Official images & text in Italics below are from Amazon:
- DISCOVER KINGDOM: Worlds collide when the Maximals and Predacons join the fight, coming together with the Autobots and Decepticons in an epic battle that will alter their destiny forever
- BEASTIFY THE BATTLEFIELD: Unleash the primal power of the beasts with the ancient and highly advanced F.O.S.S.I.L. technology. Sentient Fossilizer bots, infused with primordial energy, break apart and weaponize their allies. Use Deluxe Fossilizer figures to beastify this Autobot Pipes figure with epic bone armor! (Each sold separately, subject to availability)
- G1-INSPIRED ALT MODE AND ACCESSORIES: This G1-inspired toy converts to Earth mini truck mode in 17 steps and includes 2 pipe blaster accessories that attach in both modes
- GOLDEN DISK CARDS REVEAL POSSIBLE DESTINIES: Includes a Golden Disk card that reveals a possible destiny of a key character. Collect other Kingdom figures to reveal all 3 alternate destiny variants for each character!
I remember the first time I saw the G1 Pipes action figure on shelf. It was in a store in New York City’s Chinatown and I thought he looked awesome. Between the retooling of Huffer (who I did not yet own at that point) and his colors I wanted the figure bad. When he led the Autobots against Trypticon in “Five Faces of Darkness” I was thrilled, and his appearances in season 3 of G1 always made me happy. It would be years later until I actually owned the figure but he remains one of my favorite figures to this day.
Pipes has not appeared a lot in the Transformers toy line over the years, but we did get a Combiner Wars version in 2015, but it was not until late 2021/early 2022 that fans finally had a chance to add a version of the character that was heavily based on his G1 appearance. In a repeat of history, this figure is a redeco and retool of Kingdom Huffer so this review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.
A new style of packaging was introduced with Kingdom. The shape is very similar to what has been seen with Siege and Earthrise featuring a rectangular box that has an angled panel on the left. This time however the box does not have a window in front that shows off the entire figure. Instead, the window is smaller and shows the figure from the mid-body up. This small window has plastic over it, but what this allows for is artwork featuring the character in both modes, something that is extremely uncommon for the Transformers line. Like previous Generations packaging the Transformers logo is set vertically on the right side with the Generations and Takara Tomy logos above it. On the lower part (under the window) is the Kingdom logo. On this box, Pipes is shown in vehicle mode and running in robot mode. Behind him is a mountain with the Ark on (or possibly in) it. The artwork is absolutely gorgeous!
The back of the box shows Pipes in both modes calling out a seventeen step transformation. Above him is an Autobot symbol. In the corner is a nice, classic callback featuring the Transformers logo with the "More than Meets the Eye" tag line under it. Overall this packaging is beautiful and I think it is really contrasts well with other toys on shelves.
Also included is a collector card/sticker. Peel away the sticker and three possible "fates" for the character on the card are revealed. There is no card assigned to specific characters. They are randomly packed.
The original G1 Pipes action figure had arms that were just, well…pipes (no fists or claws). When he was introduced in the G1 cartoon, the animators gave him proper arms with fists, but they turned his pipe “arms” into weapons that attached to the sides of his arms. The accessories included with this figure reflect that animation model.
Pipes includes two blasters which are shaped like smokestacks with a barrel that narrows at the top. Each of these blasters is designed with three distinct sections. The back has a thick section, then it narrows in the middle before widening a bit towards the front. Each blaster has a 5mm peg to attach to Pipes’ arms or hands. You can attach Blast Effects to the front and back of the weapons. Each blaster is made of white plastic with silver paint covering most of it.
Following G1 tradition, Pipes is a redeco and retool of Kingdom Huffer. Here’s a rundown of the changes:
- The cabin section of the vehicle mode rotates around and pushes up against Pipes’ back in robot mode. This is different than Huffer where this same section just folded down to form a “hood” without the need for rotation.
- The head sculpt is new, based on the design used in the animated series featuring two small eyes and a mouthplate.
