Blackjack's Review: Space Case
The Cyberjets were a trio of new Transformers released near the end of the Generation 2 toyline in 1995. While the Autobots simply had old characters’ names slapped onto their Cyberjets (Jetfire, Strafe and Air Raid), the Decepticons received all new characters, namely the idiot prankster Hooligan, the master spy Skyjack and the idiot thug Space Case… and all of them had absurdly fun decos, as was common of Generation Two. Hooligan had a tiger motif, Skyjack had a flame motif, and Space Case has this awesome-looking grid pattern, with a red hawk design to match the wings. The Cyberjets were among the first Transformers that were properly articulated with ball joints and the like… but without any fictional appearances other than ‘I’m so awesome buy me’ toy pack-in comics in Japan, the three Cyberjets only had their rather intriguing tech specs to live on.
Space Case himself was reissued in the 2003’s Universe line in a less garish grey and maroon paintjob as a two-pack with a redeco of Machine Wars Soundwave.
Now, Hasbro seemed to be on a Cyberjet binge lately. They certainly aren’t going to make new moulds of the poor chaps, but repaints are not out of the question. During 2008’s Universe line, one of the line’s late repaints was Silverbolt repainted as Skyjack (renamed ‘Skyfall’ for trademark reasons), and later in the Revenge of the Fallen line, they redecoed movie Dreadwing with Hooligan’s paintjob (named ‘Fearswoop’ for trademark reasons). Poor Space Case, however, was left alone... until now, that is.
You see, unlike Hooligan and Skyjack, the original Space Case transformed into a jet with swept-forwards wings, a mish-mash of futuristic jet parts whose end results, coincidentally, resembled the Sukhoi Su-47 Berkut, which was not built until a bit later. Now the swept-forward wings actually look quite good, but there is the problem that there is no modern Transformers jet that has swept-forward wings, barring Animated Starscream… and Space Case looks nothing like a Seeker.
However, in the 2010 Transformers line, a new deluxe class jet named Terradive was released. Unlike 90% of the toys released nowadays, it did not homage an older character, but rather was his own thing. What’s more interesting is that he transforms into a Sukhoi Su-47, albeit modified to avoid lawsuits, which is a refreshing break from the legion of Seekers that has been dominating the jet Transformer market for years. Come the Dark of the Moon line, instead of using the spot allotment to release Soundwave or Leadfoot, Hasbro decided to make a Target-exclusive redeco of Terradive as Space Case.
Space Case was the least interesting of the three Cyberjets, but I had missed out on the original Terradive mould and was curious. I didn’t care about Space Case as a character at all, but why not?
He also comes with a comic! In it, Space Case woke up in a cave after dreaming of flying. Bumblebee, Sam and Arcee (who’s alive for some reason) who were having a picnic tried to rescue Space Case or something, but the Decepticon is too stupid and starts to attack, and buries Bumblebee and Arcee in a cave in before flying off. It’s apparently part of a bigger story that continues with the other Target exclusives but I’m not about to buy another Arcee or Bumblebee or whatever to find out. The comic is
a nice touch, though, even though it is very simple.
Straight off the bat, Space Case isn’t coloured like his G2 counterpart. Unlike the modern versions of Hooligan and Skyjack, who replicated their G2 decoes, Space Case does away with the grid pattern and the nice-looking bird design. This was a big pity to me, because I absolutely like the original Space Case’s garish design. Instead of being a white jet with a freaky blue-and-red pattern, Space Case instead is a blue jet now. It’s a rather grey shade of blue, which actually brings to mind the Universe deco of Space Case. Perhaps they thought the mellower Universe deco would be suitable for a movie line? But then they totally released Hooligan during ROTF, and that guy was a jet with tiger stripes. Shame, because compared to the really loud G2 colour scheme, this one feels pretty bland.
Space Case’s blue plastic is cast in translucent plastic… almost all of it, anyway. The rear wings are solid and opaque. It isn’t quite that noticeable, but it’s different enough that on closer inspection it becomes jarring. I have no idea why they used translucent plastic. I always thought it looked tacky, and unless it’s something like ‘Ghost Starscream’ or ‘Invisible Mirage’ there is never, ever a good reason to use clear translucent plastic. Space Case isn’t quite bad as the grey-blue is pretty low-key and doesn’t attract attention so much, but you can still see the join lines inside the plastic, and any moulded detail on the surface of the wings and jet body are all drowned out by the bland colours.
Space Case, again, does his best to be a homage without using his G2 colours. Most noticeably, the formerly-clear cockpit is painted over with yellow paint to recall the original’s yellow cockpit. There are some accents in maroon and black, although this recalls his Universe deco. I do like how the Decepticon insignias on the wings have maroon thunderbolts as some sort of faux air force emblem or whatever… but it isn’t enough to make Space Case stand out. His jet mode looks very, very bland as a result, which is the complete antithesis of a Cyberjet.
