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D-20 AUTOLAUNCHER

Series: Beast Wars II
Allegiance: Destron
Categories: Autoroller
Year: 1998


An expert with a speargun. Quite the glory hog for a bodyguard, he will neglect Galvatron's safety to be the first into the enemy camp, which has gotten him chewed out by his captain, Autostinger. The disc launcher in his chest also has a timer function, launching discs deep into enemy bases and then exploding them. He is rivals with his fellow "discmaster" Mantis.


Robot Mode: Autolauncher is a figure defined by his gimmick, the auto-transformation into vehicle mode. As a result most of him is a brick. He has very articulate arms and can turn his head, but everything else is immobile. And unlike some of the other Auto-Rollers, he also looks like a brick, to be honest. A huge brick thatís also that exact shade of fire-engine red thatís really hard to photograph.

Apart from his auto-transformation gimmick, Autolauncher has another gimmick built into his chest. You can load black discs into a launcher via an opening sitting before his head. The discs can then be fired from a slit in his chest, the firing mechanism being activated by his front wheels (for automatic firing when rolling in vehicle mode). Additionally he has two guns beside his head and a small gun that fires the missiles / spears he carries on his back (or rather the back of his shoulders). Alternatively he can use the missiles as clubs.

Not much else I can write here. Autolauncher is just about the boxiest official Transformer I have ever seen, and that is not meant as a compliment. So despite his decent gimmicks, Iím not a fan of this mode.

Alternate Mode: Autolauncher transforms into a bright red APC (Armoured Personnel Carrier) with a gun turret on top. The transformation works automatically as it does with all Auto-Rollers. Depending on the position of the switch on the back of the vehicle (aka the robot heels) you need to roll him forward or backward to transform from robot to vehicle (and vice versa, of course). Still a great gimmick in my opinion. The resulting vehicle is very much like the robot, of course, a big red box. The detailing is quite decent, though, and Autolauncher makes for a good military vehicle.

The disc launcher gimmick from the robot mode works here as well, of course, as rolling the vehicle forward causes the discs to launch (or not, depending on the position of a switch). His robot mode gun is stored in the trunk of the vehicle and the spears / missiles remain on the arms, which now sit on the sides of the vehicle with the barrels on top of the shoulders forming additional weapons. So all in all a decent vehicle mode and a nicely implemented auto-transformation gimmick.

Remarks: The Auto-Rollers were the bodyguards of Galvatron during the BW2 series, but to my (admittedly limited) knowledge Autolauncher didnít really play a prominent role in the TV show. The Auto-Rollers were originally designed for the Generation 2 toyline, but only half of them were actually released. Autolauncher (who would have been blue in G2) and Autojetter ended up unreleased until the Auto-Rollers were dug up for use in Beast Wars II..

Of the four Auto-Roller figures, Autolauncher is the worst in my opinion. The gimmick works fine, no doubt, but while the other three managed to look more or less articulate in robot mode regardless, Autolauncher is basically just a big red square. I like the Auto-Roller gimmick, I like that disc launcher thing they gave him, but itís not really enough. I bought Autolauncher to complete my Auto-Roller group, but thatís the only reason. As a stand alone figure, I canít really recommend him.

Rating: C-



 


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Published 27.11.2012
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