Revenge of the Fallen Hubcap Toy Review

in 2010, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Hunt for the Decepticons, Revenge of the Fallen

Revenge of the Fallen

General Information:
Release Date: May 2010
Price Point: $7.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

*Images and text below from Transformers.com:
HUBCAP never liked the way BRIMSTONE pushed other robots around, and he never made any effort to hide his disapproval. The two robots have clashed more times than either of them can count. Now their rivalry has moved to the urban drag strips of Earth. BRIMSTONE may consider himself king of the road, but HUBCAP won’t give up until the so-called king is just another wreck.

Race into action with this fearsome HUBCAP figure! In robot mode, this fighter is as tough as they come…but he’s got speed on his side, too. When it’s time to chase down his enemies, convert him to muscle car vehicle mode so he can “tear up the streets” in hot pursuit!

Heroic robot fighter converts from fierce robot mode to powerful muscle car vehicle mode — and back again! Ages 5 and up.

The follow up line to "Revenge of the Fallen" is the "Hunt for the Decepticons", where the battle between Autobots and Decepticons continues on Earth, with the story chronicled on the Transformers web site and the tech specs printed on the toy packaging. Part of the first wave of Scout Class figures in this line is Hubcap. While his name comes from Generation One, this figure and character appear to be a completely original creation and not really meant to act as a homage of any sort.

Robot Mode:
One of the complaints expressed by fans and non-fans alike with the "Bayformers" movie aesthetic is that with all the jagged metal and bits of armor everywhere, sometimes it became difficult to distinguish just which character was who on the big screen (Bay's kinetic, "shakey cam" filming style also contributed to this perception). This meant that most figures based on characters appearing on screen had to keep as accurately to that aesthetic as possible, which often removed them from the more blocky and solid looking forms of other Transformers lines. With Hubcap, the character is an original creation who didn't appear on screen, so he doesn't really need to follow any CGI model. This allowed the designers a certain amount of freedom in creating a Transformer that did incorporate elements of the movie aesthetic (namely highly detailed, mechanical bits under outer armor) as well as more solid and flat looking armor parts akin to what was seen in Generation One.

Straight away I have to say part of the beauty of this figure is its simplicity. Hubcap is a regular looking Transformer with the front of the car on his chest, two arms (with fingers) and two legs. Everything is in proportion. No chicken walker legs, no elongated claws anywhere or exaggerated insectoid parts. While I am not necesarily against these types of design elements, I do feel if they just get repeated over and over in a toy line, its novelty can quickly grow stale, and it moves further away from the line's source material. Having a general design like this every now and then helps to ground the line and remind us of its roots, something I hold near and dear (but your mileage may vary on this count).

Hubcap's alternate mode is a 1940's style car, and that becomes quite obvious in this mode thanks to the armor on his arms and legs as well as the design of the front grille on his chest. The design of the cars in that era were generally very curved, with lots of rounded edges. This is reflected in the armor that surrounds a lot of the body parts including his ankles, shoulders and back. Underneath these car parts are his robot parts, which have some of the best detailing among the Scout Class figures of recent years. His upper arms start out as curves, looking almost like they're made up of large tubes. This leads to his forearms which have segments that ook like armor plating leading up to the hands. A tube runs along the top of each forearm, seemingly connecting the elbow area to the wrist. His hands have small segments sculpted into them, representing the different sections of each finger. Instead of a fist, his hands are in a slightly curled but open palmed position, looking like his is about to brace himself for action. I also love the armor plates on his arms, which have exhaust pipes from the vehicle mode on the top, a distant reminder of G1 Hot Rod's arm blasters. The high detailing continues on the legs, where each segment has a good blend of angled and beveled details with smaller intricate details such as gears and tubes on his ankles. The lower half of his feet even have notches sculpted into them, presumably to give his feet extra traction. His head sculpt is a cool looking one, with a high central crest with raised sections on either side leading to a face with a mouthplate that angles out at the bottom. Even the piece that his head is connected to has small, raised rectangles cast into it. Overall, a fantastic sculpt.

Hubcap is cast in orange and two shades of silver plastic, one darker than the other. Orange is used on the vehicle mode parts including those on his shoulders and ankles. His feet are also cast in orange. The upper arms, mid-body and his thighs are cast in silver while the head, forearms and lower legs are darker silver. The contrast between these three colors is high and really works well together. The orange used is very bright, so any other ultra bright colors and he would borderline on looking silly. As this figure stands, it looks great. Paint details are done in silver, copper and metallic blue. The silver is the most prominant color, making up details on his feet, chest and arms. The blue is used for the eyes and the copper color can be found on his mouth plate and legs. A dab of black paint is found on his chest, forming an Autobot symbol right above the car grille. It's not a teribly complex color scheme, but truth be told this figure has so much going for it already that it doesn't need a lot of colors splashed on it to work visually. I'll also go so far as to say that I think future redecos (and you know there will be at least one) will take advantage of the detailing on this figure to find different color patterns.

There are seventeen points of articulation on this figure, which is fantastic considering its size class. Each arm alone has three points of articulation while each leg has five. I like the way the joints were designed, with hinges that allow the arms and legs to swing out and separate joints allowing them to swing forward and back. He lacks waist articulation, but that's hardly a deal breaker with this figure if you take everything else about it into consideration.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Swing each robot foot up.
  2. Swing the ankle armor (with the wheels on it) down and connect it to the armor on the back of the calves.
  3. Connect the two legs together.
  4. Swing the chest piece up over the head and push it back, connecting the back armor to the leg armor.
  5. Straighten out each arm and push them in.

Vehicle Mode:
In "Revenge of the Fallen", we were introduced to the idea that Transformers had been visiting Earth for a long time. While looking at photographs of several types of old style vehicles, Wheelie explains these were actually alternate forms of Transformers from the past. This seems to have been part of the inspiration for Hubcap's alternate form (including wanting to have something different than just another sports car). In this case Hubcap's vehicle mode appears to be a cross between a 1946 Rover on the front end and a 1948 Delhaye with its curved rear section. The front end has the distinctive vertical grille with lights mounted on the sides leading to a lower bumper with small lights attached to it. Along with its long front end and curved wheel wells, the Rover's features match up nicely to this car. The rear end curves downward along with a door for a trunk, similar to the Delhaye (but I'm sure there's a car that more accurately matches up out there I'm not aware of). Hubcap clearly did some customization however as the sides of the car above the front wheel wells have tubes sticking out the sides leading down to exhaust pipes underneath each door. These details look fantastic and go along with other ones such as the grille, headlights, door handles and a handle on the trunk door.

This type of vehicle mode is a favorite among many Transformers fans as it appeals to the idea that Transformers can take on almost any form they want. This doesn't have to be restricted to a time period or style. I think that there's also a very classic look to vehicles such as these, which is why they're often seen as collector's items in the automotive world. The extra tubes sticking out the side suggest power and customization, something that is often done to such classic cars nowadays.

Most of the vehicle is cast in orange since all his armor panels come together in this mode. The wheels are cast in black. Silver and black make up the paint details in this form. Silver is used for the front grille, headlights, pipes and rear fender. You'll also find silver on the sides of the wheels. His windows are all painted black, and the black Autobot symbol from the robot mode is easily seen on the front of the car. Overall, it's a simple but effective paint job that enhances the beauty of the sculpt without detracting from it.

Final Thoughts:
I was already kind of enamored by Hubcap when I first saw him at Toy Fair earlier this year. Reviewing the figure just strengthened this feeling. This figure belongs in your Transformers collection, period. Highly recommended!