Release Year: July 2007
Retailer: Botcon 2007 Exclusive
Price: $47 (in a two pack with Huffer)
Accessories: Blade, Cyber Key
At the time we were planning the Botcon 2007 set of toys, there were not many Classics sculpts we could utilize. Having used most of them in the boxed set, we turned to other sculpts to represent other classic characters. In the case of Springer, it was suggested to us by one of our artists that Cybertron Defense Hot Shot may fit the bill. Springer has always been portrayed as a rough and tough character with some bulk to him. His head design also had a curved part on the front that Hot Shot's head had as well. When we imagined the color placement on the figure, it became a no brainer to produce this 21st century version of Springer. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release. Check out Cybertron Defense Hot Shot's review for a detailed look at the figure.
As much as you can change the paint applications on a sculpt, the plastic color swaps are pretty much one for one deals. The metallic blue plastic from Hot Shot has been changed to metallic silver. The red plastic from Hot Shot is now light green and the black plastic parts remain the same. While the original Springer used a much darker, flat grey color, we felt the metallic silver was much more eye catching then a flat grey. The green is also a tad lighter than the green on the G1 Springer, but again, the idea was to draw your eye to the figure. The black parts offer a good contrast to the lighter colors. The combination of these three colors looks great, but of course there's more than just that.
If you've read my reviews of most other recent Botcon exclusive figures, you'll recall that one of the things we have tried to do in the past couple years is use the basic color scheme of the base figure as a start, but then do a couple things differently. Springer is no exception. Like Cybertron Defense Hot Shot, the middle of the front section is painted black, but the angled cross hatched lines inside are painted yellow, whereas they were left unpainted on Hot Shot. The ends of his cannons are now painted metallic green instead of silver. The fuel tanks on the lower part of the vehicle are painted green, a darker shade than the plastic on the figure. Looking at the sides of the vehicle you will find small details painted on Springer that were left unpainted on Hot Shot. Specifically, the raised circle part towards the front and the axe and shovel details towards the back are all painted black. On the top of the driver section is a large tampographed Autobot symbol. Finally, blue replaces yellow as the color of his headlights.
As an updated version of Springer, I really like the use of this vehicle form. While his G1 form was more of a futuristic car, this makes sense for someone who has often been associated with a team known as the "Wreckers". The colors used are appropriate, but I'm glad they were not direct carry overs from the G1 figure. I'm especially fond of the metallic colored plastic as it really makes him look like he is composed of metal.
The color swaps are a bit more direct in robot mode. The yellow parts on Hot Shot are replaced by blue, the silver is replaced by green (matching the plastic color used on the figure) and the yellow part on Hot Shot's forehead has been replaced with green. Springer's eyes are painted blue, matching with the concept of Autobots having blue eyes while Decepticons have red ones. Like the vehicle mode however, a couple new paint applications appear here. The ends of each foot are painted silver and the cross hatch patterns on both shoulder missile pod covers are painted yellow. The metallic silver on Hot Shot's fists have been replaced with the metallic green color while the silver on the knife blade remains the same. Differentiating Springer further from Hot Shot are the colors of the missiles hidden in his legs and arms, now red instead of yellow.
For those who may have felt that the vehicle mode lacked enough green to truly be Springer, this mode makes up for it in spades. His shoulder joints, forearms and upper legs are all cast in green plastic, as is his blade. Add to that the green paint details on his main body and there is no mistaking who this guy is meant to be. The similarity in head detail to Springer is purely coincidental, yet it works completely.
Springer's Cyber Key feature still works fine on my particular one. I have heard one person mention theirs did not flip up unless they nudged the missile pods a bit. This is a rare complaint though so I doubt the majority of figures turned out that way.
It has literally been about twenty years since Springer has received such a toy treatment. While a very popular character, he was somehow passed over time and time again when it came to G1 characters being reinvented. This figure offers up a new version of the character and the lack of a new head should not discourage you as Hot Shot's head works out great. Along with a great deco, this figure is definitely highly recommended!