Price Point/Size: Deluxe
Retailers: General (K-Mart, Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, Kay Bee)
Release Date: June 2003
Transformation Difficulty Level: 2 (Intermediate)
Accessories: Missiles x 2
Tapping various sub-lines of Transformers from the past, the Fuzors jump into the Transformers Universe line with a new version of Silverbolt. This review will cover the changes made to the toy for this release, for a more detailed review of the toy itself, please read Beast Wars Silverbolt's review.
While the Beast Wars Silverbolt tried to use colors that one could imagine finding approximations of in nature on a wolf type creature, Universe Silverbolt goes in the complete opposite direction, giving us a very different colored Silverbolt. Silverbolt's primary color is purple. Bright green details are used to replace Beast Wars Silverbolt's gold on the front legs. His beast mode eyes are now green with white pupils. The nose is painted black.
This scheme by itself is a bit jarring and kind of plain, but it is the paint apps on the back and wings that really make this beast mode look awesome. The feather ends are painted black, which fades into the purple color of the plastic, much like the gold on Beast Wars Silverbolt's wings faded into the silver. The beast mode back is painted red with a silver spray op (a bit of which is also on his snout). Drawn on top of that is a dark gray lightning pattern. The overall effect looks much like Silverbolt is coursing with power through his central body and that it's so strong, it's barely contained, a theme that runs through various Universe toys.
Silverbolt's robot mode is still mostly purple. The "gold to bright green" one on one color replacement continues here as details on his lower arms, chest and waist all have bright green on them. His robot head is purple with black outlines, silver teeth and green eyes. It is interesting to note that the paint app done on his eyes is a lot smaller than that of the Beast Wars Silverbolt. This makes Beast Wars Silverbolt's face look a bit more like he's wide-eyed and wondering what's going on while Universe Silverbolt has his eyes closed smaller, indicating focus. Also, Beast Wars Silverbolt's teeth were not painted in, so they were less noticable while the silver teeth on Universe Silverbolt give him a more gritty and determined look.
The "gatling gun" in the middle of his body has its edges painted silver (whereas the edges on Beast Wars Silverbolt were never painted). The "ball" inside that was orange on Silverbolt is now a Spark Crystal (a purple one) with an Autobot symbol heat stamped on top of it. Interestingly enough, the photo of the toy on the packaging shows what appears to be a Predacon Spark Crystal with no Autobot symbol on top of it (of course, it was most likely a test prototype so any crystal could have been used).
While the silver detailing, the Spary Crystal and the extra face detail are nice small touches, the robot mode still looks rather plain. Quite simply, the purple is a bit underwhelming. The beast mode is saved by the spray ops applied to the back and wings. Such things could have been done to the arms or even his weapons to give a bit more continuity between the two modes color-wise. If this were a first run toy, I wouldn't bother mentioning this, chalking things up to production costs, but since this mold is an old one, with no modifications (outside the orange ball being replaced by the Spark Crystal), it would have been nice to see Hasbro spring for a bit more color in the robot mode.
If you love redecos, are a completist or don't have (and can't get) the Beast Wars Silverbolt, then this toy is for you. Others may want to check out the figure a bit in the store before purchasing. I mean, the beast mode color scheme is super nice, it's just the robot mode that's a tiny bit of a let down. Recommended with reservations.