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Transformers AOE
by yo go re

I know sometimes it takes a while for a character to get a toy, but three movies late? That's got to be some kind of a record!

When the Allspark lost control, it gave life to numerous machines, including Dispensor. A newborn Transformer, he knows nothing of his surroundings, but he needs no explanation to destroy things.

This is a soda delivery truck, which seems to have been repurposed from an armored car. I understand that soda can be addictive, but even when they're doing one of those gimmicky Super Bowl giveaways they don't have to deliver it in armored cars.

Also strange? It's painted to look like a Mountain Dew truck. But Mountain Dew doesn't get its own trucks - sub-brands are delivered in their parent brand's truck. Coca-Cola may taste like someone poured a 10-pound bag of sugar into the toilet from Trainspotting, but Sprite, Barq's and Fanta are still delivered in Coke trucks, right? Pepsi is the superior soft drink, and it's Pepsi trucks that carry Mountain Dew along our nation's highways.

(Sorry to hop on my soda soap box and get soda-m political again, but some things are just important enough to talk about. Entertaining, educating and informing people about cola-based drinks has been our mission statement since the very beginning.)

The body of the truck is a vibrant green, though there's more blue in it than in the real Mountain Dew color, which is very yellowy. Of course, if you look at the logo, this "isn't" Mountain Dew, because that would require licensing - rather, this truck is inviting you to try a nice refreshing can of "Mood Wiplash," meaning that instead of being a soda named after moonshine whiskey, it's a soda named after emotional dissonance. That's a really weird choice.

The crash bar on the front and the fenders on the sides are dark grey, the hubcaps are silver, the windows in the front are black (the ones in the back get the same silver as the wheels), and they even painted the head- and taillights.

There was no Mountain Dew truck in the movie, just a Mountain Dew machine. To honor that, the roof of the truck is painted to look like a soda machine, with a dozen buttons (Mood Wiplash is apparently available in varieties of green and/or red) and a product slot at the bottom. Actually, designing a soda machine that looked like a delivery truck stood on end would be kind of cool. Some company needs to get on that. This machine is only suitable for 2-3" figures, but if you wanted something bigger, that already exists.

So as you may have managed to piece together, this Age of Extinction Transformer is meant to be the Mountain Dewbot from the first movie - the one brought to life by the AllSpice and eventually named Dispensor. But it would have been insane to create an all-new toy seven years after the fact, so this is a repaint of the first movie's Payload. Oh, that's why he looked like an armored truck, I get it now!

Considering that this is a repaint, it does a surprisingly decent job of duplicating Dispensor' movie design. Sure, he should four arms, not just two, but remember: repaint. The hands look right, he's got big angular feet, there are flat plates with logos on the chest... you can even pose him in an appropriate squat!

For some reason, Payload was designed with a removable plate on his upper torso, and his head was attached to that rather than being attached to the body. Dispensor gets a new head that's a perfect match for the movie, but it's still attached to that same plate. Very strange. There's a hinge in the head that doesn't work, so all he can do is look side-to-side. In a delightful touch, his exposed brain on the back of his head is six soda cans!

Dispensor has hinged ankles and knees, balljointed hips and wrists, swivel waist, hinged elbows, swivel biceps, and swivel/hinge shoulders (plus the neck joints mentioned before). Payload had a notoriously obtrusive action feature that Dispensor shares: a plunger sticks more than 3" out of his back, and when you push it, a big claw comes out of his chest and clamps together. It's not great, but removing it would have required a lot of work.

They did give him something new, though: his soda can cannon. It's a new piece, designed to plug onto existing tabs on either arm, and it comes straight from the film (though it nominally belongs on his right). When in vehicle mode, you just have to plug it onto the side of the truck, which really ruins the whole "disguise" aspect of the character.

In the movie, Dispensor was a vending machine brought to life, and was basically a feral creature. But who's to say that if he survived the battle of Las Vegas Mission City he wouldn't have eventually evolved, gaining some self-control and taking a more useful altmode? Maybe being created by the AllSpark is like a dip in the Lazarus Pit, and you're just a bit insane and violent at first. No, this Japanese-exclusive toy isn't a perfect copy of the character seen in the film, but as a repaint seven years after the fact? He's impressive.

-- 10/27/15

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