"Transformers Collaborative" Gigawatt Toy Review

11/13/20

General Information:
Release Date: October 2020
Price Point: $29.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: Limited Release (Amazon, Gamestop, Hasbro Pulse, Target, Walmart etc.)
Accessories: Lighting rod/whip, "Mr. Fusion" generator, rifle

Official images and text in italics below are from Hasbro Pulse & Gamestop: Transformers robots have always been: More Than Meets the Eye, but now, through the Transformers Collaborative, fans can experience these larger than life characters as they team-up, mash-up, and meet up with other characters, teams, and people who share this same special quality.

Great Scott! Worlds collide in this Transformers-Back to the Future mash-up pack! The iconic time machine from the 1985 Back to the Future movie is now Gigawatt, a time-traveling Transformers robot! When Marty and Doc Brown need a ride through time, Gigawatt is ready to fly! This Gigawatt figure features movie-inspired details inspired by the Back to the Future film, including Doc Brown-style goggles, a flux capacitor chest piece, and time circuits. In time machine mode, the gullwing doors open and his wheels rotate to produce a hovering effect as seen onscreen. Also includes blaster and whip antennae accessories. Converts from robot to time machine mode in 17 steps.

Includes: Gigawatt figure, 2 accessories, and instructions.

  • Transformers robots have always been: More Than Meets the Eye, but now, through the Transformers Collaborative, fans can experience these larger than life characters as they team-up, mash-up, and meet up with other characters, teams, and people who share this same special quality
  • When Marty and Doc Brown need a ride through time, Gigawatt is ready to fly. This time-traveling Autobot commemorates 35 years of Back to the Future!
  • Gigawatt figure features details inspired by the Back to the Future film, including Doc Brown-style goggles, a flux capacitor chest piece, and time circuits. Comes with blaster and whip antennae accessories. Converts from robot to time machine mode in 17 steps
  • In time machine mode, Gigawatt figure features opening gullwing doors and articulated rotating wheels for simulated hovering effect as seen at the end of the movie
  • Can the time travelers beat the clock? Or will Gigawatt run out of time, plutonium, and Energon?
  • Ages 8 and up
  • Warning: Choking Hazard - Small parts. Not for children under 3 years.

In 1985, Universal Pictures released Back to the Future, a science fiction comedy starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover and Thomas F. Wilson. This film would go on to be a classic with its blend of comedy and scifi adventure. While the film had many interesting human characters, it had another "character" that fans fell in love with: the time traveling DeLorean! After the success of 2019's Ectotron, Hasbro has followed up with Gigawatt who transforms into the famous DeLorean! This figure is an extensive retool and redeco of the Siege Sideswipe figure, so this review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

Packaging:
I grew up with both Generation One and Back to the Future, so take aesthetics from both and combine them into a box and you automatically tug at my heart and fire up my brain with nostalgia. Gigawatt's packaging does both these things. The window box is shaped much like your standard G1 packaging complete with a large window in the front, package art to the right and even a retro-Hasbro logo on the lower left hand side. The background is a red to black gradient with a gird over it. On the top flap is the G1 Transformers logo with the Back to the Future 35th Anniversary logo above an illustration of the DeLorean surrounded by flames caused by its time traveling power! Take a look at the top of the box and you'll see another G1 touch: photos of the figure transforming from vehicle to robot mode!

The back of the box features a large illustration of the DeLorean with flames behind it. The Back to the Future 35th Anniversary logo and the G1 logo are found on either side of the car. Towards the middle is a G1 style tech spec complete with a chart of his stats "hidden" inside a pattern of pink lines. Interestingly in addition to the traditional stats such as Strength and Intelligence, there is also a symbol for the Flux Capacitor and a clock, calling back to Gigawatt's ability to travel through time. Sadly, the tech spec is rather short since it is written in five languages. Still, having such a classic touch is nice to see.

It is worth noting that in early 2020 there was a pre-order for a limited edition of 1,985 Gigawatt figures (representing "1985", the year the movie was released). Each of the figures in this limited run will be numbered on the box. These figures sold out via online preorders in under a minute, causing much anger in the fan community (understandably so). I do not know anyone who has this "1985" version, but it is my assumption that the figure itself is the same and only the package will be different.

