Friday, March 31, 2017

True Masterpiece Dinobots Completed!

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 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…

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