Armada Toy Reviews: Overload

in 2003, Action Figure Review, Armada, Autobot

Armada

General Information:
Release Year: August 2003
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Kay Bee, Wal-Mart etc.)
Price Point: Maxcon (Approximately $20 depending on retailer)
Accessories: Overload Mini-Con figure, Missiles x 2

Sound:

Rollout Images:

Overload Images:

Back when the Super Base Optimus Prime first came out, people noticed that he had an extra hitch on the trailer, as if he was meant to tow another vehicle. Fans now have their answer as to what this part was for: Overload. This vehicle powered by a Mini-Con is a departure from the typical Armada release. Instead of having a Transformer and Mini-Con team, this Mini-Con attaches to a larger body much like a
Headmaster. Overload completes the trio that began with Super Base Prime and Jetfire.

Vehicle Mode:
The front section of Overload is the actual Transformer. Rollout is easily the largest Mini-Con, and for those curious, he is definitely a Mini-Con. The Mini-Con symbol graces the left side of the vehicle and he has a Powerlinx point on the underside of the vehicle. Interestingly enough, Rollout has a Powerlinx point which allows other Mini-Cons to attach to him. This is located at the top of the vehicle on the pole that is used to connect to his trailer.

The vehicle is mostly red with some black, dark gray and white parts. Though he looks a bit like a fire engine, make no mistake, Rollout is one heavily armed Mini-Con. At the front of the vehicle are sculpted details that include: nine missile tubes, two machine guns and possibly two lasers. The other details on this toy look great too. the sides are filled with small details such as cross hatches along with triangular and rectangular designs. Another cool detail are thrusters at the back of the vehicle! Not only is Rollout well armed, he's meant to get to the battle quickly!

Rollout's trailer is huge in comparison to the Mini-Con himself (hence the name Overload). The trailer is also choc full of detail. At the top you will find details sculpted in that look like windows. On each side are two dual barreled guns. Other details such as pistons, vents, "X's" marking off armored areas and cross hatched sections make this one rich toy visually. The trailer is mostly red with dark gray and black parts. Paint details are added here
and there. Silver and gold are used on the top, while yellow is used on the side. The two dual barreled guns on the red section of the trailer are painted lightly with a dark gray paint. Overall the trailer is an impressive looking piece of Transformers machinery and really projects the power of a suit that a Mini-Con would develop for itself.

The Rollout vehicle itself connects to the trailer well and can turn from side to side. Two large wheels on the trailer allow it to roll along with the cab.

If you disconnect Rollout and look at the section he connects to you'll find an L shaped piece that can swing down, this allows you to connect the vehicle mode (with Rollout attached) to Super Optimus Prime in vehicle mode. In addition to that, the back portion of the vehicle is designed to allow Jetfire to sit on top with the boosters resting on the red parts that angle
up at the end. This system is a bit reminscent of the trio of Transformers from Generation One's "Battle Stars" series where Star Convoy (a futuristic version of Optimus Prime) connected to Grandus (a mobile aircraft carrier) and Skygarry (an aerial vehicle) rested on top of Grandus. The set looks quite impressive when you have them all together, and offers great incentive to have all three.

The trailer has one Powerlinx point on each side towards the rear. They don't activate anything, but you can easily use it to give the vehicle more
firepower.

Transformation to Robot Mode: (Rollout)

  1. Flip the pole which connects Overload to the trailer up so it points forward.
  2. Swing the gray thruster pieces up, then forward to form the robot arms.
  3. Swing the lower portion of the vehicle forward to form the robot legs.
  4. Move the piece with the connector pole back.
  5. Swing the front of the vehicle forward and flip the small robot head up.
  6. Swing the front of the vehicle back into place.

Robot Mode:
In robot mode, Rollout is a bit of a boxy little guy, but he's one that you definitely don't want to mess with. His vehicle's front end weaponry is still present in this mode and the thrusters from the vehicle mode now become his arms which look like two cannons here. Dark gray and gold show up more here. His arms, the inner parts of his legs and his head are all dark gray plastic with gold painted details. The gold is nice and muted.

Rollout has six points of articulation, which is not a lot, but considering that this is not the only mode this 'bot has to achieve, it's not too shabby. You can flip the pole section up to connect a Mini-Con (or if you use Wreckage, you can just attach him to the back and have his missile launchers aim forward. The idea of a Mini-Con enhancing a Mini-Con is kind of neat and it's nice to see it can be done in both vehicle and robot modes for this toy.

Transformation to Robot Mode (combining with trailer):

  1. Detach Rollout from the trailer.
  2. Lift the section of the trailer with the black and silver ends.
  3. Swing the lower portions (where Jetfire's thrusters would rest) forward.
  4. On the sections you just swung forward, push the ends in so the black circular section comes through near the Autobot symbol.
  5. Rotate the sections with the black and silver ands to the side then
    swing those sections down and rotate them back into their original position, these form the robot legs.
  6. Flip up the black and silver sections to form the robot feet.
  7. The parts with the Autobot symbols on them are the robot arms, rotate the sections with the wheels on them and then swing the fist covers forward.
  8. Swing the robot arms down.
  9. Take Rollout and swing the front piece forward and then swing up the
    entire gray piece to reveal Overload's robot head.
  10. Slide Rollout into the empty compartment in the chest. Push him in to activate the transformation sound!

