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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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ganon578's review: Heavy Load

Name: Heavy Load (with Drill Bit)
Function: Chemist/Engineer
Allegiance: Decepticon
Group: Universe Voyager Classic Series

Back on Cybertron, before the war, Decepticon Heavy Load was a brilliant chemist and engineer, specializing in optimizing fuel mixtures to increase the energy efficiency of all mechanized life. Repeated exposure to toxic chemicals over hundreds of years slowly degraded his cognitive systems, turning him into someone none of his friends recognized. As his brain module rotted, he grew more withdrawn, and began to focus more on his failed experiments – the ones that had poisoned his test subjects. Now, he develops poisons and corrosive bombs for whichever Decepticon gangs can pay his fees, and continues his experiments on helpless Autobot captives.

Normally I don’t go for random Transformer buying, so Heavy Load is my first random buy. When I first saw photos of him online, I didn’t think that I would get him, especially not knowing anything about him. Then I found him at retail, and became highly interested in his bio since he’s a chemist, or at least used to be, and so am I. Now I’m glad I picked him up. I honestly don’t know how he fits into the Classics series (it does say ‘Classic Series’ on the box); I guess he’s close to Mixmaster from the Generation 1 Constructicons, and since the Classics Devastator left Mixmaster out, I guess this is where Heavy Load comes in. I also never owned Cybertron Quick Mix (which Heavy Load is a repaint of), so his marks may end up higher than you’d expect for a repaint; keep that in mind.

Alternate Mode:

In general, Heavy Load has a decently realistic alternate mode; a cement mixer. Granted, since he is a repaint of a TF from the Cybertron line, there are some odd parts to the entire look, such as the large protruding wedge in the front of the truck, which is actually Heavy Load’s folded up feet. But overall the cement mixer look is just fine. There are some really good detailed parts in this mode like the hopper near the top of the mixing pot, large canisters on the sides of the vehicle that resemble gas tanks, and the quad smokestacks on the cab of the truck. There’s also a good mix of detail in the other areas of the mixer which give the vehicle depth where largely flat (and boring) areas could otherwise occur. I’m also a fan of the clear orange windshield and side windows of the cab, since Hasbro could have been lazy left this solid and painted it. The color palette for Heavy Load is a bit weird (but straight out of the 80’s, so in that regard it fits in the Classics); he’s outfitted with yellow, pale green, black, and some brown and light grey. There are also some small hints of orange in there too. These colors seem like they wouldn’t work well together, but it all comes off well since he’s a cement mixer, and maybe the green/yellow pays homage to the G1 Constructicon on which he may be based.

Functionally, the mixer pot doesn’t rotate, which is a shame, but it does have nice detail; it sports a large black Decepticon symbol on the side, and it also has some paint detail (brown airbrushing) towards the back, giving the mixer a little more realism. If you noticed in the name bar at the top of the review, you’ll also see Drill Bit, which is the Mini-Con that Heavy Load comes with (more on him later). What Drill Bit does though, is connect to Heavy Load in a couple of different fashions. He can connect on the top of the cab for a front gun, or if you move the hopper on top of the mixing pot, you can attach him backwards in his alternate form. Also you can modify the hopper, attach Drill Bit in his robot form, insert the ‘Cyber’ key into the mixing pot, and Drill Bit becomes a cannon gunner. This part is actually pretty cool, and it makes the mixer mode a lot more fun, since now you can shoot the giant ‘torpedo launcher’ (it actually says ‘torpedo’ on the box, but aren’t torpedoes for underwater warfare?). Either way, Heavy Load does have a spring loaded launcher, which by explanation must be one of his ‘corrosive bombs’. Heavy Load is really sturdy in this mode, the wheels turn well, nothing seems loose, and he can be a lot more fun than you’d think as a cement mixer.

