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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Auntie Slag's review: Battletrap

Name: Battletrap
Allegiance: Decepticon
Sub-group: Duocon
Function: Assault Team

ďWeíre only halves of a whole, but double the troubleĒ.

He's the wrestling tag team of robots. Likes to trap his foe between his jeep and helicopter vehicles and have "fun" with him -- knock him back and forth a bit -- before finally destroying him. Jeep maximum speed of 90 mph, range 600 miles. Helicopter maximum speed of 780 mph, range 1200 miles. In robot mode, carries double-barreled assault missile launcher with leaf-imaging for night-firing capability.

Now hereís an odd one; what kind of person decides to purchase Battletrap? rabid completists no doubt! However, twenty years ago, I was just a little Slag, and little slagís like me always had a tendency to root for the underdog (British self-esteem issues in full-flow by age 10, Woot!). I never liked being on the side of the best football player at school, see. Much better to annoy the hell out of him with vicious tackles & generally make his smug bastard life hell. I entertained being a proper Ďlast line of defenseí in a Metroplexy-Omega Supreme kind of way, my life has been a one-dimensional tech-spec bio ever since.

Nevertheless, it was for the same reason that I purchased Battletrap, because I knew no-one would go for him. As an aside, I remember walking into the playground and seeing Flywheels for the first time. It was always a novelty when someone brought a transformer into school, and Flywheels was a novelty Transformer. A novelty can be described as a simple thing done well; thatís a Duocon, that is.

Um, done well in Flywheels, that is...

See; Flywheels is cool. There was a reason why all the kids bought Flywheels; He was a tank and a jet plane. Battletrap is a jeep and a helicopter, a simplified jeep & helicopter. Flywheels is a simplified tank and jet, but he gets away with it because tanks and jets are the cool military vehicles in a kids eyes. Iím sure sales figures of the two would have borne that out.

But I didnít care. No-one else had Battletrap but me. In fact, I may be the only person in the world with Battletrap! (yeah, well Iíve got to exercise my ego somehow). If you were an Autobot, you probably wouldnít look twice at Battletrap. Being attacked by a slow moving Jeep and a dodgy helicopter doesnít instill quite the same level of fear as a Fighter Jet and Tank combination. Not even Bumblebee would get out of bed for that (and I mean cartoon Bumblebee, not the cool one from the 2007 movie).

Vehicle Modes:

So um, a jeep then. Thereís nothing wrong with Jeeps. Hound is possibly the coolest Jeep in the entire Universe (apart from Mindyís, and that guy in M.A.S.K. and Trailbreaker/Hoist if they count). But a plasticky blue jeep with plasticky blue wheels is Battletrap.

Exceptional details on this toy go as far as a single sticker for the headlights and grill! The lame sticker-windows are unusual in that er... theyíre pink! Maybe Battletrapís trying to tell us something about his orientation? Whatever, it didnít really bother me at the time, and I donít think my screen name should be taken as a sign either. Iím all horny hetero-dinosaur donít you know!

Weíve established that Battletrapís jeep mode fails to strike fear into Autobots, perhaps a mini-Autobot or two, but then; a reasonably happy ĎMy Little Ponyí on itís way to a charity auction for sick grandmothers with nothing more violent on itís mind than strawberries and daisies drenched in cream and sugar could do that.

Letís add further insult to injury by mentioning one of only two appearances Battletrap made in the Marvel UK comic run. Who can forget his pivotal role in the ĎTime Warsí saga, as he valiantly stood stock-still whilst Galvatron rammed a hand into his chest and smashed him against a wall? No doubt auditioning for the Mayhem Attack Squad circa 1988 must have been an exceedingly simple affair. He probably answered the door to every Church of Primus rep, and personally lost thousands in phishing scams too. The Muppet.

So is there anything else to be said about his jeep mode? Well, you can attach his dual-cannon attachment to the roof. In the world of TF weapons itís not particularly impressive, and being Battletrapís weapon it probably shoots milk. Lukewarm milk, mind. UHT.

