Release Year: October 2005
Retailer: Kay Bee Exclusive
Difficulty Level: 3
Accessories: Missiles x 2
Transformers Universe Snow Cat could easily fit into either the Energon or Cybertron toy lines as he is the same character introduced in Energon, now in the time frame of the Cybertron series. However, since he is a Kay Bee exclusive, he was moved over to the Universe line, which has changed from a mainline to sort of the "bucket" which Transformers exclusive toys can all be stored in.
This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release. For a more detailed look at the toy, check out the Energon Snow Cat review.
Snow Cat's vehicle mode is based on a G.I. Joe vehicle of the same name. While the Energon version was clearly colored to blend into a snowy environment, it would seem in the aftermath of Cybertron's devastation, camouflage is not a priority any longer. His primary color is now black. The dark red parts on Energon Snow Cat have been replaced with a light orange color. The same orange has been applied to the horizontal lines on the skis, which were not painted on this figures' previous incarnation.
The hubs on his front wheels are painted white, and the wheels in the treads on the back are metallic silver.
The translucent plastic color has not changed, it is still a greenish blue translucent plastic. This same translucent plastic was used for the missiles as well. The other bit of translucent plastic is the part making up the Spark Crystal in the front. This is now a deep red color, which looks really nice with the Decepticon symbol behind it.
Functionally nothing has changed. All the joints are still tight and you can still form the "Hyper Mode" with the skis down and cannons up. Connecting Mini-Cons and Energon weapons will give you one fierce looking snow cat vehicle!
Snow Cat's robot mode surprised me, and not because of how well done it was. It is because of how incredibly unfinished it looks. It is my belief that if you are going to do a redeco of a figure (not a translucent version of something, different rules apply to those), try to at least have as many paint decos as the original. Universe Snow Cat has...two. The robot fists and eyes are painted orange, that's it. None of the paint applications from the first Snow Cat carried over. The first had details on the shoulders, chest and legs. Here all those parts are just plain black. For me, perhaps the most irritating of these details left unpainted is the sculpted Decepticon symbol on his right shoulder. At the very least let his faction symbol show better!
In terms of functionality everything is intact. The missiles launch fine, his joints are tight. The panel with the Mini-Con Powerlinx point still comes off the arm very easily, but that is to be expected since no sculpt changes were made.
Redecos are generally a risk. At times they make no sense. Other times they are wonderfully done. And then in times like this, they fall flat on their face, roll down a hill and crash and burn. Unless you are a variation collector or you want this mold but absolutely cannot find the Energon version, then stay away from this one folks.