"Generations" War for Cybertron: Siege Refraktor Reconnaissance Team 3-Pack Toy Review

in 2019, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Deluxe, Fan Channel, Generation One, Generations, War for Cybertron: Siege

Generations

War for Cybertron: Siege

General Information:
Release Date: August 2019
Price Point: $69.99 (Boxed Set)
Retailer: Fan Channel Exclusive (BigBadToyStore, Entertainment Earth, Hasbro Pulse etc.)
Accessories: "Telefocal Shields"/lens parts x 3, "Shutter Blaster/Lens Laser/Optic Blaster" rifles x 3, "Flash Launcher" flashcube, "Shutter Armor", "Bioscale Compression Rotors"/torso-parts x 3, Kremzeek blast effect

Refraktor

Official images and text below in italics are from Entertainment Earth and Hasbro Pulse:
Let's see what you can see! The War for Cybertron is on with this combiner in a box! Heroes and villains join the Siege with Transformers Generations War for Cybertron: Siege Deluxe Refraktor 3-Pack (G1 Toy Colors) - Exclusive! This Decepticon warrior takes fun to the third power - and you get three figures inspired by the original mail-away Reflector toy, complete with unique faces and decoration. Merge all three for a "camera" mode!

Build the ultimate battlefield with Siege figures. Siege plunges fans into the epic fight to survive on the final day of the Autobot and Decepticon battle to control Cybertron. The Decepticon resistance army and the Autobot counter-resistance fighters gear up with the C.O.M.B.A.T. (Cybertronian Omnifuctional Modular Battlefield Assault Tech) System, the universe's most advanced modular weaponry -- including the sneaky Decepticon army raider and recon specialist, Refraktor. Includes 4 figures, 11 accessories, and instructions. Ages 8 and up.

More about Transformers Generations War for Cybertron Refraktor Reconnaissance Team 3-Pack
The 3 included Spectro, Viewfinder, and Spyglass figures combine to form one camera alt mode, called Refraktor. Refraktor is an evil marauder -- not a working camera. The Refraktor Reconnaissance Team 3-pack comes with 3 Telefocal Shields, Shutter Blaster, Lens Laser, Optic Blaster, Flash Launcher, Shutter Armor, and 3 Bioscale Compression Rotor accessories.

Figures come inside premium packaging inspired by classic camera boxes. Includes distinct instructions on how to work this non-working camera. Oh no! It’s KREMZEEK! He’s tearing through the package! The pack also includes a Kremzeek figure, a really annoying electronic pest.

Product Features
Refraktor Reconnaissance Team Pack comes with Spectro, Viewfinder, and Spyglass figures. All 3 figures feature classic conversion between robot and G1-inspired Cybertronian spacecraft modes in 17 steps.

Combine included figures to form Refraktor camera mode. Refraktor is an evil marauder -- not a working camera. Special box inspired by classic camera boxes. Includes distinct instructions on how to work this non-working camera. Oh no! It’s KREMZEEK! He’s tearing through the package! The pack also includes a Kremzeek figure, a really annoying electronic pest.

Pack includes 8 weapon and armor accessories. Multiple C.O.M.B.A.T. weapon ports on figure and vehicle enable weapon and armor accessories to attach in custom configurations.

In Summer 2019 Hasbro released a Deluxe Class Refraktor figure. Just as this figure hit the mass market, Hasbro announced at San Diego Comic-Con that they would be releasing a three pack featuring the Refraktor sculpt in colors based on the Generation One Reflector set. Even better? This set would feature accessories exclusive to this boxed set. Interestingly enough, once the figure shipped to fans in September of 2019, the packing slip inside revealed that this set was originally intended to be a HasCon exclusive! For a time, Hasbro was planning to hold a 2019 HasCon convention but it did not pan out but it is great to see that Hasbro found a way to release this exclusive to fans.

Refraktor is another name for Generation One Reflector. In G1, the character was portrayed in two distinctive ways. In the toy line, "Reflector" was almost a team name or the name of the combined form of Spectro, Spyglass and Viewfinder. In the G1 cartoon however, Reflector was portrayed as three identical Decepticons who could combine into a camera in their alt-mode. All three would talk at the same time, perhaps suggesting a linked mind. The mass release of Refraktor in Siege appears to take after the "cartoon model" of three identical robots. This exclusive however separates the personalities out into three distinct characters: Spectro, Spyglass and Viewfinder.