- The torso panel is different than Huffer’s, featuring two rectangular sections with vent lines in them and slightly raised rectangles below them. On the G1 toy, these were intended to be the seats of the vehicle mode.
- The forearms are different tools than Huffer’s, featuring a more curved, cylindrical shape.
- The waist area is different, featuring a similar design, but with different shapes.
I am especially happy with the designers finding a different way to transform the “hood” on the back of this figure. One of the more distinctive differences between G1 Huffer and Pipes was the way this section of the truck transformed and it is nice to see this design pay homage to that element of the original toy.
Pipes is made up of dark blue, white, black and translucent grey plastic. These colors all featured on the original G1 action figure and animation model and he looks great. Paint colors include dark blue, silver, grey, light blue and red. The biggest use of paint in this mode is on the cabin section of the vehicle mode, which forms his “back pack” in this form. This piece is made of translucent grey plastic, but a heavy coat of dark blue plastic has been applied on it and it looks great in terms of color matching with the dark blue plastic on the rest of the figure. This same piece has a grey section with a red Autobot symbol on top right behind the head. Meanwhile the face is painted silver and his eyes are blue, reflecting a G1 animation look rather than the red eyes from the G1 toy.
There are twenty two points of articulation in this mode. This includes four in each arm and six in each leg. His weapons can be held in his hands, but let’s be real, they’re meant to be attached to the 5mm ports on the sides of his forearms to give him his true G1 appearance! Pipes also features additional 5mm ports on his back, shoulders and legs, allowing for a lot of Weaponizer/Fossilizer play action.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode
- Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
- Straighten out the arms and legs.
- Swing each fist inward.
- Swing the heel pieces up over the lower legs.
- Rotate the cabin cover section on the back and lift it up a bit.
- Swing the arms back, then down at the shoulder joint.
- Swing the torso forward, then swing out the front wheels of the vehicle mode and swing the panel back in place.
- Rotate the robot head around.
- There are tabs on the waist area that connect to slots on the shoulder sections. Push those together.
- Rotate the forearms so the fists are facing each other.
- Swing the lower legs over the thighs.
- Swing the cabin section up and down to form the front of the vehicle.
- The weapons can attach to the 5mm ports on the back of the vehicle.
Pipes is a truck cab in vehicle mode. This mode largely reuses the sculpt from Huffer’s vehicle mode. The most telling element is that the headlights in the front are rectangular rather than being round like those on G1 Pipes. Honestly, it doesn’t really matter to me. I think the truck mode has a ton of detailing including a raised pattern on the truck bed that makes it look like metal and lights on the top of the cabin section. There is some black and white paint used on the top of the vehicle and a lot of silver paint for sections including the grille and windshield wipers. Silver is even used on the sides of the wheels and in a big surprise, his rear lights are actually painted red. This was a huge surprise as rear details are often left unpainted in modern day Transformers figures.
Pipes can roll on all four wheels. He has several attachment points for 5mm peg accessories. If you attach his blasters to the truck bed, you can then attach Blast Effects to the back and make it look like he is rocketing along the road with boosters (fun!). Another fun feature is the port in the center of his truck bed which allows you to attach the trailer from Earthrise Optimus Prime!
I have a fondness for the Pipes character but he has not had a truly satisfying action figure treatment in a long time, so I was very happy with this figure. The preview images had me excited, and finally having it in hand I can say it is a fun toy that looks great and feels solid. Highly recommended!
- Great sculpt that calls back to the G1 cartoon.
- Very nice deco (the blue color matching in particular is very well done).
- Figure feels very solid with plenty of tight joints.
- Intuitive and fun transformation.
- Lots of ports for Weaponizer/Fossilizer/Micromaster/Battle Master compatibility.
- I’m stretching it a bit here but it would have been cool if the “cabin cover” section had been retooled to better match G1 Pipes, but this is a tiny nit pick on an otherwise excellent figure.