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Series: Universe 2.0
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Voyager Store Exclusive
Year: 2008

Crashed to the ground and tangled in a mess of thick, steel cables, Springer struggles to reach his weapon before the Decepticons find him. Unfortunately for him, though, Ratbat saw just where he crashed. Suddenly, the ground shakes violently, freeing Springer and knocking Ratbat to the ground. When they both regain their feet, the odds are suddenly even. The two robots have a tense standoff, even as a larger battle rages around them.

Prelude: In Transformers, a green helicopter means Springer. And if the helicopter is not green, let’s repaint him and call him Springer. The latter happened to Galaxy Force Life Convoy aka Cybertron Evac, who was repainted green for the 2008 Universe line and was then called Springer (and Blades, too). Seeing as it’s been sixteen years since I reviewed Life Convoy, I think we can give this mold another go. So ready your jump jets, polish your rotor blades, and let’s say go!

Many thanks to my buddy Fuchs Geronimo, for loaning me Springer for this review.

Robot Mode: Springer is a Voyager-class figure (would probably be a Leader by today’s standards) and has been painted in a mixture of green and grey with a few yellow highlights. Now these are Springer’s traditional colors, of course, so it works pretty well, though I would have liked a bit more yellow, especially around the chest area, to make the resemblance stronger. Life Convoy’s head is a decent match for Springer’s. Not a perfect one, but with the green color it does come relatively close.

Springer is nicely articulated for a figure from that time. No ankle tilt or twisting wrists, but apart from that he can bend pretty well and pull of all kinds of poses. The only thing limiting his articulation are the big rotor blades sitting on his left forearm and the module containing his winch and hook on the right one. Springer can unwind a good length of rope (or string, rather) from the winch and wind it back up with the press of a lever. The rotors on his right arm also contain a lever to make them spin, giving him a kind of slasher attack instead of the rotor sword most other versions of Springer carry. Nicely done.

There are two ways you can configure the split tail of the helicopter on Springer’s back. Life Convoy’s standard look was to have them jut out sideways on his back, basically giving him wings. You can also fold them down, though, to make for a much cleaner silhouette. Your choice, both work.

As a figure repainted from the Cybertron toyline, Springer has a Cyberkey gimmick, naturally. Put in his Cyberkey in the back and twin missile launchers snap up, ready to fire. You can fold his backpack forward, positioning the launchers over his shoulders. Have I mentioned lately how much I like shoulder guns? Anyway, this is definitely one of the better Cyberkey gimmicks and works well for Springer, too.

Bottom line for the robot mode: very nice. A bit more yellow on the chest would have been nice and from today’s standpoint the articulation could be better, of course, but given the time, he is very good.

Alternate Mode: Of course Springer transforms into the same kind of rescue helicopter that Evac / Life Convoy transformed into, the Eurocopter Dauphin. It looks very different from the usual helicopter modes of Springer, of course, who is more a Sci-Fi style copter, but given that it’s green and a helicopter, one can still safely assume that it’s Springer. The color scheme remains the same as in robot mode, mostly green and grey with yellow highlights and blue windows. The copter looks pretty realistic and there are no visible robot bits to be found. It has a good, solid feel, too, no danger of falling apart or parts sliding out of place.

Now the helicopter mode offers quite a bit. It has a working landing gear, the winch on the side can turn and unwind its hook, rewind it with the press of a button. A lever near the top makes the rotors spin. And, of course, the Cyberkey gimmick remains fully functional in this mode as well. The cannons flip forward underneath the rotor and Springer can launch his missiles here, too. So bottom line: one of the best helicopter modes I have ever seen in a Transformer in terms of gimmicks and playability.

Remarks: There isn’t really a story to the 2008 Universe line, no cartoon, no comics, so the only information we have about this version of Springer comes from his package profile. This alludes to this Springer possibly being the one from Dreamwave’s War Within: the Dark Ages story, despite looking entirely different. He did come in a two-pack with Ratbat, though, who does a much better job of looking like his War Within counterpart.

I very much like the Life Convoy mold and it does look good as Springer. A bit more yellow around the chest and maybe a resculpted head would have made it an even better Springer, but it works nicely. There was another reuse of this mold for the 2011 Botcon convention, Shattered Glass Galvatron, but that one is almost impossible to get for a decent price (review is coming soon, btw). All things considered there are certainly better versions of Springer available by now (Thrilling 30 Springer being my personal favorite), but back in 2008 this was really the best Springer you could get for a normal price. So bottom line: a nice version of a nice mold, but I’d put him on the nice-to-have list instead of the must-have one.

Rating: B
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