"Transformers BotBots" Captain Cartridge Toy Review

Transformers: BotBots

General Information:
Release Date: July 16, 2019
Price Point: $34.99
Retailer: San Diego Comic-Con 2019 Exclusive
Accessories: Optimus Prime mask (for Coffeemus Prime)

Official images above and text in italics mirrored from Collider.com
Transformers: BotBots Con Crew 10-Pack – Comic-Con-Themed Pack
(Ages 5 and Up/ Approx. Retail Price: $34.99/ Available: 07/18/2019)
Imagine if BOTBOTS took over the halls of Comic-Con! BOTBOTS are mischievous, funny and super silly little TRANSFORMERS robots who came to life after a glowing mist of Energon fell down from the sky and turned everyday objects at Comic-Con to life! This fun convention pack includes ten exciting Comic-Con themed figures known as the CON CREW, a team of Comic-Con experts who are ready to take on the Con!

Within the CON CREW are 3 specialty teams: the celebrity-obsessed MEET N’ GREETS, experts in photo ops and autographs, the energizing FANTASTIC FUELERS, experts in powering through the Con, and the LINE LEAGUE, experts in surviving the many long Comic-Con lines. 3 of the 10 included TRANSFORMERS BOTBOTS figures are also all dressed up in cool cosplay! Ordinary objects like a marker, a to-go coffee cup and a hand-held game become a kaiju, OPTIMUS PRIME, and a super hero! What sort of mischief will these little bots get into at Comic-Con?

The Line League characters are CAPTAIN CARTRIDGE the superhero handheld game, VIGITENTE the tent and CON-PACKTOR the backpack. Fantastic Fuelers include COFEEMUS PRIME the coffee cup dressed as Optimus Prime, CAB O’NATE the energy drink, HAL A. PENO the spicy chips, and SUMTHIN’ FISHY the fish taco. The Meet N’ Greets characters are SCRIBZILLA the marker, BOTARAZZI the camera, and INKY INKERSON the graphic novel. Available exclusively at San Diego Comic-Con International.

The Con Crew comes in a really beautifully made box. The box is thin and rectangular but choc full of details. The front has a big BotBots logo with the "Con Crew" logo under it. The background is the same blue found on the mass release products, but on top are several pieces of artwork that look like screen captures of Instagram posts. The user names are refer to other BotBots including "nr_geez" and "leader_of_the_jam_packed". The photos are really cute and silly including Vigitente having a "Snapchat" style filter over her face making her into a bunny rabbit! Oddly, the sides of the box feature individual artwork of BotBots not in this boxed set but instead they all appear to be from Series 1 and 2.

The back of the box shows off the Con Crew attending a convention, mostly centered around a cosplay contest (and of course getting into all sorts of shenanigans). Flip open the box and the top flap has "panel descriptions" for several of the team members but the layout looks like a convention schedule down to having times assigned to them! The lower part has the BotBots themselves inside a plastic tray set against a cardboard background that looks like an artist's table including a graphic novel with a page ripped out, an inkwell with a pen next to it and even a chair! I absolutely love this packaging. It really does help make this set extra special and it is a fun meta reference to San Diego Comic-Con itself.

One of Hasbro's San Diego Comic-Con 2019 exclusives was a boxed set of BotBots. This set, known as the "Con Crew" introduced three new Tribes: the Line League, the Fantastic Fuelers and the Meet N' Greets. This boxed set had 10 figures, a mixture of new sculpts and redecos. The figures included in the set were:

Captain Cartridge is a member of the Line League Tribe. Given his alt-mode is a handheld video game system that makes perfect sense since he is probably quite the expert in killing time (a common activity at conventions like Comic-Con!). The term "Cartridge" is a fun throwback but a bit misleading since he does not actually transform into a cartridge himself.

Game Mode
Captain Catridge's alt-mode is a hand-held game system. Most of his alt-mode is made up by a large screen and you'll find small d-pad buttons sculpted into one side next to a big "home" button. Indeed, if Hasbro wanted to, they could easily redeco this as a kind of smartphone. Perhaps the most unique aspect of this figure is the cloth cape hanging off the back. This is really part of the robot mode's "cosplay" theme but here it looks like a cute cape someone taped to their game console.

This figure is cast in dark blue plastic. Light blue paint is used for the panels that form the screen. There are antennae on the sides that are light grey. A bit of red is used on the "home" button on one of the edges.

Transformation to Robot Mode

  1. Swing the legs out from the back.
  2. Pull the arms out from the sides and rotate them around.
  3. Swing the antennae up.
  4. Pull the halves of the LCD panel and swing them out to the sides.
  5. Rotate the robot head around (along with the cape).

Robot Mode:
Captain Cartridge's robot mode is a BotBot participating in a cosplay contest, so he is dressed up in a super hero-esque outfit. Whatever hero Captain Cartridge is emulating here, it seems would seem to have a mash up of Captain America and Superman influences. The red, white and blue colors on this mode definitely call back to both those heroes. The cape is very Superman-esque. Meanwhile, the stars on his legs and the antennae on his head recall elements of Captain America's costume.

This figure has three points of articulation. The arms can move up and down and the head can turn thanks to the transformation scheme.

Final Thoughts:
Captain Cartridge has a fun and unusual robot mode, even among the BotBots. The cloth cape and the super hero inspired design come together to form a really fun figure.