This toy represents the first-ever release of the Transformers Victory character Galaxy Shuttle who, from most accounts, doesn't actually do much in the cartoons. The original Japanese toy was compatible with Micromasters stuff and other mini robots, but it saw very limited release outside Japan and given its generic name, didn't make much of a dent. It's kind of a miracle that he got a toy in 2022, helped no doubt by Victory Leo and Star Saber having been released via HasLab. Hasbro likes to have other, compatible toys on the shelves around the time the HasLab projects hit - and this was a good year for that.
The Victory line in Japan wasn't huge, and numerous modern toys exists based on the show. Entertainment Earth had the US exclusive on Liokaiser, Japan had an exclusive Greatshot toy a few years ago. We've had two pretty good Black Shadow (Sky Shadow) toys in the USA. Deathsaurus is coming, and I can't imagine Dinoforce are too far away given some recent announcements and reveal. Some of these characters got western comic appearances eventually, but Galaxy Shuttle remains a blank slate to anyone that missed out on later-G1 from Japan. So to most of you, he's just Autobot Astrotrain with a new head - and he's pretty good.
The short review: This is probably the last/only Galaxy Shuttle we'll ever get, so you may as well get it if you want a representation of the Japanese Transformers Victory character.
As the first repaint of Siege Astrotrain, he's improved. My sample of that toy had loose legs, while Galaxy Shuttle has decent tight joints. While it's true that Galaxy Shuttle doesn't have a train mode in Japan, and that the original and new toys really don't look much alike, there's a good chance we're never going to see another one. The colors seem to be good matches for the original, and it might be a good toy to get and keep since Hasbro will no doubt re-redo Astrotrain again some day.
The two toys' shuttle modes are pretty similar. It's a space shuttle, what would you expect? It's white with black trim, complete with Autobot symbols and some bolt markings. It's hard to get wrong. You can use the train's car as a launching pad with the 2022 release, which adds a little bit of play to the figure. I wish it had more play features, but most people buying this toy will be leaving it in robot mode permanently on a shelf.
Someone during development saw the train mode and said "ugh." This is good - the box art and renders show a largely unpainted train, while the final one is slathered in black to look like a cohesive rail vehicle rather than a weird jumble of parts with train bits slapped on the sides. Thanks to the unified color, it looks great! There are wheels and, again, the tender plugs right in. Everything looks good and fits well, although it can be a little tricky to get all the parts at the precise right angle. The tolerances are good, but could probably be a little better. It still seems better than my experiences with Astrotrain. There's not much you can do other than push him around and plug in the weapons - which isn't nothing, but it would be awesome to have more going on with a vehicle mode on a $56 toy.
The robot mode is pretty great, but doesn't look too much like the original 1989 toy's silhouette. You don't get pointy wings, there's no shuttle nose chest, and the leg coloring is very different. Thanks to the magic of pretools, you do get a pretty excellent head with a silver face and blue visor - which would make this a "good enough" release. The sculpted detail was good for a quasi-Cybertron, faux-Earth Astrotrain but it probably works better as a new (or reasonably unknown) character like Galaxy Shuttle. The powered-up mode adds tons of weapons and a backpack, plus elevator shoes. My Astrotrain was a little loose in the joints, so this tighter sample is much more fun to play with - he won't flop over! Plus the extra weapons are ridiculous fun. I like it, even if we are sort of spoiled for space shuttle toys in recent years.
If this were a BotCon toy, I'm sure a lot of fans would be happy to pay a premium for it - a new head, the right deco, it's not a bad attempt to give us an old toy with minimal new investment. The new one has enough articulation and gear to be fun, and since they fixed the joints to be tighter, I'm enjoying it. If you see it, I'd say get it. But if you buy it online, beware - Walmart's shipping partners put mine out in a padded envelope which isn't appropriate for small action figures and is very inappropriate for Hasbro's flimsy closed-boxes these days. The toy is fine but if you want a nice box, be sure to get it in person or from an online seller known for better packaging practices.
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