Transformers Depthcharge
Transformers Depthcharge
Transformers Depthcharge
Transformers Depthcharge

Depthcharge was again based on an unused Revenge of the Fallen concept. This one was from the pen of Ben Proctor (who designed - among others - Long Haul, Demolishor and Mixmaster for the film, and the concepts that would become Ransack, Springer and Breakaway for the toyline), and would have resulted in a stealth corvette as an alternate mode.

The idea was presumably abandoned due to the sheer scale - with a robot mode 150m tall, the design wouldn't have been able to reasonably interact with anything else. Devastator is about two thirds of that size and pretty unwieldy. Still, the concept did make it to the toyline, and what better way to realise such a behemoth than as a Scout class figure, right? There was even a Decepticon recolour named Sonar, allowing kids across the world to recreate their bubbling nautical rivalry. I got Depthcharge free with some vouchers anyway, so here he is.


It's nice to have a transforming ship out there - beyond Seaspray there have only been occasional dabbles, such as Seawatch or that combining Micromaster (2012 edit - I have no idea who I'm referring to here). There might have been one in Energon but I'd be lying if I said I'd paid much attention to that rubbish. Presumably their lack of use outside of water makes it harder for them to be useful in fiction.

Sadly, Depthcharge's design is based on a modern stealth technology boat and thus he looks dreadful. It's just a lump with bits on it. No thought has gone into the design at all, best illustrated by the two massive banks of missile launchers aimed squarely at the back of the superstructure, which are either stupid or very badly hidden robot mode parts (see also the fingers just in front of these, gamely pretending to be launchers of some description. Under 4" long just isn't the sort of scale to be doing a vehicle this size. Still, there's plenty of space for horrific join lines - the split right down the middle is probably the best, though the diagonal line running from the top to the keel of the ship midway along the superstructure is a close second.


Most of Depthcharge's transformation involves cracking him open along that huge join line and swivelling the front half of the boat around to reveal most of the robot mode. Then it's just a matter of extending the arms. Where the design sticks to the concept it doesn't look bad, feeling like part of the line even if the head and chest parts are cheats.

However, he's also got great big lumbering monkey arms on sticks coming out of his shoulders and half a boat on his legs. The latter can't be stressed enough, and the two large shells can't really be moved out of the way. Apologists will no doubt point to the concept drawing showing the ability to half-transform and have the upper part of the robot hide on the hull, but this can only be replicated either by having the hull parts upside-down, or by turning the waist and fiddling it around, leaving the robot leaning forward 30 degrees and with no balance. There's very good articulation on him to be fair, but you can get that anywhere now and it doesn't make him look any less desperate.


Like Springer, Depthcharge actually has a decent basic concept but is completely hamstrung by being made as part of a size class that can't hope to do it justice. There's one school of thought that'll say a Scout class figure is better than nothing but then these are the sort of people who bought Masterpiece Megatron because it's allegedly better than nothing. The other way to look at it is to say if you can't do a design justice, don't bother at all, and on Depthcharge this is where I sit. There was no need for this toy to be made and while he doesn't cost a lot, it's money better put towards something else.