Thursday, 26 November 2015

A Concise Review of DOTM Decepticon Hatchet In 500 Words Or Less

Pricepoint/Vintage: Cyberverse Commander, 2011.
Modes: Robotic cat, modified Eurofighter Typhoon.
Transformation Style: Unique cat/jetformer.
Play Features: Cat and jet, combing 3mm weapons that turn into drones.
Points of Interest: His movie depiction was a car, not a jet. He can actually carry a Human Alliance figure in his back cavity.

The Good
Hatchet's cat form is both pleasingly monstrous and surprisingly functional. Not only do the weapons stow on the shoulder wings, they can be wielded in the front paws, and combine into a bigger gun. While the articulation obviously favours a quadruped pose, its entirely possible to have him rise up for gansta gunplay. With eighteen joints, including a balljoint for each limb and three hinges in the tail, general mauling is something he also does well. Detailing, including interior, is nicely sculpted and painted in both modes. The jet meanwhile has fold-up landing gear under the nose, decorated but unpainted missiles, and effectively four 3mm ports under the wings to store the drones/guns. Finally, the transformation is simplistic, but largely unique due to its concept. He is also vaguely adorable at this size, slightly evoking a Recordicon.

The Bad
Hatchet suffers badly in jet mode, as the front limbs don't go anywhere, his paws sticking out the back. This guy could be used as the dictionary picture for "undercarriage junk". His back legs in cat mode are also disproportionately small, like a bodybuilder who skips leg day. The landing gear also interferes.

The Mediocre
While joints are fairly plentiful for a toy of this size, compromises are still made, such as the absence of neck rotation. The instructions also forget to mention a panel which flips over to fill in the back of the cat mode.

The Alternatives
Hatchet's existence as a big cat that changes into a jet isn't something that was ever done in Transformers before, and this mould was never reused. Next year, we will be getting something similar with Stripes, and possibly Ravage, but otherwise you are going to struggle to find a toy that does both cat and jet. Maybe ROTF Ravage?

The Verdict
Hatchet is a curious mix of disparate design elements that ultimately make for a fun toy. Its not a complete success, the cat and jet modes just don't separate properly, but they made the best of it. Those accessories certainly didn't have to combine, and nobody expected him to be able to hold them with his paws. He's also one of the few toys from DOTM that is neither A) a car, B) a pre-existing character, or C) hampered by that Mechtech gimmick. That alone should sell him to you.

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