Moving onto the Helicopter mode, this is reasonably cool (& I mean Ďreasonablyí in a G1 toy sense, which is no great accolade). The rotor blade spins freely! This was a big thing for me, as I also owned Blades and Springer. Blades for example, is a very intriguing character; having garnered attention from Simon Furman enough to distinguish him as more than mere generic gestalt-limb fodder (see. ĎAncient Relicsí & The G2 saga as part of a Firestormer). However, for all his pluses; Bladeís rotorís didnít move, very annoying, as the central column would rotate on Ďteethí, so as to make the blades sit neatly fixed in a V-shape against his back when transformed.

Springer on the other hand had the free-love hippy swing-blades ethic, and fortunately so does Battletrap. Iím still this anal about such details now, and why not? Everybody sees the details, some choose to cover it up by pretending to be blasť and faux non-anal about it. You make me sick you gutless ****ing frauds! Anal all the way, thatís what my T-shirt says.

Other than that, his colour, styling & shape put him firmly in 8-bit video game territory (think Ikari Warriors, Contra (Gryzor in the UK), Midnight Resistance and everything else with a gun in it, which was everything else... except Pac Man).

Robot Mode:

I reckon that 68.53% of the fun of a Transformer comes in the transforming. So how much fun is a Transformer that transforms itself? Your mileage may vary for this, but because most of us were childish boys at the time (I still am), the gimmick of auto-changing proved gimmick enough to sell to a shallow cheap shill with externalised self-esteem issues like me.

If youíve ever wondered what would happen if a horse and a zebra got together, or a whale and a giraffe, or a woman and a... well, the idea with Battletrap is you that mount the helicopter onto the jeep, the two halves slot together which initiates an anticlimactic (in that itís dull and over incredibly quickly. How many times have I faced the same criticism? and thatís mostly against myself!) Ďtransformationí. You end up with this kind of bastardised, web-footed clump of a Transformer that should only be allowed near crayons. Maybe thatís the reason there were only two Duocons, you donít mess with nature. Iím sure in Jhiaxusí world Duoconís were ten-a-penny. Thank god for Swarms eh?

In fact, now that I think about it, Duocon-ing is more a poncy flowers-in-their-hair Autobot-style idea. I could see them going for it in a big way. Maybe not Wheeljack, heíd be disgusted, and Prime would bitch-slap the idea point-blank, and so would Point Blank. But you could imagine Huffer and Beachcomber voting for it whilst painting their haciendaís and bottling their own elderflower wine, as long as the results never came back to haunt them... damn Guardian reading Autobots. Does Guardian read ĎThe Guardianí I wonder?

Getting back to it, perhaps the only nice thing to say about Battletrap is that he has a very nicely shaped head (no sniggering you lot). The detail of the face, the helmet design, the wraparound shades (I love transformers with wraparound shades, itís so quintessentially transformer-like). The head is everything a proper transformer of the 80ís should be.

Everything else is shit.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation: 1 - One piece clicks on another, he springs up. The end. Sex jokes be damned, Iím going for faux-mature until the end of this sentence.

Durability: 5 - Heís a blocky mess of blocky plastic. You could go totally retro and chew the ends of the rotor blades whilst waiting for Ghostbusters II on the speccy to load, I suppose.

Fun: 5 - Again, because Iím so overwhelmingly shallow I still enjoy the Duocon gimmick. Some things never die, ask Belinda Carlisle; she wrote a song about it (although it was clearly album filler guff).

Price: 2 - Who would want this? If youíre that desperate Iíll give him to you. In fact, if you want him CJ, heís yours, because iíll know heís going to a good home and his hardest opponent would be a Battle Beast (which Battletrap would face head-on with a tried & tested unbeatable standing-still non-violent attack. Thatís proper Mayhem, that).

Summary: Expect temperatures to drop to around 11 overnight with some light winds coming in from a south westerly direction. Expect some fog early morning, which will give way to clear skies and a sunny afternoon with highs of 20 degrees. Thatís all from me, have a very good evening.

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