"Reveal the Shield" Mindset Toy Review

General Information:
Release Date: November 2010
Price Point: $11.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Missiles x 8

*Text below and images from Transformers.com
Change does not sit easily with MINDSET. He likes things the way they are, and it is the weight of tradition that drives his opposition to the DECEPTICONS. They upset the balance of things, an offense for which he can never forgive them. The only alteration with which MINDSET is comfortable at all is that wrought on the landscape by one of his missile barrages.

Turn the tables on enemy forces when you throw this warrior into the fight! Press the button to reveal this figure’s robot allegiance and then prepare him for a battle. Your MINDSET figure is dedicated to destroying any opponent and his eight firing missiles will help you two get the job done. If robot combat turns into a car chase, convert your warrior into missile carrier mode, load up his eight firing missiles and send him racing off to rule the “road”!

Figure comes with 8 firing missiles. Ages 5 and up.

Earlier this year, the "Hunt for the Decepticons" toy line added in a character previously unseen known as Hailstorm. Inspired by a "Generation 2" character named Mindset, this fierce looking tank won the approval of many fans, and it was announced at Botcon 2010 that a redeco would be made of the figure and actually named Mindset. Unlike his G2 counterpart however, this Mindset is an Autobot.

Mindset also marks part of the introduction of "Reveal the Shield", a new sub-line of Transformers similar to Generations. This line distinguishes itself by utilizing the classic "heat sensitive rub symbol" to show the character's allegiance. However, past symbols have generally been square in shape with the outline of an Autobot symbol in the middle. These new symbols are cut out to the shape of the Autobot symbol, but could be either depending on the character.

Since Hailstorm technically comes from the Movie universe, it was a bit of a head scratcher for me as to which universe Mindset is supposed to be from. Clearly his aesthetic is a Movie one, but molds have been swapped around before between toy lines (such as the Cybertron redecos used as Movie characters from a few years back) so that's not definitive in itself. The absence of a Paramount logo on this packaging is also not very telling as Hailstorm also did not have that logo on his packaging but he was part of a line clearly associated with the live action Movies. My personal inkling is that Mindset is meant to be a "cross universe" type character, that you can apply towards any universe you wish, though I will say the heat sensitive "rub sticker" does suggest more of a G1 inspiration.

Vehicle Mode:
There are no mold changes made to the vehicle mode for this release, but thanks to the color choices Mindset winds up looking dramatically different from Hailstorm. The primary plastic colors used on Mindset are blue grey, black and gunmetal. The blue grey color dominates the lower part of the vehicle while the missile launcher rack is mostly black. The gunmetal plastic is found on the sides of the missile launcher towards the front. The missiles themselves are also gunmetal in color. These base colors are a lot more muted than Hailstorm's more bright and complex green and camo patterns. I think that really helps distinguish it from Hailstorm instantly, even before you take note of the smaller paint details.

The paint applications on this figure are quite different than those on Hailstorm. The paint applications are done up in silver, black and red. Silver is quite prominant, found on the wheels that make up the treads. Black paint is used for small details such as the outlines of the windows on the right side of the vehicle, but the most surprising use of black is found in the center of the vehicle's front section. These two pieces of plastic (which form the feet in robot mode) are also cast in blue grey plastic, but here they are painted entirely black to differentiate the color pattern from Hailstorm. Not only that, but it really keeps the figure from looking dull with a sea of blue grey color across the front. Red is found on the siren light on the top of the cabin section. This is a really bright detail against the blue grey that looks great. Also, it's a part that was left unpainted on Hailstorm, so it's nice to see it given attention here.

The heat sensitive rub symbol is found on the top, left side of the missile launcher. It works fine and adhere's well to the top. I do like how it is sort of "hidden" since it's black by default and set on black plastic.

The "pressure launch" missiles still work very well and the turret turns fine without any issues.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Splitting it at the middle, swing out the front section of the vehicle.
  2. Swing out the panels that make up the grille section in vehicle mode to form the robot feet.
  3. Swing the front halves of the treads back against the rear halves.
  4. Swing the robot head up.
  5. Pull the robot shoulders out to the sides, which will automatically bring the robot head down to the chest.
  6. Swing the robot hip forward and snap it against the torso section.
  7. Pull the lower legs down to extend them.
  8. Swing the panel on the top of the rocket launcher out to the side.
  9. Swing each of the missile launcher pods out to the sides, then swing them down.
  10. Close the panel.
  11. Rotate the panel around so the missile launchers are behind his arms.
  12. Bring the launchers back towards each other so they wind up behind his shoulders where tabs connect to the holes on the missile pods.

Robot Mode:
Mindset's robot mode features the retooled portion of the figure. Instead of the wide, tough looking face of Hailstorm, Mindset's head design is a bit more friendly looking. It's more oval in shape, with the top of the "helmet" portion separated into three raised sections. He has an eye/nose/mouth design instead of a faceplate. The design definitely has movie influences to go along with the rest of the body. There are lots of design greebles all around his face and his chin is very pronounced, sticking out quite a bit while being broken into two sections. It's a very different design and quite intricate.

In this mode the head, torso and most of the legs are cast in the blue grey plastic heavily featured in the vehicle mode. The black parts wind up being distributed on the outer edges of the profile including his shoulder mounted missile launchers and arms. Gunmetal plastic is found on the upper body where it forms the links between the arms and torso.

The paint decos are done in the same colors seen in vehicle mode. Gold, silver, red, blue and black all come together to form one good looking color scheme. These colors are mostly used on the details in between the larger panels on the torso sculpt. The gold is used on the small weapon pods on his shoulders and the L shaped designs on his mid-section. Red is used on raised rounded parts under his chest and silver is found on the chest, forearms and face. The light blue is used on his eyes, giving him the traditional Autobot eye color. Black is found on his feet, which are cast in blue plastic but entirely painted black to match with the plastic used on his knee joints. This isn't common practice so I appreciate it since every paint application costs money.

All of Mindset's joints are tight in this form. Indeed, I think the leg joints on mine are slightly tighter than on my Hailstorm.

Final Thoughts:
Mindset is a perfect example of how to do a redeco/retool. Take a basic sculpt, give it a strikingly different color scheme and then a retooled part (head suclpts are awesome for this). If you dug Hailstorm (which I did) then Mindset is a no brainer purchase. Highly recommended!

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