Release Date: April 26, 2012
Price Point: $95 (in a two pack with Shattered Glass Optimus Prime)
Retailer: Botcon Exclusive
Accessories: Blaster, Speakers x 2
Botcon 2012 brought a storyline that involved the invasion of the "Shattered Glass" universe into a branch of the universe first started by the 1980's Marvel comic book, also known as the "Classicsverse". One of the hallmarks of the "Classicsverse" was the appearance of characters here and there that did not get a lot of feature time elsewhere in Transformers fiction. Among these were the so called "Action Masters", Transformers who were released in Generation One who did not transform, but instead came with accessories or vehicles that did. For Botcon 2012, one of these characters was revived but this time he was able to transform! His original name in G1 was "Kick-Off", but due to trademark issues he wound up with the name "Kick-Over" but was also called "Kick-Out" on the official Botcon photography. For the sake of this review I'll stick with "Kick-Over" as the name.
Kick-Over's source mold was the "Reveal the Shield" Stealth Ops Jazz figure. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release. Check out the original review for more details about the base figure.
It's really cool talking about a vehicle mode for Kick-Over. Personally I loved the Action Masters (which puts me in the minority I know) but even with that love part of me always felt that something was "missing" with many of the characters in that series, especially those who were new characters and not Action Master versions of previously released characters such as Bumblebee and Starscream. Kick-Off was one of these characters, so Kick-Over's vehicle mode brings an air of nostalgia and wish fulfillment with it. In G1, Kick-Off always reminded me of a modern version of the G1 cars like Jazz and Prowl who had the front of their car modes on their chests with wheels on their legs and so on. Many of his design elements reflected these design elements including the vehicle mode's front end on his chest and wheels on his shoulders and ankles. Given that, the Special Ops Jazz sculpt makes for an ideal sculpt for the character in both forms.
There were no alterations made to the Jazz sculpt for this mode, but the colors are so dramatically different you'd have to do a double take to realize it's the same car. What's brilliant about this color scheme is the use of all the colors from G1 Kick-Off in a flashy but cool fashion that pays proper homage to the G1 character. G1 Kick-Off's colors included orange, black, red, white and yellow. These same colors are heavily featured on this vehicle mode, some of which are placed in a pattern that roughly matches the pattern seen on the G1 figure. The base color of the vehicle mode is black, making up most of the front, sides, top and back of the car. The white color found on G1 Kick-Off is used on top of the hood, leading to the top of the vehicle all the way to the spoiler. This white is analogous to the white that made up a bulk of G1 Kick-Off's chest. This white is overlaid with a neon orange stripe that goes from the front to the back. On top of the orange stripe at the front is a large red and silver Autobot symbol. This triple layering is not very common among Transformers figures and really shows some of the extra mile that Fun Publications attempts on these exclusives. The orange color is also used on a stripe under the front grille (a visual analogy to a yellow stripe in the same place on G1 Kick-Off's chest). Translucent orange plastic is also used to further the "orange" theme on both the windows and the headlights. The orange is really striking against the black paint and plastic that makes up so much of the vehicle and it looks spectacular.
Another color borrowed from G1 Kick-Off is yellow, found on the front end for the fog lights and on the rear lights. The red color from G1 Kick-Off is also used here, but it's a slightly darker shade than the one found on the G1 figure. You'll find the red making up a stripe detail that runs along the lower edge of the vehicle from the front all the way to the back. Red is also used for the rear window section.
The final color that brings the vehicle together is silver, found on the front grille and the sides of the wheels. Given how bright the white and orange colors are, this offers a nice metallic color that helps ground the figure and offers a great contrast with the black.
Kick-Over's vehicle mode is truly one of those that I like more and more as I look over it for this review. It's simply a gorgeous design and set of colors that pay homage to the original character brilliantly.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Flip the figure over and detach the blaster from underneath the front of the car.
- Extend the barrel of the blaster forward.
- Swing each door open.
- With the vehicle flipped over, swing out each robot arm.
- Extend the rear of the vehicle down to begin forming the robot legs.
- Separate the halves of the vehicles rear section.
- Swing out the robot feet and swing out the heel pieces.
- Swing each arm out to the sides, which creates an opening in the middle of the car hood.
- Swing the car hood piece down to form the robot chest. The head will swing up at the same time.
- Straighten out the arms.
- Place the blaster into one of the fists.
Sometimes redecos only work in one mode and only "sorta" in the other, but I'm happy to say that Kick-Over is not such a redeco/retool. The first thing you'll notice is the head sculpt. Yep, this is one of those Botcon gems that gets a whole new head sculpt. Based on the G1 Action Master figure's head, Kick-Over has a bullet shaped helmet section with a crest in the center leading to a face with visor eyes. The artists behind this head sculpt did a spot on job. All of G1 Kick-Off's head details are carried over including the vents on the sides of the helmet and even the rather grim expression on his face. It looks like the figure was made to have this head on it. When you look at the body structure, several elements match up with G1 Kick-Off including:
- The car's front end winds up on his chest.
- His front wheels wind up on his shoulders.
- Wheels wind up on his lower legs.
- Kick-Over's weapon is shaped similarly to G1 Kick-Off's weapon complete with a circular part at the back and a laser scope on top.
- Overall, several of the parts on the arms and legs have a curved design that echoes the curved limbs on G1 Kick-Off.
In terms of color, Kick-Over is decidedly darker than his G1 counterpart. Black dominates his form including his chest, upper arms, "wings", fists and most of the legs. However, a lot of the other key G1 Kick-Off colors do make an impression when they are used. The way the white and orange colors wind up on his chest echo the look of the G1 toy. His arms also line up color-wise with the G1 figure with black and orange on the forearms contrasting wonderfully against each other. On G1 Kick-Off his legs had a bit more grey whereas here there's just one patch of silver plastic. He does have red plastic making up his feet and the panels on the front of the lower legs. This red plastic is inspired by the red outline painted onto the G1 Kick-Off figure. What's even cooler? There are painted red details on the edges inside his lower legs that echo the same type of paint deco on the G1 Action Master! This attention to detail is amazing and unexpected. I was literally grinning from ear to ear when I saw it. Brilliant work!
Kick-Over's speakers have not been forgotten. Both speakers are cast in neon orange plastic with the circles on the inside painted black. The arms connected to them are the same silver color as the middle part of his thighs. Another cool color detail can be found on the rifle. While most of it is orange, the joint that connects the two halves of the weapon is silver, giving an additional level of color detail that was also unexpected.
All of Kick-Over's joints are tight. This includes the speakers on his "wings", which clip onto his primary weapon using their "C Clips" without a problem.
Kick-Over is a beautiful example of reimagining a character from Generation One. I also give this guy "extra points" for being a relatively obscure character from Generation One. It's cool to have Primes, Megatrons and so on, but now and then it's cool to be reminded that the Transformers universe is richer than a basic set of ten or so characters. This guy isn't cheap, but if you're a hardcore collector and G1 fan, this guy belongs in your collection!