This is not the only recent Reflector-based figure. In 2014 one was released as a Targetmaster-esque weapon with Generations Skrapnel. Later in 2016, a Legends Class figure of the character was released as part of Botcon 2016.

Packaging:
The Refraktor Reconnaissance Team 3-Pack comes in an awesome package. The box is designed to look like a digital camera package that you would purchase in an electronics store. The box is cube shaped with a black background and a blend of tech details and Siege style artwork overlaid on top. The front has a clear plastic window with a targeting reticle in the center. This is intended to simulate the lens of a camera. Around that detail are Cybertronian glyphs. The top of the box has the Siege logo and a "battle damaged" Decepticon symbol. One side of the box features a groupshot of the three team members while the other side shows the Ark launching. The back has a brief description of Refraktor over a metallic blue graphic. That blue is partially "torn away" at the bottom, exposing faux "wires".

Open up the box and the instruction booklet is inside. The instructions are printed on glossy paper and it looks like the manual for a real life camera (I mean, a really expensive one but still). Take the instructions out and there is a panel underneath with several graphics on it including a Decepticon symbol, a line drawing of Refraktor in camera mode and Megatron's Siege artwork. Pull open that flap and inside Refraktor is sitting in a cardboard tray in camera mode along with Kremzeek. The tray has a purple, hex grid background and looks fantastic. Hasbro really knocked it out of the park with this packaging. I can see how it was special enough to warrant being a convention exclusive!

Accessories:
This boxed set has a lot of accessories, so here's the rundown:

  • Three "Telefocal Shields": Each of these curved pieces is intended to serve a dual purpose. In robot mode, Refraktor team members can use this as a shield. Combine the three together and they form a camera lens to attach to the front of the camera mode. The edges have ridged sections that are meant to simulate the section you use to adjust the lens. Each of these pieces is black plastic with silver and red paint details.
  • Three "Shutter Blaster/Lens Laser/Optic Blaster" rifles: These rifles are all identical, down to being cast entirely in black plastic. They are based in part on one of the weapons that was included with the original Generation One Reflector figure.
  • "Flash Launcher" flashcube: Cameras still have flashes nowadays of course, but the design of this flash bulb is based on the G1 flash bulb accessory that was included with Reflector (it was also a missile launcher, hence the name). There is something very retro looking about this bulb and I find it wonderfully appealing because of that. This pieces is cast in black plastic with the front of the bulb painted silver. To give it an extra "shine" a layer of clear plastic is laid over it.
  • "Shutter Armor" This piece mostly forms a side piece of the camera mode, looking almost like a panel you would move aside to insert either film on an old camera or a memory card in a modern day camera. It also has a dial sculpted onto the top (non functioning of course). It also has 5mm pegs so you can use it as a shield. This piece is silver and black.
  • Three "Bioscale Compression Rotors"/torso-parts: Each of these pieces is a round, black piece with curved details on it that are meant to be lens covers. We can call them "rotors" or whatever, but really these are meant to attach to the torso of each figure to help them look similar like Reflector appeared on the Generation One cartoon. On the camera it looks like it could be dials to make all sorts of adjustments to your imaginary photos.
  • Two "Viewfinder Lens" pieces: These "Lens" pieces are unique to this set. They serve two purposes. In the camera mode, they form a piece on the top of the camera in the middle. They can also be used to form shoulder armor on Viewfinder (or any member of the team, really) that calls back to the appearance of Viewfinder's action figure in G1. These pieces are silver with a purple Decepticon symbol on them. In a callback to G1 Reflector, the word "Refraktor" is tampographed across the edge almost as if it were a brand name.

Considering this was originally planned as a convention exclusive, I am very happy to see the extra parts included with this set. The Viewfinder lens pieces, flash bulb and shutter armor really help add to the illusion of the camera mode and look great.

Kremzeek

Kremzeek skirts the line between being an accessory and a character. In the G1 cartoon he definitely was a character with his own motivations and personality. Over the years he has popped up now and then in fiction including being a special attack item in the Transformers: Earth Wars game.

This Kremzeek figure is not a repack of the one included with Masterpiece Megatron. Instead, it is a new sculpt in a similar, but different pose. His legs and arms are both more bent at 90 degree angles compared to the previous Kremzeek. Like his animated counterpart he has an oval body with several "spikes" representing energy at the top of his head, arms and legs. His tail is shaped like a line of electricity with jagged angles. He looks fantastic and is instantly recognizable as the mischievous creature from G1.

