Combiner, Gestalt, special team, whichever your preferred name are the power house in any given battle. The exact size of the combined form in any given scale is open for debate which ultimately leads to a compromise between individual bot size, parts forming parts and total combined size. Here we are taking a look at a legends scale combiner by Iron Factory; War Giant and its recolour Catastrophe. First off the Individual bots.
This of course is a 3rd Party representation of the combaticons, original sold in 3 sets of 2 figures, IF-EX22, IF-EX23 and IF-EX24 these are fully transformable and each have their own weapons
Now your probably wondering what the 6th figure which was part of IF-EX24 is and if you are thinking it is the combined parts are something similar, you would be quite wrong.
In fact we have a recolour of IF-EX16 as combiner hunter Arcee with her massive sword. Sadly there is no equivalent in the IF-EX24X Catastrophe set.
Speaking of IF-EX24X it is the recolour which was only sold as a compete set. It is a representation of RID2000 Baldigus/Ruination, which was a 2000 reuse of the original combaticons toys and designs in different colour scheme in a completely separate show. As already stated there was no IF-EX16 recolour nor did it have a gun version of Shockwave which was present in the original IF-EX24 set. Speaking of the combiner parts.
Rather handily the combiner parts combine by themselves into a free standing bust type thing which is great for storage. The weapon also combine into a large rife which are far as combining weapons go is very well done.
The combined form is also quite will done. Good articulation, the chest and legs stay together very well, however the arm conections are not the best been more peged in that actually connected. It is quite easy to disconnect them while trying to position them but are easy enough to reattach.
The original comes with a non-transformable Shockwave in gun form, it can also hold the IF-EX21 in gun mode but it is a bit bigger. All in all a great set with a more uncommon repaint which also looks good. The use of parts forming helps the size of the combined form while keeping the individual bots in line with the other iron factory figures. It is not quite as big as the maketoys combiners I already have but as it is unlikely there will be any more released I am happy enough with this scale and hope to see others
As a final note if your after this set be careful buying them as individual sets. IF-EX21 is almost impossible to find, I luckily found my set on Amazon Japan of all places, it was over the usual retain but as I already had the other sets so there was not much choice.
Iron Factory are the stylised and mostly IDW inspired legends collection. They are slightly smaller than the Magic Square G1 inspired legends.
There have a nice selection of Decepticon (Autobots also available and we can look at them next time), including Megatron, Tarn and many jets and seekers. Not pictured they also have an Overlord and Sixshot which are now quite difficult to obtain at reasonable prices.
They also currently have one combiner design which in my view provides a good combined size as well as suitably sized individual bots. Combiner combined size is contentious in any scale usually having at least one compromise of combined size, individual bot size or parts forming.
Here we have the IF figures with the Maketoys Giant which I prefer size-wise in combined mode and has a compatible aesthetic. The individually the bots are not right though.
While you can generally purchase most of there products for a month or two after release if you miss out they can be quite difficult to pick up later on; there are also more limited product runs in more niche decos. The current favourite for this is the seeker mold.
They are all fully transformable the result of which can vary due to cybertronian design and stylisations which can some times feel a bit lazy (which can sometimes be down to source material) but other work out really well.
Overall they are not as articulated as the magic square legends however they are still lots of fun. The inspiration of the design can be something you either love or hate but one thing is for sure it makes for an interesting collection of diverse characters that provide a solid alternative to another G1 cartoon collection.
My first step into a larger world. A non-transforming transformers premium action figure, do all roads in fact ultimately lead to 1/4 Statue as my prefered transformer reviewer Bobby Skull Face would say? Well it maybe heading that way, but as we are still on the step before lets wait and see.
The finish is amazing and I’m not usually into the lights (or electronics in general) in my figures but in this case I do feel it adds to the figure and no hunting for batteries as they come pre-installed. As it is a licensed products it is also complete with faction symbols
Other gimmicks and options include a removable face mask and options for configuring the fusion cannon
Poseability is good especially with the ab-crunch and how it collapses into itself. It also comes with a stand. The weakest part of the figure is the hand which are tight on the pins but pop out a lot when you are trying to manipulate them.
At around £320 it is a pricey figure add to the fact it does not transform make this type of figure a non-starter for some people. However if you look at the price of the upcoming takara MP’s in particular Optimus Prime the prime is not quite as bad as it might at first seem for a high end transformer products. For me the only problem is where and how to display it.
We are still waiting on news for when season 3 of Knights of Sidonia Anime series will be released on Netflix. In the mean time lets have a look at the Figma Garde Figures
We have two figures of the Garde, the space mech of the series. The Figma 261 Series 18 Garde (Blue with white) and the Figma 254 Series 17 Grade (white with red). These are basically the same design (and hence figure) but with restyle parts much like car is given a facelift.
