So, with all the 3rd party options out there why would I choose FT-11 Spotter? For starters, I needed a Reflector to fill out my collection. Personally I just collect Season One of the G1 Cartoon Masterpiece Transformers. At one time I owned all the MPs 1 through 9, but when MP10 came out, I sold them. I rebooted my collection with MP10. I have since skipped any season 2 or 3 figures. It's been hard, but this keeps my spending under control. Its a lot easier to buy one or two figures a year. I needed to focus on one aspect of my collection. My wallet, and my wife demanded it!
I also chose Spotter because I don't think Takara will get around to an official release, at least not for many years. Fans Toys also has a good rep as far as 3rd party companies go. The only other 3rd party figure I own is XTransbots Apollyon. I liked the price and look of him. Now I consider him my Mp Megatron, so I figured I would give Fans Toys a shot.
First thing I noticed is that Fans Toys do not use the same quality plastic that Takara uses. It's a recycle 3, as apposed to 5 plastic. Not a big deal as long as you are not planning on burning him in an open flame. Still, it does feel a tad more flimsy. Another thing that bugs me about this figure is the use of Styrofoam in the packaging. I know that the old 80's toys came in Styrofoam, but this is a nod to the old toys that I wish that Fans Toys would not do.
The engineering is top notch though, as Spotter's transformation is fun and easily repeatable once memorized. There are a couple points were you must do the steps in the right order, but that is true of any Transformer, 3rd party or otherwise. The only part that is fiddly is the side characters back packs. You will need a small screw driver to get it right, but over all I would rate it about an 8 as far as fun and complication. The joints are all tight and he is built to last.
These figures really shine in regards to the figures articulation. All three figures have heads on a ball joint, a waist swivel, double jointed elbow and knee joints. They also have bicep swivels, ankle tilts and standard MP hands. Spotter also sports good shoulder joints and hip skirts to allow the hips to move on their ball joints. This allows Reflector to easily be placed in cool action poses.
He looks screen accurate and blends in perfectly with the Masterpiece aesthetic. I applied some Decepticon decals to their left shoulders and it looks like reflector walked straight out of the cartoon to stand with his fellow bots. This is a joy for any child of the 80's to behold. It brings a huge smile to my face, as well as a sense of completion. My original Nemesis/Ark Decepticon crew is complete!
The accessories he comes with are really a nice touch. At first I thought the lens and flash breaking up into weapons would not be interesting to me. This was not the case! Iit is really nice to have a use for these attachments. Basically the lens breaks down into three parts that combine with parts from the flash to make three large blasters that the group can hold. The rest of the flash becomes knives and sheaths that can attach to the legs of the two side characters. Even though it is not show accurate, as Reflector never used such weapons, it is a blast! They add just that much more oomph to the figure's appeal. He also comes with three small blaster weapons that are identical. I will admit to having trouble getting him to hold them as the fit is extremely tight!
Another accessory for Spotter are two separate face sculpts per figure. I don't really care for these. It breaks down like this: a regular stoic face, a "Starscream" smirk, and a goofy "say Cheese!!" smile that will crack you up! I opted to just install the stoic faces on the two figures that had the other options installed from the box. Basically, you undo the small black screw in the back of one of the figure's head and swap out the face. However, the best accessory that Spotter comes with is the small replica of himself in camera mode that other Mp's can hold! I love this! It makes me wish for a small Soundwave in tape deck mode to go along with Megatron in gun mode. He also comes with three small energon cubes which are a nice little touch.
Overall, I would give FT11 Spotter a 8.5 out of 10. The biggest cons are the slightly sub par plastic, and some fiddly bits on him. The main pros are show accuracy and scale with other MPs. Also, the transformation is fun and easy to do over and over. This makes the figure a nice addition to your masterpiece collection along with the accessories. I recommend picking him up as the price point is fair, especially when you take into account that you get three figures to round out your Decepticon ranks. This is a great purchase! You can pick yours up at bigbadtoystore.com.