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I'm sort of in a happy middle ground. G1, Cybertron, whatever. As long as it is a cool robot, I'm in. 

But if it turns into something else, I want it to LOOK like it does. If there's clever engineering to make sure all the car/jet/cassette player parts disappear in robot mode, that is a negative to me, as I consider the alt-mode kibble an essential part of a transforming robot.

 

This DOES mean I tend to look down on the "fake radiator" that a lot of Optimus toys use for the robot abs. I want the truck radiator to be the ab radiator.

I tend to turn a blind eye towards it on Powermaster Prime, though it did bug the heck out of me when PM Prime was new and became my first Optimus, and he had an entire second truck front for his small robot mode.

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1 hour ago, JB0 said:

I tend to turn a blind eye towards it on Powermaster Prime, though it did bug the heck out of me when PM Prime was new and became my first Optimus, and he had an entire second truck front for his small robot mode.

Right?  I remember being half excited to have an Optimus that looked way more like the cartoon than the original toy (which I didn't have, but sometimes pretended the Ultra Magnus cab I did have was Optimus, so...), but even then I thought it was lame that he had a fake truck on his front and the real truck on his back.

Of course, now that I've seen Masterforce I write it off as cartoon-accurate Ginrai.

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7 hours ago, JB0 said:

But if it turns into something else, I want it to LOOK like it does. If there's clever engineering to make sure all the car/jet/cassette player parts disappear in robot mode, that is a negative to me, as I consider the alt-mode kibble an essential part of a transforming robot.

Some of the recent car bots were a turn off for me due to the "backpack" problem. Yes, the bot looks great, very G1 cartoon -- as long as the back isn't visible.

Sometimes I view it as "cheating" and the toy is sort of a "shell-former".

It has come to a stage that I wish the backpack could be detached for a cleaner bot look. :p

 

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18 hours ago, nhyone said:

Some of the recent car bots were a turn off for me due to the "backpack" problem. Yes, the bot looks great, very G1 cartoon -- as long as the back isn't visible.

Sometimes I view it as "cheating" and the toy is sort of a "shell-former".

It has come to a stage that I wish the backpack could be detached for a cleaner bot look. :p

 

Yeah, I don't care for shell-forming much. Car parts should be PART of the robot, not worn over it like Solid Snake wears a cardboard box. 

Exceptions if there's a really good concept on display other than "wearing the car like a turtle shell" or "hang-gliding from the bottom of a jet".

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4 minutes ago, David Hingtgen said:

It comes with a whole extra separate Combiner Hunter Arcee?

That's what it says on the box.

I'm not really into the Legends-class stuff, but I have to admit that IF's Bruticus looks really cool.

Hey @Kuma Style, you wouldn't happen to know how it scales with DX9's Hulkie, would you?

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1 hour ago, mikeszekely said:

That's what it says on the box.

I'm not really into the Legends-class stuff, but I have to admit that IF's Bruticus looks really cool.

Hey @Kuma Style, you wouldn't happen to know how it scales with DX9's Hulkie, would you?

I own Hulkie so I can find out. Give me a day or so and I'll add it to the review photos when I get started. 

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Great photos of some great looking figures, Kuma.

Gotta say though, I still don't get the whole pelvic thrust meme that has become prevalent with a lot of TF figures- it looks odd to me, personally. Ah well, to each his own. 

Some serious talent working for these third parties; if someone had told me there'd be toys on par, or sometimes better, than official on the market 15, 20 years ago, I wouldn't have believed it, just because of the logistics, know-how, and tech involved in producing complex toys of this nature. We live in fortunate times as collectors and as fans. Still get giddy when I look at my Fanstoys Phoenix and Dinobots- awesomeness.

For those like me who only get to experience these figures through photography and reviews, thanks Kuma, Mike, and all you other folks who contribute. Much appreciated.

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Pelvic thrust isn't a meme. It's a nod to Japanese mecha; particularly ones designed by obari. It's also a show of superior abdominal articulation on a figure. If you Google obari pose you'll probably recognize a few from product photos you've seen! And btw, thank you, man.

I agree, that it's an insane time to be a transformer collector. The options are seemingly endless. 

