Dark of the Moon Flak Toy Review

in 2011, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Cyberverse, Dark of the Moon, Legion Class

Dark of the Moon

General Information:
Release Date: June 2011
Price Point: $5.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

*Text in italics below from The Official Transformers Web Site:
The battle tactics FLAK invented might be unusual, but he knows they’d work – if only he could get them tested out on the battlefield.

Spring into action with this vehicle-to-robot hero! Switch your powerful FLAK figure from APC vehicle mode to battle-ready robot mode. Convert him back to vehicle mode so he can chase down his enemies. As the battle rages on, keep converting him back and forth, so he’s ready to face whatever his enemies throw at him! Ages 5 and up.

It has become traditional for every Transformers line to release figures of characters who generally only exist in toy form but never appeared in the films. In some cases these characters have gone on to appear in the IDW comic books based on the movies. One character that has only appeared in the "Dark of the Moon" toy line so far is Flak. The name goes all the way back to a Micromaster character in Generation One.

Robot Mode:
Going back to the character's roots, Generation One Flak was a military vehicle that transformed into a rough and tough looking robot. This iteration of Flak fits right into that category but seems to borrow a bit from the design of Hardhead, the Transformer who recently appeared a few times in the IDW Universe of comic books. Like Hardhead, Flak is a fairly blocky and thick looking robot, looking like he could take a lot of damage on the battlefield. His chest gives hints of his APC alternate mode and he has a cannon set over his right shoulder. His parts are generally blocky looking and chunky, giving him more of a Generation One style appearance than a traditional movie aesthetic.

Where the movie aesthetic comes into play are a lot of the smaller details. The head sculpt for instance looks very bird-like, with folds on the top of the helmet that rise up and sweep back, similar to those on an owl. His mouth looks almost beak like. This animalistic take on head designs is very much a trademark of the movie designs and it looks good here. Other movie style details include an asymmetrical set of hands. His right hand is a claw with two pincers while his left is made up of four fingers. This synthesis of the two design styles looks great and I dig seeing another "tough" looking Autobot added to their ranks.

Flak is cast in green and black plastic. The green makes up most of the figure. with black used on smaller parts such as the hip area and the wheels from the vehicle mode. Beige paint is used all over the robot. In the vehicle mode this becomes a camoflage pattern, but here it looks a bit more random yet somehow that works. The robot head also uses this color on the "helmet" section, but the face is painted silver with light blue eyes. Against all the darker colors, the blue eyes really contrast well and look fantastic. Another spot of silver can be found on his chest where there is an Autobot symbol right in the middle. Overall it's a great looking color scheme for a Legion Class figure.

There are seven points of articulation on this figure, which is quite a bit for a Legion Class figure. This is due in part to the transformation scheme, which creates an elbow joint on each arm. I'm also counting the ability of his cannon to move up and down over his shoulder. I mentioned earlier his hands are asymmetrical. This is due in part to his right hand being set in a curled position that allows him to hold onto a Cyberverse weapon.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Swing both forearms up.
  2. Swing the cannon barrel up.
  3. Rotate the cannon barrel/turret around.
  4. Swing the cannon barrel back down.
  5. Swing the chest panel up.
  6. Swing the lower body up at the center hinge.
  7. Connect the legs to the rear panel on the vehicle, creating the back of the vehicle.
  8. Swing each arm up to align with the chest panel, this forms the front of the vehicle.
  9. Vehicle Mode:
    Flak's vehicle mode is an Armored Personnel Carrier. Much of the vehicle's design is typical and remind me of last year's Breacher figure. The front end has a flattened section that extends forward. This area is set at an angle as it sweeps back to the rest of the vehicle. The rest of the vehicle is fairly boxy, mostly rectangular in shape - which makes perfect sense if you consider it's supposed to hold soldiers inside of it.

    One fun thing about military vehicles in the Transformers toy line is that they offer a wide canvas for designers to sculpt lots of litte details (something you don't necesarily get out of say, a sports car). On Flak, these details include windows on the front, sides and back, vents on top towards the rear, panels on the sides that look like they open on hinges and headlights sculpted into the front. I really enjoy vehicles like this as they offer a feast for the eyes based on the sculpt alone, and help sell the idea that this is meant to be a vehicle in the "real' world of the live action movies.

    Flak shows off much more of the beige color in this form and the patterns come together since all his parts have been condensed. While his front windows are painted black, the others are left unpainted, which is the only thing I would have liked to see different deco-wise.

    The turret on the top of the vehicle can turn and the cannon itself can move up and down. This gives Flak more firepower in vehicle mode than most of his fellow Cyberverse figures and it looks cool to boot!

    Final Thoughts:
    Flak is a really cool addition to the Cyberverse line. I enjoy the design for sure, but I also like the fact that it adds a new character into the mix. I feel this only enriches the universe overall while giving us a cool toy to boot!