Saturday 18 March 2023

Metalhawk (Legacy Evolution, 2023)


Autobot Metalhawk
Alt Mode: Jet
Function: Space Commander
Special Unit: Pretender
Origin Universe: G1

Signature Weapon: Titanium Saber
Capable of piercing through any substance with incredible ease 

Metalhawk is the fearless leader of the Autobot Pretenders, tirelessly fighting to spread freedom throughout the universe.
STR...9; INT..10; SPD...10; FBL...9

Other Resources:

Metalhawk was an original Japanese only character created for the 1988 Transformers Super God Masterforce series. In the cartoon, the human version, "Hawk" is shown wearing a suit and is the size of a normal human. Preparing for battle Hawk dons red , white and blue armour and then "morphs" into his large robot form, Metalhawk.

The toy form of Metalhawk was designed by Kojin Ono and is one character he would like to make into a Masterpiece (interview). The toy is unique in that the human face is visible when armoured up and the robot mode includes diecast metal. Below is the translated G1 tech spec:

C-201 Pretender Space Commander Metalhawk
Transformation: Human Mode / SF Jet Mode
Ability: SF Jet Mode can travel from the Earth to the Moon and back again in 15 minutes. Has the greatest short distance jumping power of all the Pretenders.
Weapon(s): Jet Rifle; Titanium Saber
Final Attack: His “Shining Arrow” attack fires an arrow of light from the sky towards the enemy on the ground. The arrow becomes a giant sword of light and strikes a final blow from above.
STR...9; INT...10; SPD...10; END...9; RNK...10; CRG...10; FPR...9; SKL...9

Character Card:
● Codename: Metalhawk
● Code Number: C-201
● Level: 75
● Origin: Seibertron
● Age: Unknown
● Profile:
Commander of the fearless Cybertron Pretenders. He gave human children Headmaster technology as well as Headmaster Jr Transtectors that he had received from Chromedome.

Although Metalhawk was a one off character and never seen outside of the Masterforce series, he received three toys between the G1 and Legacy version, one of which from the mainline series. 

In 2012 the 2010 Generations Thunderhawk figure was repainted with a new headsculpt and released as a Botcon exclusive. This figure was based on the Pretender shell rather than the internal robot. 

In 2017, the 2016 Titans Return version of Triggerhappy was repainted and received a new headsculpt. This figure was based on Metalhawks inner robot mode and released in the Siege on Cybertron giftset. The Titan Master was renamed Professor Go, Hawks scientist human partner from the Masterforce cartoon. 

In 2017 "Metalhawk" received his own mould and was released once again as a Pretender, or decoy armour as it was called. In the Power of the Primes series, Prime Master, Vector Prime, was packaged with Metalhawk Decoy Armour. Vector Prime served as the face for the armour when inside. The decoy armour was based on Metalhawk's Pretender shell.

In June 2022 product listings for several upcoming Transformer Legacy figures were released. At the end of January 2023 Twincast and Metalhawk were revealed as part of the Transformers Legacy Evolution line up and it was only a week or so later they both started appearing in shops. It is still nice that Hasbro can still surprise fans with figures every now and again without any prior leaks of the actual figures.

Legacy Metalhawk was designed by Takara Tomy Junior Developer, Ittoku Kuwazu (Generations 2022 interview here). It is a very heavy retool of Kingdom Cyclonus and the two do share a few parts here and there but much of the figure has been remoulded. Packaged in robot mode, Metalhawk is heavily based on his 1988 cartoon appearance and the Cyclonus mould pulls this off well. The figure is based on the internal robot mode rather than the Pretender shell and the detailing is fantastic. The original robot was mainly made of diecast metal which was painted gold, the chest and head of this figure have been cast in a soft looking gold colour which is more animation accurate.

The figure comes with two "Jet Rifles" which can combine with each other which is very similar to the way the Titans Return guns worked. It also comes with the "Titanium Saber" which can also be stored on the robot mode back.

One aspect that is disappointing about this figure are the hollow forearms. Quite a few of the recent Voyager Class figures have been designed with ways to cover the hollow limbs, such as the original Cyclonus. Now as part of the transformation the robot fists fold into the forearm. The lack of a cover may be to keep the parts count down. It is a minor gripe and does not impact on the look of the figure.

The head sculpt is fantastic and looks just like Metalhawk from the cartoon. The heads posability is limited like Cyclonus but overall has decent movement. I'm still not a fan of the knees and was hoping they could have improved them however they aren't as stiff as either of the Cyclonus figures I own.

Transformation is very similar to Cyclonus but with enough differences to make this feel like a new figure. Jet mode is where you can see the developers put the focus on robot mode. It is a good jet but there is something about it that feels clunky and not as polished as Cyclonus. It certainly looks a lot better than the original jet mode but unfortunately it is missing the landing gear.

In homage to the original toy the Jet Rifles can attach to rear of the jet to form rear wings and the Titanium Saber attaches to the back of the jet using two notches.

Overall Metalhawk is a fantastic addition to any collection even if you already own Cyclonus.

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