Transformers Universe Overload Toy Review

in 2006, Action Figure Review, Armada, Autobot, Universe 2.0, Voyager

Universe 2.0

General Information:
Release Date: January 2006
Price Point: $19.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Cyber Planet Key, Rifle, Missiles x 2

Images:

Back around the period from 2005 to roughly 2009, Hasbro created a lot of redecos as part of the "Transformers Universe" line. Since this was technically the second line with that name, most fans refer to it as "Universe 2.0". One of these is Overload, a redeco of Cybertron Defense Scattorshot. Just to show how pervasive redecos were at the time, the same line had a different redeco of this figure: Dropshot. Later at Botcon 2009, the same sculpt was given a new deco (and head sculpt) as Flak. Both the Scattorshot and Dropshot reviews will give you plenty of details on the figure. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

Vehicle Mode:
Overload may seem like a new figure, but he is in fact based on a character from the "Armada" series. Essentially, Overload goes through the Unicron Battles and then takes off on his own, along with a new body. Despite that origin, his actual deco appears to be based on a Micromaster from the G1 era named Flak who was a tank with missile pods on top in green. The pseudo-homage makes sense as the Scattorshot sculpt is also a tank with missile pods on top.

Overload is cast in green, olive green and gunmetal grey plastic. The missile pods and the middle of the vehicle are green. Smaller parts in between the two sections are olive green. The gunmetal grey portions are in the front and middle. There are some smaller black parts as well, but they only really show on the sides as part of a ball joint. The rifle included with the figure is cast in a dark green color. It's a very military looking and quite different from the original Scattorshot figure.

The paint colors used on the figure include light green, dark green, olive green, gunmetal, brown and black. The light and dark greens make up the primary details in a Digital Camoflage pattern. The olive green is used to paint the sides of the tread sections. Black is used for the treads and the front of the missiles. The gunmetal grey makes up details on the sides and back of the figure. The brown is used on the back of the missile pods. On the right side of the missile pods, black is used for an Autobot symbol along with the letters/numbers "MDL 82375". The significance of these numbers is unknown, but at the time the designers sometimes put in initials and birthdays of relatives so this could be one. This is a really nice, intricate and cool looking deco pattern and I think it looks great.

All the gimmicks on this figure still work great. The two pegs on the side can still connect to Energon weapons or Mini-Cons and the Cyber Key still activates both weapons on the missile pods without a problem. Pulling out the missile launcher sections on the right side is a little tough since it's rather snug in the slot, but it does come out with a tiny bit of extra force. Missile pods also turn left and right without a problem.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Remove the rifle if attached.
  2. Swing the rear halves of the treads forward, turn them around and attach them to the front tread halves.
  3. Swing the halves of the front blades out.
  4. Split the rocket launcher and swing the arms out to the sides.
  5. Swing out the fists on each arm.
  6. Split the front section in half to form the robot legs.
  7. Swing the robot head forward.
  8. Attach the rifle to one of his hands.

Robot Mode:
While the vehicle mode is a very uniform set of colors skewing towards a military theme, the robot mode mixes things up considerably. All the same plastic colors are present, but they're broken up significantly. The green color is now on the arms and lower legs. The olive green is used on the head and arms while the gunmetal color breaks up colors on sections like the elbows, fists, thighs and feet. A bit of translucent red shows up here on the "goggles" on his head. This mode actually features another shade of green plastic for the torso and waist sections which is darker than the one used for the lower legs. Even without paint applications he looks great with a lot of distinctive colors broken up all over the figure.

The same paint colors used in the vehicle mode carry over here with the addition of red. The gunmetal is found on his shoulders and the area on thop of h is torso and chest. Olive green is used on the mid-body along with black. A small red Autobot symbol is painted onto the center of the waist and his knees. The face is painted silver and brown is used on the "X" on his chest. Overall it's a really rich color scheme. I like the addition of red, which contrasts nicely with the green and gunmetal colors while also calling back to Armada Overload.

All of the joints on this figure are still tight, especially the arms and legs. However, the right hip joint is slightly more loose than the left. It doesn't affect the functionality of the figure at all so I don't see it as a huge deal. The Cyber Key gimmick works fine in this mode as well.

Final Thoughts:
I'm a big fan of this sculpt. It's powerful looking, it has a good heft and fun to play with to boot. As Overload it's a little bit of a stretch, but since Overload doesn't quite have the baggage of say, Starscream or Bumblebee the need to adhere to a specific "look" isn't 100% necessary. I really dig this toy. If you can get it at a reasonable price (not much more than $30 USD maybe) I'd go for it.