I'm a big fan of Combiner Wars so I'm keeping my eye open for international exclusives if the characters are neat. I missed the pre-order window on Override so I just grabbed one on Amazon when the price hit $15 - I'd buy Runabout, but he has yet to get that cheap. This toy is a recolor of Groove, and it does a decent job of matching G1 Triggerbot Override minus the gimmick and weapons. Adventure Override also adds a new sticker which gets in the way of the transformation.
Standing just under 4-inches tall, this figure looks like Groove with a lot of paint - problem is, light paint over dark plastic has this nasty murky look to it and there are examples of it to be had here. The red on his shoulders in particular shows that the application wasn't very even, but the shins, hands, and head all look pretty decent. The head redeco adds blue to his visor as well as a silver face and red helmet - it really looks spiffy! Yellow lights are added to his feet, his seat is painted black, and it's generally quite nice. After all, to most fans this is a "new" character - the 1988 original didn't get to appear on the cartoon, so depending on your comic stash you may never have seen or heard of this now-13-jointed wonder.
The robot mode is, on the whole, very nice. Japan's Adventure line has a round sticker used with a smartphone app, and in the case of Override it's hidden in one of his wheels, safely out of the way. In the package, you probably won't even realize it's there. It's really quite nice up until the point you realize it gets in the way of its transformation.
The toy isn't a particularly challenging transformation, but it does get hung up on the sticker inside the wheel - I'm unwilling to peel it off to verify this, but as it is, it seems to be in the way of closing the wheel shut. Groove's wheels just close, Override's do not - and the molds seem to be pretty much the same. It's a bit of a design flaw, and I'm guessing at some point I'll just peel it off. Aside from that, it's a net bike - Override has a big yellow light on the front while Groove's light area is unpainted. There are some extra paint apps near the places for the feet of the hypothetical rider, too. I assume you'll just be leaving this one as a robot. I'm always irritated when you have to modify or damage a figure in order for it to function properly, and this appears to be one of those times.
A quick packaging note - I love the card art and colorful layout. It's worth noting that there's significantly more packaging here than similar American toys, with a plastic bubble nearly double the size it needs plus a whole lot more cardboard. Generally Japanese toy boxes have had a smaller footprint, so it's noteworthy to see a situation in which it is reversed.
I've bought more Japanese figures than usual this year (which is to say, any) and on the whole I've enjoyed them. Override is a creative and fairly original redeco idea, but we also saw some real winners like Roadblock, Slipstream, and Blackarachnia. If this figure were ten bucks, I'd say it's a slam dunk. At $20, it's a bit much. $15 is what I paid for it, and I'd say that's on the happy side of acceptable. If your budget allows it and your shelf has a little more room, get this one. Just don't get it to play with and transform a lot.
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