Accessories:
Gigawatt comes with three accessories, two of which are directly based off items seen in the Back to the Future films:

  • Blaster: This weapon hints at some inspiration from G1 Optimus Prime's weapon. They both share a distinct section in the back and a long barrel in the front. The weapon features a 5mm peg and the opening in the front can accommadate Blast Effects from various Generations figures. This piece is cast in silver plastic with no paint applications.
  • Mr. Fusion: Based on the device used to power the DeLorean at the end of the original movie (and in the next film). The accessory features Mr. Fusion's distinctive circular base with a tube sticking up. This piece is painted silver at the base and white at the top. The Mr. Fusion designs (including the actual words "Mr. Fusion") are painted over the white in silver. Mr. Fusion can be attached to either the top or the back of the blaster as (presumably) some type of weapon power source. Fun trivia: Mr. Fusion was partly made out of a Krups Coffee grinder!
  • Lightning Rod/Whip: At the climax of Back to the Future Doc Brown uses a Lightning Rod attached to the DeLorean to power its time traveling capability. This piece was a long rod with wires along the sides and a hook at the end. This piece has been replicated as an accessory included with this figure. In car mode you can attach it to the back while in robot mode it can be used as a "whip" (though to me it looks more like a hook to grab things or part of a fishing rod). This piece is made of rubbery black plastic.

Vehicle Mode:
Part of the humor in Back to the Future revolved around Doc Brown using a DeLorean to make his time machine. At the time, DeLoreans were considered cool looking but not particularly dependable vehicles. However, his customizations changed the look of the vehicle quite a bit from its "factory floor" counterparts. The front section and the cabin section pretty much retain the base appearance of the DeLorean, but the sides and back section have been heavily customized. The sides feature tubes and wires running along to the back. The back has all sorts of machinery and wire sticking out along with two huge vents. Over the decades it has become an iconic look for the vehicle and this figure represents all these design elements brilliantly!

There is one finer detail that I did not notice on the preview images of this figure. When you looked at the DeLorean in the film at some angles or lighting, there was a "brushed metal" like appearance to the skin of the vehicle. The official photos made the outer shell of the car look flat, but there is in fact a "brushed metal" pattern sculpted onto it which adds welcome texture to the figure. Interestingly, while this car does have many of the key details of the DeLorean car, it lacks the official DeLorean symbol on the front grille. That, and the fact that the DeLorean Motor Company's logo is nowhere on the packaging suggests that the licensing for this figure is specifically for the Back to the Future DeLorean and somehow it is treated as a separate trademark than the "regular" DeLorean itself. It is also possible that Universal's agreement with the DeLorean Motor Company allows them to use the car design as it appears in the film without their involvement in the negotiations.

Gigawatt is mostly cast in different shades of silver. The official photos are nice, but honestly they do not do the car justice. There are dark and lighter silver colors that add some nice visual depth. Black is used for the cables that wrap around the vehicle. On the back section green, red and blue paint is used for the various cables running through the back. I was also happy to see the sides of the wheels painted silver, a detail that is often left out of Transformers figures nowadays. One of my favorite details is the license plate which reads "OUTATIME", as seen in the film. Oddly, the package art on the back of the box shows the license plate "BK2FUT2". My guess would be "BK2FUT2" was used for promotional art that the studio supplied to Hasbro.

