The Transformer line is twenty years old this year. After all of that time, you'd think
that Hasbro would have exhausted the possibilities for new vehicles, but somehow they keep
finding more. In the case of the latest Decepticon figure, they borrowed from one of
their other lines, GI Joe, to bring us Snow Cat. The Energon Snow Cat figure is modeled
after the Snow Cat GI Joe vehicle, a half track snow vehicle. But can Hasbro pull off this
melding of licenses or will this creation be a modern Frankenstien of aisle 7C?
Packaging - 6/10The same packaging from the first wave of Energon deluxe figures is back for the second. And that isn't neccessarily a bad thing. The large bubble and unusual card layout make the figures stick out on the shelves. Unfortunately some stores have failed to adapt resulting in layouts that don't fit the wider cards very well and as a result, I've seen a lot of damaged cards. The card is still trilingual just like the last few Transformer lines have been. In the case of Snow Cat, the trilingual cards are especially unfortunate since the resulting lack of space means that at least one feature is over looked entirely.
Sculpting - 4/10I hate to give Snow Cat a low score since there was obviously a lot of effort put into the figure as with all Transformers. But the final product just doesn't come together as well as it should. In vehicle mode, the back end has no sense of continuity. It just looks like a conglomeration of parts, most of which are easily distinguishable as being part of the robot mode. The one area that really does stand out is the front cab. It is a great adaption of the GI Joe design with a considerable amount of effort showing through. The interior is completely detailed; even the windshield wiper is moveable. But the vehicle mode's strength is the robot mode's greatest weakness. The cab forms the upper torso and completely overpowers the rest of the figure. And the fact that the interior of the cab is visible and empty makes Snow Cat seem more like a Gundam mobile suit than a sentient robot.
Paint - 5/10Snow Cat has a solid paint job but the overall effect is fairly lackluster. There are many areas that would have been drasticly improved with a little paint like the rear tracks and skis. Also, for a vehicle that is supposed to blend in with snow, there is a serious lack of white, especially in the rear.
Articulation - 5/10Snow Cat sports sixteen points of articulation. Unfortunately, ten of those are in his arms which are so small compared to the cab that forms the torso that they aren't very useful. And since he has no handheld weapons, the arms really aren't going to be used much. Still, Snow Cat has hinged knees, ball jointed hips, rotating waist, ball jointed neck, hinged shoulders at the torso, rotating and hinged shoulders, rotating upper arms, and hinged elbows. The missle launchers can be moved up to his shoulders to fire while in robot mode and the skis and fenders can fold down to make skis for the robot mode as well as in vehicle mode. (That's right, a Transformer that is ready to hit the slopes.)
Accessories - 1/10Snow Cat comes up short here. He comes with two rather bland missles.
Value - 5/10Snow Cat isn't the greatest Transformer to come out recently. He probably won't even rate as the best of the three deluxe figures in the second wave in most people's book. But Snow Cat is a solid figure with a rather interesting vehicle mode. At $10, he's reasonably priced.
Happy Hunting:I purchased Snow Cat at Shopko in Madison, WI. He is shipping along with Rodimus and Prowl in the second wave of Energon Deluxe figures. By now, they have shipped to jus about every store that carries Transformers including Target, Toys R Us, and Walmart.