Kremzeek is cast in translucent yellow plastic with red paint details on his eyes and mouth. Interestingly, he has ports on the bottom of his feet that essentially make him a Blast Effect, allowing him to attach to figures and weapons in the Siege toy line.

Camera Mode

For the purposes of this review I will call this form "Refraktor" since it is labeled "Refraktor" right across the front of the camera mode. Instead of trying to modernize this mode to look like a sleek, modern day camera, the designers looked towards the G1 Reflector toy as inspiration. The result is a camera that has a shape that has some fun, retro design elements. This includes the center section with a top coming up to a point at angles. It also includes the very retro looking flash bulb and the dial on the front of the camera (which, once upon a time would have been used to move the film inside the camera). Sure modern day cameras have similar features, but it is clear the designers wanted this camera to have an older "feel". This particular set benefits from the addition of parts such as the flash bulb, "Viewfinder" armor and "Shutter armor" as they help add to the illusion that this is a "real" camera.

Each member of the team essentially transforms into a cube that forms 1/3 of the camera. You really do not need to put them in any particular order. If we were to call out an "official" order, Viewfinder generally forms the middle while Spectro forms the right side and Spyglass forms the right. This is how it came out of the box. However, I personally prefer the configuration that you see in my photos for the very simple reason that when you have Spectro and Viewfinder as the "sides" of the camera. If you put Spectro on the left side (with you facing the back of the camera as if you are going to use it to take a photo) and Viewfinder on the right, then attach the "Shutter armor" to Viewfinder, the result is that both sides have black details facing forward. This helps "even out" the colors on both sides of the camera.

Deco-wise this mode borrows many elements from the G1 Reflector's colors. This includes the middle section being silver with a Decepticon symbol and the name "Refraktor" on it. The black and silver on the sides and the colors of the zoom lens also call back to the G1 Reflector toy. Overall, the camera mode looks great.

There are six exposed 5mm ports in this mode for you to attach weapons if you wanted to turn this into a weapon emplacement of some sort. There are also five small pegs that allow you to attach Blast Effects (and Kremzeek, of course).

Transformation to Robot Mode(s):

  1. Detach the zoom lens and split it up into the individual shields.
  2. Detach the Flash bulb.
  3. Detach the "Shutter armor" and unfold it into its shield form.
  4. Detach the Viewfinder armor pieces and set them aside for now.
  5. Detach the "Bioscale Compression Rotors" pieces and set them aside for now.
  6. Separate the rifles that form the tripod from each other.
  7. Separate the three Refraktor team members from each other.
  8. On each figure, swing the skids out to the sides.
  9. Swing the robot legs back and down, then swing the skids on them in.
  10. Separate the legs from one another.
  11. Swing the robot arms forward, then swing the fists out and rotate the forearms forward.
  12. Swing the robot head up.
  13. Rotate the waist section around, then rotate each thigh around.
  14. Attach a rifle and the "Shutter armor" to Spectro (the red one).
  15. Attach the Flash bulb, a rifle and one of the shields to Spyglass (the blue one with red on the feet).
  16. On each of the Viewfinder armor pieces, swing the T shaped pieces out, then attach the T shaped pieces to the slots that flank the robot head on Viewfinder. Then attach one of the rifles and shields to the figure.

Refraktor Sculpt

The three team members that make up the Refraktor team are all identical sculpts. This section of the review will focus on this base sculpt and then each individual character section below will focus on the decos and distinguishing features/accessories.

Robot Mode:
In the G1 cartoon, the animation model for Reflector was a rather generic looking robot made up mostly of rectangles and angular shapes. Their most distinctive features were the chests, which had a ten sided shape and "back packs" which then came up on either side of the robot head. The three were nearly identical, with only the "Viewfinder" member of the team having the camera lens in the middle of his torso.

This figure is based on this basic design using all of the elements described above. He even has a silhouette that is very close to the animation model, including having a wide chest that narrows at the mid-body before widening out around the hips and the details that come up on either side of the head.

All that said, there is a ton of sculpted detail on this sculpt that the animation model did not have. This includes a complex set of mechanical details on the panels inside the chest, plenty of details on the arms, waist and legs. Even from a distance he looks like he has some nice, complex detail. Overall the sculpt is absolutely fantastic.