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Obari's not a name I was familiar with; 'preciate the enlightenment. A general Google search of Obari-san's work really didn't bring up any good examples of the pose in question, but no matter. The influence is quite notable among numerous Japanese figure displays, so I gather it's been around for some time. Moreover, far be it from me to complain about any sort of articulation after growing up with 80's articulation, or lack thereof more often than not. Anyways, thanks for the info-knowing is half the battle.;)

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Yep. Absoltely. Masami''s creations have been around for some time.

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The full written review for FansHobby's Power Baser is up and I think it may be my longest article to date. http://kumastyledesigns.com/fanshobby-power-baser-review/

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The gallery got taken down to about 30 pics which will probably keep expanding as I can't stop messing with this guy. Definitely check it all out and I'd love to know you guys' thoughts on it as well. Here are a few snaps from the gallery portion:

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Nice how the core Optimus tidies up with the trailer panels to make that backpack. Clean and efficient. That core OP by itself makes me happy- love those feet with the vents. Pretty sweet figure. I wish Takara's had been more in line with this.

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I guess I'm a little late to the party with this one, but tonight I'm going to take a look at MMC's OX REmix Jaguar, which is an alternative take on a Masterpiece Ravage.

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It's not often that you get a 3P willing to make a figure of a character Takara already did.  And when you do, like Maketoys' Meteor, it's going to be pretty close in size because, hey, that's the official scale, right?  So the first thing you're likely to notice here is that Jaguar is significantly bigger than the actual MP Ravage.  As you're probably aware, MP Ravage transforms into a microcassette, same as the G1 toy.  Jaguar transforms into a full-sized cassette, though.  You might ask, if the official Ravage is also the official scale, why would anyone want a Ravage that big?  Instead, I'd ask if the official Ravage is actually to scale, or if they just made the tapes microcassette-sized so they'd fit in Soundwave?  To be honest, I don't know where Ravage officially fit on the scale chart.  I do know that I've seen episodes where Ravage was roughly a little longer than the Spike is tall, based on how he looked pouncing on him.  But I also saw episodes where he was roughly knee-high to Starscream or Soundwave, or big enough for Sideswipe to need both arms to hold him.  If that's the case, then Ravage wouldn't be as long as a human is tall, he'd be as tall as a human is tall.

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If your mental image of Ravage is of him pouncing on Spike, then there's a good chance that you're OK with MP Ravage's size.  But, if your mental image of Ravage is Soundwave giving a knee-high Ravage a pat on the head, guess what?  Jaguar is knee-high to MP Soundwave.

But enough about size, let's talk aesthetics.  Aesthetically, Jaguar looks a lot more cat-like than the official MP.  He's lacking the panels on the MP's legs, and his rear upper legs actually look like legs.  His color is a bit more toy than cartoon, though, with silvery forelegs and black upper legs, although he does have cartoon red eyes.  In fact, all those silver parts are diecast, while the black is plastic and the rockets on his hips are chromed plastic.  Aside from a little silver on his shoulders, red eyes, red inside his mouth, and white fangs, he's fairly devoid of paint and color, but that's pretty much accurate to the character.  Really, the only strike against Jaguar aesthetically is that, due to his engineering, his torso is split from waist to neck.  The halves don't actually tab together, and that leaves a bit of a gap between them.

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This is the part of the review where I talk about accessories.  I could tell you that Jaguar doesn't have any; like the official MP, his hip rockets are attached and built into his transformation.  You also know that I'm not one of those reviewers who likes to talk about the box a toy comes in.  This time, though, I'm going to say that the box is an accessory.  MMC packages Jaguar in cassette mode, and his box is a cassette case.  In fact, the cover isn't just the box art; the liner notes where the lyrics would be are where MMC printed the instructions.  Now, if you were born after 1995 you might be scratching your head and shrugging, but if you're old enough to have watched the original Transformers cartoon when you were a kid then you're probably thinking this packaging is brilliant.

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Jaguar's articulation is kind of odd.  Jaguar's head is on a ball-joint that can't really look up, but it can tilt down a little, tilt sideways a little, or look sideways a little.  The back of his head is on two sliding parts, and sliding out just one side lets him look a little further to the side.  His neck is on a pair of ball joints, one for each half.  They can be used to give him a little more sideways and downward tilt.  However, those ball joints are at the end of large shafts running through his torso to roughly where those two bumps on his back are.  So, using the ball joints for articulation causes those shafts to move around each other, not unlike the two bones in your forearm do when you swivel your wrist.  At the most extreme twisting part of his back will start to move up while the other half moves down, giving him something akin to a waist swivel.  The resulting motion feels more limiting than the usual hinges and swivels you might find on a toy, but also rather natural or organic.

