Altered States Magazine - June 2002


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    Armada Wave 1
    Laserbeak

    By Daniel Lipkowitz, Assistant Editor

    ASM Quick Facts

    Faction: Autobot
    Transformation: Video recorder
    Size: Roleplay
    Difficulty: 2 (Intermediate)
    Packaging: Blister card
    Contents: Laserbeak, instructions, mini-comic/catalog, character sticker

    Alternate Mode

    Laserbeak’s disguise mode is a child-sized digital video camera. Presumably due to safety concerns, the toy’s color scheme has been completely changed since Toy Fair and is now primarily bright orange with silver, blue and black details. A large red Autobot symbol is sculpted on the back. Attached to the (non-functional, of course) camera is a black fabric wrist-strap with a blue snap-clasp. The viewing screen on the left side of the camera can be flipped open, revealing a pivoting screen with an image of Armada Optimus Prime.

    Alternate Mode Features

    • Pressing the middle button on the camera’s back produces a humming sound, possibly meant to indicate that the camera is recording. Pressing the button a second time produces a shutter click.

    • Pressing the rearmost button on the camera’s back produces an energy-blast sound. Pressing it a second time produces an eagle-style bird shriek.

    • Weapon Mode: A handle can be swung down from the camera to convert it to a stun weapon. Like the camera, the weapon mode is scaled to small hands. Pressing the trigger button on the handle produces a new energy-blast sound effect.

    Transformation to Robot Mode

    Press the blue button on top of the camera to make the lenses spring forward as the head. Push the dial on the left side forward, making the wings automatically spring open and unfold. Swing down and position the feet and legs.

    Robot Mode

    Robot-mode Laserbeak is a mechanical spy bird. The paired lenses serve as the beak (making the name very appropriate), while the wrist strap becomes the bird’s tail. In the toy’s original colors, Laserbeak looked quite a bit like the original Decepticon of that name (from the Generation 1 line); the resemblance is still there, but less blatantly so.

    Articulation

    Held open by springs, Laserbeak’s wings can only be positioned either spread or fully closed. The head clicks into four positions, from facing straight forward to staring straight down. The legs are independently jointed, with rotation points at the hips and ankles.

    Robot Mode Features

    • In spy-bird mode, Laserbeak’s sound effects are activated as in camera mode.

    Impressions

    A fun little role-play toy loaded with sound effects, Laserbeak does suffer a bit from the new color scheme and reduced paint detailing. On the bright side, there’s now very little risk that anyone will mistake the toy in stun weapon mode for a real gun -- and in truth, if we hadn’t seen the original colors at Toy Fair and in the product catalog, the orange might not be quite as objectionable. As it is, Laserbeak remains nifty despite the eye-searing colors and will doubtless lead to hours of fun for the younger set.

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      Copyright © 2002 Altered States Magazine
    A SkyJammer Enterprises Publication