Energon Toy Reviews: Slugslinger

in 2004, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Energon, Superlink


General Information:
Release Year: October 2004
Retailer: General Release (Toys 'R' Us, Kay Bee, Wal-Mart etc.)
Price: $9.99 (Depending on Retailer)
Accessories: Missile


Tech Specs:
Motto: "I rule the skies."
Slugslinger is a crude and vile Decepticon. His ariel speed and battle tactics are the two reasons that Megatron keeps him around. He takes just as much pleasure in starting trouble between his own teammates as he does fighting Autobots. In robot mode, this troublemaker possesses an impressive weapons arsenal. Many Autobots try to avoid a direct gun fight with him. In vehicle mode, Slugslinger's speed and endurance in the air are second only to Megatron.

Strength: 8 Intelligence: 7 Speed: 10 Endurance: 7 Rank: 4 Courage: 10 Firepower: 8 Skill: 7

The tail end of the Energon line saw the release of several Transformers who were not featured in the animated show. One of these was a Decepticon named Slugslinger, whose name has its origins in the G1 line. The original Slugslinger was a Targetmaster during the "Master" era of Transformers. Now he is a sleek Decepticon jet under Megatron (or Galvatron's if you prefer) command.

Vehicle Mode:
The original Slugslinger had the unusual form of a jet with two cockpits. Energon Slugslinger also has this, making him a homage in name and vehicle form. Unlike his G1 namesake, Slugslinger is a lot more thin and sleek looking. The two cockpits are identical, with sharp pointed nosecones and a layered look to each with several angled details runing along to the vehicle's mid-section. The middle section then angles outwards to the side. The middle section looks like one large plate sweeping back to two fins at the back set at extreme angles. The wings are relatively sort, each with a pointed weapon mounted on the ends. To a small degree all these sharp angles and his thin shape make him look almost like a flying Decepticon symbol (but that's just me).

Sleek doesn't mean there are not small details. Each cockpit has a pilot seat sculpted inside of it. The wings have a lot of tech details inside the hover fans including Mini-Con Powerlinx ports on the top. The center section towards the back looks like some type of engine, with tube like details on the side and lines angling down the middle. In the middle is the section you would attach an Energon Star. As expected, inside the clear marble at the center is a Decepticon symbol.

Slugslinger is sculpted in several colors of plastic including black, dark blue, grey and a green plastic that is somewhat see through if you hold it up to a light. The black plastic can be found on the front cockpit sections and the fins at the rear. The dark blue plastic is found mostly on the mid-section. The translucent plastic is used for some of the softer parts such as the wings and nosecones, most likely for safety reasons. Translucent yellow plastic is used for the cockpit covers, contrasting nicely with the rather dark colors on the rest of the figure.

The paint applications on the figure range in color from metallic blue to orange to black. The metallic blue is used for detailing around the cockpit, parts of the vehicle's mid-section and the hoverfans on the wings. Orange is primarily used on edges such as the back ends of the cockpit and the rear fins.

Slugslinger is armed with one big missile on his undercarriage. The profile of the vehicle is meant to be thin, so it is very close up against the main bod and not hanging down. Consequently you can't really reach the launcher that fires the missile. Personally I can see the wisdom here. If the trigger was right on the bottom of the vehicle, the thing would launch almost every time you set it down (unless you pulled the landing gear down first). The missile itself is an unusual design, sculpted in grey plastic with yellow translucent plastic at the very end. In addition to this, each wing hasa Mini-Con Powerlinx point on it that you can attach a Mini-Con or Energon weapon to. Want more Energon weapons on this guy? There are two holes right next to the rear fins that you can attach weapons to as well. Overall, that's a lot of potential firepower for one Decepticon!

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Rotate the rear fins around.
  2. Split the top section of the vehicle mode.
  3. Swing each half of the vehicle out to the sides and down.
  4. Swing out each blue section on the sides of each cockpit to reveal the robot arms and rotate them around.
  5. Flip up each nosecone end to form the robot feet.
  6. On the underside of the jet, swing down the panel all the way on the back.
  7. Swing out the missile launcher.
  8. Swing up the robot head and swing that section back into place.
  9. Rotate the soft plastic halves of the top section around.
  10. Swing the halves of the robot waist to the back and connect them, then swing that section up to connect it to the torso.
  11. Each robot arm is attached toa panel with some wire details, swing those back and press them against the pegs on the sides of the torso so those details face outward.
  12. Swing the robot arms down to connect them firmly to the torso section.
  13. Rotate the robot arms around at the shoulder so the arms can swing forward.
  14. Swing each wing on the robot arms up.
  15. Swing the cannon forward.

Robot Mode:
the interesting thing about Slugslinger's robot mode is that it takes a fairly complex transformation to arrive at it. Part of this is to keep both forms rather lithe. The other part of it is to offer a unique Transformers experience, of course. I do like the way Slugslinger's overall form is not exactly what one would expect. Unlike his G1 namesake, he doesn't just have half of his vehicle mode wind up on his back. Using the cockpits to form legs was a smart move since they have a tube like shape to begin with. I also like the way his arms wind up having large "wings" on the back of them that are actually formed from the top panels of the vehicle mode's mid-section. His overall shape is very dynamic, with lots of angles coming out from a core body including the "wings" on his shoulders, the actual wings on his arms and the sides of the cockpit by his ankles.

Slugslinger has an interesting head sculpt. It is slightly reminscent of Beast Machines Jetstorm, with a central crest and wing like "ears" angling upwards. The face is the interesting part however. The left side is pretty standard, with an eye, mouth and nose with a "chin strap" piece going across the chin. However the right side has a large round eye that looks like a monacle. Under that is a mouth showing gritted teeth, as if someone melted away the metal that formed his mouth. According to Hasbro, this was done to make him look less like a "pretty boy" type character and give him an interesting look.

The robot torso has elements reminscent of the iconic Deceptiocn symbol. It is roughly triangular in shape with three angled lines going down each side towards the top. At the center is the "Energon marble" with the Decepticon symbol sculpted inside. The chest has four tubes that lead down to the waist. Those then lead to the legs, which are rather thin compared to the wider upper body. His upper body is definitely the widest section, thanks in part to his shoulders and the "wings" on the back of them. Each shoulder section is angled with a raised vent sculpted onto it. The forearms each have a weapon sculpted into them as well, giving this 'bot some added firepower in robot mode. The missile launcher winds up over the left shoulder, but you can swing it back to get it out of the way with no affect on the figures' balance.

A lot more grey plastic shows up in this form, especially on the arms, waist, legs and upper body. The robot head is cast in black, with the face painted silver and the edges around it painted metallic blue. A Decepticon symbol is tampographed on Slugslinger's left shoulder Truth be told, I would have liked a bit more deco on the grey sections of his body. Grey can be a rather dull color on a figure unless you do something with it. Also, there are plenty of sculpted details on these parts such as angled lines and tubes, but they get a bit washed out by the color.

Slugslinger has nineteen points of articulation in this form. A lot of these are focused in the arms and legs but I am also including two points for the cannon which can swing back and up and down at two different points respectively. Slugslinger's fists are sculpted with the standard sized holes that allow him to hold Energon weapons. Functionally the only thing I would really have changed is the location of the trigger for the missile launcher. The grey button is on the right side of the launcher, right next to the robot head. It would have been better to put it perhaps on the other side or the underside so it wasn't so close to the robot head.

Final Thoughts:
Slugslinger is a really interesting figure. He pays homage to his G1 namesake and has a sleek form with an interesting transformation. There are some minor weaknesses, but overall this is a solid figure. Recommended.