In robot mode Overload looks like a mixture between G1 Ultra Magnus
and Ironhide (the former being his original name in Japan). Bulky and powerful, Overload's posability is okay, though not nearly as good as most other Armada toys. His chest and head in robot mode are formed by the Minicon Rollout, making him something of a Headmaster or Breastmaster (no joke, there were some Japanese toys that were called that). One drawback in this mode is that Overload doesn't have a weapon. Rollout can become one, but then Overload would be headless. There is one nice gimmick, though: When pusshing Rollout into Overload's chest you get the classic Transformation sound as a sound effect. Bottom line the robot mode is okay, but nothing too special.
Overload transforms into a futuristic-looking trailor, with Rollout becoming the towing vehicle. This mode doesn't really have much going for it, other than the ability to fit Jetfire's shuttle mode onto its back. Overload really shines when he transforms into his weapons pack mode in order to combine with Optimus Prime (see next paragraph).
The real play value of this toy lies in the many ways he can combine with Jetfire
and Optimus Prime
into another super-sized robot. Jetfire becomes the lower body, Optimus Prime becomes the upper body, and Overload transforms into a huge double-barrelled weapons pack that attaches to Optimus' shoulders. (Note: Overload can also combine with the super mode Optimus, where the trailer forms the lower body instead of Jetfire). This mode looks pretty cool, but the Jetfire legs are a bit too long and thin, IMO, especially when Overload gives the upper body of Prime so much added bulk. Still, it's cool just to put together the robots.
Overload can also combine with Optimus' trailer in base mode, giving the battle platform added firepower. It can also fit onto the lower body of Prime's supermode, but that variations does look a bit forced and strange and I'm not sure it was intended.
Finally Prime, Jetfire, and Overload can also combine in vehicle mode. Overload can carry Jetfire's shuttle mode and latch on to Optimus Prime's trailer as an additional load.
Partners / Add-Ons:
Overload comes with Rollout, who might just be the largest and most versatile of all Minicons. Apart from his robot mode, Rollout can turn into Overload's head and chest, a towing truck, or a dual-barelled weapon. He can do all that and still manages to look pretty decent in robot mode, too. The only problem is that his arms snap off rather easily. Still, definitely one of the better Minicons.
Overload doesn't do much as a stand-alone toy, having an average robot mode and a pretty bad vehicle mode. I'd probably never have bought him if not for all the fun you can have putting him together with Optimus Prime and Jetfire. Overload did appear in the cartoon, but not as a character but rather as a seemingly non-sentient weapons module for Optimus Prime to use in battle. That is all he is to me, too: An add-on to Optimus Prime, but in that role he shines.