There is not usually a lot of functionality to speak of with vehicle modes, but Gigawatt has some fun features going on:

  • The wheels can all fold inward to form the vehicle's "flight mode" as seen at the end of Back to the Future and most of Back to the Future II. If you have a Bandai action figure stand you can attach it to the car in this form to make it look like it is "flying".
  • The doors can swing open "gull wing style" just like the doors on the real life vehicle.
  • There is a hole on the back section. You can use this to either attach Mr. Fusion or the Lightning Rod depending on which version of the DeLorean you want to play with! I love this feature as it holds true to the vehicle's film appearance.
  • Underneath the front section of the vehicle is a 5mm port to store the blaster weapon.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach all accessories and set them aside for now.
  2. Swing the car doors up.
  3. Flip the car over and swing the panels over the legs out.
  4. Swing the back of the vehicle out.
  5. Swing the robot feet out.
  6. Push the vents from the back of the vehicle into the lower leg openings.
  7. Swing the leg panels back into place.
  8. Rotate the lower body around.
  9. Swing the small panels behind each front wheel down.
  10. Swing the robot arms out, straighten them out and swing the fists out of the forearms.
  11. Swing the front wheels in, then swing the wheels in again.
  12. Swing the chest panel down (but be careful, try not to scrape the chest detail against the robot head).
  13. Rotate the middle of the car's front section around to reveal the Flux Capacitor.
  14. Swing the front of the car down to form the robot chest.
  15. Swing the robot arms in, clipping the shoulder panels to the tabs from the wheel sections on the chest piece.
  16. The blaster can fit into an of Gigawatt's 5mm ports.
  17. The whip can attach to the sides of arms or fit in the fist (loosely).

Robot Mode:
For those wondering, this robot mode does recycle some parts from Sideswipe. This includes the forearms, waist area and thighs. However a majority of the figure features brand new parts. While his "car front forming the top half of the body" transformation suggests his lineage with Siege Sideswipe, you would be hard pressed to mistake the two figures for one another.

Gigawatt features some fun design callbacks to the Back to the Future lore. These include:

  • The head sculpt looks very similar to Sideswipe in the "helmet" section, but he has two "goggle" eyes. This is a callback to Doc Brown who wore a pair of goggles during an experiment in the film.
  • The chest features the Flux Capacitor, the Y shaped device which makes Time Travel possible. The device is behind a clear plastic panel, recreating its appearance from the film. The Flux Capacitor itself is painted light blue, which I believe is meant to represent the energies created by the DeLorean when it time travels, but I would have preferred a more electric blue color (but hey, E for Effort).
  • Below the Flux Capacitor are several date readouts based on the way they looked on the control panel inside the DeLorean in the movie. The readout shows that Gigawatt is currently "in" 2015 having jumped in "from" 1955 and is going to travel to 1985. These are each key time periods in the Back to the Future films and it is very fun to see these nods to them (plus they look awesome).
  • On each knee is a design that looks like the Flux Capacitor's "Y" shape! The only bummer is that these silver panels are unpainted. I would have loved some blue to help bring out the details more.

The colors from the vehicle mode carry over here, with some more black showing via his arms. The face is painted a gunmetal grey like color and the eyes are painted blue. While I love the deco on his chest and head, the legs look rather plain and I really wish there was some detailing on them.

There are twenty two points of articulation on this figure. Each fist has a 5mm port. Each arm has two additional 5mm ports to attach additional accessories such as Titans Return weapons and War for Cybertron Micromasters. All the joints are nice and tight on my copy of this figure. I would however be very careful if you have Mr. Fusion attached to the blaster. It holds fairly well on my copy of this figure but I could see the piece coming off easily. In a nice little bonus Gigawatt has 5mm ports on the bottom of his feet, allowing you to attach Modulator parts. On top of that, he retains Sideswipe's shoulder mounted launcher ports. While none of the accessories included with Gigawatt fit in here, you can still attach Sideswipe's weapons!

Final Thoughts:
Gigawatt combines two of my favorite properties so I'm totally biased in favor of this figure. While I do wish he had more deco in robot mode, he looks great overall and the silver color serves as a nice canvas for other colors if you attach accessories to him. I will caution again about the chest details potentially scraping off if they rub against the head during transformation so be careful there. Highly recommended!

Pros:

  • Fantastic sculpt and deco in vehicle mode.
  • Lots of fun nods to the original vehicle and movies.
  • Joints are nice and tight despite being a retool/redeco.
  • Gorgeous packaging.
  • Fun accessories.

Cons:

  • Needs more deco in robot mode.
  • Mr. Fusion does not connect very tightly (but to be fair I can turn my figure upside down and it stays attached).