Dark of the Moon Cyberverse Hatchet Toy Review

in 2011, Action Figure Review, Commander, Dark of the Moon, Decepticon, Dreads, Revenge of the Fallen, Cyberverse

Dark of the Moon

General Information:
Release Date: July 2011
Price Point: $7.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Attack Drones/Cannons x 2


*Images with asterisks and text in italics below from The Official Transformers web site:
DECEPTICON HATCHET enforces his commanders’ wishes with merciless efficiency. Fast and heavily armed, this DECEPTICON is not to be underestimated. His four-legged robot mode allows for superior mobility on the galaxy’s roughest terrain.

Spring into action with this vehicle-to-robot villain! Switch your mighty DECEPTICON HATCHET figure from jet fighter mode to battle-ready robot mode. Then convert him back to vehicle mode so he can chase down his enemies. In vehicle mode, his attack drones convert to cannons! As the battle rages on, keep converting him back and forth, so he’s ready to face whatever his enemies throw at him!

CYBERVERSE Commander Class Series 1 007 DECEPTICON HATCHET Ages 5 and up.

The "Cyberverse" of Transformers is partly made up of figures that are somewhere between the traditional Scout Class in size and complexity and the old Legends Class of figures. In general, Commander Class figures in the Cyberverse (not to be confused with Commander Class figures in the Power Core Combiners line) have weaponry that can be utilized by the smaller Legion Class figures. In concert with the Legion Class and playsets being released, the "Cyberverse" forms a complete world of play at a smaller price point.

Most of the Cyberverse figures so far are smaller versions of characters that have been released in other scales such as Sentinel Prime. In this case however, Decepticon Hatchet has only been released on this scale so far. Hatchet was originally called "Dirtbag" in "Dark of the Moon" concept art and he was never shown to transform into a vehicle, but he did have his four legged, monstrous form even in those early drawings.

It's also notable that Hatchet has a beast mode and transforms into a vehicle. It is very rare for Transformers to have only a beast and a vehicle mode. Generally there is some type of robot mode (which turns into a beast, vehicle or both) but here, the beast mode is Hatchet's robot mode, which jives with some of the more animalistic movements and design elements of the "Dreads" in the film.

Hatchet includes two accessories which are rather distinctive and warrant a bit of discussion on their own. Each of these accessories represent Drones that Hatchet presumably uses as remote Drones to spy on enemies and target the in combat. Each of these looks like a small jet of some sort. The main portion of the Drone is a tube shaped piece which comes to a point in the front. On the sides are two stabilizer fins giving the Drones an arrow shape. Push the ends of each Drone back however and you'll find two weapon barrels revealed! While the Drones look alike in their alternate form, as weapons you'll see two very distinct barrels. One looks like an energy blaster with a single barrel and a layer of armor over it. The other looks a bit like a gatling gun, with six small barrels arranged in a circle. I really like the fact that the designers took the care to make two distinct weapons when they could have easily just cloned the same weapon. Each of the Drone weapons are cast in black plastic. The weapon barrels are painted silver.

Each of the Drone weapons have pegs molded into them that can be used by other Cyberverse figures to hold onto the weapons. These also allow the Drones to connect to Hatchet in both his beast and vehicle forms by attaching to his wings.

Beast Mode:
In the opening scenes of "Dark of the Moon", several four legged creatures are seen on Cybertron firing away at other, smaller robots. In a later scene, the "Dreads" are seen chasing the Autobots down a highway on all fours in a very animalistic manner. I believe these are the Transformers that inspired this figure, although we never get to see anyone identified as "Hatchet" on Earth nor do we see any of the Dreads becoming a jet in vehicle mode. It is likely one of the four legged Dreads in "Dark of the Moon's" highway chase scene was meant to be "Dirtbag/Hatchet".

Hatchet has a really intricate sculpt, especially for a figure on this scale. The parts that really impress me are his head, arms and torso. The head has a design that is very reminscent of the "Predator" like heads on Crankcase and Crowbar. The top of his head has sharp looking parts that sweep back, analaghous to layers of fur and two ears on the top of an animal's head. His lower jaw is huge and extends out from the top of the head. The overall effect is fierce and scary looking, just as a Decepticon should be.

