When I heard the rumors of this new Springer, I was thinking it might be too soon. We got a bigger, cheaper, and all-new Thrilling 30 Springer [FOTD #660] in 2013. Before that, we've had quite a few nods to him between the likes of Toys R Us exclusives and BotCon - I was not left wanting for Springer, yet this new 1980s toy-inspired model won me over really quickly. Transformation is a little frustrating, but it's good and more in scale with your other robots.
At a hair under 6 1/2-inches tall, the figure is a weird mix of Cybertronian vehicles with a toy- and comic model-based robot with gritty dot-based damage deco. The headsculpt is so gorgeous, Floro Dery will demand royalty payments. His face has a slight green tint, with inset blue eyes that are unfortunately a little dark. The shoulders are not at quite the same angle as the comic book model, but the elements are all there. The shoulders are clearly the car's fenders, the chest is the car roof, and a lot of the kibble does a number of flips and twists to tuck into the legs so you don't even know it's there. I would say Hasbro is showing off now - admittedly it's not a third party toy, but they've seen their works and took notes. And now you're getting something for $30 that you'd probably never stop talking up if you got it as a licensed, $200 clone of some sort.
Articulation is typical for Siege with rocking ankles, swivel wrists, and the normal range of motion. The hip joints are excellent with wonderful lateral movement, the ankles can tilt inward, and the knees can bend more than 90 degrees. The best way I can describe it is that Hasbro has effectively delivered a really good Springer action figure that can, somehow, miraculously, also turn in to two vehicles somehow. His blasters can mege into a single weapon, or be stowed on his back - the same is true of his twin swords and a piece of rotor kibble.
If you liked the Siege Optimus Prime robot, Springer is a worthy next purchase.
Transformation is kind of tricky yet logical - getting the robot feet to rest behind the car's driver area required me to reference the instructions, the box, and images on the internet when I got it last month. I don't feel it's easy, but the end result is pretty spiffy and boxy. The front half looks great, the back looks just fine. The wheels roll and you can store all the gear as a mega-weapon on the roof of the car.
The helicopter mode is similarly pretty good, with a back half that looks a little weird. Hasbro and Takara-Tomy clearly referenced the original animation models and aimed to bring you a very close recreation using modern manufacturing techniques within the budget. I have little doubt a Masterpiece edition may be more proportionally accurate, but it'd also be $300 and take a week to transform - and I've got better things to do at my age. This one provides a fun challenge, allowing me to mount his guns on the side of the copter mode with the swords serving as the blades of the flying vehicle. It's boxy, it's silly, but it works.
With deco that seems to draw from the comics with a green-tinted "skin" as well as G2-esque battle-damage and far too many weapons, I can say the $30 price tag on Springer felt worth it. Sure, he's smaller, but it feels more meaty than the last release with fewer gaps and less air. If you don't have a Springer, get this one - he's sized to go nicely with your previous Arcee toys and your new Ultra Magnus. I assume this is going to be the last Springer toy you ever need to buy, but the snake does have a habit of eating its own tail every few years before excreting a new toy that I look at and can't help but marvel at how far we've come since the 1980s.
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