Finishing off the articulation, his tail can move up just a little higher than level with his butt or down all the way, and his jaws can open and close.  His front hip/shoulders are on ball joints so they can rotate, butterfly backward, or splay a little.  His front elbow/knees are double hinges and range from straighter than a real cat to paws on top of his shoulders.  Speaking of paws, the front paws are on hinges for up/down tilt and ball joints for 360 degrees of ankle tilt/wrist swivel.  His rear hips are also on ball joints for rotation and splaying, although they lack the butterfly motion.  The rockets can rotate on the hip, so no matter how you pose his hips they can still point parallel to the ground.  His rear knees bend between having his lower legs roughly parallel with the upper leg to putting his toes on his hips.  There's a hinge at the end of his lower leg that moves his digitgrade ankle up and down from parallel to the lower leg to perpendicular to the lower leg.  The rear paws are on a ball joint that gives him plenty of up/down tilt, a little ankle tilt, and an ankle swivel.  Finally, due to his transformation he's got double hinges in his torso that give him a back arch/ab crunch.  All-in-all, it's a step up from the official toy.

Jaguar can't use is accessory in cat mode.

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As I previously mentioned, Jaguar turns into a full-sized cassette.  I think the engineering here is pretty incredible; MMC found a way to start with the shape of a cassette and turn it into a cat that's far more cat-like than any official attempt.  What's more, jaguar has the same cassette shape on both sides; the official MP had the microcassette look down on one side but was a gappy mess on the other.  The one aesthetic complaint I'd have is that Jaguar's a very bland rectangle.  Fortunately, MMC partnered with Reprolabels to rectify that.  I'm not always big on putting stickers on MP-style toys, aside from faction symbols (and emergency vehicle markings, but that's another story), but with Jaguar it's practically a necessity.  Due to how he transforms most of the labels aren't even visible on the front half of Jaguar's body in cat mode.

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Being a full-sized cassette does mean that Jaguar doesn't fit inside Soundwave's chest, nor do I foresee a time when someone makes their own MP Soundwave that retains the robot mode size and cartoon proportions of the official and can somehow accommodate a full-sized cassette.  On one level, this is perhaps the biggest strike against Jaguar; Soundwave's tapes go in his chest, right?  I don't think it really bothers me, though.  For one, even as a kid watching the cartoon I assumed the cassettes grew (or mass shifted) before transforming.  For two, is anyone really interested in displaying Soundwave with tapes in him?  On my Decepticon shelf I have Soundwave with all of his tapes out and in their non-tape modes, and in light of displaying them like that the discussion again moves away from "what fits in Soundwave's chest?" to "what looks more correct in non-tape mode with the other MP Decepticons?"

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By the way, his tape mode does interact with his accessories.  You just stuff him inside, then close it.

Jaguar is a tough recommend.  If you bought MP Soundwave, especially if you bought the Hasbro one, you already have an MP Ravage.  One that's more human-scale, and fits into Soundwave's chest, if those are things that matter to you.  Plus, I really don't care for how his upper torso is formed with that gap, and some of the tolerances (especially his rear hips) are a little scary tight.  I also think he's a little expensive for what you get; honestly, I'd have traded the diecast in his legs for plastic if it'd have knocked $20 off.

However, what Jaguar delivers is a much more cat-like figure, with better articulation, at a size you might find more appealing if you think the official is too small.  Ultimately, that's where I fit in.  I think he's an improvement over the official toy on every level, and while I do wish he were a little cheaper I don't regret buying him, especially since MMC are doing the other Season 1 and 2 cassettes.  While I personally think that the official Laserbeak and Buzzsaw look perfect and are just the right size, I do expect that I'll be picking up MMC's Rumble and Frenzy, and would like to see them tackle Ratbat, too.

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1 hour ago, mikeszekely said:

  As you're probably aware, MP Ravage transforms into a microcassette, same as the G1 toy.  Jaguar transforms into a full-sized cassette, though.  You might ask, if the official Ravage is also the official scale, why would anyone want a Ravage that big? 

Obviously, the PROPER scale is the five-foot-wide super-cassette that comes out of Soundwave's robot chest.  I won't settle for a Ravage smaller than a VHS tape!