And, for some reason like all the Target-exclusive DOTM toys, Space Case is covered with silver Cyberglyphs, randomly around his front-swept wings and the smaller ones, on the hull, as well as covering both afterburners. They are all varied, granted, and in varying sides, but I thought the ugly Chinese-looking symbols look absolutely tacky spread around randomly like this, like some punk who tattooed Chinese characters onto his body without knowing what it means. It doesn’t look as good as Starscream’s more extensive tattoos, and certainly nowhere as awesome as the grid-and-hawk pattern. It’s also rather confusing… Cyberglyphs was a major plot point in ROTF, not DOTM.
Space Case’s legs are pretty obvious… probably not in the original Terradive colours because they were black then, but here his legs are white, while the feet are brown… and this sticks out like a sore, sore thumb. You can fold Space Case’s trident and clip it on the clips on the undercarriage without it being visible from the outside, or interfering with Space Case’s ability to stand on a flat surface.
To be fair, Space Case’s jet mode is quite gorgeous, and I absolutely adore the Sukhoi’s design. The thing looks aerodynamic, and has loads of moulded detail… but it is still a pretty bland deco, and doesn’t hide the robot mode legs as well as it should. It’s certainly more realistic than the original Space Case mould but after fifteen years it better be.
I adore Space Case’s transformation. It feels different, and good different. The parts layout is quite neatly done, and he’s more complex than I expected him to be… but not difficult, no. I absolutely adore how the chest is formed by the nosecone and canard wings folding in upon themselves. The end result is a robot with very little kibble. The tail wings end up on his back, but it is noticeable without being as blatant about it as the Seekers. The nosecone on the chest and the large wings pegged onto the sides of his feet are obvious as well, but otherwise everything becomes a robotic part.
In contrast to the alternate mode homaging the Universe deco, the robot mode tries its best to compensate this by adding as much bright red and white to his limbs a la the G2 deco. His toes, neck and shoulders are maroon like the Universe deco, but his upper arms, waist and parts of his leg are a glorious bright vermillion, while the entire legs are white. The chest grille and the undersides of the small wings that end up on the chest are also painted white. The end result still doesn’t look that much like Space Case, but it’s better than the alternate mode in that it’s not quite so boring anymore. Plus, it gets rid of most of the translucent plastic, which is a good thing.
The Cyberglyphs still show very vividly on his arms, and on the large wings on the sides of his legs. Mostly his arms.
Unlike Terradive’s aquatic-themed head, Space Case comes with the new head that is requisite for most modern repaints. Space Case’s new head is a wee bit more generic, and it calls to mind immediately the head of G1 Treadshot. His head is cast in the same blue-grey plastic, but he’s got a scuba-mask-like black faceplate painted, and his ‘ears’ are bright red. His eyes are light-piped in yellow, like the original. Except the original Space Case didn’t have a face, he’s got a blue helmet with a yellow T-shaped visor that takes up his entire face. I always liked the Skyscorcher and Cyberjets’ faceless faces, and I thought it’s a shame that Space Case ended up with a very generic head instead.
Space Case comes with a trident. It’s mainly grey, with black colouring the tip of the central shaft and the entirety of the side shafts, and silver at the tips of each. The trident can collapse into a spear, and Space Case has enough articulation to pose around toting around the giant trident like some sort of sea god or Roman gladiator. It’s a decent substitute for the original’s missiles.
Space Case is a very articulated toy. The shoulders and elbows are both double-jointed, which is a rare occurrence in a deluxe class toy. The wrists are articulated as well, and while the waist cannot move, the thighs are double-jointed, his knees and ankles are all hinged and his head is ball-jointed. He’s slender and kibble free, which only aides in posing that long, long trident. He can pretty much pull off any action pose you want with the thing, and the legs are sturdy enough to support Space Case.
His robot mode is quite excellent, but once again as a homage to Space Case I think it falls short of the mark.
Marks out of ten for the following:
7/10 The transformation back and forth is absolutely flawless, but there are obvious sacrifices in the jet mode due to not hiding the robot mode legs.
8/10 Space Case himself is a pretty sturdy toy despite looking quite thin, but the trident shaft might snap off with rough play… and translucent plastic does usually break apart easier than solid ones.
5/10 The jet and robot mode have nothing wrong with them… except that they really don’t look like how Space Case is supposed to look. The clear plastic and random Cyberglyphs only further dooms the score here.
9/10 Oh, he’s posable all right. The only reason he doesn’t get a full mark is the lack of waist joint, but really, Space Case is an excellent toy without a waist joint. He’s got a full range of articulation, an awesome trident and no balance issues.
8/10 Mmm, I quite like both his awesome-looking jet mode and his posable robot mode, and he is quite fun to pose around.
8/10 As a deluxe class toy, Space Case delivers on all the aspects you expect a deluxe class toy should have.
5/10 Space Case is repainted from a gorgeous, gorgeous mould. It’s not perfect, but it’s one of the best deluxe class moulds I own. However, he is absolutely bland, and the translucent plastic and random silver Cyber glyphs don’t do him any favours. The fact that he is supposed to be a homage to the original Space Case doesn’t help either, because instead of being a bright and loud jet he’s a very bland and boring jet. He’s a great addition as a generic Decepticon thug, but not as a modern representation of an old obscure character and deco.