The series 17 is numbered 704 and is the “hero” craft of the series know as the Tsugumori piloted by Nagate Tanikaze , while the 18 is numbered 291 which is piloted Izana Shinatose of which many are represented with various different numbers in the series
The figures are designed to be used with the supplied stands, they are extremely difficult to stand without them, which is fine as there are mostly depicted as flying though space. Accessories and options include replaceable hands, alternative firing head, bladed arm guards, spear and rail gun. The boost pack is adjustable and extendible.
If you prefer a more hands on model there is also the Kotobukiya Tsugumori Knights of Sidonia. This is the animation version and is 1/100 scale. Unfortunately I broke the c-clip on the neck which is a rather strange part of the model. The rail gun has many extension so can be extended to a ridiculousless length.
Today we have a quick look at the “other” 3rd Party legends scale figures; here we have Iron Factory EX-31 Dubhe and EX-36 Tyrant. These are of course small scale representation of IDW Megatron and Tarn.
These two Decepticon big shots both transform into tank like alt modes. EX-36 comes with alternative parts with no less than 3 different fusion cannons, 3 heads and alternative backpack, hip guards, shoulders and leg parts allowing you to make different version of megatron which have been show throughout the IDW comic run. Tarn’s colours are striking and he has a removable mask. The swappable hands on both figures also work well at this size of figure.
All in all two great figures and a great addition to any legends collection.
With the slow down in new figures in the Transformers Masterpiece and 3rd party equivalent scale we have seen the rise of the legends scale. The name comes from Hasbro which make a legends sized figure class. It is a size and not a scale so you get anything from mini-bots that fit in with deluxes to small seekers or Optimus Prime
As with anything transformers, 3rd party come along and do it better. Above are “Magic Square” (and Newage bumblebee) figures that are in the spirit of G1, fully transformable and most even have ab-crunches which can be rare even in full size figures.
Alternatively if you prefer a different aesthetic we have IDW inspired figures from a company called Iron Factory. They are even so slightly smaller and not as articulated. There are also entries in this scale from Newage, Toy World, Unique Toys and DX9. This is undoubtedly the growth area of 3rd party at this moment in time.
We looked at the 1/72 Model Kit last time, now lets focus on the 1/60 Bandai DX Chogokin versions. These are fully transforming figures which are on the expensive side of transforming toys (£160-£200+ Shipping and customs) but with takara’s Masterpiece MP-44 Optimus Prime coming in at over £300 they don’t seem that bad.
Here we have the standard VF-31c. These are definitely a premium product, with excellent paint and die-cast which gives it a good weight. The hands are swappable with different poses, the standard hands are the ones it can be transformed with and they also have limited articulation. As of writing there are 4 of the main cast available and 1 “stock” version and 2 special editions. And there are also super packs.
Next we have the VF31c and VF31J with super parts. The C comes with the large missiles while the J lacks them. The parts bulk out some of the slimier parts but some have a tendency to fall off quite easily. They also make the figures move back heavy and harder to pose without them wanting to fall over. If you miss the pre-order/early order for the super parts then they because massively expensive to obtain, in some cases going for an much as the original figure.
Above is the VF-31f in Jet mode with super parts, it is presented on the standard stand that comes with the figure. For reference the only differences between the VF-31 are the deco and the robot mode head (The a also has different wing ends).
While nice figures collecting them can be problematic. First they are only available in Japan. There simple does not seem to be the interest in pushing the Macross brand internationally, this maybe due to Robotech and the harmony gold saga (makes me think of rambus and DDR2 problems). As a result they can be quite expensive to obtain.
With the VF-31a the problem is there was far higher demand than product produced and seemed to be going for around £500!?!? The VF-31J kai was a convention exclusive which made it rarer and more expensive than the other. Fortunately I was able to get one from ebay when they had a coupon day for a reasonable price.
Regarding the super parts, if you miss the pre-orders/early orders the price can shoot right up to the price of the original figure. As of writing we are still missing a release of delta 3. So take care and be aware of what you are getting into if you decide to collect these figures 🙂
Bandai have put out a completely differently engineered SV-262Hs Draken III which are the “badies” of the series which we will take a look at next time.
So in late January I had a bit of a 3rd party transformer haul arrive. First to arrive was Fans Hobby MB-01 Archenemy (not Archnemesis as I though he was called). He looks great, feels great, but then on only my second transformation of him I ripped his arm off at the shoulder….Still there is some fun to be had over it.
When I started collecting Transformers again in 2015 at first I was wanting official stuff. That changed quickly, however I had already gone all in and join the Transformers Collectors Club. They produce a very limited number of figures a year which are high quality repaints with alot of paint and unique head designs. Unfortunately as they are in the USA and I get stung for £15 customs about 50% of the time which makes they quite expensive when that happens.
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