There are an awesome twenty four points of articulation on this sculpt, including five on each arm and six on each leg. If you want to count the ability of the arms to swing back, you can add two points to that total count. This sculpt has six 5mm ports to attach extra accessories. Four are on the arms, two are on the legs. This is in addition to the fist holes. Technically each inner leg also has a port but that does not make much sense to use in this mode. As part of the Siege line, the Refraktor sculpt also has three pegs that allow you to attach Blast Effects. One is on the right shoulder and there is one on each lower leg. Two ports on the bottom of his feet also allow you to attach Blast Effects to make it look like he is flying! I love how much play value there is in this figure.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the accessories and set them aside for now.
  2. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  3. Swing each fist into the forearms.
  4. Swing the robot head back.
  5. Rotate the waist piece around.
  6. Swing each robot foot down.
  7. Rotate each leg so the back of each leg faces the other.
  8. Swing out the skids.
  9. Attach one of the pegs on the back of a rifle to the 5mm port on the bottom of one foot, then line the other foot up and push them together.
  10. Rotate each elbow/forearm section inward so the 5mm ports on the forearms are facing forward.
  11. Swing the arms back and clip them into position.
  12. Swing the chest up, then swing out the clear panel inside.
  13. Swing the chest piece down, clipping the tabs on the clear section into the corresponding slots on the lower legs.
  14. Attach one of the zoom lens shields to the top of the vehicle towards the back.
  15. Attach one of the "Bioscale Compression Rotors" to the very back of the vehicle.

Vehicle Mode:
The Refraktor sculpt's vehicle mode is what I like to call a "Because we said so." mode. This is presumably an aerial vehicle of some sort. In my mind I imagine it being an attack vehicle, partly because of the rifle sticking out in the front. The camera lens/shield piece in the back gives the impression of a giant thruster engine and there are "cockpit windows" in the middle. It helps that Siege takes place on Cybertron in the past, so this form can be as alien as Hasbro wants. Indeed, this is perhaps one of the least "Earth-like" vehicles in the whole line.

There are six 5mm ports in this mode. Two are on top, two on the bottom and two on the sides. There are also two 5mm pegs, one on each side towards the back. All three pegs for Blast Effects can be used here as well.

Spectro

Spectro is the member of this team that stands out the most color-wise. While Spyglass and Viewfinder are both shades of blue, Spectro is a combination of black, red and silver colors. These colors come right from his G1 action figure counterpart and they look great together. On top of those plastic colors, red and silver paint are used to fill in additional details. Each member of this team has a unique paint pattern. In Spectro's case, the inside of the chest panel is painted black and there is a silver Decepticon symbol on top. On top of that, his knees have "L" shapes painted silver and both feet are painted entirely silver.

While it is not based on G1 Spectro, the use of the "Shutter Armor" on one of Spectro's arms also helps to distinguish him from the other two figures in this set.

Spyglass

Spyglass' colors are largely based on his G1 counterpart. This includes heavy use of a beautiful metallic blue for the top part of the figure, with silver used for the lower legs. The inside of the chest panel is painted yellow, helping to distinguish him from Viewpoint (who is also blue). The thighs are painted silver, which calls back to the vacuum metallized thighs on G1 Spyglass. Red paint on the top of the feet is another callback as G1 Spyglass had red stickers on his feet. While simple, the deco on this figure calls back to G1 Spyglass nicely and looks great.

In terms of accessories, Spyglass is distinguished as the character who uses the Flash bulb in this form. You can have him hold it in his hand or attach it to his arms or legs.

Viewfinder

Viewfinder is mostly made up of a dark, flat blue color and silver parts. His chest window has silver and green painted inside and he has some metallic blue painted onto the lower legs. His face is painted silver and the eyes are red. In this respect, he is the member of this boxed set that comes closest in deco to the animation model from G1 (but really, the mass release version is the one based directly on that model). This deco also calls back to the G1 Viewfinder figure, especially with the "Viewfinder Armor" attached. When you have that armor attached it really distinguishes him from the other two members of the team and it calls back to the G1 toy at the same time.

Final Thoughts:
This set is spectacular. I love the deco, the additional accessories and even the packaging. Hasbro knocked it out of the park with this boxed set. Highly recommended!

Pros:

  • Additional accessories are awesome.
  • The deco on each figure looks fantastic.
  • Great articulation and play factor on each figure.
  • Kremzeek is a really fun bonus.
  • Spectacular packaging.

Cons:

  • The $69.99 price tag may put some fans off, but honestly it is worth it.