Guess what? I am
Friday, March 31, 2017
This is gonna sound cheesy, but dreams do come true.
As a child, I dreamt of Transformers that actually met or even exceeded my expectation. I wanted toys that would capture the true feats of engineering behind the Transformers I loved. I used to watch the cars out of the window of the back seat on the road trips to see my Grandmother in San Francisco. A red mini-van! A yellow VW bug! A red semi-truck! A silver 280Z! Once, I even saw a red Lamborghini Countach! I used to imagine those cars transforming into giant robots before my eyes. I swear I could see it In my head using my imagination.
Let’s face it, the original G1 transformer toys were really cool. But the screen accuracy compared to the cartoon left a little something to be desired. You got lucky if you had more than two points of articulation. They were fun because they were three toys in one: a puzzle, a car (or some other inanimate object) and a robot. All of that wrapped up together with the storyline from the cartoon and -bam!- an entire generation of kids were hooked.
Today, collectors and enthusiasts are lucky. The amount of detail, screen accuracy, articulation, and complexity of modern masterpiece Transformers is astounding. It channels that imaginative child in all of us that dreamed of more complex Transformers like these. The engineering of these Transformers by Fans Toys is mind blowing. Fans Toys have, once again, hit a grand slam out of the park!
It’s no secret that I am a big fan of the Dinobots. Fans Toys have delivered five amazing specimens here that are a perfect blend of G1 aesthetic with logical engineering. Both modes are perfect representations of the cartoon characters and the original toys that inspired them. They are, all five, true masterpieces in every sense of the word. Fully articulated in both modes they tower over their teammates. They are everything I imagined they would be when I was little. I dreamed of these, and now they are a reality.
I can’t see any other company coming close to such a feat, not even,Takara. I have seen other attempts by some companies, but they always have fallen short of the Masterpiece feel that Fans Toys just nails every time. With every figure I review, they cement their legacy as the premier third party company in the game. Dare I say, even more so than Takara itself?
The last two releases Grinder and Stomp are perfect figures fully earning their place in the Dinobots lineup. Grinder is in every way an improvement on Takara’s MP8. In some ways, less really is more. Gone is the weird gimmick of the tail moving the head in dino mode. Gone is the faction symbol revealed in robot mode. Gone is the built in electronics that don’t even allow MP8 to hold a gun or sword with an actual handle. All those things drove me nuts about that figure, and I ended up selling it a couple years back.
It's just a straightforward toy inspired transformation that is easily repeatable and endlessly enjoyable. There are also some additional options and some fixes for the other members of the crew. Soar and Scoria come with new face sculpts. While Sever comes with a new head. The best fix is die cast knee parts for Soar. I really appreciated this upgrade because I broke one of Soar’s gold knee panels the second time I transformed him. I forgot to untab one, and it snapped right off. Die cast is a nice improvement and makes more sense than the original fragile plastic tabs.
Articulation is off the charts, and you can get Grinder to strike any pose your heart desires. He has fully articulated hands, so he can hold his weapons properly. Stomp shares the same amount of posability, and there were no “fixes” included for these two. They have come from the factory perfect, and the design is excellent. All you need to do is apply the proper faction symbol; they look like they stepped off the screen and passed through the filter of your minds eye to take physical form in front of your face.
Grinder comes with raised eyebrows for the T-Rex head. I prefer this look, so I went with it. Light up guns, swords, and red eye color swaps round out the accessories. All of those swaps are standard with Fans Toys Dinobots. Die cast used in the proper places, including the feet, give them both stability and a solid construction.
You will not find a better representation of these characters. At least, not for the foreseeable future. Maybe TT will take another stab at the Dino crew, but I doubt it. If you're on the fence, then you need to get off the fence and go to www.bigbadtoystore.com to order your set today. You will fall in love with these characters all over again, and you might even fulfill your inner child’s dream of Dinobots. You’ll probably set them out and watch those first two Dinobot episodes again. Not that I did that or anything…
Posted by Hanchey at 1:10 PM
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Monday, October 31, 2016
Snarl debuted in the same episode as Swoop from season one of the Transformers, "War of the Dinobots". Chip Chase said," A Stegosaurus is a great model for a Dinobot." My brother had the original Snarl, and it was passed down to me. Although Snarl was slow and not very bright, he always seemed to be a quiet powerhouse.
