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Override

Transformers Legacy
by yo go re

Face it: we already know who's going to win Velocitron's Speedia 500 race.

Override is the returning champion and is ready to defend her title as leader of Velocitron.

Velocitron was one of the four planets colonized by Transformers in the Cybertron cartoon. Known as the Speed Planet, it was originally a barren desert world, but the settlers built an entire culture around the fun of racing, so soon most of the landscape was built over with tracks and highways. And yes, being so obsessed with competition, they pick their leader based on who can go fast.

Naturally, all the Velocitronians turn into wild racing vehicles. This is a car, but it doesn't look anything like a car you'd see here on Earth; with its huge flared fenders that come to two separate points in the front, it actually looks like a design descendant of Speed Racer's Mach 5. The back end is a lot blockier, with a large black engine/spoiler thing, and the sloping windshield slides back to what is obviously just the robot's eventual head sitting there, barely concealed. Like she's actually looking through it while she drives. The mid-00s were a weird time for TF designs.

Whether you're changing from car to robot or robot to car, there's one step that will be difficult until you learn the trick to it. Going to robot, that step is getting the shoulders in place: tabs that point in perpendicular directions both need to be put in place at the same time, which seems undoable; the trick it to rotate the arm back a bit, which will move the rear peg and allow you to "tip" it into place as you plug in the side peg. Going to car, putting the legs together to form the hood requires a similar sort of "rolling into position" rather than just pushing straight together, in part because the legs join at an angle instead of flat.

Legacy is finally doing what we've been asking for years and updating something other than the G1 continuity. Override comes to us from 2005's Cybertron, the final part of the Unicron Trilogy (after Armada and Energon). I wanted to get an Override at the time, because she was a female Transformer and that was much less common back then, but liked her repaint colors better and was never able to find one. I was going to order her when these went live on Walmart's site, but that was No-Buy July, so I passed. Unlike Cosmos, she's actually showed up in stores though!

The original plan for the character who became Override was that he would be just another male Transformer. But Cartoon Network was the one airing the show at the time, and they wanted more female representation in the story, so Hasbro looked at the toys and picked Override as the one who could most realitically be be coded as female. (Japan kept their version, Nitro Convoy, male.) A small nod was made to this by revealing in the story that she concealed her true gender in order to be allowed to enter the original race she won to become her planet's Prime.

This toy is based more on the animation model than the old figure, as is the style at the time (now). Since it wasn't designed with the intention of representing a woman, the '05 toy was a big ol' bulkmeister, with a very broad, sqare chest. The animation model could be tweaked, however. Not so as to give her robot boobs or anything, but to at least slim down the proportions to something more "human" than "gorilla." This 2022 release follows suit, keeping all the major shapes of the character, but looking sleeker overall. The tall kneepads make it look like the legs should extend farther than they do, but that's just armor, not anatomy.

Override's colors are red, white, and black, with some gold accents. The red are a lovely shade, just dark enough to look strong, while the blacks are really more of a dark dark grey. The car's wheels and windshield are translucent red, which makes more sense for one of those than the other. A few tiny spots of blue contrast with all the warm colors (and match her painted eyes).

The car's engine thing becomes a blaster for the robot. The gimmick of Cybertron was Cyber Keys, which could be plugged into the toy to activate various features; Override's key would make the barrels of the gun pop out. There's still a slot molded here that's the same shape as the old keys, though you'll have to swing the guns forward yourself. Unfortunately, the gun isn't wide enough to point them forward in racing mode.

According to designer Mark Maher, the original plan for this Override would have seen her be a retool of Studio Series Hot Rod, because he thought that was the only way they'd be able to budget her. TakaraTomy's engineers, though, were able to figure out a way to get this entire toy made using only four steel tools, rather than the 12 an average Voyager class uses. Dang, impressive work! If this exclusive subline was going to be based on a race from the Cybertron cartoon, it's only logical that at least one Cybertron character show up in it; and if that race takes place on Velocitron, it's only logical that character be the fastest one on the planet. I'm glad now that I never got an Override in 2005, because this one is all-around better.

-- 09/20/22


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