're meant to be blades on a saw. This piece is cast in translucent yellow plastic with black paint giving detail from the
front to the back.

The very rear portion where the thrusters are has not been changed however. It is also cast in translucent yellow plastic with gun metal and black detailing. What's nice is how they managed to keep the original back piece and still have it match up to the new piece.

Robot Mode:
In robot mode, Wreckage is mostly the same design as Runway was. Only the wider piece behind his legs gives away the retooling. The head, arms, chest etc. are all the same, albeit in a different shade of gray. The robot eyes are colored gold, which is a welcome small touch.

Energon Saber

If you've read my Air Defense Team review, you may recall a little extra step I added in where I mention you can attach Runway's legs to Sonar in Star Saber mode to add stability. While this never worked with any subsequent recastings of the mold (including this one), what's nice to see is that you don't need to do that with this saber. There is added stability given by the two smaller wings on Scattor. These fit into the slots inside Skyboom's legs, which helps to keep the saber together. Overall, once you assemble this, it feels a lot more solid than the Star Saber did.

The translucent yellow plastic on all three team members works together here very well. My earlier comment about Wreckage's edges looking like saw blades seems to apply here as the top of the sword looks like it can saw as well as slice!

I know many fans have had it up to their proverbial necks with redecos. But the key here is that this team has also been retooled (for the first time, really). That shows that despite their use of previous molds, Hasbro and Takara have tried to give something a little extra. The fact that the new designs in fact help make the saber more stable is very much appreciated as well. Recommended to those who don't mind redeco/retools or who want to be Energon completists.