Fans Toys has done a great job again. They've made another perfect Masterpiece style Dinobot with Sever. Make no mistake, Sever is the best version of a Masterpiece Snarl you will find. He comes with his sword and his gun, both based off his G1 model, just like Swoop. These weapons light up, and you can install batteries in these to get the full effect! This would be perfect for display! Eventually, I plan on making a cool diorama and mounting it to the wall to give all my MPs the display case they deserve.
Once again, Fan Toys delivers amazing articulation. All the articulation you would expect to need is supplied in spades. I love how Fan Toys gives them articulated fingers. Also, Sever has the addition of a usable waist swivel. I was impressed with the ingenious ankle tilts on the figure. He is a really solid Stegosaurus.
Sever's transformation is more complicated than Soar's. There are a couple moments when his back and his legs get blown apart and have to be reformed during his transformation. It is not as much transforming as it is parts shifting. It was a bit annoying to take it apart and put it back together. This reminded me of some of Badcube's Mp efforts. There is an unfolding and then recombining of parts in order to get his legs and tail out. It's not too bad, but it is a little unsettling when you have his legs all folded out. It would be easy in the moment to break a piece off. However, it does come back together nicely after the initial anxious moments. It feels sturdy once it is recombined.
Unlike Soar, Sever is mostly plastic. Only his toes and his abdomen are die cast metal. His transformation seems to require more plastic. There are quite a bit of moving parts. It is really something though when he is in Stegosaurus mode. All the work you do to get him there is worth it. I get a really big kick out of the fact that his Stego head's mouth can open and close. I was not expecting that so it really gave me that "hah" moment.
My quibbles are minor though and do not detract from the overall awesomeness of the figure. Sever is Masterpiece Snarl. Him standing with Soar and Stomp makes me nostalgic. I can't wait for Grinder and Cesium. I want to see all five Dinobots lined up next to each other in all their glory. Fans Toys has captured the aesthetic of those legendary dinos.
Posted by Hanchey at 8:25 AM
Saturday, October 15, 2016
Every kid I knew loved 'em! They combined two of our favorite things: dinosaurs and Transformers. What more could a kid ask for? I remember being blown away by them when I was five years old and they showed up on the original cartoon.
I could not wait to get my hands on them! I begged my Mom for the Brontosaurus Sludge when the original G1 toys came out. To this day, my favorite dino is a Brachiosaurus. I have a thing for the big Sauropods. Transformers were expensive back then (still are!), and we couldn't afford a lot of them. In fact, when my next door neighbor broke my older brother's Megatron my mom took it back to Sears and exchanged it for an Optimus Prime for me. I think my brother still resents me to this day!
I got Sludge, but that was the only Dinobot I ever got. My brother got Grimlock and Snarl, so he made out okay in the end. There was one Dinobot we both wanted though, and he proved to be impossible to find!
Swoop, the Pteranodon! I never saw him in stores. Now, truth be told, we lived in a tiny town in Idaho, so who knows. But still, he was our Holy Grail, and the stuff of legends. There was a rumor at church that a kid had one, but I never met him. Years later, in 2000, I discovered eBay, where I was able to buy him for $60. He was only missing his sword. It was a good find, and the beginning of my collection.
Fans Toys has done something wonderful with their Iron Dbots Line. FT Soar is truly a Masterpiece Transformer. The transformation is easy and very similar to the original G1 figure. One big difference I noticed immediately was that FT Soar's chest color is blue like the original cartoon and not red like the G1 toy. There is a version with the red chest for those who would like it, but I prefer the blue. Like most collectors, I prefer that my Mp's reflect the cartoon, are detailed, and have that Cybertonian tech vibe.
I owned MP8, but I sold 1 through 9 when MP10 came out. I liked MP8, but the scale left much to be desired. Let's just say, I am looking forward to Grinder.
Soar is hefty, which I noticed right away. Lots of die cast make him shockingly heavy! His proportions are really nice, and he is an impressive robot. All the right points of articulation are here. This gives you any possible pose your brain can conjure up. Fans Toys always delivers on the points articulation. His sword stores on his back and on his base. It's also a big plus that he comes with a wonderful clear base for display.
Bottom line: Soar is Masterpiece Swoop. Period. There are a couple different choices out there for Masterpiece Dinobots. Fans Toys has made the quintessential Masterpiece Swoop. I don't even think Takara could do any better! There really is no better choice. So head over to Big Bad Toy Store, and buy one for yourself.
Posted by Hanchey at 7:48 PM