A cursory evaluation would suggest that you’ll have to employ CQC for this situation Snake. Snake? SNAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAKE!
Perceptor’s a decent toy bordering on good, but nowhere near as great as most of the Generations/Reveal the Shield toys released around the same period. Vehicle mode is good, but transformation and robot mode have their flaws. Still, this is spot on Perceptor. Recommended if you’re into G1 or Perceptor in general, Not Recommended if you just want a good standalone toy.
Vehicle mode is okay. It’s a half track truck or jeep or whatever. It looks nice enough and you can transform the roof lights into a cannon for a little added playability. Otherwise, it’s about on par with most TF vehicles.
Transformation is a mixed bag. First up is vehicle to robot mode. For the arms/shoulders, it involves partially transformating/rotating the front tires out, and then repositioning the arms for clearance. This isn’t necessarily totally clear in the instructions, so I thought I’d mention it. Also, the front of the car turns into a backpack for Perceptor in robot mode, but it doesn’t seem to click on too well on mine. It gets the job done but liable to get untabbed while posing.
Leg transformation is neat though, it has a lot of folding and compressing that gives you that worthwhile transformation feeling.
Transformation back to vehicle mode is a classic case of massage-forming though. This is pretty much my biggest beef with the whole transformation in general. Once you go through all the steps to transform Perceptor back into vehicle mode, you’re going to have to “massage” his legs/back of truck portion back into position. Considering how neat and precise other Generations/Reveal the Shield toys have been, this return to massage forming was rather jarring for me when first encountered.
Robot mode looks great, for the most part. The shoulders don’t really click anywhere, but that’s fine on account that there’s enough friction in the shoulder joints to hold the arms up anyway. The problem is that the arms a tad long, giving Perceptor monkey-esque proportions. This isn’t helped by him being short and squat.
Normally I’m fine with gorilla like proportions, but only if it’s intentional or appropriate for the toy/character. Hunt for the Decepticons Hailstorm for instance, has very gorilla-like proportions, but that’s okay, because that’s what he’s obviously meant to look like. Not so with Perceptor though. It almost seems as if the designer knew that there would be nowhere to tab Perceptor’s shoulders in robot mode, so he decided to make the arms longer in case the toy owner wants to position the shoulders as high as possible. But even then, the arms are simply too long.
While the transformation that formed the legs was pretty neat, it resulted in very limited knee articulation in robot mode. Not only that, but the knees are ratcheted range of motion. You can only bend the knees one or two clicks before the leg assembly causes stoppage. It’s worse on my Perceptor. One leg doesn’t even get any click at all, due to the positioning of it’s internal ratchet.
But it’s not all bad. The good thing about this toy being Perceptor is that since G1 Perceptor was a non-combat oriented scientist, you wouldn’t need him to be able to pull off any extravagant action poses. Fortunately, his upper body articulation is quite good. He wouldn’t make a good IDW Perceptor, but hey, IDW Perceptor is sort of lame anyway (he’s only cool because he’s out of character).
Also, while the proportions detract from his aesthetics, the chrome on Perceptor is friggin’ awesome. I’m not usually a fan of chrome. I mean, I like it, but only when it makes sense. Having chrome for the sake of it doesn’t impress me. But with Perceptor here, the chrome is used mighty effectively. It’s very old school, and considering the rest of Perceptor’s colors are spot on as well, it means that while this toy isn’t a great toy in and of itself, it’s still a great Perceptor toy.
All in all
This guy isn’t a bad toy. If he were released 4 or 5 years ago, he’d be super special awesome sauce. But he’s released now, along with Transformers toys that are far superior on a technical aspect. However, if you need a Perceptor for your shelf, he’s your best bet right now. I wouldn’t recommend this mold unless the color scheme is that of a well established character, which in this case, it is. So yeah, get Perceptor if you’re into G1. Skip him if you’re not.
Pros: Looks great as a Perceptor toy.
Cons: Somewhat poor transformation. Wonky robot proportions. Limited robot articulation.