Search tag: "perceptor"
Unlike Wreck-Gar,Lugnut, and Kup, Perceptor doesn't happen to be in my Hall of Awesome. I mean, I like Perceptor well enough, I guess, but he's always just kind of there, y'know? Being a scientist. Being a buzzkill. Being a favorite subject of slashfic, apparently. (Slashfic writers love their repressed nerds.) Besides, I think I got all of the "How I Feel About Perceptor" out of my system when I talked about his Toys"R"Us reissue a while back.
But right at the beginning, let's get this out of the way: Perceptor's a bit of a shellformer.
If you've got Perceptor's legs, you've got 75% of his vehicle mode. It all wads up in there, the entire back half of his truck mode. During transformation from robot to truck, you unfold all these panels and treads and assemble the back half of the truck. Next you wad up his robot mode inside this truck shell you've created, and seal it off with the truck hood that's on his back. It is not terribly compelling, and it can be very frustrating at times. It's not, like, Side Burn level or anything, but it's just not my favorite transformation style.
But on the positive side, I think I am positively in love with his robot mode. I'm not sure exactly what it is that does it for me. Maybe it's his lankiness. I've always thought Perceptor should be more lanky. I mean, he's a nerd, right? He shouldn't be the same pile of rectangles that everyone else is. I love how his forearms taper organically. Maybe what's happening is that his more angular shape puts me in mind of hisAll Hail Megatron redesign appearances in IDW comics, particularly his role in Last Stand of the Wreckers, which anyone who reads this blog regularly should know that I have a boner for. The shape of the chromed piece on his chest definitely calls out to his design in that series, though I don't know if this specific call-back was intentional, or whether it was merely a side-effect of Hasbro's intentions of retooling Perceptor as Reflector. Reflector's chest is shaped like this, after all.
(It is because of his design's similarity to LSotW Perceptor that I am happy to lend him Blurr's sniper rifle.)
Back to Perceptor's chromed chestpiece. Yes, Perceptor has chromed parts, which is eyebrow-raising for a mainline Hasbro product. It just doesn't happen that often. I guess someone at Hasbro thought it was important? Me, I can take it or leave it, in theory, but I do kind of think it makes him stand out a bit too much from his peers. Plus, well, you know how much I like the C joint system, with the clips? The dials on Perceptor's wrists have C joint rungs sculpted into them. Two per. Sweet, right? No, because the vacuum-metalized coating makes these rungs too thick to work with the clips.
It took me a while to notice this, and at first I was wondering why Perceptor felt so, well, gimmickless, compared to the rest of his contemporaries. He doesn't have a handweapon, only the truck-lights-become-his-shoulder-cannon thing. (I'm not sure how the cannon's crosshairs helps, what with it being set behind his head.) I kept thinking I must be missing something crucial. But no, it's just that his compatibility with the rest of his wave is hindered by his chrome. Kinda annoying.
I do like his choice of altmode. Frankly, I never liked the microscope. He didn't even ever look like a microscope so much as a robot folded into something that sort of looked like a microscope, if you were mostly blind. So I'm happy that Hasbro remembered Perceptor's third mode, his mobile tank/cannon/thingy, and ran with that instead. Yay, half-track SUV!
Anyway, his chest opens up, the end.
TFSource.com is considering sponsoring Shortpacked! in the future, so in a practice flexing of my web-muscle, here's a link to their RtS Perceptor order page. He's (of course) sold out at the moment, though, so maybe a link to theJapanese United version would also be prudent?
So I ordered a lot of new Reprolabels sets after their recent update, which was a great idea because most of my toys are still packed away. I got to do some digging!
I was most excited for the Reveal the Shield Perceptor upgrade set because of the monocle sticker. One of the reasons I liked RtS Perceptor is that he reminded me of Perceptor's appearances in Last Stand of the Wreckers, and the only important visual detail that got in the way of Complete LSotW Power was the lack of a monocle. The upgrade sticker set comes with three of them, because it's hard to apply and they're easy to lose. They're tiny. They're super tiny. And getting them onto the face itself is really challenging, since it's a recessed area smaller than the tip of my finger. I lost the first of the three, managed to get the second onto the face, pushing it up into place with a prong of a fork, and then realized that I needed the third one as well. Just one sticker doesn't really over the eye that well. I used both.
The rest of the stickers are pretty good, but not as important to me. It's nice to get some color on his stomach, since that was a silver piece on the original toy, and I think the tech readouts look better than the gray windows they cover up. There's some smaller stuff as well, like the headlight stickers and the "14X" and "United States of America Antarctic Program" stickers.
The one set of stickers I used but wasn't sure about are the ones that go on the thighs. They call back to the original toy, but I don't know if I think they're attractive. I might remove them later. I'm not sure.
And I'm certainly not replacing the rub sign faction symbol with a normal Autobot symbol, no. I love that gimmick. IS PERCEPTOR AUTOBOT OR DECEPTICON????
It's amazing the difference between the last Transformers team and the current one. The last team wanted to do a new Perceptor, but original Perceptor was, um, a microscope, so they made him a halftrack truck. Like, you could feel echoes of the plea to marketing for that guy. "LOOK HE HAS WHEELS AND TREADS, HE'S NOT A SCIENCE THING, PLEASE LET US MAKE PERCEPTOR, BOYS DEMO AGED 5-12 WILL BUY THIS."
Meanwhile, the current Transformers team just straight-up remakes the original Perceptor, now with 10% more articulation because the original wasn't too bad about that to begin with. He's a microscope, yo. Again. And by "microscope," we of course mean "Perceptor's robot mode folded up to look like the original Perceptor's microscope mode, which also looked like Perceptor's robot mode folded up and not too much like a microscope." Do kids want this? I'd like to think so, because science is important, but who knows. Here's your regurgitated 1985 Perceptor. Hasbrobadger don't give a shit. Hasbrobadger don't care.
Also he has a third "tank" mode, just like the original, which is rendered on the cardback but not present in the instructions. This is not a great tank mode. It's a terrible tank mode. I mean, they tried, but it just looks awkward and doofy. I can see why they left it out of the instructions. (there are extra tabs and slots for it, plus some extra pieces, so it's not, like, an "oops this toy can still do the original third tank mode" thing, it was definitely intended on purpose)
But, look. Credit where it's due. His microscope still works. It's a functional microscope. The amount of magnification isn't great, but you can even rotate the little nob on the scope and it'll do a small amount of focusing. That's a surprise in 2017. Transformers these days aren't often budgeted individualized gimmicks that aren't part of the line-wide Mega Gimmick. This isn't Armada.
Perceptor's head pops off and transforms into a little dude. His name's Convex.
Also, what I am here for is that this Perceptor is designed specifically after IDW's Perceptor -- at least, the one that featured in All Hail Megatron and beyond, including Last Stand of the Wreckers and More Than Meets The Eye. It probably helped that his IDW comics design is close enough to the original toy that you can do the IDW comics Perceptor and most folks will think, Hey, it's the original style. But the sculpted shapes of the arms and knees and such give him away, if not the fact that he comes with a friggin' sniper rifle. Sadly, he's got two normal eyes, and not a normal eye and a big ol' targeting grid monocle. Also, I guess, the scope is on the wrong shoulder for IDW. The original 1984 toy could switch the scope's placement, but this toy keeps it over his left shoulder, like it was in the cartoon.
If you want a Perceptor that's like the original toy but now he can bend his knees at the hips, this is your toy. Also if you want a toy that'll fit better into your Lost Light display shelf. Or if you just like Headmasters. Or if you're desperate to throw money at something shiny to distract yourself from the rise of fascism, I dunno.