The Seacons 2020 updates may be best viewed through the lens of Pokemon. Turtler (Snaptrap) is a bit bigger, meaner, and leaner than his 1980s counterpart - that rounder, cuter toy was more of a Squirtle to this 2020 figure's Blastoise.
What's particularly amazing about the new 2020 figure is how much of it is recycled from previous tooling or engineering. The same general structure started life in 2014 as Silverbolt [FOTD #1,210] in a sort of Ship of Theseus evolution to where we are today. The same engineering was also used to make Scattershot, Cyclonus, Sea Clamp, and some repaints of those guys. And there are definitely some shared bits with Hun-Gurr. While Turtler has no specific shared parts with Silverbolt - I think - you can tell they're relatives.
The 7-inch figure goes above and beyond the original toy's mandate, keeping the general color layout while trading some of the specific elements away due to the recycled engineering. The turtle head is still the chest, it still has cannons on his back, but now the front turtle legs become part of the chest. The back legs become the arms. His head is much more ornate than the previous toy, adding a silver face plate in line with the original toy's box art. He still has yellow eyes and clors very similar to the original design.
Turtler's accessories are excessive. Considering the toy costs nearly twice what a Voyager-size toy did when this engineering debuted, the added combiner feet that turn into guns with a removable pink toe section are a nice touch. You also get remakes of the original accessories with a painted sword, a giant black blaster with tons of connection points for more gear, and now removable back cannons. Articulation is upgraded to a modern standard, but going beyond the norm with things like rocker ankles. 23 points of more or less useful articulation await you with this one, but that doesn't necessarily mean the experience is perfect. The chest kibble is a wide, awkward addition and the arms are a little awkward while the legs also seem like they can't get a particularly natural position. Still, they didn't skimp in trying to make it better - I can't really be too disappointed other than I don't feel this figure should cost quite so much more than the original figure on which this mold is based. If you want Seacons, right now, you don't have a lot of options.
The figure doesn't have a ton of special features, but it does have one that I feel is insanely indulgent and no doubt adds to the cost. The robot shins have a rotating chunk with a 5mm socket on them - you can slide it out and spin it to the other side. Why they didn't just mold 5mm holes in both sides, or eliminate it, is beyond me - but it gives you more to fiddle with, and a lot of fans do claim they like complicated, involved, long transformations. Not me. I've got hundreds of these things, and I don't have all day to play with them.
Transformation to turtle is kind of involved, and it's less a convincing turtle than it is a robot twisted into a shape that if you squint, you can pretend it's a turtle. It's leaner and meaner than its G1 counterpart, with an opening jaw with a nicely painted head and mouth interior. Deco is impressive - the shell cannons can telescope in and out. You can mount the feet on the back. But the giant knees/combiner arm socket kibble is distracting, and the turtle mode is definitely the least of the three modes. The robot is a convincing robot, the torso is absolutely a torso, but the turtle is... turtle-ish.
After the likes of Snapper, Terragator, and even Dado we've seen shelled reptiles turn out rather nicely. I think people needing a modern update will find this acceptable, but given the higher cost I'm sure it would be nice to have seen what an all-new Turtler might look like had they created it from scratch.
If you liked Combiner Wars you'll find the King Poseidon (Piranacon) torso to be just as good as - if not better than - the G1 original. It's got the shell kibble chest, the chrome silver shoulder pylons, the pink thighs, and the distinctive helmet - but this one has articulated fins on the side. It also has a lot more in the way of articulation, which is a big plus. I assume people buying this toy - and the entire set - will use it primarily in this mode. Thank goodness it's probably the very best one.
Since there was no shortage of excess Combiner Wars and Power of the Primes Voyager-class combiner torso toys, there's no reason for most of you to buy this figure. (The limbs, maybe.) I have a soft spot for animal robot toys from around 1987-1988, so this one was something I just had to get since I missed the original team when I was a kid. It scratches an itch - it makes me happy. It's awkward, but so am I, we get along well. It's expensive for a mass-release item, but it's a specialized lower-run cut-to-order item. I wish Hasbro had made it for the mass market so more of you could get one, and get it at a lower price.
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