Toy Review: "Timelines" Collector's Club Exclusive Chromedome with Stylor

in 2014, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Collector's Club Exclusive, Deluxe, Generation One, Headmaster, Timelines

Timelines

Chromedome

General Information:
Release Date: September 2014
Price Point: $46.50
Retailer: Transformers Collector's Club Exclusive
Accessories: Swords x 2, Stylor weapon/figure

For the second iteration of the "Transformers Collector's Club" 2.0 subscription service Fun Publications released a character that was ignored for a long time in "Transformers" history but more recently has garnered a lot of attention thanks to his appearance in the IDW Publishing comic books. That character would be Chromedome. In Generation One, Chromedome was an Autobot who was a "Headmaster", a character whose head could detach to form a smaller robot (or humanoid depending on the continuity) that could also serve as a driver for his vehicle form. Chromedome's "Headmaster" partner was Stylor outside Japan.

In Japan, the Headmaster was actually Chromedome who connected to a larger body. In more recent time, the character (sans the Headmaster gimmick) has become a fan favorite. While he's not a "Headmaster" any longer, he does perform a function that allows him to examine the memories and information in Transformers brains (making him a different kind of "Headmaster"). The tech specs included with this figure specifically call this element of the character out. Add in the new head sculpt designed by IDW artist Nick Roche and it is safe to say this figure is meant to represent the IDW iteration of the character (or some alt universe version of him anyhow).

The base sculpt for this figure is the "Transformers Prime" Wheeljack mold. The sculpt was also used for the "Dark Energon" Wheeljack figure as well as Dead End in "Transformers Prime". The sculpt would later be retooled and given a new deco (and weapon) as "Beast Hunters" Wheeljack. Needless to say, this sculpt has been around the block a few times so you can check out those previous reviews for details on the sculpt. This review will focus on the changes made to the sculpt for this release.

Stylor Review

Images:

Robot Mode:
Stylor is a redeco of the "Arms Micron" figure S.2. The design of this figure was originally based on the Generation One cartoon character known as Devcon. The big "give away" details are the design of the head (featuring a hood-like helmet area with a blaster/tube on top) and a blaster mounted onto one of the robot arms. It doesn't end there however. the shape of his chest, line details on his legs and even circles on his shoulders all match up to the design of Devcon's animation model. There are some differences of course. For instance, Stylor now has a large peg sticking out of his torso and a "Sark Crystal" style symbol area on his chest (with a silver Autobot symbol painted on). He also has what appear to be "wings" on his back. These are really the limbs sections of his crossbow form. While his sculpt design is not the same as G1 Stylor's, his humanoid shape is what made him ideal to use as Stylor among the various Arms Micron figures (many of which were animals or insects in their alternate forms).

Stylor's torso, head and thighs are grey. His arms and lower legs are red. This roughly matches the layout of G1 Stylor's colors. His face is painted orange like G1 Stylor's, but most of the shades of color on this figure are slightly lighter than G1 Stylor, but the homage is clear.

Stylor has two points of articulation: the arms which can move up and down. It should be noted that Stylor is misassembled right out of the packaging. His arms and legs are both reversed. Now, you can pull off his legs (though I recommend doing so with extreme caution) and swap them, but the arms I'm a bit less certain about. I tugged on the ones on my figure and they wouldn't budge, so I didn't want to potentially break a figure from a set that cost almost $50. Truthfully it doesn't affect the functionality at all, but the feet look a bit weird unless you swap them. The photos above are of the figure as it comes out of the box.

Transformation to Weapon Mode:

  1. Swing the robot arms up.
  2. Swing the barrel of the crossbow mode up over the head.
  3. Swing each of the limb sections out to the sides.
  4. Swing each lower leg up.
  5. Swing the robot arms to the sides.

Weapon Mode:
In his crossbow form, Stylor is now more of Targetmaster than a "Headmaster" now. The blaster section in the front has a thin barrel at the end with a diamond shaped base. The limb sections to the sides are nicely detailed with the edges looking almost like blades. There is a 5mm peg on the left side as well as the bottom of the weapon, allowing his weapon mode to be held in different ways.

Stylor is mostly red in this mode except for the barrel and center of the weapon. While he has no additional paint deco or stickers, the colors are recognizable enough as an interpretation of the Stylor character.

