Transformers Review: Disney Label Buzz Lightyear


Intro:
            Over the course of the year, the Transformers franchise have tried vigorously to expand their fan base, and what better way than to attract fans of a totally different products? One of their first attempts were the Binaltechs/ Alternators line, which attempted to attract the fans of model cars, or specifically, the 1:24 scale model cars. The car models were excellent and would mostly pass off as model cars untransformed. In other words, they were a huge success.
            HasTak then decided to combine another major brand with the Transformers franchise – the Star Wars. Some of the figures produced such as Darth Vader (the Tie-Fighter and the Death Star), Obi-Wan Kenobi & Yoda still command quite a demand.
            The Marvel Crossovers were a bit of a letdown. Figures such as the Incredible Hulk and Captain America kinda lack that quality finishing that you would’ve hoped for. For a time, HasTak even tied up with Nike to produce the Sport Label Transformers, where both Optimus Prime and Megatron transformed into – gulp – shoes!!!
            The Device Label fared better, especially with functional MP3 player, memory stick, mouse, i-Pod speakers and even a USB Hub!!! It is a very unique idea that emphasized on the mantra – Robots in Disguise & More than Meets the Eyes.
            This time around, Transformers yet again tied up with another brand – Disney. For the past 3 years, they have released several figures in this line such as the Optimus-themed Mickey Mouse; Bumblebee-themed Donald Duck and more. The latest of these come in the form of Toy Story’s Buzz Lightyear. I guess it was only a matter of time that the popularity of the Toy Story franchise would eventually made their way into the world of Transformers.

Alternate Mode:
            Buzz Lightyear is an astronaut or a spaceman, if you would call it, and what better alternate mode for him than a spaceship. Although the alternate mode may be a bit toy-ish, I have to admit, I am kinda fond of it!!! It’s a neat little figure, and I kinda like the idea of an open-able cockpit which allows you to insert a figure in it – specifically, a tiny Buzz Lightyear figurine. 
 
 
            The wings also have the Space Ranger emblem drawn on top of them, which is kinda neat. There are also 3 sets of wheels: 1 under the cockpit and 2 more at the back, that roll quite freely. 
 
            In all, it’s a darn good alternate mode.

Robot Mode:
            In my opinion, this is where this figure truly shines. Looking at glance, you would never expect this figure to be transformable. He looks exactly like any other Buzz Lightyear action figure!!! You won’t even realize that this is a Transformer figure until you notice the only kibble at the back. 
 
 
 
 
            First and foremost that you would notice about this figure, is the fact that he invokes one of the earliest Transformers gimmicks ever introduced – the Headmaster. The tiny Buzz Lightyear, which is also the pilot of the starship, now forms the Bigger Buzz’s head. The tiny Buzz is literally a small brick with no articulations at all and a very bad kibble at the back – the Bigger Buzz’s head is totally exposed. 
 
            The tiny Buzz is needed both as a head and as a mechanism to extend the lower half of the robot’s body and also the wings. However, one thing that I have noticed with my Buzz is that the head won’t stay in its slot. It tends to pop off way too easily. So the fishbowl helmet is kinda important to hold the tiny Buzz/ head in its place.
 
            Articulation-wise, Buzz could have been way better. The head can only rotate 360°, mainly due to its transformation. The shoulders are on very tight universal joints. The elbows bend and the wrists turn. Unfortunately, the whole arm piece do not rotate, which kinda limit the poses that you would have with this figure. 
 
            Buzz has no waist movement at all. The hips, in my opinion are the biggest disappointment of this figure. The hips are interconnected, meaning that both legs move in tandem with each other, and to make matters worse, the hips swing outward very, very minimally. Although the knees are excellent, the missing leg-rotating motions are sorely missed here. The ankles only move forward-upward, which mostly due to its transformations.
Buzz Goes into Spanish-mode Dancing to the Traditional Russian Dance for A Girl Named Ting Ni?
 Overall:
            Standing at slightly under 4 ½ inches tall, this figure really does suffer in terms of articulations. Visually, he does look very good, but I still think that, with all of the technologies available, they really could’ve done differently with the articulations.

            Final verdict: 7/10.


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