Series: Generation 1 One's ultimate truth lies in one's molecular structure.
Unquenchable thirst for knowledge... seeks it to exclusion of all else... Main role is to study the best ways the Autobots can adapt to Earth. Extremely smart. Scientific specialties are metallurgy, molecular chemistry, electrical engineering. As microscope, capable of powerful magnification. Lens barrel converts to powerful light cannon. Carries concussion rifle in robot mode. Absent minded. Lenses are his weakest part.
The first thing I noticed about Perceptor's robot mode is that his face looks more like that of Optimus Prime than that of the Cartoon Perceptor. Most of it is hidden by a mouthplate. Hm. The second thing I noticed is that Perceptor is surprisingly posable for a G1 robot. The knees bend, the thighs twist, the shoulders and elbows work, all in all Perceptor is pretty bendy. The one thing that prevents him from doing any dramatic poses is that he can't bend his legs forward or backward at the hips, only sideways. If not for that limitation, Perceptor might have ranked among the most posable G1 robots period.
Apart from his face the only thing that differentiates Perceptor from his cartoon counterpart is the blue colours he sports, in the cartoon he's all red and black. Still, the blue looks good on him, so no complaints.
The big lens on his shoulder doubles as Perceptor's primary weapon. It's also his main weak spot. The joint that allows the lens to be positioned on either shoulder is rather weak and doesn't hold all that firmly anymore. I imagine a lot of Perceptors have a broken joint here. Thankfully mine is still holding together well, but not as well as it once did.
Apart from his big lens/cannon Perceptor comes with an additional handgun and a missile launcher. Quite the arsenal for an Autobot who insists he's not a fighter. Anyway, Perceptor fits in well size-wise with the other Autobots of that time, being one who is actually pretty much in scale (at least in robot mode). So all in all, a pretty decent robot mode. Now if only they'd made the legs so he could bend them forward at the hip...
Perceptor's primary alternate mode, and the only one that was seen in the comics and the cartoon, is a microscope. Now the last time I actually saw a real microscope was back in school, so it's been a while, but judging from memory I'd say the likeness is pretty good. Granted, I've never seen a red microscope before, but why not? You can actually look through the lens here, though there is no magnification worth mentioning. All in all one of the better tool-and-equipment alternate modes I've yet seen among Transformers. Pretty good.
Perceptor's second and rarely seen alternate mode is that of a tank / cannon. You'd almost think it was an afterthought if not for the tank threads sculpted into Perceptor's legs, but it does look pretty decent. It's actually not much more than the microscope tilted backwards, but whatever. I like this cannon mode and it's of perfect size to be manned by a Minibot or other small Transformers. Would have been even better if there'd been some way of mounting Perceptor's remaining weaponry in this mode, but still, a pretty good tertiary mode.
Perceptor was introduced in the second season of the G1 cartoon and he was the 'brainy one' of the Autobots, replacing Wheeljack as the Autobots' number one scientist. Not a warrior by choice, he could nevertheless hold his own when absolutely necessary. He endured past the Movie (1986) and remained the top brain on Cybertron until the end of the third season. Even swapping brains with a very Geisha-like female alien robot didn't faze him much.
As a figure Perceptor is quite good, though not as good as he could have been. A sturdier joint for the shoulder cannon / lens and more articulate hip joints and I might have placed him at the very top of the G1 figures. As it is he's still very good, no doubt about it. So if you can get a complete Perceptor complete with everything, don't hesitate to grab him. He's worth it.