"The Last Knight" Premier Edition Deluxe Autobot Sqweeks Toy Review
Release Date: April 28, 2017 (US Street Date)
Price Point: $19.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Accessories: Handlebars x 2, Blaster, Spare arm
Sqweeks is a new Autobot introduced in "The Last Knight". This little Autobot was being repaired by Izabella out of spare parts she found, giving him the appearance of what you'd expect a Junkion Mini-Con to look like.
Sqweeks is a second wave Deluxe Class "Premier Edition" figure. The "Premier Edition" label separates this sub-line from the other parts of the series such as the Knight Armor Turbo Changers. This also meant the price point for the Deluxes went up for this line, averaging $19.99 at most retailers (though there was word Walmart dropped the price temporarily to around $16 when the figures were first released). The packaging was one of the methods Hasbro used to make the figure look like a premium item.
Instead of being carded, Sqweeks is in a plastic tray inside a box. The figure is packaged in robot mode. The box itself basically wraps around the tray. On the right hand side (if you are facing the box) is the vertical "Transformers" logo. Above that is the "Premier Edition" logo. On the left is Sqweek's package art, which actually wraps around to the side of the package. The top features artwork of the Autobots in a group shot. The back shows the figure in both modes touting an 19 step transformation. These steps also seem to include the transformation of the back pack/trailer/repair bay. On the left is Sqweek's cosell: Autobot Drift.
Sqweeks is a fairly small figure. His size hovers somewhere between a Commander Class figure like Bulkhead and a Scout Class figure like Air Raid. Given that Hasbro is selling this at a Deluxe price point (and a "Premier" one at that) the figure includes several accessories:
- A trailer has been included that transforms into a repair bay (more on that below).
- Handlebars/hands: Two handlebars made of gunmetal colored soft plastic also double as hands for Sqweeks.
- Blaster: This (somewhat ridiculous looking) blaster is a solid piece featuring several barrels and rockets sculpted into one weapon. This attaches to one of Sqweek's arms via a peg or it can be held in Sqweek's hand via a vertical peg.
- Arm: At one point in the film Sqweeks receives a new right arm. This represents that arm. Sculpted in gunmetal grey, soft plastic the arm has a lot of cool sculpted details including wiring and overlapping panels.
Since Sqweeks himself is not that large of a figure, this cargo trailer was included to help bolster the value of the figure. A trailer for a Vespa-like scooter may seem like science fiction but such things do exist (though not large enough to transform into a repair bay). This trailer is pretty bulky but it has a curved, sleek appearance even including small fins on the front. There is a hitch in the front, allowing it to connect to Sqweeks himself in both robot and vehicle modes.
The trailer is mostly cast in powder blue plastic, matching up with Sqweeks himself. You will see some grey plastic on the hitch and the back. On the bottom are four translucent blue wheels. In terms of paint, there are some rust colored brushmarks on the sides. Now, the brushmarks are some of the best and worst aspects of the deco. The rust color is meant to emulate the rust patterns seen on Sqweeks as see on the movie prop. While the designers nailed the color, the brush pattern makes them look like dirt stains instead. It looks like someone took a dirty sponge and smudged around some existing dirt and then just gave up on cleaning the vehicle. I get what was being attempted, but I think this design element would have been much better served by using spray ops in small, circular patterns. This has a much more natural looking effect and actually looks like rust spots. This could have also been done with round brushes being dabbed onto the plastic instead of wide brush strokes.
Transformation to Repair Bay Mode:
- Holding on to the top and bottom of the trailer, pull the top up and swing it back.
- Swing out the small blue panels on the sides.
- Swing the sides out.
- Swing the ramp in the front down.
- Swing the rear panel back, then swing the top parts of the trailer up.
- Raise the claw arm up.
- Swing the toolbox open.
The repair bay mode is one of my favorite aspects of this figure. It is a fun bit of a callback to the original G1 Ratchet figure which also included a repair bay/trailer piece. The repair bay is broken up into four key sections:
- The rear section looks like one set up to throw extra lighting on something being repaired. The "weapon barrels"/circles on the side panels and top panels all look like they could be powerful lights.
- On the left side has a claw arm. It has six points of articulation that allows the arm to extend, turn in a circle and reach down and up. There are some nice little details including cables, power plugs and a cross hatch pattern. The back of the claw arm has a gunmetal grey part that can swing up. If you turn it around, the claw arm effectively turns into something that looks like a cannon.
- The right side has a toolbox that folds open with two compartments. All the accessories except for the
- The central section has enough room for Sqweeks to sit on and a ramp to roll out on. The ramp seems specifically designed for Sqweeks as the ramp has a single tire track instead of two. If you wanted to get creative and have some fun you can put some Legends Class figures on the platform as well.
The powder blue plastic still makes up most of this mode, but there is also a grey panel in the center. Grey paint is used on the claw arm panel and the ramp. The toolbox is painted red, which is a nice "real world" touch (yes, not all toolboxes are red but "classic" ones are often seen as red). The "lights" on the top panels are painted silver. The "rust stains" are done with brushes on the middle panel and claw arm panel. The way the "rust" paint was applied on these sections looks a lot better than the exterior of the trailer. It is still not as good as I think it could be but I want to give credit where it is due.
The trailer section is fantastic as toys go. It adds gives the figure a degree of verisimilitude, helping to sell the fantasy of the Transformers world.
