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Transformers Week Reviews
Reveal the Shield Perceptor

Perceptor’s articulation is pretty much what you’d expect from a modern Transformer, but there is one odd configuration that kind of threw me. The biggest one is his shoulders, which are connected to the “backpack” area of his body and not the torso. What’s even stranger is how they’re connected. The shoulders themselves are ball joints, but the ball joints set on a separate flat surface which connects to the backpack with a swivel. The arms have no problems moving, but they don’t always look quite right since they’re on another movable plane.

The rest of his articulation is straight forward. His hips and ankles are also ball joints. The head, biceps, wrists, and thighs are swivel joints, while his elbows and knees are hinge joints. Just like the old one, this Perceptor’s chest piece can fold down on a hinge while his shoulder canon can rotate slightly and the front can move up and down.

I’d like to say that I enjoyed his half-track mode, but I can’t. It’s not because I hate the half-track or because I’d rather have a microscope. It’s because of his transformation. This was the most frustrating Transformer I’ve ever dealt with. Noisy warned me that he was difficult, but I just figured he meant complicated, not nearly impossible.

The bottom half of Perceptor is a piece of cake, even intuitive. But his upper torso, specifically those odd shoulders and arms, is like some sort of torturous puzzle. And the instructions are no help. They just seem to repeat the same step over and over while expecting you to bend time and space contorting his arms into an area they clearly don’t want to be in.

I own Bludgeon and Banzaitron. I thought I knew what tedious and complex transformations were. But at least those two figures can be transformed. Perceptor just sat there mocking me as I tried over and over with no success to keep all his internal bits from popping out of his outer shell. Finally, frustrated and slightly agitated, I gave up. So the pictures of his vehicle form aren’t perfect, but it’s the closest I could get. Perceptor has humbled me, and I must now go into the desert and relearn my Transformer-Fu.

Also, something else that really intimidated me about this figure is how certain pieces would lock into place and the force you needed to exert to unlock them was scary. Like, “This is going to break because I’m putting too much pressure on it” scary. Thankfully nothing did snap, but there were some tense moments.

So, should you buy this figure? Yes. God, YES, if you’re a Perceptor fan. Sure he can’t do the whole microscope/canon look, but his G1 robot mode is worth the price of admission alone. Just be careful when you do actually transform him, especially during those heart stopping moments where you feel the plastic giving. And most importantly, breath deep and don’t get frustrated the first couple dozen times you struggle to put those arms in place.

For more Transformers Reviews, check out our Review Index.

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12 comments to Transformers Week Reviews
Reveal the Shield Perceptor

  • toygiant

    Agreed on all points Vault! His shoulder issue/frustration is very reminicent for me of Sideswipe/Sunstreaker/Red Alert’s, but on a whole other level of teedium. The other issue for me is that thin black piece in his legs where the treads hinge into his legs, but also acts as a slide to move the treads into their proper place. For me this also was another one of those “time & space benders”. Luckily, Hasbro has some of the best manufacturing facilities overseas and they seem to know just which plastics to use for TF’s tolerances & longevity. His bot mode once you have him together? Awesome! I’m a big fan of the IDW/Furman take on the TF universe so Blurr’s sniper rifle rests in my Perceptor’s hands. 🙂

    Good review as always!

    • AdventureVault


      Yeah, that leg piece is also a pain. Those shoulders just outweighed everything else for me though. They’re like an evil Rubik’s Cube, lol.

      I’m glad the TF designers know what plastic to use. If this were Matty, we might end up with breaking translucent bits or rubbery shoulders.

  • JediCreeper

    sadly, that’s something I hate about modern transformers… I just can’t transform them without the instructions (and too often, I can barely do it WITH them) forcing me to choose the form I prefer them in. in other words… I transform them ONCE, just for the hell of it, and that’s it… they just don’t have the play value they used to (hand me ANY g1, even ones I didn’t own, and I can transform them in seconds.. even many of the g2 and beast wars/machines ones)

    god, I’m old

    • AdventureVault

      I know what you mean. When I first got back into buying Transformers I couldn’t believe how much they’d changed. “Instructions, who needs these.” Ten minutes later I’m digging them back out of the trash, lol.

  • Cade

    I will say this….I never cared for the transforming into a giant microscope bit…..

  • My ideal car would look exactly like this bot’s vehicle mode. If you see one of these things rolling down your street, be sure to wave HI! to me, before I launch a missile at you. 🙂

  • Glad I read your review, Vault. Now I’m curious to see if he’s as complicated as any of the ones that have stumped me (Return of the Fallen Prime, Classics Galvatron, or that annoying Deluxe Skids figure).

    I’ve seen some great photos of him with a number of sniper rifles and scratch built monocles and I wish Hasbro had thought of those accessories in his design. Might have made up for the lackluster alt mode. Like WFC Soundwave, it feels like such a cop out.

    • AdventureVault

      I’ll be interested to see what you think. Every time I fail at transforming one of these guys I feel like I just flunked Kindergarten, lol. So let me know what you think.

      Yeah, he really should have come with some sort of cool gun. It would have helped him out a lot in a battle. As is, he really needs to be facing the enemy head on to use his shoulder canon.

  • Motorthing

    Good looking but the stability and complexity issues leave this guy up on my shelf rather than posed with some of the other current deluxes that have more “play” in them. He does look cool with a Halo Reach DMR though.

    • AdventureVault

      Yeah, I don’t think I’ll be doing much with this guy other than keeping him in robot mode.