Transformers Car Robots Gigatron Toy Review
Release Date: 2000
Price Point: $30.00 (Depending on retailer)
Retailer: Japanese Import Shops
Accessories: Missile launchers x 2; Missiles x 2
Gigatron is the leader of the Destrongers in the Transformers: Car Robots series. He is also among the elite group of Transformers with a six mode transformation. Other Transformers that had the same ability include Sixshot, Quickswitch and Greatshot. Unlike past six-changers however, Gigatron utilizes some of the latest design methods used for Transformers allowing for great poseability and play.
Note: For the purposes of this review, the transformations will each be described starting with Gigatron in robot mode. This is the mode he is packaged in, and a good starting point for each mode.
Gigatron appears to have been designed with being one of the best representations of a "Destron (Decepticon)/Destronger" leader in a Transformer toy. His overall design is very regal, appearing like a majestic general. His shoulder armor, sweeping wings and ornate detailing add to this theme. His colors represent the "standard" scheme for a "Destron (Decepticon)/Destronger" commander. He is mostly black and purple. Translucent plastic is used at critical parts including the missiles for his weapons, wings and smaller parts, including his knees. Vacume metallized and metallic colors are used sparingly, but the overall effect is fantastic. Vacume metallized plastic decorates his head, chest and arms. Interestingly enough, vacume metallized plastic is used for his eyes, giving a striking effect. This is a trend that will continue in other Car Robots toys.
In robot mode, Gigatron has nineteen points of articulation. Partly for purposes of his many transformations, his arms and legs have an unusual number of articulation points. This lends the toy to being placed into some fantastic poses. Gigatron's Spark Crystal is located right at the center of his chest.
Gigatron's weapons are a pair of twin swords. Each can actually double as a missile launcher. The translucent red "blades" can be launched by pressing the translucent red button on the base of the weapon. However, these are pressure launched missiles (the end of the missle is a ball shape that snaps into a holder, when pushed, pressure builds and eventually launches the missile). This is nowhere near as strong as a spring launcher. In a real cool touch, the base of both weapons can connect together to form a double bladed weapon! It's not often that this much throught is given to a Transformers' weapon. Great touch.
Gigatron's robot mode is really fun to play with while looking fantastic. One drawwback however is he vacume metallized plastic on the head pieces can be easy to scrape off, so don't bang this toy around by the robot head too much!
Transformation to Bat Mode:
Take Gigatron's weapons form his hands and set them aside. Swing out the sections of the wings. Fold the halves of the feet together. Fold the legs back so they bend at the knee and the feet touch his back. Fold down the chest piece and flip out the bat snout from underneath the robot neck. Fold the snout piece on top of the robot mode's mouth and nose area. Flip the chest compartment back up. Fold down the shoulder pieces and rotate the lower arm pieces so the translucent red pieces face forward. Fold those down to form the claws. Fold the gold claws on the wings out a bit and then attach each weapon to the pegs on the back of the wings.
In bat mode, Gigatron looks rather odd. The two main things which contribute to this odd look are his bat feet and face. Since the face is still the robot face with a bat snout on it, it looks more like Gigatron is hiding behind a halloween mask rather than having a true beast mode face. If more of the white on his robot face had been covered up, the effect would be better. The bat feet are rather large, and are on each side of the main body (since they're based on the robot arms) rather than being more centered on the lower body.
Despite these drawbacks, it is still a nice looking mode. The ornate colors and details from the robot mode carry over and having the wings deployed with the weapons mounted on them looks great. The golden trim detail used on the translucent red plastic on the claws look great as well.
In this mode, Gigatron has eight points of articulation. The head cannot really move from side to side since the snout locks the head into place.
Overall, this mode is nice, not fantastic but a good addition to his complement of six modes.
Transformation to Double Headed Dragon Mode:
Remove Gigatron's weapons from his hands and set them aside. Fold back the flaps on the robot head. Flip open the chest compartment and slide the robot head down. Close the compartment. Fold down the shoulder armor pieces and then move the arms up so it looks like Gigatron has his hands up in surrender. Flip down the translucent red claws on his robot arms. Flip the toy over and swing down the jet neck/cockpit section on the back of the robot. Lock it into place at the base of the toy, where the robot head was, this forms the dragon's tail. Turn the upper section of the tail around. On the back, fold down the purple section of the wing base and then flip the black part up, locking it into place by attaching the black section to the purple peg. Swing out the sections of the wings.
Now fold out the dragon arms/claws from the robot waist area. Rotate the upper part of the robot legs around and bend the middle of the legs down to crane the dragon necks down. Fold the halves of the robot feet together. Flip the top purple cover back to reveal the dragon faces. Attach the weapons to his back by using the black pegs on the back. Gigatron is now a fierce dragon!
Double Headed Dragon Mode:
In dragon mode, Gigatron truly looks like a fierce beast. The color scheme from the robot mode carries over, but little touches can be seen in this mode that are not seen in the robot mode. On the translucent purple plastic of the wings, silver and black are sprayed on nicely. The translucent parts are still visible, but the silver and black provide a nice highlight. The dragon arms are black with gold claws and inside the dragon mouth are white teeth and red for the roof and floor of the mouth. The dragon eyes are red as well. Silver is also used for detailing on the dragon heads.
In dragon mode, Gigatron has twenty two points of articulation. A lot of this articulation comes from the dragon necks and heads. The dragon heads can move around well thanks to the dragon heads being connected to the necks via ball joints. The wings can also be moved to "flap". Overall, Gigatron's dragon mode is very cool to play with and looks fantastic.