 

 

In seriousness, I'm just saying that Soundwave and his children present unique scale issues.

Also, the packaging is brilliant!

Edited by JB0
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The packaging is great- very apropos with just the right bit of nostalgia with that liner. Jaguar for me was, like MP Prowl, a dream toy. Ravage was always my favorite cassette bot, but the MP version left me feeling disappointed, especially after the condors were as nigh perfect as you can get at that size. Jaguar filled that void very well, and scale notwithstanding, he's pretty much the Ravage toy I've always wanted. For Ravage fans, he's a hard recommend from me; however, if you're rigidly of the mind that scale is very important, then he's likely not going to suit your sensibilities. Add to that, as Mike mentioned, he's a little pricey for the size. 

I've got MMC's Condor cassettes on PO, as well as their Rumble ( the blue one). I could live without the powered pile drivers, but I guess it's cool that they made that a feature. Like the MP Rumble and Frenzy, I'll probably install them once and then back in the box for eternity.

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The MMC tapes feel very expensive for their size. That further limits their appeal.

Plus I already got MP-15 and MP-16.

It wasn't until I saw MMC Frenzy/Rumble that I became interested in Jaguar. At that time, I slapped my head and went, "of course!"

(I always thought the tapes were too small in robot mode, except for the birds.)

I don't see Jaguar at the usual TaoBao stores I go to, so probably I have to wait for him to be reissued.

The condors look a bit off to me. It's not just a scale issue. If they were available individually, I might get one. But both together are just too expensive.

Even for the MMC Frenzy/Rumble, they cost US$76 (500 yuan) each before shipping, so I'll get just one. Somehow, I prefer the purple one and I know him as Frenzy. :p

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No denying MMC's cassettes are pricey, esp for their size, but I've always had a fascination with the cassettes, and these things are little engineering marvels. I hope they make them all in this scale.

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7 hours ago, nhyone said:

I don't see Jaguar at the usual TaoBao stores I go to, so probably I have to wait for him to be reissued.

Yeah, he's sold out at most places, but last I looked you can get him from Planet Steel Express.

7 hours ago, nhyone said:

The condors look a bit off to me. It's not just a scale issue.

I know what you mean. Ultimately the official Laserbeak and Buzzsaw look right to me. I'd consider MMC's for the novelty, but they're not priced at a novelty price.

7 hours ago, nhyone said:

Even for the MMC Frenzy/Rumble, they cost US$76 (500 yuan) each before shipping, so I'll get just one.

I'm still in for both. I've heard people suggest they'd rather have them cheaper and skip the piledrivers... I'll meet them halfway. Rumble (the purple one) should come with them, since he was in the cartoon and used them often. I'll probably display him with them. Frenzy, though, could be cheaper and do without.

1 hour ago, Scyla said:

I hope MMC does a Ratbat. MP Ratbat with his unnecessary accessory was a bad  move by Takara. :)

Yes! As a kid I was collecting the Marvel comics around the time Fuel Auditor Ratbat took control of the Decepticons, so I'm all for a bigger, better Ratbat toy.

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So I went ahead and ordered Fans Hobby Archenemy. Let's see if it gets to me before Christmas and if I like him once I have him in hand.

I really want to experience a Fans Hobby toy since they seem to get so much praise in the reviews and on the boards. Archenemy has the added bonus that he fits right into my Nemesis Prime/Black Convoy/Scourge collection I'm curating. 

Let's see how it goes I'm excited. 

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19 hours ago, Scyla said:

So I went ahead and ordered Fans Hobby Archenemy. Let's see if it gets to me before Christmas and if I like him once I have him in hand.

I really want to experience a Fans Hobby toy since they seem to get so much praise in the reviews and on the boards. Archenemy has the added bonus that he fits right into my Nemesis Prime/Black Convoy/Scourge collection I'm curating. 

Let's see how it goes I'm excited. 

In all honesty, I think I  Fans Hobby really upped their game with Power Baser to the point where outside of aesthetic similarities, they almost feel like a different company/designer. The engineering is just that much "different." However, I really think up until this they've built a solid, and easy to handle product.

I'm just putting that out there because owning all of their stuff, Power Baser really made it hard to judge the overall company on a single piece because it seems to set a different standard that I don't even know if they'll keep going forward. I'm looking forward to your thoughts regardless.

