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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Blackjack's review: Zoom Out 25x

Name: Zoom Out 25x
Allegiance: Decepticon
Size Class: Scouts Class (Real Gear Robots)

Zoom Out 25x (hereafter referred to as ĎZoom Outí) is one of the new mould released under the ĎReal Gear Robotsí series of the 2007 Movie toyline. Supposed to represent normal appliances brought into life by the power of the Allspark, they transform into what is supposedly 1 : 1 alternate modes in the spirit of G1 Megatron, Soundwave, Reflector, Perceptor and their ilk. Well, technically, they are designed during the Cybertron line, but released during the Movie line, resulting in a more traditional, blocky appearance compared to the Ďa million panels moving at the same timeí movie aesthetic.

Now Zoom Out happened to be among the first Transformers Iíve bought. His bio states him to be inhumanly patient, and will stay in his alternate mode to get the perfect shot of you doing something embarrassing, and then edit it so it looks even moreso. What effect does this have, you may ask? Propaganda? Blackmail? No, Zoom Out is just an ass.

Not exactly as dangerous as Booster, who changes ambulance sirens into dogs barking, or Power Up, who scrambles the brains of anyone who looks into his screen, or Meantime, who can fool around with time. Hell, being what is basically someone who uploads YouTube videos, Iím uncertain Zoom Out even qualifies as a proper Decepticon in the movieverse.

By a happy coincidence, Zoom Out is one of the few Real Gears whose alternate mode actually appears in the movie. The excited Ďthis is one million times cooler than Armageddoní geek was holding a camcorder when he runs around.

Alternate Mode:
Zoom Out transforms into a rather small camcorder, one that fits in the palm of your hand with room to spare. It isnít quite as egregiously small as Longview or Twitcher, though, because it is quite conceivable for a camcorder to be this small. Downsizing, after all, is kind of a big thing. Zoom Out is kind of a sleek-looking, compact camcorder, which doesnít look like any of the bulky affairs I own, but Iím sure exist out there.

Zoom Out is predominantly grey, with darker shades of grey picking up details. Mock buttons are painted in silver, there is a red stripe with molded details on where, I assume, the battery or the memory card would be stored. The button for record (presumably) is painted red, and ĎZOOM OUT 25Xí is tampographed beside the buttons. Both the viewing and the receiving lens are cast in clear plastic and you can actually see through it, and so is the flash bulb. Unfortunately, detailing is only flush on one side, the side with the viewing screen. On the other side, very few moulded details are painted, and the back of Zoom Outís head is very blatantly visible, because itís dark blue. A Decepticon insignia is stickered on top of the viewing end.

Zoom Out has a recording viewing screen which is universally jointed and can point anywhere, with a sticker on the screen. The screen shows a picture of Cybertron-series Override (damn voyeur), hinting at the toyís Cybertron origin, and has what you would expect to see on a video screen. ĎRECí and a blinking red light, the time of recording (0:07:47, which, rather cutely, is the release date of the 2007 movie) and a battery. Apparently itís three-fourths full. It isnít quite as convincing as Meantime or Power Up or Speed Dial, but itís quite serviceable.

Robot Mode:
Like the other Real Gear Robots, Zoom Outís transformation is relatively simple. He is still predominantly grey, but the red highlights are more prominent now, the red stripe ending up in his chest and the record button in one of his feet. The feet are rather nicely asymmetrical. Zoom Out has a bit more blue this time around, with his helmet and his lower arms being cast in dark blue. The rest of his face is painted in a fetching shade of lavender, while his eyes are red. I absolutely adore his giant monocle right eye, which gives him personality, I think, and actually fits with his alternate mode as a voyeur video camera. His massive lantern jaw and funky helmet gives him a buttload more personality than the other Real Gearsí generic heads.

The video screen ends up as a very flat and thin backpack, and the outer layer splits to form wings of sorts, which, while donít do anything but flap uselessly, I thought was a nice addition to make Zoom Out stand out, if a little. His chest, viewed from anything but the front, is also quite hollow for no good reason.

Zoom Out has less than adequate articulation compared to the other Real Gears I own, however. His headís ball joint isnít very free, and moving the head relies more on moving the platform that flips his head out of the little nook where it hides in his alternate mode. His shoulders isnít so much as joints as the ability to rotate the sections of the cylindrical part of the video camera (necessary so you can have unimpaired sight through the thing, after all) which kind of make positioning awkward. The elbows are on ball joints, but the claw-hands are a fixed piece. The thighs are double-jointed, while the upper legs are on pins and the knees are on a hinge. Despite the limitations on the shoulder and the chest piece sometimes blocking the face, Zoom Out can strike quite a number of poses, and his blockiness helps to retain balance, although not as good as his Real Gear counterparts.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation Design: 4/10 Rather poorly executed, in my opinion, especially hiding the head in camcorder mode. The arms are also quite fiddly when putting it back into alternate mode. Orient an arm wrong by an angle, and the feet will refuse to click into place because of it.

Durability: 8/10 Heís survived rough play with me, at least. His joints are very tight, and while it may seem loose, the video screen simply refuses to pop off.

Aesthetics: 7/10 The little bugger does look good, and in robot mode those wings, pinchy-claws and big monocle eye gives him quite a personality. Unfortunately, his alternate mode doesnít really do anything to me, because it is simply not to my taste. The fact that the face of a Cybertron character is visible in both modes doesnít really endear him either.

Articulation: 5/10 Rather standard. The shoulders are compensated by having the entire playform being able to rotate around, but it also leads to some awkward-looking hand poses if you do it that way.

Fun: 6/10 Mmm, he was quite fun when I was a kid, as a spy sent into the Autobot base or something, but there are other more fun toys out there.

Price/Value: 5/10 Pretty average, humdrum stuff for a Scouts class figure.

Overall: 4.5/10 Zoom Out is a pretty decent toy, but he has his problems. They are small problems, granted, but overall it makes him less-than-average. Of course, I absolutely love the little bugger because Iíve spent quite some time with him standing on top of my desk, constantly looking at me with that giant eye, recording whatever I do. But he isnít quite as good as many of the other Real Gear robots, and I canít exactly recommend him, not when there are many better toys out there.
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