Chromedome Review

Images:

Vehicle Mode:
The new deco for this figure draws largely from the G1 Chromedome figure for inspiration. The main plastic colors used for this figure are beige, brown, black and translucent brown. These are similar to the primary plastic colors of G1 Chromedome except the shades of these colors are lighter on this new version of Chromedome. Brown is mostly found on the front whereas the beige is found towards the back. The translucent color is used for the car windows and the wheels are black. Brown paint is used to "fill in" the areas in the front that are not brown plastic to better match the original Chromedome. By the same token, beige paint is used to fill in sections on the back and sides that are not cast in beige. Of course there's more than that! There are several tampograph and painted details that directly reference similar details on G1 Chromedome:

  • The front of the vehicle has red and silver tampographs with a sharp, pointed end sweeping back. These replicate the look of the stickers found on G1 Chromedome's hood, down to two small black lines on the silver areas.
  • There are blue details on the lights in front of each wheel well, a call back to the blue headlight stickers on G1 Chromedome.
  • The area right in front of the windshield on the hood section is painted red. This is a visual reference to the red plastic piece on G1 Chromedome that was roughly in the same place on that figure.
  • The top of the cabin section is painted red, similar to G1 Chromedome.
  • The spoiler is painted red, recalling the red portion on the back of G1 Chromedome's vehicle form.
  • There are Autobot symbols towards the back of the figure that recall the Autobot symbol stickers on the sides of the G1 figure.
  • The side of each wheel is painted gold, which is a homage to the vacuum metallized gold on the sides of each wheel on G1 Chromedome.

There are other details that aren't direct references to G1 Chromedome, but add to the figure overall. First, there are silver/red/black details on the top of the cabin section like the ones on the hood. The rear lights are painted red and there is a red, angled pattern on the sides. These add to the overall look and blend in perfectly with the other colors.

There are 5mm ports over each rear wheel well. These can be used to attach Stylor in weapon mode. Interestingly they can also be used to attach G1 Chromedome's weapons and give this Chromedome more of a link to his G1 predecessor. You can also deploy Chromedome's swords in this form by attaching them to tabs under the hood section (making them look like giant teeth sticking out of the car).

Overall, Chromedome's vehicle mode is an incredible homage to the original G1 Chromedome. I love the work put into this, particularly the silver/red/black details on the hood and the way the area in front of the windshield and the top of the cabin are painted red.

Trasformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the swords and set them aside for now.
  2. Holding the figure firmly, carefully swing out each half of the vehicle, splitting it at the middle point of the windshield.
  3. Swing the cabin section of the vehicle up on its central hinge.
  4. Split the front end of the vehicle.
  5. On each half of the vehicles front end, swing the robot foot pieces out by rotating the sections they are attached to forward.
  6. Push the sections with the front wheel wells up.
  7. Swing the sections with the front wheel wells back.
  8. Swing each robot foot up.
  9. Rotate the legs at the point where the hip joint meets the thighs so the feet point forward.
  10. At the knees are thin pieces of knee armor, swing those forward a bit.
  11. Swing the top section of the vehicle forward and push the panel behind it up to reveal the robot head.
  12. Swing the arm sections up.
  13. Align the panels that connect to the arms to the small tabs on the chest piece.
  14. Swing the chest piece down, attaching the tabs from the last step to the appropriate slots on the arm connection pieces. The tab at the bottom of the chest piece should attach to its corresponding slot above the robot waist.
  15. Swing the armor on each shoulder back.
  16. On each forearm, pull out the inner part of the forearm with the hands attached to it, rotate it back then push it back into place to bring the hands forward.
  17. Behind the head is a piece stucking up, split that in half, rotating each half out half way.
  18. Each sword can be placed into one of the hands.

Robot Mode:
Chromedome's robot mode features a new head sculpt designed by artist Nick Roche. The head is a heavily stylized version of the head design from G1 head. This includes having a central crest, mouthplate and visor eyes, except instead of being more square/rectangular in shape this head has a mouth more rounded shape with an elongated mouthplate and eye area. The head is cast in beige with yellow eyes and an orange mouthplate. While the beige helmet area is unique to this design, the yellow eyes and orange mouthplate come right out of the comic book. The head looks fantastic and really helps sell the figure as a new incarnation of Chromedome.

Another element of the figure that helps sell it as Chromedome is the design of the body. While this was originally meant to be Wheeljack, the way his upper body is bulky with long arms but relatively thin legs resembles some of the proportions seen on Chromedome in his appearance in the IDW comic books. Taking things one step further, Chromedome's beige, brown and red deco colors also help sell him as an update of G1 Chromedome. These colors are rather unique to the character and haven't been used that often in the toy line. The details that really connect him directly to G1 Chromedome are the red/silver/black details on his chest. Each shoulder winds up with an Autobot symbol on it. Now, G1 Chromedome technically had the Autobot symbols on the back of his shoulders but the spirit of the detail is there.

Chromedome includes the swords that came with Wheeljack. Each sword is cast in red and the blades have been painted silver. The joints on the figure are still nice and tight, which is a relief given how many times the sculpt has been used for various figures. You can attach a 5mm peg weapon to the ports on either shoulder including (of course), Stylor himself.

Final Thoughts:
Chromedome is absolutely fantastic. The deco is beautiful, the homage to both the G1 and IDW incarnations of the character is very strong. The inclusion of Stylor is a great touch. I'm going to "ding" this set a bit for Stylor being misassembled, but it's not a deal breaker. Even assembled incorrectly the set is still a strong one. Highly recommended!