Robot Mode:

The transformation to get to robot mode is not nearly as difficult as I imagined it would be; it’s surprisingly simple, nothing new or note worthy, but there’s absolutely nothing to be mad about with the transformation. In robot mode, Heavy Load is pretty cool (even though there are some really goofy spots). The color combination really sticks out in this mode; his lower legs are yellow, and also feature HUGE kneecaps thanks to the mixer cab. His feet are pale green and very flat, and end up looking a little silly for such a large robot. His thighs/lower torso are black and silver, and his thighs exhibit the gas tanks from the mixer mode, which in this mode look like some poisons or bombs that he has developed. Heavy Load’s chest is a mixture of pale green and yellow, and also has two spots for attaching mini-cons. Unfortunately, these spots look more like hard nipples than anything. His head is not really what I expected, the box doesn’t show his brown headset in any of the pictures, but the real figure has one. It was a nice surprise, but I almost prefer the pictures of him without it. Heavy Load has a green helmet, which actually has some light grey on the forehead and also a light grey face mask. I really like his visor though; it is clear orange and catches light in certain spots.

Heavy Load’s arms are his most interesting parts, and I think that’s where a lot of his fun comes from. Along with Drill Bit, there is a lot that can be done with the arms. There’s a double-barreled gun that can either attach to his forearm, it can be held in his hand, or if you want to get it out of the way, it can attach to his chest. If you insert the ‘Cyber’ key into the mixer arm, it again transforms into a large cannon. The hopper is still there too, which means that Drill Bit can be attached here in a couple of different ways (see Alternate Mode). Drill Bit can also be used as a hand drill (with his handle end), or he can be attached on top of the double-barreled gun for extra power. Drill Bit has a small scope-looking orange part on top, which makes using him as a weapon a little sweeter.

On a quality and sturdiness note, the plastic in Heavy Load is great. I can’t foresee anything breaking on him. The joints are all tight, and his leg and arm joints are mostly the clicking type, which is good to keep things in place. Also, I thought that Heavy Load would be really unbalanced since he has a huge cannon as one arm. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that with the tight, clicky joints and huge flat feet, Heavy Load is actually very well balanced. I haven’t had any major difficulty getting him into positions.

Drill Bit Mini-Con:

There’s not much to Drill Bit (he is a mini-con after all), but I’ll give you a brief synopsis: His alternate mode is some type of drilling machine on treads, and his robot mode gives him freakishly long arms with no hands (one is the drill, the other is a… gun?). What I don’t like about Drill Bit are his colors; bright green is the majority, black for the treads, and some brown. For good measure, Hasbro decided to give him a purple chest, which makes you wonder who gets paid for these color choices. On the other hand, they took the time to paint his head black and give him a little red visor. Nice touch. All in all he’s a cool little guy with horrible coloring.

Closing Comments:

Heavy Load doesn’t seem to fit into the Classics line very much. His back story is interesting, yet it doesn’t match any character. If you want to call him Mixmaster, go right ahead, that’s what he’s closest to. Looks-wise, Heavy Load fits in to the Classics line just about as much as my Cybertron Soundwave, which, now that Blaster (Cybertron Soundwave repaint) is out in the Classics series, I guess he fits in well. I guess I just have a hard time recommending him to hardcore Classics collectors, or people who already have Cybertron Quick Mix. However, if you’re like me and don’t have the aforementioned TF, or you really like his bio (which I do), he’s one you should definitely consider.

Marks out of 10:

Transformation: 7. It’s not tricky like I thought it would be, but no hard spots. The switches are simple and effective, and good for quick transformations.
Durability: 10. Well built and strong.
Fun: 9. A large, shooting cannon, a smaller gun, and a mini-con make him a really fun Transformer in both modes.
Price: 7. I know he’s a Voyager and a lot of fun to boot, but he doesn’t have any ‘Classic’ history, and he’s technically a repaint. It’s hard to fork over $20 retail for that, especially if you’re a hardcore collector.
Overall: 8. He’s great if you don’t have Quick Mix, and don’t care that he doesn’t have a true Classics background even though he’s in that line.
 
 
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