Back when the Demolition Crue came out a buddy of mine suggested I read a Transformers comic called the “Last Stand of the Wreckers.” If you haven’t checked it out I would suggest either grabbing a trade from your local shop, or from Comixology for less than ten bucks. The book is amazing and was quite successful in selling me on all of the Wrecker team, but the ones that stood out most to me were Springer and Overlord. Surprisingly Hasbro, and not a third-party company, was the first to make a just about perfect Springer for my collection. He comes in the “voyager” size in a wave with Blitzwing. I did pass on Blitzwing because I need to take things slow getting myself into official Transformer product. I would hate to spend $20 on something I might regret!
Springer is a triple-changer, which means that he has three modes: robot, armored car, and helicopter. He has one important mode, robot, and oh my does that mode look good. Originally I was considering investing in Fansproject’s Warbot Defender who was their attempt at Springer. I’m generally a fan of the beefier legs which was why I considered him, but his proportions are a bit odd and his head either rests too far back or his chest pops out too much. I’m glad Hasbro gave me another option because not only is this version’s robot mode better than the 3P alternative, but it also costs about $60 – $80 less.
Now just because I think this is the best version of Springer out there doesn’t mean I don’t have some gripes with him. Firstly I do think his legs are too thin. I’m a fan of bulkier legs for a few reasons, the first being I just like the aesthetic on a robot and little thin legs aren’t impressive. Second, functionally it helps keep these guys standing. In my opinion the weakest part of Springer is his legs. If they had given him a little more movement below the knees it would have been nice, but the transformation ends up restricting that.
I’ve heard people say that he could use a little more paint, but I’m going to disagree on that front. Short of giving him a dry brush “weathering” effect, I think his colors are perfect for the character. Most of the color is molded into the plastic, but then his face and a few parts around the body are painted on.
Springer comes with two accessories a sword and a gun. The sword transforms into the propeller for the helicopter, or it can be tucked under the car mode. The gun has two projectiles that fire and gets plugged in to the various vehicle modes. I’m a big fan of the sword and if the handle was a little longer he would actually be able to hold it with both hands. The gun is alright, however it looks like any other Transformer’s gun. I’d almost rather they gave him that gatling gun from the comic, or just a pistol if that was too much. You also have the option of plugging the sword into the gun to make a bayonet.
The vehicle modes are nothing we haven’t seen before. The armored car and helicopter are fine, but both end up having some noticeable gaps in the sculpts. I’m not going to complain because the robot mode more than makes up for these. If there was a part to sacrifice, I appreciated them doing it to the vehicle modes because no one leaves their Transformers in the alt-modes. Both of the alt-modes can also pass as real-world vehicles so it’s not like they look like space-cars or space-helicopters, they are recognizable. The moving parts also work as well such as the wheels and propeller.
The transformation into each vehicle needs to be done from robot mode. Luckily after doing one mode you will find the other one is very similar but with some folds going in different directions. I have noticed that sometimes the tabs don’t hold, or if you tab in one side it will pull the other out. This was especially tough with the helicopter transformation because I was not able to keep the cockpit tab secured as can be seen in the pictures.
I bitch and complain about the price of third-party and Masterpiece Transformers but I still end up loving them. This figure on the other hand is just about everything I could want in a mass-market Transformer. He has one of the best bot-modes I have seen from Hasbro, Springer has great articulation, and at $20 – $24 at stores like Target or Wal-Mart there is little to be disappointed with. These seem to have hit most of the US by now, but if you feel safer Amazon has him as well. If you are going to get a Generations scale Transformer this year do not miss out on Springer.