Transformers Review: Windcharger (Alternators)



Intro:
            The Alternators line is one of my most favorite lines ever. It’s the complete package: realistic vehicle modes, excellent robot modes, with just the right amount of transformation complexity.
            In fact, I even prefer Hasbro’s Alternators over Takara’s Binaltech, mainly due to its lack of die-cast. I’ve got nothing against die-cast, but to me personally, die-cast just doesn’t bode well with transformable action figures, especially when you plan to transform your figures often, because it will become susceptible to peelings.
            Oh yeah, having the Alternators cost much lower than the Binaltechs is even better.
            Hence, when HasTak announced the release of both Alternators and Binaltech line, I knew which one I was going to go for, and my first ever Alternators was this guy right here – Windcharger.
            The thing is, this figure was originally marketed as Overdrive in the Binaltech’s line, but due to trademark issues, the figure was marketed as Windcharger by Hasbro.
            It’s a bit strange though since Windcharger, as a character was never a major character, and for him to receive an Alternators/ Binaltech treatment, just doesn’t make sense to me.
            Still, he eventually became my first ever Alternators figure, and after more than 6 years since the day I purchased him, here I am with this review.

Alternate Mode:
Just in case if you don’t know yet, Windcharger transforms into a Honda S2000 Roadster. I have to say, I absolutely love this car design. 
Being a Roadster, Windcharger is one of the more unique figures in the line, in the sense it also comes with two attachments: the roof and the folded-down roof. 
 
The shiny deep red paint suits the car very well to an already detailed figure. There is the word S2000 on both sides of the car, near to the supposedly side signals. The headlights, taillights, as well as the brake lights on the trunk look incredibly realistic, as if it were from an original car model.
 
The two doors, the trunk, as well as the hood do open up, just like how a car model should. The hood even reveals an engine block underneath, which is really cool.  
 
 
There is also a small Honda emblem, both in front of the car and at the back of car. Not to forget also is the short rubbery antenna on the trunk.
The license plate at back reads “WNDCGR”, clearly supposed to be the short form of the name WINDCHARGER. Oh, by the way, there is also an Autobot emblem on the license plate. 
The interior of the car also looks incredibly well done, complete with a detailed dashboard, steering wheel, handbrake and gearbox. The seats are absolutely fantastic, clearly meant to invoke the 2005 Honda S2000 AP2 red/black interior. 
Windcharger and Swindle
As with most older Alternators, both of the front wheels turn in tandem, thanks to a set of interlocking magnets underneath the engine block.
The rubbery Cybertron Radial tyres are really good and the car can literally roll smoothly on them. 
The kibbles are almost minimal, no thanks to the clearly exposed head, which is probably my only qualm about this vehicle mode.
Otherwise, this is definitely an excellent vehicle mode.

Robot Mode:
            I would say, the robot mode is every bit as good as the vehicle mode. The overall look of the robot is fantastic and well proportioned. 
            There is one teeny bit of problem – he doesn’t look like Windcharger. Yep, you heard it correctly; he ain’t got Windcharger’s head. As mentioned earlier in the intro, this figure was original marketed as Overdrive in the Binaltech line, and was subsequently changed to Windcharger due to Hasbro’s not owning the trademark to the Overdrive name. 
 
            Hence, he looks more like Overdrive, rather than Windcharger.
            In this mode, he was supposed to wield a shield, as well as a gun. The shield itself is formed by the roof of the car. There is a peg underneath the roof, which fits onto the hole on either arm. 
            The engine block, along with a non-existent exhaust pipe was supposed to be the long-barreled gun. The problem is, Honda didn’t want their cars to be associated with weaponries, and hence they didn’t want Overdrive or Windcharger to wield any guns. Hence, if you observe the engine block, you can clearly see a knob that was meant to have the gun barrel/ exhaust pipe to attach to. It’s ashamed really, that simple gun would’ve made this figure the complete package, regardless of the head sculpts.
            Articulation-wise, Windcharger is absolutely fantastic: the head, wrists and ankles are all on ball joints; the inner shoulders are on rather loose universal joints; the outer shoulders are on hinges; the arms rotate just above the bendable elbow joints; the waist joint is present, although heavily restrictive; the hips are on rather loose universal joints; the legs rotate slightly below hips; and finally the knee joints are very, very tight.
            Excellent robot mode.

Overall:
            To be honest, I was really surprised on how good this figure really is, and I was even more surprised that HasTak would put so much effort to a small time character like Windcharger, until I got to know that this figure was previously known as Overdrive.
            The mould was proven to be so good that it was reused to produce another classic G1 character – Arcee, but with an overall pink paintjob.
            Despite the questionable head sculpt, I would’ve given this figure full point if not for it silly “gun” mode. For crying out loud, they should’ve left the gun barrel alone!
            Great figure, highly recommended.

            Final verdict: 9.5/10.

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