Transformers Micromaster Wing Toy Review

in 2003, Action Figure Review, Cybertron, Generation One, Micromaster, Multiforce

Micromasters

General Information:
Release Date: 2004
Price Point: $10-15 (Depending on importer)
Retailer: Japanese Exclusive
Accessories: Blaster, Landcross head

Images:

Wingwaver/Waverwing Images:

As part of the 2002-2004 reissue of several Micromaster teams, the "Multiforce" team was put out in a surprise reissue. Long sought after by fans of the "Transformers Victory" series, this group of "Transformers" were the spiritual ancestors of many of the "Transformers Energon" toys such as Hot Shot and Rodimus who could each transform into a vehicle, robot and either the upper half or lower half of the body for a combined, larger robot mode. While this team was technically not a "Micromaster" team, they wound up labeled as "DX Micromasters" (which one could interpret as "Deluxe" Micromasters, which kind of defeats the purpose of being a Micromaster...just don't think about it too much).

Unlike their "Energon" counterparts, the members of the "Multiforce" (or DX Micromasters) were designed in the Generation One era, where almost any design went forward so long as you had some type of transformation gimmick ready to go. To that end, the Multi-force members succeed, but they look a bit thick and not very convincing as 'real' vehicles. However, they were hardly alone in that respect back in the day and I won't be holding that particular design aspect against this figure.

Wing was the leader of the Multiforce team. In Generation One, he was packaged in a gift set with the other Multiforce members and in a two pack with Waver, the Autobot shown combining with Wing the most on the television show (forming the combined Transformer named "Wingwaver"). This review will focus on Wing himself since he was packaged alone.

Vehicle Mode:
Wing's vehicle mode is a fighter jet with some of the requisite design aspects of the form including:

  • A nosecone with an oval cockpit section.
  • Two thrusters on the back, akin to those seen on G1 Starscream.
  • A single vertical stabilizer in the center of the vehicle's back section.
  • Wings on the sides of the vehicle.

The aforementioned "thickness" of the vehicle keeps the design from looking particularly sleek. Indeed, it looks like a rather thick, cargo carrying aerial vehicle with stylings similar to a fighter jet, but his portrayal in the television show was much sleeker, indicating just what the designers intended. He does have some redeeming qualities in terms of detail such as curved lines leading to his thrusters and rows of lines at the edges of the thrusters. He's not a bad looking jet, but he's not exactly a great looking one either.

Wing is cast in three main colors: metallic silver, red and black. The silver is the color that dominates the figure, making up the vehicle from the front to the back. The red is used on the wings and sections under the main bulk of the vehicle. Black is used on smaller parts like his wheels and weapon. There's minimal deco on this figure. The cockpit is painted black, the edges of the thrusters are painted dark grey and there is an Autobot symbol tampographed on the left side of the vertical stabilizer. These colors are a bit different from G1 Wing, who was grey instead of silver and had blue on the cockpit instead of black.

Wing has a hole behind the cockpit that allows you to connect his blaster, giving him a vehicle "attack" mode. It has the unfortunate consequence of making him look even bulkier, but it does add some play value.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the weapon if attached.
  2. Swing each wing down.
  3. Swing the cockpit back.
  4. Pull the middle to rear half of the jet down.
  5. From in between the legs, push the head in the slot in so Wing's robot head slides up.
  6. Attach the weapon to one of the hands.

Robot Mode:
While bulk may not have served his vehicle mode well, it works out nicely for the robot mode, giving him a formidable appearance despite the relative small size of the figure (he's shorter than a modern day Commander Class figure). His body is a bit out of proportion. His legs are really long, his torso is wide and bulky while his head is a bit small. The overall effect however is positively retro. When it came to G1 Transformers of the late 80's, many wound up with funky proportions because their alternate modes served other purposes. Given what this figure can do, I'm cool with the way he looks and I dig some of the detailing on him including beveled panels on his chest, layered armor on the legs and a really nicely detailed head/helmet design.

Color-wise there are no surprises here, but thanks to the head and chest we see a lot more red plastic. His chest panels and face are painted silver and his eyes are blue. This is a contrast to the original G1 version which had an unpainted chest, but did include a sticker that covered up his "waist" section (the section between the torso and legs). Also, the G1 version had a face entirely painted in orange. Personally I prefer the face on this one with the painted eyes.

Wing can hold his blaster in either hand and his arms move up and down, that's it. His functionality involves his transformations more than being a fully functional individual figure. Transform him one way and he becomes the top of "Wingwaver", the combiner created when he combines with fellow team member "Waver". Reverse the order (Waver as the upper body) and technically the character becomes "Waverwing". More on that below.

Transformation to Torso Mode:

  1. Start with the figure in robot mode.
  2. Swing each arm back.
  3. Swing each of the robot legs out to the sides and down.
  4. Swing each wing flat against the legs.
  5. Push the robot head up to reveal the larger robot head.
  6. Use the clip on the bottom to line up and attach Wing to Waver.
  7. The weapon can be attached to the hole at the end of the robot leg (now an arm).

Torso Mode:
As Wingwaver's upper body, Wing's primary difference from his robot mode is the head, which looks a lot like a larger scale version of the head he uses in his "solo" robot mode. It's not an exact copy for sure, but it does have the flat panels sticking up on the sides with some extra details on the sides of the helmet. The face is similar too, using a humanoid face and regular eyes. The newly revealed head piece is red with a silver face and blue eyes.

There aren't really any fists designed into this form, so you wind up having to use your imagination a bit. The two holes in the front of each arm serve as his weapon connection points. Each arm is able to swing up at the shoulder and move in and out as well as up and down. In a G1 toy of this era, such articulation was not common and I'm glad it was worked into this figure.

Transformation to Lower Body Mode:

  1. Start with the figure in robot mode.
  2. Push the robot head in.
  3. Swing the arms back.
  4. Use the clip on the top of the figure to connect to Waver.

Lower Body Mode:
This mode is basically the robot mode of Wing with the arms back and the head pushed in so there are no surprises here. It does work very well as a pair of legs for a larger robot since the legs are fairly thick. The two halves of the figure appear to have no problem combining and separating. No sudden "snaps" or breaks after several transformations - I'd call that solid.

Final Thoughts:
Wing is a toy from another time and as such I judge him by the standards of that time. By that measure, he's not the best looking Autobot out there since the robot mode sacrifices aesthetics for his gimmick. The gimmick is fun however and was clearly engaging enough to be repeated in 2004's "Energon" line. I like him, but totally get why he would not appeal to modern day audiences.