Transformers Movie (2007) Strongarm Review

in 2007, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Energon, Movie (2007), Target Exclusive

Transformers Live Action Movie

General Information:
Release Year: July 2007
Retailer: Target Exclusive
Price: $7.99
Accessories: Crane/axe handle, Energon Chip, Axe Blades x 2
Difficulty Level: 2


Tech Specs:
Strongarm would rather work than fight, just like his friend Signal Flare. He is an electronics and physics genius who builds weapons and other gear for the Autobots. Good natured and friendly, he always has a joke for any situation, and keeps a constant stream of conversation while he works, either with other robots in the room, or with his voice-activated computer. He may not charge into battle all that often, but as the guy who keeps their gear in good order, he's seen as invaluable by the other Autobots.

Strength: 7  Intelligence:Speed:Endurance: 5
Rank: 4  Courage: 5  Firepower: 3  Skill: 9

Continuing the waves of Target exclusives, more Scout Class figures were released as a second wave of figures. One of these is Strongarm, a redeco of Strongarm from Energon. This figure was later used as Energon Strongarm and then Fallback in 2005. Take a look at those reviews to get a good idea of my thoughts on the basic sculpt. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

The size of the card used in this wave of Target exclusives is the same as the first wave. These smaller cards were also used for the Real Gear Robots line. The figure itself is in vehicle mode on its side, with the weapons and Energon Star over it. On the bottom are the familiar graphics with beveled metal plate designs in red and Strongarm's name in the same font used for the movie logo. An "Only at Target" sticker is placed over the bubble. The back pictures the figure in both modes, but shows a different deco than the actual figure itself. The figure shows some gold decos on it that it does not have. Also the shades of green used on the actual figure are darker than those on the packaging photo. It also notes you can take the "Gray parts" and combine them to form an Ultimate Energon Weapon, but the actual weapons are more of a smokey brown color. On the lower right hand corner of the packaging are Strongarm's cosells, Clocker and Skyblast.

Vehicle Mode:
The primary plastic colors used on this version of Strongarm are olive green, black and grey. Comparing him to the first Strongarm, the olive green replaces the yellow, the grey replaces the beige and the black parts remain black. The windshield pieces are cast in clear brown plastic. As mentioned previously, all the Energon weapon parts are now translucent brown. The idea of course was to choose base colors that would look more like they could fit into a real life environment. For the most part, the Transformers from the movie have had more subdued tones and colors than some of the more brightly colored mainline Transformers and the intent here was to give a more militaristic look to this vehicle than the previous, more brightly colored incarnations. These base colors definitely serve that purpose.

Silver, dark green, brown and yellow make up the colors used for paint applications on Strongarm. The yellow is used for the headlights. The front section, the edges of the windshield and parts of the rear section of the vehicle all have brown (where the picture on the packaging shows gold). For the most part, the dark green replaces the dark blue on the original Strongarm figure except for the side panels that would serve as the doors. Silver is used on the sides of the wheels, a detail also used on the original Strongarm.

This color scheme definitely fits the look of a Hollywood-ized military vehicle. There's no camo pattern, but it does use military-inspired colors. The use of brown definitely works better for this subdued look than grey would have. In these colors, the vehicle definitely blends right in with the other Target exclusive Sector 7 vehicles, especially Signal Flare who also uses some green.

All the Energon parts attach just fine and don't hang loose at all. The wheels roll fine as well so there hasn't been mold degradation despite this being the fourth use of this sculpt (fifth if you count the Japanese release for Superlink).

Robot Mode:
If you look at the picture of Strongarm on the back of his packaging, the gold color and lighter green hues really show that the original intent was to give us an interpretation of this sculpt that fans have wanted since 2004, a G1 Brawn homage. However those colors were probably considered too bright to fit into the "real world" feel the designers were going for, which is a shame.

Instead, we have what I call a "near homage". Strongarm shows a bit more grey (border lining on silver) plastic here in the form of his lower arms. Silver paint is used on the crossing patterns on his upper legs and the face. The center of the chest, parts of the legs and details on the shoulders are all brown. The head is black and his eyes are painted yellow. On the left side of his torso is the Sector 7 symbol along with the "S7" letter/number, all done in silver. The green and grey definitely give him hints of being a Brawn homage, but it's only a partial one.

Final Thoughts:
This sculpt has been used a lot of times previous to this, but I do have to say this version stands out the most among his three, more brightly colored predecessors. I think a golden opportunity to give us a Brawn homage was missed here, but that's not enough to dismiss this figure. The toy is still a solid figure with cool accessories. Still, if you already own a couple previous versions you'll probably have to be a completist to pick this one up.