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7 hours ago, valhary said:

mine is on the way I can't wait hope arrive for christmas day:D

Even if my retailer got them in stock tomorrow I doubt I'd get mine before 2018.

I got something else today, though.  This is (the reissue of) Andras, X-Transbots take on a Masterpiece Scourge.

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That sure is a Scourgy-looking fellow.  The very light blue could have arguably been white, but I think it's actually a fairly good match for the cartoon.  Similarly, the primary blue clor on him could have been a little more purple.  The goatee, the collar, the pink finger tips, the red tips of his toes, the dark inside of his wings, the darker stripe in the middle of his chest, all present.  His wings have the correct scalloped shape, something I've yet to see any other version of Scourge manage.  His got the light knees with the blip of darker blue, the light diamond shape on his thighs, and the light ridged areas on his forearms, biceps, and abdomen.  His got the circular bits with the red in the center on his shoulders, hips, and the inside of his ankles.  really, he's just missing the ones on the outside of his ankles, and the his calves are the super light blue/white instead of his primary blue, but I'll forgive him because this guy had to transform somehow.  I guess the only other thing I'd note is that the eyes are a little dead, but this is due to a light-up gimmick.  If you have the right batteries, a switch on the nacelle on top of his head will cause it and his eyes to light up red.  Nitpicks aside, aesthetically this is a very accurate Scourge.

Size wise, he's maybe a smidge taller than a Seeker, and a head shorter than DX9's Tyrant (and presumably Sovereign).  That seems about right.

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Andras comes with a flight stand, a rifle that's very evocative of the G1 toy, and another gun that looks kind of stupid and not very accurate to the G1 version.

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It is, of course, his Targetmaster buddy, Rimfire, aka Fracas.  Rimfire's robot mode looks a lot better and more accurate in robot/humanoid mode.  He sizes fairly well with Carry's Targetmaster, yet is taller than MP-08's or MP Artfire's and much taller than Contact Shot's.  Sorry, I don't know how his size compares with any other 3P Targetmaster.

As far as articulation goes, Rimfire can swivel his head.  His shoulders are on ball joints in his chest for rotation and some lateral movement, but he's also got a detented hinge for lateral movement as well, allowing him near 180 degrees of total lateral range.  His elbows are double-jointed and can curl all the way to his biceps.  No bicep, wrist, or waist swivels.  His hips are ball joints and can move forward, backward, or laterally about 90 degrees.  You can also twist the thigh on the ball joint for just a taste of thigh swivel.  His knees are also ball joints, so he can swivel there and bend 180 degrees.  His feet are hinged and can move up a bit and down a lot, but no ankle tilt.  His heel spurs are on a separate hinge.  All-in-all, he makes for a pretty neat little robot dude.

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As for Andras, his head is on a swivel for turning.  I think there might be a hinge in his neck, but his up/down range is basically nonexistant.  His shoulders rotate on ratchet, and a hinge gives him 90 degrees of lateral movement.  His biceps swivel.  He's got double-jointed elbows that curl all the way to his bicep.  His wrists can swivel.  Each finger and thumb connects to the hand via a tiny ball joint.  The thumb has one additional pinned hinge, and each finger has two, so his hands are fully articulated.  His waist has a ratcheted swivel, but getting more than one click in either direction requires messing with his backpack.  His hips ratchet forward a little under 90 degrees and backward about 45 degrees.  They move laterally on friction joints a little under 90 degrees.  It's worth noting that on my copy the friction on the right hip feels good, but the left hip is a little loose.  His thighs swivel over the joints, so they don't break up the sculpt of the thighs.  His knees are double-jointed.  The upper joint, a friction joint, only bends a little, but combined with the lower ratchet joint you can get just a bit over 90 degrees.  Then there's his feet, which are kind of weird.  There's a ratchet at the top of the foot that can tilt his foot up and down.  His heel has its own ratcheted joint to move it up and down.  The front of his foot has a friction hinge that moves it up and down, and his toe has another friction hinge that moves it up and down.  How well Andras stands is determined by how you manipulate all four joints.  Get any of them off a bit and he'll tip over backward, but if you get them all in just the right position he could remain standing in an earthquake.  There's also a hinge for inward ankle tilt.  In theory he gets an extreme 75+ degree tilt.  In practice, the hinges in both feet are pretty weak, and the weight of the figure and the position of the hinge tend to push the foot back into a straight position.