Overload Robot Mode:
Once combined with the Exo-Suit, Overload is one unpleasant looking robot. Not in the "ugly aesthetic" way, but in the sense that he looks like he is ready to beat the snot out of you, and he can do it too! Overload is very bulky and blocky, but in this context that's a good thing. Since he is essentially a bit Exo-Suit, the thick parts evoke a feeling of power. His forearms are larger than his upper arms, his legs are huge and steady looking and the small slits which serve as his eyes look positively grim.

As if Overload's own front section didn't have enough firepower, Flip open the Autobot symbol panels on his shoulders to reveal (non working) missile ports with ten missiles in each. This mode clearly represents a Mini-Con who is tired of being pushed around by Decepticons.

Overload is still mostly gray, black and red in this form, but a lot more paint deco shows here. Silver is used for details on his legs and arms.
Yellow outlines the
sections with the Autobot symbols, which are painted red against a dark gray background. Yellow is also used for fine line detail on the robot head. Gold is used as well for details on the chest and upper legs. Dark blue can be found on the upper body and the robot face. The eyes are neon green (a color that seems popular for eyes in Armada).

Overload has six points of articulation. Although that seems a bit low, I believe this owes a lot to the fact that this form has to serve not only as a vehicle and robot mode, but also a cannon mode for Super Optimus Prime (more on that below). I would have loved to see more articulation, but I'm not going to hold it against the toy for not having it either.

There are seven Powerlinx points on Overload, which is quite a bit compared to other Armada toys of comparable size such as Scavenger or Starscream.
Two are
on the black portion of his shoulders, each lower arm has one, and each lower leg section has one. The seventh is behind his head, the piece which attaches Overload to the trailer in vehicle mode. Add all these up and you have one Transformer that can seriously power up. What is also great is that each of these Powerlinx points are located in spots that offer high visibility.

Someone has probably thought by this point "What about the sound?!!!". That's probably one of the most exciting parts of this toy. Push Overload in and it pushes a button (which you can push yourself if Overload is not attached) which activates the classic Generation One transformation sound! Needless to say that a Transformer using that transformation sound is something fans have wanted for many, many years and it's great to see that Hasbro has delivered
on that wish.

Transformation to weapon mode (starting in vehicle mode):

  1. Detach Rollout from the trailer.
  2. Lift up the leg sections and slide out the lower leg portions.
  3. On each leg section you just detached, flip open the panel with the silver designs on it and flip the feet in to reveal the cannons.
  4. Swing the robot arm sections down.
  5. Rotate the lower arms around.
  6. Swing the robot arm sections up.
  7. Slide in the cannon pieces on each robot arm section.
  8. Swing down the sound box and flip the small clip out. This piece slides into the part on the back of Optimus Prime when he is in super mode (located on the back of the cab section).

Weapon Mode:
Overload's weapon mode makes him one of the biggest "Targetmasters" to ever come out of the Transformers line. Of course, instead of being a hand held weapon, this guy's so big he needs to rest on Prime's back with huge cannons swung over Prime's shoulders. The overall look is very cool. Super Optimus Prime already looked quite equipped for battle but now with the addition of Overload (and if you wish, Jetfire as his legs), this combination truly looks spectacular.

Overload's weapon mode can fire two missiles (each triggered by red buttons on the sides). Each side has two Powerlinx points, so you can add even more firepower (again, living up to his name). The supports for Jetfire's thrusters in vehicle mode now act as a type of shoulder armor which is a really cool touch.

Overload's weapon mode can also attach to Super Optimus Prime's trailer when it is in base mode. Just move the arm/cannons to face the opposite direction and attach him to the clips on the section of the base with the viewscreen. The weapon leans a bit, but the base's three levels support it just fine. This adds a whole lot of firepower and bulk to the base and
looks really impressive.

Close the sound box piece and flip the weapon mode over and you can connect him to the "pants" (or legs) of Optimus Prime. This is done by attaching Overload's upper legs to the two clips on Prime's legs section. Now, just what this forms is a bit tough to say.
The designers intended Overload to be a big power suit for Rollout. But in the comic book included with this wave of toys, Rollout and Overload are depicted as two separate personalities. If we were to follow the comic book's train of thought, then one could
imagine Overload being attached to Prime a sort of a "powered up robot mode" for Overload (the trailer).

As a side note, Rollout has a weapon mode as well. Flip him over and flip out the two gray tubes in his legs. His hitch can be used as a handle. Yet, another Targetmaster feature!

Overload is an unexpected pleasure. He's not the most articulated, nor is he the most intricate Transformer out there, but his three modes, combined with his imposing appearance (in any mode) equal one awesome toy. Highly recommended.