Friday, March 4, 2011

Transformers Armada Overload - Part 1 of our Jet Magna Convoy Feature

Presenting Transformers Armada Overload! Overload is one of the more interesting characters in the Marvel Universe in the sense that he has no character. He's not sentient. He's a drone much akin to what GodBomber (Apex Bomber) was to Ginrai (Powermaster Optimus Prime - to be reviewed at another date). He's primarily nothing more than a trailer extension for the Transformers Armada Optimus Prime that transforms into shoulder mounted cannons for Optimus Prime. The unclear part is, just like GodBomber, he surprises everyone by transforming into a robot mode as well with the help of Rollout, his mini-con who becomes Overload's head (Effectively also making him a Headmaster) begging the question "Shouldn't the mini-con be sentient and ergo Overload is sentient?".

Also in the Transformers Armada cartoon, he is sometimes erroneous referred to by Optimus Prime as Ultra Magnus. As a result, there is actually a very rare blue version of Overload in the market. One I have actually yet to even see in person.

As if to prove just how subservient Overload is to Optimus Prime, his registered motto is "I serve at the will of Optimus Prime" I have to admit Overload was one of the harder extensions to Optimus Prime that I had to trawl the black-market for. Eventually I cornered him in Greenhills for around PhP 4,000. I've seen at least one or two since I got him around three years ago for sale in either the Black-Market or on E-bay since then making him rare, but attainable. As mentioned though, I have yet to see the elusive blue version.

Over-all articulation is a bit poor. Overload can move his arms and legs up and down and twist his forearm and full legs to a certain degree, but that's about it. Hey Overload's a drone so he's just supposed to stand there anyway. 

As mentioned, Overload is a Head-Master - meaning Overload's actual head is a separate being - namely a mini-con named Rollout who has his own robot mode.

Rollout transforms into a small cab - which can pull around the "Trailer" version of Overload. Unforunately because he's so small, when Overload and Rollout are transformed, he tends not to fit in with the other Autobots - including Optimus Prime. 

When you transform Overload to Robot mode, sliding Rollout into Overload's chest cavity activates a transformation sound-effect. Rollout can also transform into a pistol - albeit a very big one.

Here is Overload and Rollout with the un-powered up Optimus Prime for size comparison:

While never seen in the cartoons or instructed in the manuals, Overload can also serve as a mount for Jetfire - technically Overload is Jetfire's trailer I suppose. Jetfire fits snugly on top of him and practically locks into place. Jetfire's jets rests solidly against the two elevated rear-guards of Overload. 
 Here is Overload bearing Jetfire and as a very long extender for Optimus Prime's trailer. 

Here is Overload transformed into "Cannon" mode.

Here's where it becomes tricky: Overload can be locked into place by attaching it to pegs found on Optimus Prime's arms. Unfortunately, Optimus Prime's arms tend to bend inward when transformed into his "Power-up" mode (Combines with his trailer), so there is some pushing and coaxing involved. But it's worth it when you get him into place. Also, in power-up mode, Overload's weight is supported by Optimus Prime's trailer so this form is quite stable.  

The real problem happens when you form "Jet Magna Convoy" - or the combination of Optimus Prime, Jetfire and Overload because a) He becomes one of the tallest Optimus Primes in the market, taller than the Omega Prime and that union is held together by pegs; b) He's top heavy. Losing Optimus Prime's trailer removes the back support for Overload so he tends to either tip forward or back depending on which way the wind blows. We'll discuss Jet Magna Convoy soon when we tackle Jetfire next week. 

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