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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Numbat's review of: Siren

Name: Siren
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Incendiary Damage Control
Sub-Group: Headmasters (‘Juniors’)

Quote: "Act first, ask questions later."

Raised in the deafening Sonic Canyons of southern Cybertron. Loud, somewhat overbearing. Screams orders at his Autobot subordinates. Dominates any conversation because he's louder than everyone else. Binary-bonded to the Nebulan, Quig, a soft-spoken librarian who jumps whenever Siren starts bellowing. Armed with sawed-off CO2 shotgun that shoots bursts of high-impact frozen gas. Also armed with two armor-piercing, sonic-screamer pistols.

Smaller in size than the original Headmasters release, these molds are known as the Headmaster Juniors in reference to their Japanese version – and I’d say the name serves their Western brethren well also. Alas, Siren and Nightbeat both possess rather poor transformations for their time and size, and Siren does not have Nightbeat’s redeeming colour scheme.

Anyway, on to a more detailed review, and you can make up your own minds!


Alternate Mode:

Siren turns into a 6” (15cm) long Fire Chief car. And, I’d say his Western paint and sticker job is actually superior to his Japanese equivalent (Go Shooter) in every respect. The stickers are nicely detailed, and he has a printed bade on his bonnet, along with two red stripes. Normally, I’m not a huge fan of red windows on ‘realistic’ cars, but I will actually make an exception in this case, as it does look pretty good.

The cab opens, and Quig (the diminutive Nebulan companion) can sit in the seat / helmet and be hidden away.

Overall, the alternate mode is acceptable. I wouldn’t say it has anything to particularly recommend it – but, by the same token, there’s little to discourage.

As with all of the Headmaster ‘Juniors’, the attack modes, with all three weapons attached, look rather ridiculous, but were fun when I was a wee-un.

(Alas, as the guns have long since walked, I can’t show this in the photos.)


Robot Mode:

Siren and Nighbeat both share the same transformation. The only difference is the orientation of the vehicle. In Siren’s case, the bonnet becomes the legs, the back of the canopy folds back, the arms pull out, plonk Quig in the top, and presto! You have a very simple transformation for a medium sized Transformer.

There’s a lot of baby-blue in this mode, but the combination with the grey and black (and dash of red) actually works… just…

Due to the nature of the transformation, the arms actually have a bit of articulation in a few planes – but this won’t really allow for any great poses. The legs, as you can no doubt see, don’t move (and look daft with the joined lower section, with no indication of a split! He’s fused at the shins! Poor fellow…).

The head details are fine – clear, but nothing special.

Of course, a panel displays some of his vitals, but as with the other Headmaster ‘Juniors’, these bars stick down, rather than making the little effort needed for a mechanism to send them upwards like the originals.

As with the others in his cadre, the seat becomes a helmet, and the two smaller guns stick out the sides. (Unfortunately, I have lost these.) You know, just for comic relief.

Standing around 6 ½” (16.5cm), he isn’t a bad size for display – it’s just that he really doesn’t have much going for him outwith his alternate mode. I just think the group is something of a disappointment, with poor transformations the biggest problem.

To be fair, I’ve always felt that these figures were something of a step backwards compared with the original Headmasters.


Quig:

Well, what’s there to say about Quig? He has a funny name and is a librarian. As with all the smaller companions, he has no arm articulation, and the big face just sits on his back staring at you. Detailing is not too crisp, and his yellow face runs green against the blue – not a great moment for Nebulan companions!

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation: 2 – Very simple for such a Transformer.
Durability: 8 – He’s stood up well over the ages – the only problem is how easy it is to lose all those guns and his helmet.
Fun: 2 – He’s the poorest of the three Autobot Headmaster ‘Juniors’. He doesn’t stand out in any positive ways, and is not great fun or a good display piece. His wheels don't even run well on smooth surfaces (too smooth themselves)!
Price: 6 – You can get a semi-complete Siren from £15 ($28), which isn’t bad for the age of the figure, I’d say.
Overall: 3 – He’s really not that good – there are better uses of money! But, I can see that he might be an interesting addition to some people’s collections for the historical value. (Mine, personally, has gone with collection downsizing - hopefully to a more appreciative fan!)

 
 
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