A toy that’s genuinely stood the test of time despite the infrared gimmick. The mold is still great with modern level articulation. Unfortunately, he’s pretty rare. Recommended if you can find him.
Galleon is from Webdiver, which was a toyline by Takara, way back in the middle of 2001. There was even an anime of it to promote the toys. It was a very Digimon or Rockman EXE kinda thing where battles took place on the digital plane. The toys were interesting, if hit and miss.
I’ll say this to start, I have little regard for old toys. Blasphemy, I know. But I’m a detail and articulation junkie. Despite being a major Transformers TOOL, I’ve never been especially interested in getting the original G1 toys or their reissues. Why? Well, most of them were horrid in their robot modes, details were lacking and of course, articulation was nigh non-existent. Oh yes, I’m totally being belligerent to any G1 collectors out there. ‘Cause that’s just how I roll. OHOHO!
But yeah, how’s that relevant to this toy review? Well, of course, Galleon is from 2001, so he’s almost 10 years at the time of this review. On the one hand, that’s not too old, since toys around then were getting pretty good with articulation. But at the same time, detail and articulation wasn’t universal. So I had some reservations when I plopped down around 5000 Yen for Galleon here. I shoulda talked the store guy down to 3980 Yen, which was Galleon’s original price. Oh well.
Do I regret paying that money for Galleon? Well, obviously I regret not haggling for a better price, since I’m not a haggler by nature. As an old toy in a big box, I knew they’d be eager to get rid of Galleon. On the other hand, Galleon was one of, if not my best toy of 2009. And he’s arguably one of the best toys in my entire collection. Heck, if I ever play (and win) the lottery, I’d totally go and clear out that store of all the remaining Galleons. I wuv him thiiiiiiis much.
So onto the toy itself, let’s start with the galleon mode. Here, Galleon is a dragon boat of the Chinese variety. Starting with the good, he’s a fantastic looking boat. The colors are pretty good for a toy of this type. The dragon head mantle works, if a little oversize, but in the context of a toy, it’s well proportioned. The translucent cannon tongue doesn’t hurt its chances either. But beyond that, the dragon head also wears a pirate eye-patch. The dragon head… has an eye-patch. EYE-PATCH!
The wood paneling detail on the sides are pretty phenomenal, especially for a toy from that era. The robo-skull and crossbones sail is also totally neat, and I do love how they integrated his dragon tail into the design. Naturally, it still looks kind of silly with how it’s sticking out like that, but it’s really not that bad. The rows of individually articulated cannons along the sides are also uber, or if we were to use a proper English word to describe them, they would be Magnifico-Muchacho!
Galleon also has translucent firing missiles that look like harpoons and his cutlass is stored along his tail. Aaaand that’s about it I think for the good stuff.
The main bad stuff is that there’s a giant golden skull on the deck of the ship, which you can remove, but still, that’s a mark against ’em. And the cabins at the back don’t really line up with the rest of the wooden aspects of the ship too well. On the plus side, you don’t really notice these details because you’ve got a frikkin’ pirate dragon boat in your friggin’ hands!
Since Galleon is from 2001, he gets to actually transform, as oppose to convert, like what Transformers have been reduced to nowadays. The transformation for Galleon is simple yet effective, but at the same time, there’s a bit of parts-forming involved. Unfortunately, the entire lower decks portion of Galleon simply detaches to form a big ass shield, rather than be an integrated part of Galleon himself. Ah well, you win some, so lose some I guess. But yeah, if anything, the transformation is the weakest aspect to Galleon.
Fully transformed, Galleon is a somewhat slim yet oddly well proportioned humanoid serpent, but more importantly, he’s as tall as a Transformers Leader Class toy. This is important because of how much you’re probably going to pay for Galleon, which is about what you’d pay for a modern Leader Class. It’d be nice if he were a tad bulkier, so you’d feel you’ve got more of your money’s worth, but it ain’t so bad. Especially when you consider he seems to be made of some pretty darn good plastic. He’s certainly on par with Leader toys from the Animated line.
Okay, so Galleon in his Beastman mode… what can I say, this is where the awesome sauce simply overflows.
He looks tremendous, he’s got a terrific theme, BOTH his heads/faces have a pirate eye patch, and the articulation is off the charts. He actually exceeds many modern Transformers, even those from the Movie lines. I simply don’t have much to say about this mode that you couldn’t infer from the pics, and the pics infer that he’s awesome. Heck, he wears a cape people. a CAPE. You know who wears a cape? Superman, because he’s SUPER. Batman, because he’s the Goddamn Batman. And Galleon, because… shut up! He’s Galleon, he doesn’t need a reason to wear a cape, because he’s Galleon!
He’s also got a light up gimmick for the big Gaiking style golden skull on his chest, which doubles as an infrared signal to the Gradion toy, allowing you to access attacks and stuff. But alas, mine’s not working. Unfortunately, batteries were included with Galleon, so by the time I got him last year, almost 8 years in storage have resulted in acid leak damage. The electronics might still work, but I’m not inclined to get new batteries for ’em. Galleon’s fine even without the light up gimmick.
A fantastic toy that has a great theme/motif, a good sculpt and articulation that not only holds up, but in some cases exceeds even modern standards. There are little things that could have been better, but when I think about it, Galleon really is a jewel in my collection. He’s a rare toy, but due to the obscurity of the toy and the lack of a cult following, the price isn’t too bad. If you can find him, I’d say pick him up. The plastic’s pretty good, so other than acid leak damage, I don’t think you need to worry about the thing falling apart or anything. Articulated dragon’s claw/thumb’s up.
Good plastic, still sturdy. Great theme/motif. Good sculpt. Impressive articulation. Joints are still mighty tight.
Cons: Boat mode could be better. Transformation barely adequate. Acid leak damage a given.