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 84, October 25th 1986 / Issue 287, September 15th 1990
First/Last Cartoon Appearance - The Transformers: The Movie, August 8th 1986 / Episode 93 (Season 3 #28), November 19th 1986
First Toy Appearance - 1986
Click here to see Figure Details and review
Manufacturer - FansProject
Toyline - Warbot
- Added an Autobot symbol to the chest
- Added various Reprolabels
Springer is a character which actually has a few official figures knocking about, so why the need for a 3rd-party one? Unfortunately until very recently, none of the available or forthcoming HasTak toys had much in common with the original character. For a start, none of them were triple changers, and they were all redecos of existing figures from other lines - none of which look much like the character they purport to represent. I am still deciding whether to replace FansProject's offering with the new Generations figure, but until I make that decision I will take you through the good (and bad) points of FansProject's homage to one of my favourite characters - Warbot Defender.
Appearance (Robot Mode) 7/10
'Busy' is how I would describe the overall deco and detailing of the robot mode. But, once you are over the initial shock of colour and jutting angles, there is a lot to admire. The headsculpt homages the original but is badly in need of some additional detail, looking very bland and expressionless. The chest area is very reminiscent of the G1 figure, and I like the arms a lot; with the jutting shoulders providing a tough-looking silhouette. It's just a shame then, that I think the lower legs are such a mess. Too much colour and too much detail just don't work for me. It's almost like FansProject didn't know what to do with the legs, so just added loads of contrasting details for the sake of it, perhaps to justify the high price tag this guy carries. I have also added some Reprolabels, some of which were very poorly thought out and get destroyed just by transformeing the figure. Overall, this is still a decent approximation of Springer's robot mode. Springer also comes with two very cool pistols and the rotors become a (very flimsy) sword.
Appearance (Alternate Mode) 8/10
There are 2 alt modes to look at here, and I will start with the helicopter mode, which is my favourite. Through quite a torturous transformation sequence (more on that later) you eventually end up with a very bulky and squat helicopter, which somehow works incredibly well. Having the handguns slot into the front at an angle is a very nice touch and adds a lot of menace to the mode. Unfortunately, I don't share the same enthusiasm for the car mode, which is less successful, but still pretty good in it's own right. It suffers from not looking much like anything. The car mode in the original figure was worse, so I guess FansProject can be given some slack there.
Well, you certainly get your money's worth with this figure, because I find this guy pretty difficult and honestly quite laborious to transform. This guy takes me over the threshold of 'challenging but enjoyable' to 'transform already, damnit!' but the more masochistic amongst you may get a kick out of him. I struggle to remember the position of the arms, which have multiple joints in them. Keep the instructions handy instead of putting them in the loft (like I did).
Considering that this is a triple changer, I am really impressed with Springer's range of movement. As I have mentioned, the arms have loads of articulation. The head is on a balljoint, and the waist swivels. the Legs also have a kind of ankle tilt, but halfway up the shin. The feet are on balljoints and the knees can bend really far which is all great. MThere are severe balance issues with this figure. The feet do not have enough 'heel' to balance the figure very well; couple this with a die-cast chest and infernally weak knee joints and you have one very frustrating experience.
A mixed bag for me - the die cast parts are welcome, but then paint loss is a risk, especially when the metal part of the legs tab together in helicopter mode. The plastic feels good quality, and provided that you are patient with the transformation you should not hit any problems. The sword, which also forms the rotor blade for the chopper is wafer thin. It is so delicate, you can almost see through it. In the box, the blade came wrapped in card, so perhaps FansProject experienced breakages as well. The helicopter would suck without the rotor.
Overall - 34/50
I like Warbot but I'm not overwhelmed by it, and, in truth, I have not been overwhelmed by any of FansProject's individual figures to date. I feel like they get close, but then some of their aesthetic choices (like the muddled legs) bemuse me. Springer is an example of this, where he feels almost over-engineered. But, like the Insecticons, this remains an decent purchase. However, I would recommend Generations Springer over this as it is less than half the price and is better in almost every respect. But I just can't have a Springer who is that similar to Sandstorm, and also way taller than Impactor.