Saturday 3 September 2022




Perceptor is a character that, if I’m honest, I’ve never really showed much interest in. I was aware of his inclusion in the Marvel UK comics, I never saw him in the cartoon as up until adulthood I’d never seen the Second Series and thought he was okay in the 1986 Movie. A side character of no major importance that was there to facilitate a move in the storyline. I became more familiar with the character during the IDW tenure, which was a hit an miss affair in my mind (the comic) but that’s something to go into another time.
So I’m left with the toy, which again isn’t really up there for me. Around 20 years or so ago I did have a lovely minty sealed in box G1 Perceptor that I came upon in with a bundle I had purchased. But again, with not being a huge fan I sold it on within a few months. The next figure of him I had was when he was released as part of The Transformers Collection, often incorrectly named as the ‘Dreamwave Re-Issues’. This I still have as he is No. 19 in a series of 21, it’s a nice set overall so would be a shame to break it up.

So here we are now in 2022 with X-Transbots MX-27 Janssen, their take on a Masterpiece style Perceptor, and the question I’m asking myself probably as much as you are is “why?”.

But I’ll get back to that at the end, for now, on with the review.

Box & Accessories

X-Transbots, for me, do some nice boxes. They are always nicely illustrated, sturdy with a lovely matt finish with highlights. What I also like about them is the inclusion of the ‘battle scene’ on the rear, very reminiscent of the Generation 1 boxes. Now what is a first for me, may not be others, is the figure being entombed in polystyrene. All my other X-Transbots figures have come in a plastic clam. I’ve said before in my Fans Toys reviews, I do appreciate the polystyrene, it gives off that ‘Premium’ feel. But, I could be reading too much into this, there maybe something in that when I mention Fans Toys. Another point I’ll get back to at the end of this review.

Standard collectors card and instruction booklet are present but I cannot remember the last time I used an instruction booklet, I tend to hit YouTube up for a transformation video and pause where necessary.

As for the accessories, wow… just, wow. Those whom have read my reviews before may recall my indifference when it comes to accessories. Most of the time they are useless, boring or very tenuous in their relevance. Most of the time it boils down to the latter, it’s like “oh, here is that one thing from that one episode that was on screen for like a few seconds”. However the ones included with Janssen are quite interesting, and if I’m being honest, one or two of them may have influenced me into my purchase. So he has his many guns, cartoon style blaster and then two others that reflect his G1 toy. One of them even includes the spring firing mechanism. There is also a blast effect which is only compatible with the cartoon blaster, shame. There are two IDW inspired head sculpts, not for me but I appreciate their inclusion as some out there will utilise them. A selection of 5 differing facial sculpts (6 if including the one already in use) ranging from ‘pensive’ to ‘Oh my God!’, which swap out easily enough without needing a screwdriver. There are also 3 pieces of science lab equipment, a conical flask, a measuring jug and a test tube. And finally the awesome part, the mini-figures, these look great. You get a miniature version of Perceptor himself (robot and microscope), Brawn and Bumblebee… you know, from that one episode where they did that thing etc. I know, hypocrisy. But honestly these little fellas look great. I like how X-Transbots took the initiative to include them, not to mention the time and effort to sculpt, paint and articulate. There are one or two minor paint issues but who cares, at a passing glance and when on display, unless under close scrutiny, they look amazing. They really do add something to this release, whether it be a display or play value. So as you may have guessed by now, the influence right there, but is it enough to warrant keeping the figure?

Vehicle Mode.. Sort Of

Janssen has two alt modes, the obvious Microscope mode and the often forgot Tank mode.

Microscope Mode *this is not a functioning microscope

It is what it is, a microscope and it looks really nice. No real playability functions here, like with the original G1 toy, you can turn the dial to focus the lens but it does not magnify anything. The legs in this mode could be a little tighter to maintain stability but other than that it’s a solid representation of Perceptors alt mode.

Tank Mode

So the lesser of the two alt modes is a more sturdier affair than the Microscope. This is down to more bits tabbing in here and there to keep it all in place. Some parts of the transformation are a bit of a bugger but when done they’re more easily navigated the second time around. It does kind of roll on its wheels but it’s not that great, better than the other alt mode but as far as I’m aware, there isn’t a big need for Microscopes to ‘Roll Out’. Generally both modes are good, I have some minor issues with stability and joint tightness but other that that, a solid job.

Here’s a thought, does this qualify Perceptor as a triple-changer?

Robot Mode

No messing around, this is a nice robot mode. It’s a confident looking piece that is a great resemblance to its onscreen inspiration. The paint application is good, I really like the matt red coupled with the metallic blue. Paint covers both die-cast and plastic parts giving it an even finish. Joints are tight with a mixture of friction and ratchet being utilized, which confuses as to why when in alt modes there is some looseness to be found. But must mention a slight looseness in the toe joints which makes the figure lean forward and fall over at times. I think I’ll look into trying to stiffen this up.
Articulation is great, allowing some dynamic poses to be achieved, the ab-crunch increasing this range. All accessories are held well, although I’m not sure about the hands. The thumb is on a pin joint which I feel would have been better served on a ball joint. The hand itself is attached to the lower arm by a tiny screw through a circular tab. The tab has a pin joint allowing the hand to fold back on itself. This all seems very weak to me and could potentially be a common breakage point, time will tell. No panel gaps and everything matches and marries up where it should, creating a lean looking figure with no kibble anywhere to be seen.
So I’ve had a thought on the looseness in alt mode. It comes from the thighs. There is a split joint to the center of the thigh, which if not tabbed in fully will show a gap in robot mode, I’ve noted this in some images and other online reviews. So in alt mode this split area is quite loose and cannot hold the weight of the die-cast content.
Closing Thoughts

So how do I bring this all together for a conclusion?
I’m still where I was with regards the character of Perceptor, no change there, so lets come at this from the figure itself. X-Transbots have produced a solid figure here with Janssen, truly, it’s a very good piece. My prior experience with X-Transbots has been Eligos and Andras, both descent figures but no where near a Fans Toys level. And that leads me to one of my points. I think this figure is on par with Fans Toys, I really do. Sure there are one or two minor points which stop it from being 100%, but if this is the opening shots in something more to come, it’s looking real good for the future. Not just in quality but in price too, as I’ve noted that X-Transbots are pricing themselves very competitively. That price point and quality means business.

My collecting ethos is, characters from the first season of the cartoon with characters that appear on the US release movie poster from 1986, minus Wheelie. I’ve stuck to that more or less for 20 years… Janssen here sees me break that ethos.
I saw the pre-order and figured I’d take a chance as it looked good, I thought I could always sell on if it didn’t suit me. Well it does, I love it and glad that I got him. So much so it’s seen a slight amendment to my collecting ethos. I will continue with characters from season 1, however with regards the 1986 movie, I’ve altered this to include Percetor and Wheelie. The rational, Perceptor goes with the main characters to Junk and Wheelie is picked up on Quintessa… I already had KFC Crash Hog, lol.

And there you go, X-Transbots Janssen, a bloody good figure but I’m still not sure about Perceptor and that’s why!

Janssen was purchased from Omegalock, the link to which can be found in our 'Recommended Sites' section.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and catch you all soon.

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