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First/Last Comic Appearance (US) - Issue 17, June 1986 / Issue 60, December 1989
First/Last Comic Appearance (UK) - Issue 101, February 28th 1987 / Issue 254, January 27th 1990
First/Last Cartoon Appearance - Episode 31 (Season 2 #15), September 26th 1985 / Episode 92 Season 3 #27), November 20th 1986
First Toy Appearance - 1985
Click here to see Figure Details and review
Manufacturer - Hasbro
Toyline - Transformers 2010
- Added an Autobot symbol to the chest, covering the rubsign
- Added an Autobot symbol to the bonnet
- Added some Reprolabels
It's funny, despite the fact that Transformers were aliens I never questioned why they could speak English before they came to Earth, and also why they did so with a North American accent, some 4 million years before the accent or even the English language existed. I understand that because they crashed in what would become the USA, that after their revival (and thanks to Teletraan I) they would know how to speak English. It all seems straightforward but then you have some Transformers who notably speak with a posh English accent - where the heck did they get that from? Perceptor is one such robot, and it seems that the more bookish the Transformers become, the more likely they are to have an upper-class English accent. Jetfire shares the same accent, and I can imagine both of these learned scientists discussing the works of Chaucer together over tea and scones. As a Brit, this stereotyping doesn't bother me, and it seems that the dumber the robot, the more Amurucan they sound, with Brawn and his deep south drawl, and Rumble/Frenzy with their Chicago mobster accents. Anyway, I've spent far too long talking about accents. Perceptor in G1 fiction was a brainbox who would often be found pondering some esoteric concept before being asked to provide a way to blow up some Decepticons. IDW would later re-imagine the character as a slightly unhinged wrecker with a penchant for the sniper's rifle, but then they also made Arcee a transsexual so perhaps their output is best ignored. Anyway, I was eager to see the new Perceptor figure, and was intrigued to discover if he was still a microscope. Let's take a closer look. Ha ha! Sorry.
Appearance (Robot Mode) 8/10
First off, I have added some Reprolabels to this figure, but even without them Hasbro have done a good job. This mould is full of sculpted detail and the proportions are bang on. Perceptor has an excellent head sculpt and very much reflects the G1 original. The magenta and cyan colour scheme is just as garish/cool as it was back in the '80s. Perceptor comes with no handgun but does have a shoulder mounted gun of some description, complete with a sight which he cannot possibly use, but sometimes you have to use your imagination. Unusually for a modern Hasbro toy, Perceptor is blessed with chrome on his chest plate and the discs on his forearms which is a really nice touch. His chest plate also opens and used to reveal the rubsign until I covered it up with a standard Autobot symbol. The Hasbro engineers put all that thought in and then I just ruin it!
Appearance (Alternate Mode) 7/10
Instead of the traditional microscope, Perceptor now becomes a scientific research vehicle of some sort, with treads at the back and wheels at the front. It looks pretty decent but is certainly helped by the Reprolabels stickers. The front potion of the vehicle does not sit as flush as it should, and bends upwards slightly. I quite like the tinted glass and the whole thing seems very '80s which is a good thing in my book. There are searchlights on the roof which are cleverly formed from the shoulder mounted weapon.
I get really annoyed with this figure. His legs are a high point in that they have an interesting transformation sequence that actually works, but his backpack bulk is a nightmare to slot (and keep) in place. He has a propensity to fall out of his proper configuration with the slightest touch. Even moving the head up into position involves negotiating a tab which seems too big; you have to force the slot over the tab, straining the plastic in the process. The arms do not seem to come together very well for the vehicle mode - the shoulders clash together until eventually they slot in place, and it is the arms that deform the front end somewhat because the tolerances are not quite right. The whole thing is pretty painful but I award points for ingenuity and remove them for the execution.
Once you get this figure into robot mode, he does have a fairly good range of movement. His head is on a swivel but there is no waist articulation. He has ball-jointed shoulders, bicep swivel and jointed elbows. His wrists have swivel. He has ball-jointed hips, thigh swivel, knee joints but his feet tab into the tank treads so cannot be posed. His shoulder-mounted weapon swivels too. Unfortunately, in some cases he moves about too freely - his shoulders can easily pop out of their correct position, and as mentioned his back can un-tab frustratingly easily. Which if I haven't mentioned is really irritating!
My 2 main worries about this figure are the chrome used on it, which can tarnish over the years, so I fully expect this guy to have lost his lustre in a decade or so. This isn't a problem for a toy undergoing normal use but is frustrating for the collector. My other worry is the fact that there are certain pieces of plastic which collide when transforming him - perhaps I am being particularly ham-fisted but I think there have been some poor and inadequately-thought out design choices along the way.
Overall - 33/50
A great robot mode is not enough to stop this figure being a bit mediocre, because he can be such a bugger to transform and pose. This is definitely a figure you will want to leave as a robot and treat with a light touch. It's a shame because there are some really nice aspects to this figure, but it will delight and frustrate in equal measure.