Dark of the Moon Human Alliance Icepick with Sergeant Chaos Toy Review
Release Date: April 2011
Price Point: $9.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Weapons x 2, Sergeant Chaos action figure
Images: Image gallery of Icepick with Sergeant Chaos
As the "Dark of the Moon" toy line began to be revealed during the time frame of Toy Fair 2011, some interpreted the "Cyberverse" Commander series of figures as the heir apparent to the position held by the Scout Class figures, a major staple of the Transformers toy line since the days of "Beast Wars". However, Toy Fair 2011 revealed this to not be the case. Instead, the Scout Class is being enhanced and folded into the "Human Alliance" sub-line of Transformers figures. Originally this line focused on large scale "Alternators" style vehicles with human partners, all based on the movie universe. The concept has been expanded now to include new characters that work together on the battlefield. In some respects, this sub-line is a near realization of the "G.I. Joe and Transformers" toys fans have wanted for years.
So I'll admit it, Sergeant Chaos is a really cheesy sounding name, but at the same time it's very playful and sounds like something that could have either come out of the Generation One 80's series or perhaps a James Bond movie. In this case, Chaos appears to be an arctic trooper working with Icepick. His whole outfit seems geared towards colder environments. The base of Chaos' outfit is a jumpsuit that looks quite thick if you look at how much it puffs out at the parts wher ehis boots and gloves meet the jumpsuit. He even has a rather thick collar around his neck and there are plenty of wrinkles in the suit indicating a layer of fabric over something ticker underneath.
Chaos' head design also reflects work in a cold environment. He has a helmet resembling those worn by Germans during World War II. His eyes are covered with goggles and his mouth is covered with a face protector (presumably against the cold). Chaos also has a ton of pouches sculpted all over him. The chest has a vest on it with lots of pouches varying in size. On his back he has a few and on his right thigh is a slot for a gun (which you can see poking out ever so slightly). His knees have knee pads on them and if you look carefully at his boots you'll see even his laces are sculpted into the figure. This combination of details is fantastic and I really appreciate how intricate the figure is!
Chaos is cast in two shades of grey plastic, a really light one and a really dark one. The light grey makes up most of the jumpsuit area while the dark grey makes up his head, hands and feet. Gunmetal grey is used to paint his helmet and knee pads while a more flat grey is used to paint his face and vest. Silver is used to paint the goggles and a Decepticon symbol right in the center of his torso (in case the name Chaos didn't clue you in as to whose side he's on).
Sergeant Chaos has thirteen points of articulation in this form. This includes three in each arm and three in each leg. I find him a tiny bit out of proportion with the vehicle, like he should be a smidge bigger but it's not a deal breaker. Overall, Sergeant Chaos is a neat little figure to go with Icepick and I appreciate that his design differs from the other ones released so far.
Icepick's robot mode is one of the sleekest from the first series of Human Alliance figures. Considering most of his vehicle form has to be very aerodynamic, this hardly comes as a shock. His chest is made up of the front of the vehicle mode, looking almost like a bird's head in shape with curves coming to a point in the middle. His legs also reflect this type of design, with curved panels in the front on the top and bottom sections of each leg. His arms too have curved armor on them, all working together to give the impression of a very fast moving warrior.
With so many smooth panels on the figure, there is still room for nice mechanical looking details. You'll find these on the forearms and inner legs. What I like about these details is how smooth and elegant they are. Whereas many movie Transformers seem to have angular panels slapped on top of other details, these details look almost organic. Another detail I found interesting is the head sculpt, which resembles the mask worn by hockey goalies, which is appropriate given the setting his vehicle mode is meant to interact in. There appears to be a face behind the criss crossing pattern on the face itself, making it look like Icepick is wearing a helmet. Along with the aforementioned smooth design Icepick really has a distinct look.
Icepick is cast in black, white and translucent purple plastic. Most of the body is white, including the torso, arms and legs. Smaller parts are cast in black such as the insides of the forearms, the feet and shoulder joints. White is one of those colors you don't see often in the Transformers line since so many characters use more distinct colors such as reds, blues and yellows. In this case however, Icepick stands out because of this color and it is appropriate for his vehicle mode as well. The translucent purple adds a really nice dimension to the figure. You'll find it on his chest and face, contrasting nicely with the white plastic on those sections.
Paint applications are done in purple, gold, metallic light blue and black. Purple and gold are used to provide a lot of line designs and accents to edges such as his ankle area and his upper arms. The metallic blue paints wider areas such as the top of his chest. Black is used in two main places: a Decepticon symbol on his chest and the mesh pattern on his face (or mask if you prefer). It's a very restrained, simple and effective color scheme. I appreciate how clean it is and how the colors accent the white perfectly.
