If there's one thing I love, it's my wife. But if there's two things I love... well that would be the cat and the wife. But luckily there are three or more things I love, and one of them is Legends-class figures based on G1 minibots. They're inexpensive, don't take up a lot of space, and yet feel like perfectly plausible representations of the character.
Titans Returns has brought us a bounty of such figures, and they're both bigger and more lavishly deco-ed than some Legends figures of the past. Some have been absolutely great, and I'm sure I'll review those eventually.
But today, sadly, I'm reviewing Seaspray.
Based on the photos, I was expecting Seaspray's bot mode to do a perfectly fine job of representing the character. And I suppose it sort of does. There's definitely no question that this is Seaspray.
The deco isn't half bad either; the yellow and blue used here are both delightfullly vibrant, and the tampograph details on the chest really help break up what could have otherwise been a dull brick of white. And the articulation is perfectly adequate given the size and price point.
The problem is the proportions, which immediately bothered me way more in hand than they had in photos. They're just all over the place. The feet being huge could almost be expected, but I wasn't prepared for how scrawny the arms are compared to his huge, wide chest. The arms are also set unusually far back on the chest block.
The other major problem is the "weapon." I don't usually hold accessories against a figure unless they're necessary for transformation -- because that means you can't just put the weapon away and forget it. Seaspray's weapon is theoretically kinda sorta necessary for his transformation (more on that later), and, let's not mince words, it's fucking ridiculous.
Seriously, look at that. That isn't a weapon. It's not even trying to be a weapon. It's a pizza box. With this thing attached, Seaspray straight up looks like an aquatic pizza delivery guy. It's literally all I can think every time I look at him. "Why thank you Seaspray, hope they didn't forget the mushrooms again!" It should also be noted that Seaspray can't even hold the thing in his hand peg, it has to attach via a special slot in his forearm. This is so that the chest won't need an unsightly 5mm port for it. You know, for the vital role that this thing plays in the...
This is where I really started to hate this figure.
The legs transform basically the way you'd expect. That's fine.
The central chest mass unfolds, and then the arms just kind of tab into it. This is... not the greatest thing in the world, since it leaves the hands just dangling off the back, but fine.
And then there's the head. Gee, how shall we hide this head? Should it flip down into the gigantic hollow space directly below it? Nah. I've got a better idea. How about we just put a tiny piece of hinged plastic on the chest, and flip it up to cover the face, like Seaspray is not so much in disguise, as playing peek-a-boo with a small child.
That is seriously the intended transformation. When I got this thing out of the package, I spent a while trying to figure out how to open that back mass, to no avail. I checked the paper instructions, and just about fell out of my chair. Then I showed it to my wife, and she laughed so hard she almost peed. This is what passes for transformation design at HasTak these days? Have they no decency? Have they no shame? Have they no pride in the art of transforming robot toy design?!
What went wrong here? Did they design it as a deluxe with a removable Titan Master head, and then downsize it in a panic? Did the parts count get cut at the last minute? Did they put a disinterested intern in charge of designing the Legend figures?
Again, he's got a gigantic hollow space directly under his head! But no, that space is reserved for the line-wide gimmick. We have to pretend someone's going to chuck a Titan Master in that space, even though this seems less like having a Titan Master pilot Seaspray, and more like shoving a dead body in his trunk.
Oh yeah, and the last step is, you plug in the pizza box. For some goddamn reason.
Vehicle mode is basically a fine rendition of G1 Seaspray's hovercar mode, if you can ignore the fact that Seaspray's head is clearly sitting there, only somewhat obscured by a slab of white plastic.
It's funny, when a transformer's head hides away, I never ask myself how they can see where they're going. I assume they can see out of their headlights or something. But here, I absolutely think Seaspray is going to ram into every tugboat and buoy in his path, because he's holding a damn piece of paper in front of his face! You can't drive a hovercar with a piece of paper in front of your face!
As for the pizza box -- what is it even there for?! The hovercraft mode looks more accurate to Seaspray's G1 appearance without it, and doesn't look any more like a real hovercraft with it. I can't really tell what it's supposed to be here any more than I can in robot mode. I guess it adds some dimension to an otherwise flat expanse, but overall, the whole thing just doesn't seem worth bothering with.
This is, somehow, the best official Seaspray figure ever released -- the only other generations release being inexplicably voyager sized and pretty poor in its likeness. But I'm not willing to give it best available, because we've also seen a recent wave of third party masterpiece-alikes of Seaspray. They all look a little more on model, and I've got to believe that at least one of them actually bothered hiding the damn head in vehicle mode.
Still, for all my grousing, this is a decent representation of Seaspray for your Classics display, especially at this price point. So fine. It's a worthy tribute.
Pathetic. Embarrassing. These are the words that come to mind when discussing Titan's Return Seaspray.
It's not that this is the worst toy I've ever purchased. It's honestly almost okay. It gives you an inexpensive Seaspray that fits well on your classic shelf, and doesn't even look that bad in robot mode. Maybe your other Autobots want pizza, and if that's the case, Seaspray delivers.
But that transformation just offends me. It's inexcusable. It's 2017, people. We have the technology to hide a robot head!