SCF Act 10 reviewed

Acronyms and abbreviations are fun. That, or these lines don't deserve quite enough respect for full names.
Robots In Disguise, Armada, Energon, Cybertron - there, that's their names, happy now???
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SCF Act 10 reviewed

Post by Dominic »

For the purposes of this review, I am going to use the American names for the characters as only the most obsessive fan cares about using the more obscure Japanese names, especially when that will involve explaining homages to other characters and in turn explaining the references to US characters who have nothing at all to do with "Armada" in the first place. And, I am not going to bother reviewing the metallized variant figures in detail. (I can only say, "This is the same molding as the fully colored one, but not colored" so many times.)

Over-all, it seems that Takara lost faithin this line, as the quality of the plastic seems to be lower. (The plastic tolerances on this set lead to both less definition in the shape of the plastic, and more worrisome joints. Not a good combination.) Despite this, some of the figures are nicely balanced and do not need stands, despite some awkward posing. Finally, one of my biggest problems with the "Armada" themed PVC sets is that the characters feel incomplete without their Minicons, which are rarely represented at this scale. (I can deal with having a small, non-Transforming G1 Optimus Prime, but with "Armada" Prime, I want Sparkplug.)

Act 10 consisted of 8 main figures, and 2 rare chase figures. (I did not get any chase figures.) *=chase.

-Optimus Prime combined with trailer
*pre-Earth Red Alert
*Optimus Prime holding the Star Saber

Optimus Prime: Regardless of how much one likes the character, most of the virtues for the larger toy are contingent on its size and complexity. That toy was, for all its faults, ambitious. But, it was fun to analyze and discuss, not to fiddle with or look at. The only one of those qualifications that carries over to a PVC is the aesthetic component, making this boring to look at and not fun to play with. Given that there are other Optimus Prime PVC figures around, I cannot say much for this. Grade: C

Scavenger: Every so often, one will run across a PVC that is more dynamic than a full sized toy. In the case of Scavenger, that is possibly damning with faint praise. The full-sized Scavenger has a sound-chip gimmick that dominates the toy, and leaves the legs as an awkward facade. This figure has seperately molded legs, though not much more meaningful articulation. But, is looks good, which is what a PVS is intended to do. The metallized figure could be used to make "Energon" Treadbolt, for those who are interested. A/B

Smokescreen: The lower quality plastic used for this set hobbles this figure. The crane arm that attaches to the shoulder came out of the box bent. While a stand is helpful, this toy does not strictly need one, despite the uneven weight of the crane arm. Grade: B

Cyclonus: While my Cyclonus came out of the box fine, I can easily imagine the copter tail and rotors being bent. (The toys do not transform of course, but the kibble is still part of the character's over-all look.) The copter kibble allows the figure to take a more dynamic pose, (taken from the animation in the "Armada" show), than is commonly seen in this line, and to do so without a stand. The metallized variant can be recolored to resemble a few variants of the larger toy. Grade: A

Perceptor: Normally, I am irked by merge-teams depicted in PVC form. Besides the obvious problem of not being able to take them apart, the inherent lack of volume to a PVC also detracts from the over-all look of the figure in these cases. (The only exception I can think of is Devastator, and to a lesser degree Overlord/Gigatron. Yes, I just used one Japanese name, for the sake of clarity. Shut the hell up.) In this case, the merge-team as PVC works partly because Perceptor is such a small merge to begin with. (If anyting, this figure should be about half as big as it is here.) The pose, as with Cyclonus, is taken directly from the animation. In this case, it comes from the closiing credits of the series. The metallized variant can be recolored in "Universe" colors or be left as a "stature to pose other Minicon figures worshipping. Grade: A

Sideways: This is probably the oddest pose I have seen on a PVC for this line. Sideways is posed in a very "fae" ninja stance, with the robot's arms crossed over the chest. Despite this seemingly unbalanced and top-heavy stance, the figure is one of the more stable in the set. While the figure comes with one of the character's alternate heads, it lacks the other, making the toy less complete rather than more. The odd construction of this toy makes it more difficult to swap parts for home conversions, but an intact metallized variant can be recolored as "Energon" Rapid Run. Grade: C/D

-more at the blog.

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