In "The Last Knight" Sqweeks was designed to look like he transforms into a Vespa, but he never actually does so. However, due to licensing issues this figure transforms into a generic scooter. That means some of the design elements of the figure differ in appearance from Sqweeks' on-screen appearance. Here are some of the differences:
- Sqweeks' on screen prop has a sideview mirror on the left side, near his head. The figure does not have this detail.
- The torso panel has a distinct design including a curved section in the middle that comes up to a collar-like area near his neck. This chest panel is much more angular with a raised section in the center and panels that come up under the head with vents on them.
- Sqweeks moves on one wheel and one "peg leg" in the movie, but this figure has two wheels on the bottom instead.
- On the actual movie prop, Sqweeks has all sorts of springs and tools (including a screwdriver and axe) on the sides. You could only see brief glimpses of these details in the movie, but during Toy Fair 2017 I was able to see the prop up close and noticed these details. None of these are present on this figure. Instead he looks a lot more "put together" with closed panels and armor on the sides.
- the back has what looks like rockets on it, though I do not recall seeing those in the movie.
Now, the points above make it sound like this figure looks nothing like the on-screen model, but in fact there are many details on this figure that do come from the prop. These include:
- The helmet is round with two distinct "cracks" on it. One in the center and the other on the top.
- The eyes are large and round, looking like they are made out of headlights.
- The mouth is shaped like an oval with some vertical lines on them.
- Both arms are handlebars.
Sqweeks is mostly cast in powder blue plastic. There is a dark grey panel on the bottom and his eyes are translucent blue. Interestingly, his wheels are a soft, black plastic. It is not exactly rubber. Instead the plastic is more shiny and a bit more firm. However if you pull on it, the tires can be pulled off, which is a bit of a fun G1 callback. The handlebar arms are made of a soft, gunmetal colored plastic. Silver paint is used on the head and wheels. The handlebars on the head are painted grey. Several parts including the helmet, torso, wheel covers and back all have rust colored brush marks on them. I won't go into how those could have been better again. I will say however that some of these details do look good compared to the ones on the trailer. They help give him the "worn" appearance he had in the movie.
There are six points of articulation on this figure. That does not sound like a lot, but keep in mind the lower half of the body only has wheels and no legs, so you lose about half of the normal amount of articulation you would expect. I was happy to see his head can turn side to side while each arm can move up and down and out to the sides. The real fun with this figure comes in the form of the accessories. You can detach the right side handlebar and attach either the arm or blaster in its place. The arm can move around on its own and you can fit the blaster into the fist. You can also attach the blaster to either arm without the extra arm accessory. Sqweeks actually used this weapon in the movie, so it is a fun way to recreate a scene form the film.
There is one one more fun mode for this figure: a "super" mode. Take the trailer and swing the top part up and back. You will see a clip in between these two sections. It attaches to a slot on Sqweeks' back to give him some added bulk and firepower. He did not do this in the film, but it is a fun bit of added functionality.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Separate the trailer/back pack if attached. Transform it into trailer mode.
- Deatach the accessories and place them in the toolbox or set them aside.
- Swing the helmet section up and flip it back.
- Swing the eyes against the helmet.
- Swing the rest of the head into the helmet.
- Swing the back panel out.
- Swing the head sideways into the opening in the back panel.
- Extend the rest of the back panel out and straighten it out.
- Swing out the wheels and rotate the entire wheel assembly around.
- Rotate the torso panel around and push it in.
- Swing the arms in behind the front panel of the vehicle.
- Rotate the handlebars/headlights around.
Sqweeks' vehicle form is supposed to be a Vespa, but he never actually transforms in the film. This gave the toy designers some freedom in terms of creating a Vespa-like vehicle form without having to license the actual vehicle. The overall shape of the vehicle is similar to a Vespa down to the flat panel in front, a tall seat with foot rests in the middle. However, there are key differences. These include:
- There are two small headlights instead of one larger one.
- The front panel is very angular in design as opposed to the rounder, smoother Vespa design.
- Vespas have to side view mirrors that raise up at angles on the handlebar sections. This figure does not have those.
- The back section has a lot of angled shapes as opposed to the Vespa which has mostly round, smoother shapes.
- The rear section has two thrusters, which could be seen as rear lights. The Vespa only has a single rear light.
This vehicle mostly shows off powder blue plastic. The headlights have translucent blue plastic. The wheels use black, soft plastic. The aforementioned "rust" details are found from the front to the back. The thrusters in the back and the sides of the wheels are painted silver. The seat "cushion" is painted brown. On the left side is a red Autobot symbol towards the back. Overall the deco looks good.
Sqweeks can roll on both wheels. If you want to stand the vehicle up there is a kickstand in the center. On the back you can flip out the hitch to attach to the trailer. The blaster cannot be stored inside the trailer so instead you can attach it to one of the four 5mm ports on the trailer. There are two on the sides and two on top. Thanks to these ports you could easily give Sqweeks a crazy amount of firepower.
I think Sqweeks is bound to be one of those polarizing figures. Some fans will appreciate it, others will think it is terrible. The aesthetic of the figure is very different than your typical Transformers figure but that can work for or against it. I really like what has been done with this figure, though I do wish more of the movie based detailing had made its way into the figure. The addition of the trailer/repair bay is a brilliant touch and it is one of my favorite parts of this figure. Recommended if the aesthetic appeals to you.
- Unique design.
- Cool trailer/repair bay accessory.
- Fun accessories direct from the film (ex: the blaster and spare arm).
- Fun transformation.
- Vehicle form does not match the intended on-screen vehicle.
- "Rust" deco is well intentioned, but not well executed.