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Captain America

Transformers Crossovers
by yo go re

In some cases, designing a giant mech suit for a superhero is stupid. But for some guys, it just makes sense: after all, Captain America has worn armor before.

Sometimes world-class threats require world-class power. That's when Captain America steps into his specially built mech suit. Fast, made of the same indestructible Vibranium alloy as his shield, and attuned to his perfect reflexes, only a Super Soldier like Captain America could control the awesome power of this battle suit. Plus, the vehicle mode is rugged and stealthy, giving him the drop on evildoers!

No. A red and blue Hummer is many things, but "stealthy" is not one of them. Still, it's hard to hate on the vibrant colors - this looks like a vehicle that was painted up for promotions; you know, they drive it around the Marvel Universe and get kids to sign up for the army or something. It gets parked in malls and at grand openings of feed stores or whatever, and "the young'uns can get their pitchur took" next to it.

The vehicle itself is detailed very nicely, though the fact that everything seems to be molded in color doesn't really allow the sculpt to "pop" unless you have a very strong light source. There are a lot of realistic elements sculpted on the truck, including rivets, screws, bolts, hinges, and armor plating. The windshield has protective armor bars running horizontally across the surface, and there's a crash bar on the front. A star-spangled wheel cover rests on the sloping rear end, there's a raised star on the hood, and the hubcaps, carrying the design theme forward to an adorable degree, each have a small star in the center. The Hummer (not a licensed design, just STBLDF) measures 6¾" long, 3¼" wide and maxes out at 3" tall.

Converting the truck is nothing groundbreaking, but it's easy to get the hang of. If you're at all familiar with Captain America, you can probably guess just by looking where certain bodyparts will come from. We won't list all the steps here because, well, they're easy enough that one or two times with the instructions and you'll have them down pat. One thing to be aware of, though? Make sure you pull Cap's head all the way up, or he'll be too stumpy.

Once you get him changed, Cap-Bot stands 7¼" tall at the tips of his silly little head-wings. They're much larger here than usual - and no, not because they're growing out of a truck; we mean proportionally. Captain America's wings are usally dinky little things, while these are nearly the size of Thor's. He still has the "A" on his forehead, though it's clearly more of a standalone element than a flat design. The figure moves at the neck, shoulders, biceps, elbows, writs, waist, hips, thighs and knees.

Cap's costume elements come through quite cleverly. Obviously the front-end of the Hummer becomes his chest - the star on the hood was a dead giveaway. But the distinctive armor on the front does a good job standing in for the "chainmail" he always wears, and the crash bars become the red and white stripes on his torso. The white arms of his costume are instead silver/gray, handled in part by the truck tires. He could use a little more white at the waist, but this is still a very good job of creating a superhero costume on a Transformer.

The wheel cover, no surprise, becomes Captain America's mighty shield. Press the blue center, and four quadrants pop outward, creating a "white (i.e., silver) stripe between the reds. It's a simple change, but it takes the accessory from so-so to pretty neat. There are two pegs on the back of the shield that allow it to attach securely to either of the figure's arms. Don't think a shield makes sense as an offensive weapon? Imagine a robot hurling a 6' wide, 2' thick metal disc at you with all its might. You'd be a fine, smooth jelly on the sidewalk, Vibranium alloy or no.

Captain America isn't a Transformer you'll love as soon as you see him. The vehicle's colors are gaudy, and the robot looks rather chunky at first glance. However, the more I play with him, the more he grows on me. I love the things they've done with him, and that makes him a worthwhile addition to my collection. If you don't like the red and blue, you can wait for the imminent repaint: no, they're not turning him into USAgent or Bucky Cap; this mold is being repurposed as the Punisher of all people, and the black and silver is sure to look more "normal" than red and blue.

-- 03/09/10


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