Icepick has fifteen points of articulation in robot mode. This includes ball joints at his shoulders and hips as well as two points of articulation on each foot. Icepick includes two "C-Clip" weapons that connect to rods at the end of his hands, making it look like they're an extension of his arm. The rod on his left forearm is also the right size to connect the weapons to. His left forearm has a peg on it that will allow you to connect any standard 5mm peg weapon including Mech Tech weapons. It has a hole in it that also allows the peg to accomodate Mini-Cons.
Overall, Icepick has a very different looking robot mode compared to those of his fellow "Human Alliance" wave one releases. His aesthetic seems to lean towards being smooth and sleek as opposed to bulky or "tough" looking. Here, there's more of an elegance at work that I appreciate.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode
- Push both halves of the feet together and push each foot back.
- Rotate the robot arms up.
- Rotate the skis on his torso out to the front.
- Swing the white panel that the skis are connected to up.
- Push the robot head into the chest.
- Rotate the sections of the arms so you can connect them together behind the windshield.
- Rotate the panel with the Mini-Con peg on it around.
- Connect the two tread pieces together by rotating them around and connecting them in the middle.
- Swing the tread piece up, connecting it to the Mini-Con peg.
- Swing the upper and lower legs together and then push them up and in to form the sides of the vehicle.
- The weapons connect to the bar on the back of the vehicle.
- Sergeant Chaos can be seated on the seat and hold onto the handlebars to "drive" the vehicle.
Icepick's vehicle mode is a snowmobile, a form not often seen in the Transformers toy line. Indeed, snow-based vehicles are a bit of a rarity given their limited application in different environments, so it's cool to see one pop up once and a while. He has many of the classic design elements you would expect from a snowmobile including a front end that curves to a point in the middle with a small windshield at the top, skis in the front and a tread in the back. The front section seems to contain most of the bulk of the vehicle (implying that is also where the engine may be) while the middle section is relatively thin. With its sleek, curved design there aren't a whole lot of places for intricate detailing, but you do get some on the handlebar area and on the sides of the treads. Together, these details help make the vehicle look fast and elegant but with some power tucked away underneath!
All the same colors you saw in the robot mode, but here the colors are seen a lot more. On the front end the silver color is found on the front and sides. Purple is used mostly on the side of the vehicle. The bigest detail are stylized letters that say "FROCON", which I'm guessing may stand for "Frozen Decepticon" (I'm half serious). A Google search of "Frocon" didn't turn up anything that seemed relevant either. Either way, it's a neat logo that could easily be some fictional snowmobile company in the Transformers universe. The gold coloring comes together here with the lines on his chest and arms aligning to look like one pattern going from the front of the vehicle to the middle. The sides of his treads are also painted gold, which helps add a bit of boldness to the figure visually.
Sergeant Chaos rides on the vehicle fine, but as with most of the "Human Alliance" figures released for "Dark of the Moon", I can't help but think that these "Scout" scale figures were meant to have Human Alliance figures on the scale of those included with the larger sets such as Human Alliance Bumblebee. Chaos sits fine on the vehicle, but he just looks a bit out of proportion with it. Oh well, who ever said scale made much sense with the Transformers line anyway?
As mentioned before, you can clip to C-Clip weapons to the back. You can also connect a couple to the skis themselves as well as the bar in front, though that one is a bit thinner and doesn't hold weapons very well.
I dig this vehicle for being one of the few snow based ones in the Transformers line. It looks great and has a simple but effective color scheme.
Transformation to Weapon Mode (from vehicle mode)
- Pull the tread down and swing it forward so it sticks out at the front of the vehicle.
- Split the tread section in the middle, swing each half out then push them together again.
- Attach the clip weapons to the skis.
This mode is intended to be a saw type weapon with energy weapons flanking it, and in concept it's a really cool idea. Using the Mini-Con peg at the back of the vehicle, larger figures are supposed to be able to hold Icepick up as a weapon. Unfortunately he's a bit heavy, so it's been tough to find Transformers that can hold him properly. Ultimate Optimus Prime is able to do it, but that's kind of a cheat considering his size and bulk. Most Voyager Class figures can hold him, but holding him with the arms outstretched? That's not going to happen. The weapon is simply too heavy (at least for Ironhide and Skyhammer).
The newly revealed (or rather, newly focused upon) parts are the insides of the treads, which go from a traditional tread appearance to a mean looking set of curves and blade like shapes on the inside of the "saw" weapon. Other than that everything else are carry over parts from the vehicle mode.
Several official images show Sergeant Chaos riding the weapon mode like it's a hover vehicle or something. While this does work from a functional standpoint, I question the wisdom of a human sitting on top of a weapon being wielded by a giant robot, hold down only by his grip to the handlebars! To me, it's just a bit silly. I prefer to think of this mode as a "stand alone" mode.
Icepick is a cool toy that has some nice aesthetics and looks cool in his robot and vehicle modes. I'm not as sold on the weapon mode, so he's kind of a "nice to have" figure, but not a strongly recommended buy.