some failed attempts at purchasing Spirit Digivolvers and
Transformers Armada Supercons from a local catalogue store, I
instead splashed out on "Super Electronic Metabee," the
biggest, most expensive toy in the Medabots toy line. I already
have many of the small figures, and all the model kits, so this
big fella was the next step up. However, I found myself
disappointed, because my expectations of what the toy did proved
Firstly, I knew the toy was a model kit, but I had assumed that it was the same principle as the smaller kits, which is to say, attaching all of the armour to a tin pet skeleton. It turned out, however, that the various body parts were pre-made, and most of what you have to do is just attach the golden armour plates and various doodads and whatchamacallits to them. You also have to construct his hands, and there are many decal stickers to apply, but as with the smaller models, they are almost all unnecessary if you want to make your toy look as close to his cartoon appearance as you can, and are used only to customize your Medabot. In this instance, the only stickers I applied were Metabee's mouthplate, and the stripes on the Medawatch. As such, obviously, he doesn't have the stickers on in these pictures - so click HERE to see the sticker sheet, sans the ones I applied.
When completed, Super Metabee stands at just over a foot tall, dwarfing his other toy incarnations. This figure, however, is not a representation of Metabee as he appears in the original Medabots series, but is instead based on his upgraded appearance in the sequel series, "Medarot Damashii," currently airing in Japan (making it something of an odd choice on Hasbro's part to release the toy in the West before the season is out). It's not vastly different from the Metabee we know - his chest is different, his cannons are red-tipped, he's got a bunch of junk on his back, and his legs are a different sculpt, but you could still tell it was Metabee without much difficulty. It was a definite pleasure to see that the colours of this toy are show-accurate - golden yellow and off-white - rather than the fairly ugly orange and grey that the smaller kit gave us. It also manages to capture Metabee's face and head more accurately than either of his other two toy incarnations. He is articulated in his shoulders, fingers and thumbs, and though his legs are immobile, he can roll on four wheels on the undersides of his feet, and he can fire missiles from both his wrists when you push the buttons on his shoulders. The "electronic" aspect of the toy is a selection of randomised blasting and crashing noises, which you activate by pressing the button on the back of Metabee's head to turn him on, then either pressing this button again, or pressing the button on the Medawatch that comes included, sending an infra-red signal to the toy that triggers the sounds. In conjunction with the sounds, Metabee's eyes light up green, and his antennae flash red.
However, I had, quite frankly, expected more. Since the toy had a remote control, I had assumed that it MOVED in some form or fashion. Upon taking the parts out of the packaged, I realise that he certainly didn't walk with his immobile legs, but assumed that he rolled on his wheels, like a remote control car.
I had also thought that he could fire his missiles by remote, a la the "Power Rangers Time Force" Quantasaurus Rex.
I had also hoped the sounds would not just be generic laser noises, but would include some lines of speech.
So, given that you can activate his laser noises by pushing the button in his head, the remote is utterly pointless. I can very easily envisage how the shoulder joints on the main body could have a rotating wheel in them, that could be remote-activated, which would lift his arms up, allowing an inner trigger to be sprung to fire the missiles. I can also conceive of a small system of gears beginning with his waist joint that could make him roll forward by remote. And how infinitely cool would it have been to hear your Metabee spout his catchphrases, "Kiss your 'bot goodbye!" "It's time for a Metabee-boppin'!" etc, and attack shouts, like "Laser cannon!" and "Missile launch!" Even his trademark cry of "What?!" would have been cool. But no, it's just "shzwoop, shzwoop" and "pom-pom-pom."
Originally, I was unaware that the toy was based on Metabee's upgraded likeness, so I thought it was just a bit weird looking. However, since realising that it's based on his newer form, it actually gives me cause to gripe about it more - because in "Medarot Damashii," Metabee is capable of transforming into a vehicle and jet mode. C'mon, dammit, give me remote controlled action OR transformations. I'm not greedy, I don't expect both - but ONE would be damn sight better than NEITHER..
This COULD have been a absolutely awesome toy - but as it is, it's merely an "okay" one. For what it is, it's fairly nice, but what's most annoying about it the untapped potential. Hasbro were content to just leave the toy like this, but there's just so much more that it could have done that would make it truly stand out.
Rating: 3 out of 5