Battle Beneath the Streets

Originally posted at at 05/20/09

There’s this blogger that makes a living off being online. Alot of people say this must be a dream job, just sitting back, writing about shit, going places, meeting people, but the reality is, he puts a hell of a lot of work into marketing himself online. The dude needs to be everywhere and needs to maintain an online presence at all times. He is a member of every social network out there and quite a few forum boards in related hobbies. He has an email list, micro-blogging accounts, and contacts up the wazoo. All of this he has to keep track of and keep updated so that traffic to his blog is constant.

Hasbro is a lot like that. Toy molds cost money. Lots of it. They want to make the most of any one mold. Repaints is one way of doing that, but there are others as well. One would be re-issues. Another is the “exclusive” release. The one I particularly enjoy is the boxset.

Whenever a big toy company releases a boxset it usually means two or more figures that were hard to find or discontinued are being reissued again with new paints. That is exactly the case with this one. “Battle Beneath the Streets” as it says on the box, contains two robots, one Voyager and one Deluxe. Though I don’t think you’re saving any money at retail (I think they went for p2000 when they came out), they’re now avaible at p1000 thanks to these recent overstock sales on Transformers. This is great seeing as this product was a Target exclusive in the states; us Pinoys can pretty much find them with no trouble.

The two robots included are Springer and Ratbat. Springer is a repaint of the Cybertron Voyager Evac. I like the green better than the blue gray, white and orange of the original. If you prefer red, Evac was re-done and sold a second time in the Movie line, but seeing as toy goes for p1000 as well, this set is a better buy. Ratbat is a repaint of Cybertron Sideways, which again had a weird color combination. I was absent during the Cybertron days so I have no idea why they all look like jeepneys.

In the G1 continuity, Springer was a triple-changer. He could turn from car to robot to helicopter. Each of those forms was easily termed as “bad-ass”. In the animated movie, he had a pretty big role and some of the coolest sequences. The original toy, like most of the G1 figures, was pretty boring. Alot of sacrifices had to be made in order to give hime 3 forms, and he looked nothing like the cool bot on screen.

Thought this rendition is a good toy, it isn’t much of a Springer. His one alt mode is a rescue choper. Frankly, it looks pretty sissy next to the old futuristic copter. There aren’t any guns, instead, he has working “winch weapon”. What does a “winch weapon” do, pray tell?

The toys is pretty good though if you’re not as biased as I am. Looking at it from a kids perspective, you gotta love it. Not only does the winch work (you press the button and it zips right back), there’s also a second gimmick where you press a button and the rotors sping. I played with it for an hour making helicopter sounds and strafing bystanders. Very cool.

Ratbat is much better in my opinion. Although he’s even less like his G1 counterpart than Springer is (he used to be a bat with a rat head - duh), he went up on the bad ass meter. The Sideways mold really looks good in old RB’s colors. I’m telling you, purple and black. You can never go wrong if you paint a villian in purple and black.

He’s sort of a weird jet. It’s not that odd kind of cybertronian “jet” that Bay tried to force down our throats when he gave us Megatron. This is more recognizable as a spacecraft. The transformation to the vehicle is pretty good and everything fits together nicely.

In their robot modes, their even better. Springer still doesn’t quite live up to the old days, but at least he has the rotorblades as a secondary weapon. He’s got alot of useful articulation too. His winch still works, if you want to play at him lassoing Decepticons.

But I still think Ratbat is the better of the pair. He’s alot more articulated, since his smaller size allows the use of ball joints and his weapons (wing-blades and an something that looks like an energon bow caster) are more menacing. Really, with all the joints on him, he’s like a Decepticon ninja. Plus he has some really good light-piping for that evil eye action.

There is also a Cybertron Key gimmick. I’ll just say that you stick the key in and stuff pops out. It’s not really something that wows me. I pretty much just leave them one way or the other.

Overall, the set really is worth it, especially if your on a budget. If you’re looking for a gift for a godson, this is the thing. Hell, if it’s a goddaughter, give her one anyway. Lord knows Barbies are boring as shit.

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