Each of the arms is mostly hidden in vehicle mode, so there was a lot of freedom to work a ton of robotic details into them. The larms each have the twisted metal/layered look of the movie CGI designs with some intricate looking hinge and wire details sculpted into them. Each of his front claws has six sharp looking digits which really adds to the character's threatening appearance. Finally, his torso looks like layers of armor arranged over bones, giving him a creepy appearance that echoes those of Crankcase and Crowbar.

Other cool details on Hatchet include some sculpted details on the inner parts of his rear legs and his spine-like tail which reminds me of Ravage's tail design. Overall, I really love this sculpt and give the designers high marks for their work on it.

Hatchet is cast in black, gold and light grey plastic. The black plastic makes up most of the figure, with the gold parts making up smaller sections such as his tail, shoulders and hip area. The light grey is found at the tip of his tail where it's pretty obvious that it forms the nosecone of his vehicle mode. Paint applications are done in gold, silver and red. The gold is used the most. You'll find it on his arms and head where it colors a lot of the sculpted detail, helping to bring it out. Silver is used on several of the vehicle mode parts that you can see in this form including the ends of his thrusters around the neck area and his tail. A bit of the silver winds up painting the "collar" area under his head. As you'd expect, the red paint is used to paint his eyes, adding to how evil this guy looks!

Hatchet has an impressive twenty points of articulation in this form. A lot of this is of course focused on his legs, which have fourteen points of articulation between them. His tail is also articulated and you can move his head up and down. The sides of this beast mode are formed in part from the wings of the vehicle mode, and here you'll find holes on the undersides of these wings, allowing you to attach his Drones or other Cyberverse weapons. When he has the Drones attached, he reminds me a lot of an alternative take on the "Ravage" character and it looks fantastic!

One final note, though the instructions do not mention it, there is another panel on the back of the figure (near the tail) that can be moved up to cover the hole on the back of the figure in this mode. I'm sure it was meant to work this way and just didn't get put into the instructions. It helps tighten up the look of the form quite a bit!

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Push the rear feet and lower leg up against the thigh.
  2. Push the nosecone on his tail up to align with the cockpit.
  3. On the back of the beast mode, swing the panel in the middle up.
  4. Swing the robot head back into the slot you just uncovered in the last step.
  5. Swing the two angled stabilizer sections together to cover up the beast mode head.
  6. Connect the two rear legs of the beast mode together and then connect the cockpit section to that area. Make sure the front landing gear is not in your way (just swing it out if it is).
  7. Fold the arms under the wings and swing the wings down.
  8. Swing out the front halves of the front arms to form two cannons.
  9. Attach the Drones to the wings.

Vehicle Mode:
In his vehicle mode, Hatchet is a jet fighter based on a Eurofighter Typhoon jet. Most of the body of this vehicle is based on the Typhoon, including the shape of the nosecone/cockpit section, the shape of the main body, having two thrusters in the back and the design of the wings with the points at the ends. Where it differs from the real life Typhoon is the addition of stabilizers where the Typhoon does not have them. One pair is towards the front, under the cockpit. Another is on the rear. Instead of a single, vertical stabilizer this section has two set at angles. These extra design flourishes definitely give a sense that the vehicle is a more advanced version of the Typhoon. Of course, this also helps get by any potential trademark issues, but at least it's done in a way that makes the fighter jet look cool!

The sculpting in this mode looks fantastic. From the shapes and lines etched into the top of the vehicle to the details inside the rear thrusters you can tell a lot of thought and care went into this guy's design. Perhaps my favorite design touch are the cannons/blasters that swing out of his legs. On the sides of the blasters are two tubes that lead to the barrel, looking like the parts that channel the energy to the weapon. The Drones also look fantastic on the wings. Either in Drone mode (where they look like bombs or missiles) or their weapon modes.

This mode is mostly black with only the light grey on the nosecone showing any bright plastic colors. Silver is seen again on the cockpit and rear thrusters. A lighter shade of gold is found on the edges of the wings and front stabilizers as well as the vertical stabilizers where there is a Decepticon symbol on either side. With black being his primary color, I can imagine being loud and flashy isn't really Hatchet's thing, so the subdued color scheme works out nicely, especially with the gold and silver colors balancing it.

Final Thoughts:
Hatchet is an excellent example of a new character being done in "Commander" size. I think he looks fantastic and has good play value in both modes. Highly recommended!