His wings do have some articulation.  That can rotate back and forth at the transformation hinge, and a ratcheted swivel lets him spread his wings about three clicks.

Both of his weapons have tabs on the handles that are meant to fit slots on his palms.  In my case, the slots in his palms were slightly too narrow.  Once I sanded them down a bit both guns fit very snugly into his hands.

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If you don't want them in his hands, either gun (but not both) can be stored on his back.

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Andras has a few other gimmicks, and I do mean gimmicks.  The first is a door that opens on his chest, revealing another set of doors.  Once they're opened, you'll have a cavity that you can fit MP-10's Matrix into.  This door can also be accessed in vehicle mode.  The other gimmick is that his abs flip open to reveal... well, it's supposed to be the key to the plasma energy chamber.  Except I remember the key being more pyramidal; in some scenes it looked smooth on the sides, in other scenes it was a step pyramid, but it defintiely seemed to be a square base with four sides to me.  This non-removable thing in Andras' tummy is round with little bumps.  It looks to me like he's keeping a little coil of cyber-poop in his tummy.

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Andras turns into... whatever Scourge turned into.  Starship?  Rocket sled?  Space boat?  I dunno what it is, but I dig it.  Even as a kid I lamented that the new Autobots weren't real cars anymore, but I always liked Scourge's (and Cyclonus') alt mode(s).  And Andras is nice and cartoon-accurate again, with the deck sweeping upward to a taller nacelle flanked by two lower ones and the intake vents on the sides.  My one and only complaint about this mode is that while the very light blue/white is correct, the regular blue and the dark blue are inverted.  His alt mode should be the same color that dominates his robot mode, while the tips of the nacelles and the two lighter panels should be the same dark blue as the inside of his wings.  I wonder if XTB did it like that because the blue they used for his primary color isn't purple enough?

One thing to be aware of is that almost all of the very light blue is actually paint, and due to how the panels lock together I've already noticed places where the paint is wearing off.

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XTB put Andras' head on a sliding pole inside his body.  What this does is allow Andras to stick up his head while in alt mode, so you can recreate those scenes where he did it in the show.

Flipping Andras over, we can see that he's got fold-out landing gear and lots of molded, painted details that I assume are some kind of thrusters for VTOL.  If we open one side up, you can see that there's a little notch that you can tab his rifle in.  Unfortunately, there's not enough space to fit his Targetmaster in there, but still I love me some out-of-the-way weapon storage that isn't just plugging the gun into the top of the vehicle.

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Of course, being a Targetmaster, plugging a weapon into the top of the vehicle is part of the gimmick, and XTB has you covered there too.  Since both the Targetmaster and his rifle uses the same kind of handle you can plug in his regular rifle instead, if you so choose.  As for his flight stand, there's a tab at the top.  His crotch has a spring-loaded panel that pushes in, revealing a slot that fits onto the stand's tab.

There's one thing I have to talk about with this figure, and that's the transformation.  For the most part, it's pretty simple.  However, there's one thing that's a significant issue and that's is feet.  Basically, the very front of the vehicle are his calves, and in alt mode they're folded out 180 degrees.  To transform him, you fold them in about half way, then you're supposed to stick a finger in there and jam his feet out before folding them the rest of the way up.  The problem is that his feet are folded up in just such a way that what you're really doing is sticking a finger into a confined space to push on a hard ratchet as you force the foot through a gap that has the absolute minimum of clearance to do so.  It's awkward and frustrating, and that one element kind of sucks the fun out of what would otherwise but a simple and fun transformation, and it was totally avoidable.  All XTB had to do was put another hinged panel at the base of the part to allow it to open up more and give the foot more clearance.

Wrong alt-mode colors and frustrating feet aside, I'm going to give Andras a recommend.  Simple fact is (and despite XTB's reputation), Andras is still a well-built, adequately articulated figure that absolutely captures Scourge in robot mode.  Inverted color aside, he nails the alt mode pretty well, too.  I don't see anyone else lining up to do an MP Scourge, let alone an MP Scourge that so completely captures the character.  Now, should someone like Maketoys, Fans Toys, or DX9 come along with one eventually I'll be curious.  I'll try to see how it shakes out, and it if it turns out to be better than Andras I'd upgrade.  But if they don't, I'm pretty content with this one.

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