Decepticon Octane Returns as Tankor
By Hervé St-Louis
September 1, 2008 - 15:22
I just got the Transformers Octane action figure which Hasbro calls Tankor because they probably lost the trademark to the original name of the Decepticon triple changer that was not introduced at the same time as his two other allies, Astrotrain and Blitzwing in the original Transformers’ cartoon series from the 1980s. Octane is part of the new Transformer Universe Classic series of action figures where new toys of older Transformers are introduced.
I got this toy along with the new Sunstreaker and Prowl Transformers. I suspect the comic book shop I bought it from to have overcharged me. I bought it for $18. Yep, I overpaid! Anyhow, I really like this new Octane action figure. It’s the first one released since 1986. Originally, Octane was a Boeing 767 jet that could also transform into a fuel truck. The new Octane action figure changes the Boeing 767 for a C-130 Hercules cargo plane, which makes more sense, as Octane is the Decepticons’ fueler. There is also irony in that Hasbro Toys opted for Boeing’s long competitor, Lockheed!
In robot mode, Octane looks closer to the animated depiction he had in the 1980s Transformers’ cartoon series which is great. Great lengths have been taken to give him the dynamic and elongated shape that styled that artists used to depict Decepticons back then. His thighs are minuscule compared to his tibias. I don’t like how his fists are part of the head of the cockpit, but this Octane action figure is a vast improvement over the previous one. He has full articulations and can take many dynamic poses without any problems.
In robot mode, I prefer his C-130 Hercules mode to the truck mode. It looks better and like the main mode he was designed to stay in robot mode. The truck mode cuts corners too much for me. The cockpit is not hidden at all and is simply pushed to the back. There are few details to the truck mode. Compared to say any Optimus Prime action figure in truck mode, Octane looks lame. There is two things that does bug me about his plane mode. It’s the length of his wings. They are too short compared to the actual C-130 Hercules planes. Each wing should be almost as long as the entire body of the plane. They are about half of that size.
The transformation of plane to robot is actually easier than the truck. It’s not that figuring out the truck mode is hard. It’s just that without strong iconic elements, stuff can just go anywhere and it’s less intuitive. Although I used the instructions to first transform Octane from plane to truck and then to robot, I had no problem transforming him back into a jet. The packaging says that the level of difficulty is 3 on 4. I think it should be 2 on 4.
The paint job is clean and the plastic used for Octane is sturdy enough. I hate that comb thing that you have to add to the bottom of the plane like an extra platform. It’s only useful on the truck mode. I don’t like this comb crab pawn as a weapon either. It takes too much place.
One thing that seriously bothers me about Octane is the scale he is in. He looks too small as a large plane next to Prowl and Sunstreaker. In fact I found that in robot mode, he looked right next to the Ultimate Optimus Prime and Megatron Transformers. He’s about their size. In both truck and plane mode, he’s too small to be next to the Megatron tank or the Optimus Prime truck.
Octane is a quite stable and stands on his own There are also several sets of wheels in both jet and truck mode. That help the toy glide freely and smoothly. Sometimes that can be a problem with toys like that.
The packaging for Octane is good with a score sheet on the back detailing his rank and capabilities. This toy should be easily available in many stores. Try avoiding comic book stores as their price is much steeper than large retailers because Diamond Comics, their distributor does not give them good discounts.
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