Transformers Prime Robots in Disguise Vehicon Toy Review

in 2012, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Deluxe, Prime, Vehicon, Robots in Disguise

Transformers Prime

General Information:
Release Date: January 2012
Price Point: $12.99
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Blaster


*Images above with asterisks and text below in italics from the The Official Transformers Web Site:
Every VEHICON knows how likely he is to be dismantled – either by the AUTOBOTS, or by a DECEPTICON commander in need of spare parts. Danger is just part of life for them, and they welcome it. To a VEHICON, happiness is loyalty to MEGATRON and a warm blaster cannon.

Your fierce VEHICON figure is ready to make big trouble for the AUTOBOTS! In robot mode, your VEHICON figure’s snap-on battle cannon will intimidate his enemies. Convert him to pursuit car mode when the weapon he needs is speed! Keep converting him back and forth so he can handle whatever his enemies throw at her!

VEHICON figure converts from robot mode to pursuit car mode and back again! Take command of the evil VEHICON soldier! Blasters snap on to robot and vehicle mode! Includes converting KNOCK OUT action figure and snap-on battle spear. DELUXE CLASS SERIES 1 008 VEHICON Ages 5 and up.

VehiconFirst introduced in the "Beast Machines" television series, the term "Vehicons" referred to Sparkless automations commanded by Vehicon "Generals" hunting down Maximals. The term has popped up now and then over the years, but it was not until "Transformers Prime" when the term would become a focus of a television show again. The new class of Vehicon is a generic Decepticon trooper. Unlike their Beast Machines counterparts they appear to have either Sparks or some limited form of artificial intelligence as they are often shown reacting to situations with thought and they have the ability to speak.

Sparkless or not, these Transformers look pretty awesome in animation so it should be no surprise that their toys are quite popular, especially as troop builders. With the "Robots in Disguise" sub-line of Transformers, fans now have an opportunity to own a version of the character other than his very hard to find First Edition or Legion Class figure. The irony is that while he was more widely available than the First Edition, he is still relatively hard to find since people have been buying him as a "troop builder" and Bumblebees still outnumber him in cases. If you want him, grab him when you see him, you may not get another shot!

Vehicle Mode:
If you check out the two Vehicon reviews linked above, I do go kind of on and on about the elements used in this vehicle's design. Take a careful look and you'll see bits of the Decepticon symbol worked into parts such as the grille in the front and even the "bat shaped" spoiler echoes the pointy bits on the top of the Decepticon symbol. What's cool to note is that most of the more important detailing on the design from the television show such as the unique headlights and the sleek lines of the vehicle have carried over nicely into this incarnation. In terms of sculpting, the vehicle looks fantastic as is (another reason it may be selling out rather quickly).

Most long time fans are going to quickly pick up on the fact that this incarnation of the Vehicon is smaller than his First Edition predecessor and most Deluxe figures from other Transformers lines. This is true, and sadly as economic realities of our time and collecting converge, more and more Transformers are "shrunk down" while costing more. The point of bringing this up is not to be down on the figure, but point out something that has happened across the toy line (and indeed to other toy lines as well). Smaller doesn't mean any less detailed or cool looking hoever. Smaller details such as the three tubes in his headlights, sideview mirrors, exhaust pipes and detailed wheels are all present and look really great.

Vehicon is cast in a really dark shade of purple. It looks almost black, but when contrasted against the black color of his weapon and wheels, there is a notable difference (at least under natural lighting). The headlights and windows are cast in a clear plastic, all of which bring the main colors of this vehicle in line with its animated counterpart. Metallic paint details are used for small line details in front of each forward wheel well. The same color is also used for the three distinct lines in the back of the vehicle. A surprising paint detail are his headlights, which are each colored purple at the end inside the translucent plastic! It's not often details underneath plastic are painted but these are and they look amazing. Original photography of prototypes for this figure showed paint details on the weapon, however there are none present in the final release. Bummer.

Vehicon has holes above each of the rear wheel wells that allow you to attach his weapon (and any others with standard 5mm pegs) to the sides of the vehicle. This gives him tons of potential firepower (especially if you attach weapons with holes to attach more weapons and so on).

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the weapon and set it aside for now.
  2. Carefully pull out the sides of the vehicle.
  3. Swing the cabin section/hood cover forward.
  4. Separate the two halves of the cabin/hood section to begin forming the legs.
  5. On the piece from step three, swing each hinged section back.
  6. On each thigh, swing the foot pieces down and move them so they point forward.
  7. On each side panel, pull the door sections down and swing the hands out to form the robot arms.
  8. Push the rear vehicle piece back and the robot head will "automorph" forward.
  9. The weapon can either be attached to his hand via the peg or clipped onto the forearm.

Robot Mode:
The First Edition Vehicon was relatively bulky looking compared to his animated counterpart. Sure the sculpt had most of the requisite features including the creepy looking head design and the details on the chest etc., however he also looked like he was the more brutish, older brother of the Vehicons shown on the television show (which I find kind of cool actually). This version of the character provides fans with a version that has proportions that match his animated counterpart much more. There's no back pack kibble, that has all wisely been made part of the legs, providing both supportive width and weight on the lower legs and feet. The top of the body is rather lithe and sleek looking now, fittinig with the CGI model.

Some folks have interpreted the smaller size of the "Robots in Disguise" line to indicate that the figures are of less quality and that's not always the case, especially in the sculpting department. This iteration of Vehicon has a lot of the necessary details including the mechanical bits inside his chest panel, the sleek and beleved lines of the head sculpt and even the ridged details on the middle of his lower legs. Detail-wise, this figure looks great!

Vehicon shows off a fourth color in this mode: metallic blue, but a shade that fits right in with the purple colors found on his legs and on the Decepticon symbol on his chest. This blue is also done up in paint details found on his chest and waist area. Silver is used mostly for the head and the panel on his chest and the eyes are translucent red, using light piping from the back. Overall, the colors match the show rather nicely and they look good enough to stand on their own as well.

There are nineteen points of articulation on Vehicon. Ten of these are focused in the arms thanks to his rather unique multi-jointed shoulder area, and I'm counting the ability of his hands to swing up and down. Sadly there's no waist articulation to speak of, but he's still quite posable and looks great. Vehicon's weapon can be attached to his fist or if you swing the arm in, it can be clipped to the top of the forearm or attached to the hand that is swung in to simulate the appearance of him "transforming" his hand into a weapon as the characters are shown doing on the television show. The holes from the vehicle mode now wind up on the shoulders, allowing you to give him some shoulder mounted weaponry or just act as weapon storage.

Final Thoughts:
This version of the Vehicon should not be dismissed because it's not as complex or large as the "First Edition". The transformation is still fun and rather unusual and I really like the way the designers figured out more than one way to connect his weapon. He also looks sleek and cool in both forms and is a bit more true to the animated model in robot mode. Highly recommended!