Click the image above to see the alt mode, or view more photos here
First/Last Comic Appearance (US) -
First/Last Comic Appearance (UK) -
First/Last Cartoon Appearance -
First Toy Appearance - 1990
Click here to see Figure Details and review
Manufacturer - Hasbro
Toyline - Transformers 2010
- Added Decepticon symbol to the turret, covering the tampographed one
- Added Decepticon symbol to the chest
Banzai-Tron was, for me, where it all went wrong for Generation 1. Transformers that couldn't transform? Someone shoot me, and make it quick. The Action Masters polarised opinion with some loving the fact that they could finally get cartoon-accurate figures of their old favourites, such as Shockwave, Optimus Prime, etc. For me, I could never get past the fact that they were no longer 'transformers'. I used to snort with derision upon seeing them, and reserved special scorn for the one called 'Banzai-Tron'. Hasbro were running out of ideas as quickly as they were running out of names, it seemed. I even chose 'Banjo-Tron' as my moniker on Seibertron just to poke fun at him. So getting me to like a figure based on him was always going to be a hard sell...
Appearance (Robot Mode) 9/10
It is hard to dislike a figure when he is based on one of my favourite moulds - the Bludgeon mould. So it is in this case, where the shared characteristics of the 2 robots make this mould re-use a no brainer. On top of this, the head seems to fit the colour scheme and characterisation better, so much so that I probably won't bother with the upcoming Headrobots upgrade. For Banzai-Tron looks like a malevolent half-robot half-beetle. The darker palette suits the mould well, especially when it is punctuated with accents of flourescent green and copper. There is almost something quite 'Steampunk' about the aesthetics of this guy. Glorious. The floppy blades are at least painted on this figure - a nice electric blue which works better than it should. My only criticism is that he looks slightly pigeon-footed in his neutral stance.
Appearance (Alternate Mode) 9/10
Banzai-Tron never had an alt mode, and unlike some of the other toys which had vestigal wheels/wings etc there was really no cue as to what the alt mode may be. So I guess a tank is as good a choice as any. The tank mode is very impressive and the turret swivels easily on what feels like a ratchet joint. It is also very imposing, being a voyager class vehicle. portions of the treads are actually rubber, which is impressive indeed. What this means they will look like in 20 year's time, is anyone's guess though. Detailing is superb throughout, and the muted dark turquoise tones suit this mode down to the ground.
Going from tank to robot is fairly counter-intuitive, and requires a scary-ish amount of pressure applied in the correct place to disengage what will become the legs. The most concerning part is pulling the chest back up to revert to tank, which requires a bit of force. The fact is that this central pillar keeps the whole figure together, so hopefully it is solid enough for the job.
First the bad - which is that there is no waist swivel. There's that out of the way! Now for the good. There is Head swivel, and unlike Bludgeon with his Headrobots noggin, you can actually turn his head! The shoulders rotate, and the arms can pivot in and out directly beneath them. You also get bicep swivel, and what amounts to double-jointed elbows. The wrists do not swivel which is a massive shame, but they can tilt inwards thanks to the transformation joint. This means that this mould can wield the large sword two-handed. Which is about the coolest thing ever. The hips are ratcheted and can be splayed outwards or swiveled up and down. Banzai-Tron also has thigh swivel, as well as 2 pivots in his ankle and independently-articulated heels. Phew. Balance-wise, there is something slightly wrong. It comes back to those Pigeon toes, which actually makes standing this mould fairly difficult in some cases. Having said that, you can pose him as if he is mediating - there are not many transformers you can say that about.
Annoyingly, the legs on this mould have a proclivity to fall off below the knee, and this is with me being careful around this area. The Automorph turret feature works smoothly and is nice and solid but an impatient kid could find some way to bust it. Most worrying for me is the use of rubber for parts of the treads. I can see why that material is necessary but I hope it stands up to the test of time. I just have to look at the cracked tyres on my G1 Autobots to appreciate how quickly rubber dries up and breaks down.
Overall - 40/50
I tried to hate him, I really did, but I just couldn't in the end. There is too much to like about this figure, and at least now Bludgeon has someone to practice his martial arts with. If you just want to get one example of this mould, I would honestly get this one over the others. It is cheaper and easier to get hold of than Bludgeon, the silly re-purposed Megatron and the incongruous Botcon Gigatron. It is also, in my opinion, the best colour scheme of the four as well. Just buy him, damnit!