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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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numbat's review of: G2 Hydradread (European Exclusive)

Name: Hydradread
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Scientific Advisor
Sub-Group: Storm Troopers
"Let me study the battle plans. I'll think up something really unpleasent - and then make it even nastier."

A wierdly twisted mind. He devises hideous attack methods that can astonish even the most veteran Decepticons. Always in a world of his own, plotting something horrible. As a car, surprises with fast-action water power. Transforms into an equally well-armed attacking robot.

In the US, there were four G2 Aquaspeeders (two Autobots and two Decepticons). In Europe, these four molds were all recoloured and released as Autobots in 1993. Their evil counterparts were four new sports car molds, and named the Storm Troopers. These Storm Troopers are Clench’s (the European exclusive G2 Decepticon leader) minions. As you’d hope, following such an evil looking fellow, they all look pretty cool.

I did have two of the Storm Troopers growing up – Hydradread and Aquablast. Alas, the toys are made with extremely brittle plastic, and due to the particularly thin hinges on Aquablast, he has since crumbled to dust. Hydradread, though, is still standing up pretty well, and, whatever else can be said of him, has a unique transformation, and a great sports car alternate mode.

Alternate Mode:
Like all the Storm Troopers, Hydradread’s alternate mode is a cool sports car. The design is full of curves, and has similarities with the vehicles we’ve seen in Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report and A.I., as well as the recent I Robot. I doubt there’s a connection – I think it’s just a general idea of how cars should look, if you could do whatever you wanted. Admittedly, many will find this rather Japanese influenced, and if you aren’t a fan of the aesthetics of their cars (which I certainly am), then you probably won’t like it as much.

Hydradread is excessively sleek, with ‘speed’ written on sticker’s on either side – not that that’s necessary – you know by looking at this car that it would be FAST. Another nice detail is the ‘SLIK’ printed around the tyres. The way in which Hydradread’s water weapon fits in with the sleek mold is great – with the nozzle just protruding at the top to blast any unsuspecting Autobots.

The colour scheme is perfect – dark blue-green with fluorescent green windows. It all says ‘EVIL’.

And, the final touch – a G2 Decepticon insignia on the bonnet.

This mode would look amazing on anyone’s shelf.

Robot Mode:
As mentioned before, Hydradread’s tranformation is unique. His legs fold out from beneath his bonnet, arms fold out from beside his head, and the whole thing folds together like a sandwich. Rotate the canopy of the car around and you’ve completed the transformation.

Carrying on the trend of many G2 transformers, and this line of European Decepticons in particular, Hydradread looks suitably evil. The dark colours work great, with a transparent dusky orange-brown colour now visible at his waits and upper legs really bringing the whole thing together. The small spikes of transparent fluorescent green canopy protruding beside his head just provide the most excellent finishing touch. This guy looks twisted. And the head does not let down the front.

Alas, he does look rather top-heavy (although don’t be fooled – his balance is exceptional!), and has exactly two points of articulation – his shoulders. So you ain’t gonna get the most amazing pose on your shelf. He’s always going to look dated in that respect, and there are no really intimidating poses possible. Pity.

Another downer is his weapon. It looks something like a leaf blower crossed with a futuristic super-powered dust buster. But, hey, maybe he’s responsible for the cleanliness of Decepticon HQ – I mean, someone’s gotta do it, and I doubt they advertise it as their function!

Of course, combating these defects is the whole change colour thing, which is cool. As with all his counterparts, warm water causes his bonnet / chest to change colour as battle damage – in his case, to a light green. It works nicely, although in Scotland he does change back to his standard colour too quickly to get a good photo really, and he just looks crap if you heat the whole piece.

So… a cool looking robot generally, lacking in articulation and with a crazy looking weapon. Nothing unusual for G2 – especially not the early figures.

Transformation: 4 – The transformation is dead easy, but it is unique, fun and hides the robot 100%, so it gets 4 instead of 2.
Durability: 5 – Had I written this yesterday, I would have given it a 1. But, since then, my fiancee’s mother knocked him off the shelf and stood on him. He fell apart, but I easily reattached the hinges, and there is no damage – so I’m amazed! Still, the plastic is brittle, as proven by many people. And – don’t put him on a radiator whatever you do! He’ll change colour for ever!
Fun: 5 – Nothing phenomenal, with his lack of articulation really dragging him down, while the water colour change thingy does help pull him back up.
Price: ? – I’m not sure, having never seen him for sale since 1994. Still, other Storm Troopers don’t go for too much when they do come up ($10 or so), and I’d imagine he’d be similar.
Overall: 5 – Hydradread has a lot of very nice design points, but, as a Transformer, he fails to deliver.
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