Transformers Movie (2007) T.E.C.H. Flash Bang Review

in 2007, Autobot, Movie (2007), Movie (2007), Role Play Toy Review

Transformers Live Action Movie

General Information:
Release Year: August 2007
Retailer: General release (Wal-Mart, Target, Toys 'R' Us etc.)
Price: $12.99 (Depending on retailer)
Accessories: Missile x 1
Requires: Two AAA batteries (included).

Images:

Sounds:

Transformers role-playing toys get bumped up a notch with the introduction of T.E.C.H. (Transformers Electronic Combat Hardware). This sub-line of Transformers toys puts the power of Transformers based technology into the hands of kids so they too can combat evil. It's a cool idea that has potential to generate some fun toys that go beyond a simple "space gun" that can launch Nerf missiles.

Packaging:
The Transformers T.E.C.H. packaging features one of the biggest backing cards around for the line. They are much larger than the standard deluxe card in width. This makes sense since they have to accomodate a toy that represents a real life object. Flash Bang is packaged in flaslight mode. There is a small opening on the bubble that allows you to press the button to activate his transformation sound and firing noise along with the lights. The back of the packaging shows the toy in both forms along with the following explanatory blurb: "Hidden among us, alien machiens of incredible power fight their ancient battle for the Allspark. They are...The Transformers! Now you can join the battle for the Allspark with these amazing TRANSFORMERS T.E.C.H weapons! Your robotic allies have created an array of powerful weapons disguised as every day objects. Whether you want to protect the universe like the Autobots, or conquer it alongside the Decepticons, you're ready for battle on a moment's notice with this fast-changing battle gear!" Interestingly, the packaging also uses the "More than meets the eye" tag line, which is not often seen on Transformers packaging anymore. The packaging also notes this is "Not a working flashlight" (even though that is only partly true).

Flashlight mode:
Flash Bang is disguised as a flashlight when not in weapon mode. Instead of a traditional tube flashlight, this one is more of a rectangular block with a handle. The lens in front is a vertical rectangular shape with curves on the top and bottom. The sides are curved and narrow as you get to the back. The very back has a ridged panel on it with a button on the bottom. The sculpt of the toy is basic, but it has good detailing. The lense in front has several raised circles forming patterns similar to targeting reticles. The edges on the front have a ridged appearance common to rubber edges put on equipment to protect it. The sides have inset lines and even ridged grips on top. The handle is molded to allow for fingers to grip it easily. Also on the right side you'll find the compartment for the batteries held in by one philips screw. The batteries are already included with the toy so you won't need to buy any up front (just test it first of course).

The flashlight is mostly cast in yellow, dark grey, gunmetal and red plastic. The bulk of the top is cast in yellow. The handle and the outer protective ring around the lense is grey. The ridged panel on the back is gunmetal. Red plastic is used for the small button on the back as well as the trigger on the handle. Dark grey paint applications are used on the ridges sections on the top edges of the flashlight. On the left side towards the top is a sticker with an Autobot symbol that says "FLASHLIGHT Powered by Energon Cells", a cute touch. The deco may seem a bit bright, but it makes sense if you imagine this as part of a safety kit where the object is meant to be bright. The dark grey and gunmetal also offset the brightness of the yellow, so it looks cool and somewhat realistic.

On the right side, you will find a switch that sets Flash Bang to "Try Me", "Off" and "On" modes. These are fairly self explanatory. In the "Try Me" mode, you get a couple sounds and lights by pressing the yellow button on the left side. Switching it to "On" sets it to its regular mode. While the packaging states that Flash Bang is "Not a working flashlight", it sort of is. If you press the yellow button on the left side towards the front, the orange light bulbs inside do light up for about twenty seconds and they're fairly bright. The same happens if you press the red button on the back.

Transformation to blaster mode:

  1. Press the red trigger on the handle and the barrel of the gun will slide out the top while the targeting sight will flip up.
  2. Swing out the yellow panel on the left side.
  3. Pull the grey panel on the back out.
  4. Swing the lower half of the protective ring around the lense down.

Blaster mode:
Flash Bang's "blaster" mode is much more like a machine gun. The biggest give away is the front end, which has several ovals and circles sculpted into the barrel. The top of the flashlight lense winds up becoming a targeting reticle (explaining the details noted earlier) and the panel that swings out the sides looks like it could be a guard or even an ammo clip. Having the lower part of the front edge swing down was a smart move as it helps you stand the blaster if you are not holding it (similar to some real life guns that can rest the front end on a tripod). The front end is really the only newsly revealed part. Aside from the aforementioned holes on the barrel you'll also see angled lines running down the base as well as ridges on the top and bottom where the barrel connects to the mechanism that pushes it out during transformation.

The newly revealed plastic colors are translucent red and orange, both stemming from the barrel of the gun. The end is orange and the base and the inner parts are translucent red. Inside the barrel you can see a gunmetal grey missile (more on that in a moment).

Pressing either the red button on the back or the yellow button on the side activates both the "firing" sound effect and a strobing effect by the same orange lights as those that you use in the flashlight mode. The entire interior of Flash Bang lights up, so the light also travels through the translucent red plastic in the barrel. The overall effect is really cool looking. The aforementioned missile is designed to launch when you press the red button, but for some reason mine refuses to launch. I have read reviews of others with this toy and they don't have the same problem so I must have just gotten a bum one. Pushing the red part of the handle in causes the barrel to retract and the targeting reticle to swing down. This also activates the "reverse" transformation sound.

Final Thoughts:
I'm a bit bummed that my Flash Bang can't launch its missile. However I can't deny this is a fun little role play toy that kids will definitely get a kick out of. Recommended for kids who want something different than an action figure from the Transformers toy line.