Click the image above to see the alt mode, or view more photos here
First/Last Comic Appearance (US) -
First/Last Comic Appearance (UK) - Issue 78, September 13th 1986 / Issue 169, June 11th 1988
First/Last Cartoon Appearance -
First Toy Appearance -
Click here to see Figure Details and review
Manufacturer - Hasbro
Toyline - Universe (2003)
- Custom repaint of Universe (2003) Tankor, with shortened cannon barrel and repainted Ironhide head
- Added Autobot symbol to the chest
- Added Autobot symbol to the front of the tank
The Wreckers. Few could realise back in 1986 that Simon Furman's bunch of slightly unhinged Autobots would still be going strong over 25 years later, or that they would play a starring role in one of the best IDW stories written, critically acclaimed as one of the few Transformers stories able to transcend the subject matter and find a broader audience. But way before 'Last Stand of the Wreckers', there was the story which introduced Ultra Magnus, Galvatron and a host of others to the UK comic. As well as being a seminal work, the epic 'Target:2006' also served up the morally-dubious rag-tag collective known as the Wreckers. Central to the Wreckers was Impactor - the leader who had the ability to galvanise the most disaffected bunch of Autobots into a much-feared fighting unit. He died before his time, stepping into the path of a weapon bound for Emirate Xaaron's head. He was so tough though, that he had the stones to come back in a later story as a zombie and save the day again, even though he was dead at the time.
It was some time later that I realised that Impactor was never going to get a figure. I gave up hope - this was, after all, an obscure character who was doomed from the start to be a sacrificial lamb - an unfeasably tough lamb, but a lamb nonetheless. But something about the character really resonated with me. Then came 'Last Stand of the Wreckers' and Impactor was even more fleshed out. My desire to add a figure to my collection was intensified. Hasbro announced a forthcoming 'Fall Of Cyberton' figure, but then I saw the tiny, hollow piece of junk they were proposing to represent this powerful, crazy, driven, psychotic, conflicted, flawed and heroic character and decided that it would just not do. I scoured old figures, looking for anything that could represent him - and found nothing. Until I saw Universe (2003) Tankor, which was a repurposed Beast Machines mould. I knew I had a lot to do, the work would be hard. But I decided to make one last effort to bring Impactor to life...
Appearance (Robot Mode) 8/10
I would like to start off by saying that is very hard to review your own work, but I will endeavour to do so objectively. The colour scheme used here is very much an amalgamation of the IDW and Marvel characters, and I tried my best to match the yellowish orange of the base figure for the head and cannon. Speaking of the head, this is from the Ironhide mould which does a nice job because the shape is correct, and there is already a crest of sorts running down the middle. I wasn't brave enough to augment the head with Plasticard, but I believe it works well. Perhaps the biggest deviation from the character is the claw-like hands, but it is already known that Impactor has at least one interchangeable hand, so I imagine this is his 'brawling' set. I think it really suits the power of the character, anyway. The Cannon also resembles the characters well, even if it is on the wrong side.
Appearance (Alternate Mode) 9/10
The tank mode is really excellent. I honestly think it does a magnificent job of representing the character, or at least IDW's impression of what his alt mode is. I painted the green and red areas purple, and it was good to go. The tank had a couple of gimmicks too. It rolls well on rubber front wheels that spin around saw blades. Also, the turret could be rotated by the spinning the head, but I removed that gimmick as it would no longer work with the head I chose. This meant I also had to glue the turret into a fixed position, which was the only solution to kep the robot mode cohesive. A shame, but the benefit was worth the cost. I still think the alt mode is fantastic, so there.
This is pretty simple. the Front of the tank splits apart to reveal the arms, and the panels are either squared away or moved to make the robot mode. The waist folds in on itself after unfolding the legs. Part of the reason that this was a good candidate for an extensive paint job was the simplicity of the transformation.
This mould is now 13 years old, so actually it holds up reasonably well. The head and waist are both on swivel joints. The shoulders offer a full range of movement and there is also bicep swivel. The hips are ball-jointed and there is the equivalent of thigh swivel at the knee. The elbows and knees have joints as well. The fists are non-existent and instead there are massive claws which can open and close. The cannon can also flip up or be stowed behind the back. The major drawback with this mould is the sheer size of the forearms which are huge. They are so big, they get in the way. Also, the feet are pretty small but actually balance is surprisingly good. very impressive for a mould which pre-dates this millennium!
I will forever treat this figure with kid gloves, because I painted it. I know how easily the paint could come off - it takes one wrong move to ruin a niceish finish. the mould itself is very strong actually. It all holds together well despite being about 10 years old. Compared with modern Hasbro fare, it is leaps and bounds better, with hardly any ugly hollow voids. They really do not make them like this anymore, more's the pity.
Overall - 38/50
I am seriously pleased with how this Impactor custom came out. I actually felt in control of the whole process because I had mapped everything out in my head. I feel that this figure will blend in perfectly well with my existing figures, be they 3rd party or official. The base figure is just so intimidating on the first place, that it suits the personality of Impactor down to the ground. Maybe I should send Nick Roche and Simon Furman a link to my flickr, and see what they think of it!