Transformation to Ground Vehicle Mode:
Remove the weapons from Gigatron's hands and set them aside. Fold back the flaps on the robot head and lower it into the chest compartment. Fold down the shoulder armor pieces, and then flip down the chest piece. Swing out the arms to the sides, including the black pieces which connect them to the chest piece (now folded down). Once you've swung the arms out to the side, fold the chest piece back up. Rotate the lower legs so the inner lower thighs face outward. Fold the halves of the robot feet together. Move the root arms down and connect the peg on the black portion of the lower arm to the holes on the black lower leg sections.
Swing up the cockpit section on the back of the robot up. Lock it into place. Make sure the wing sections are folded in. Fold up the rear wing section and attach it to the peg on the purple hinge piece. Fold up the wings and attach the weapons on the robot legs (now the rear section of the ground vehicle). Gigatron is now ready to race!
Ground Vehicle Mode:
Upon seeing the first pictures of pictures of Gigatron's Ground Vehicle mode, many compared it to Batman's Batmobile (in a futuristic Transformers sort of way). The comparison is apt, with his dark colors, sweeping angles and Gigatron's wings, this truly looks like some type of gothic vehicle from the future.
Like the robot mode, Gigatron's ground vehicle mode is a study in detail. Much of the robot mode's colors carry over, but his vacume metallized gold pieces (mainly on the wheel sections and wings) are really prominant. The cockpit is very nice looking, resembling a vehicle from science fiction ships. Nice gold trim details on his lower legs, weapon launchers, shoulder armor pieces and claws are also all visible in this mode, adding up to make one great looking vehicle.
Posability is not really an issue with this vehicle mode. The four wheels do turn nicely, and are molded in such a way that they practically blend right into the look of the vehicle. The wings can also be raised to act as "shielding" for the cockpit.
This is a really cool mode for Gigatron, and is a great addition to his complement of abilities. Cars (even futuristic ones) are also often great play for kids.
Transformation to Jet Mode:
Remove Gigatron's weapons form his hands and set them aside. Fold the flaps on the robot head in and push the robot head into the chest compartment. Flip opn the chest compartment and flip out the forward landing gear for the jet (it's on a hinge on the chest piece). Swing the arm pieces out to the sides, and the flip the cockpit/neck piece up and lock it into place. Swing down the shoulder armor and straighten out the robot arms to the side.
Fold the two halves of the robot feet together. Next, move down the wing section on the back, connecting the black base of the wings to the purple peg on the back of the robot waist section. Move the lower robot legs up. The lower leg sections can actually lift up a bit from the leg itself, allowing the robot feet sections to reach the middle section of the plane. Be sure the sharp fin like parts of the robot feet are facing up. Swing out the sections of the wings. Attach the weapons to the sides of the base of the cockpit neck and Gigatron is ready to fly!
Gigatron's jet mode is one cool looking jet. With its dark color scheme, it is reminiscent of a stealth bomber. The wings really look fantastic. Choosing the translucent plastic was a great idea, and the wings sweep out wide enough to look very impressive. Like the ground vehicle mode, he looks like a gothic, futuristic aerial vehicle. There is no real posability to speak of, but the wings of course can sweep out and in. Of course, there is also the landing gear which works with the wheels on the robot arms for "landing" Gigatron.
Transformation to Hand Mode:
Remove the weapons from Gigatron's hands and set them aside. Fold down the shoulder armor sections. Flip down the chest piece and fold the arm sections out to the side. Fold back the flaps on the robot head and push the robot head down. Fold the chest piece back up into place. Swing down the arm sections all the way so the black pieces connected to the robot arm shoulders are at the level of the robot hips. On the robot arms, flip the translucent red claws up. Move the cockpit piece to the side, this forms the "thumb". Fold the two halves of the robot feet together. Take the weapons and attach them to the pegs underneath the chest piece (they're on either side of where you pushed the robot head into). Gigatron is now a giant robotic hand!
Probably the mode to raise the most eyebrows in the Transformers line in a long time is Gigatron's "hand mode". In the television show, this is the mode Gigatron enjoys making a fist and smashing through skyscrapers. This is probably the mode where you have to use your imagination a bit in order to fully "register" it as a "hand". Once you "see" it however, it sticks with you.
The weapon blades look like thruster flames supporting the hand. As an interesting side note, early on a fan discovered that the original Transformers Megatron (who transformed into a hand gun) fits perfectly into Gigatron's hands. In this form, he has fifteen points of articulation, mostly in the four main fingers.
In terms of modes, this is a very original mode, and the fact that it is actually used in the series is sure to give kids fun ideas when battling Cybertrons while collectors will see this as an interesting curiosity.
Overall Gigatron is one incredible toy. The modes are original and well thought out. The fact that his forms are a bit unusual do not make him bad at all in my book, but rather it is a great touch since it fires the imagination. Gigatron's forms also cover the various types of forms Transformers take on, from vehicle modes to beast modes and of course, a robot mode. Only two things I have noticed truly keep Gigatron from being an "A+" toy:
- When transforming him from one mode to another, Gigatron's dragon arms have a tendency to pop off. It's not a huge deal since they're on ball joints and can easily be snapped back on, but it is still annoying.
- The purple vacume metallized plastic on his robot head have a tendency to scrape off if you're not careful when transforming him.
With these two factors taken into consideration, Gigatron is still a fantastic toy but gets downgraded to an A-.