Archive for April, 2010

FansProject Protector – Rodimus Prime

April 20th, 2010 3 comments

Long-time readers of this blog know that I am a fan of all things FansProject. The add-ons and figures that they produce are of the highest caliber. TF qualities valued by the hardcore TransFan, such as show accuracy, attention to detail, transformation mechanism, character appearance, robust construction, and room for all accessories in every mode (no lame concept of hammerspace here), are clearly evident in every piece they design and produce. I have posted news and reviews of offerings from FansProject in previous posts, such as the TFX-03 City Commander Add-On Set and news of Warbot Defender. Oh, BTW, I have received Defender some weeks back. I give Defender the highest recommendation possible, so if you are on the fence about buying one, hesitate no more and order one now. Yes I know the price is a turn off, but once you have the figure in your hands, you will realize the money was well spent. Anyway, I have every intention of doing a full review on Defender (aka Springer), so look for it soon.

Today’s post is about the upcoming “Protector” add-on set for Classics Rodimus, aka Hot Rod. Much like the City Commander add-on set, this package will enhance the appearance of Hot Rod so he appears more like Rodimus Prime. FansProject have released new images of this set. In alt mode it is attached to Hot Rod as his trailer, and in robot mode it puzzle-forms into his “armor” so his appearance more resembles the not-so-famous Autobot Leader.

Sharp TF fans have probably noticed by now that FansProject is using the functions of these characters as their names. FansProject is not tied to Hasbro in any way, shape, or form, and to get around licensing issues they have creatively came up with these identifiers. In G1, Rodimus Prime’s function was Protector, Springer was Aerial Defense, and Ultra Magnus was City Commander. See the pattern? I’m also guessing Warbot corresponds to Autobot.

Anyway, feast your eyes on these new images of Protector. I know I will be buying one.

I’m very excited about this add-on! Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: Pics, TF News

Geminoid F: The Ultimate Fembot

April 14th, 2010 2 comments

Regular readers of this blog know that I am a fan of all robots. Today the spotlight is on a robot of a very different variety.

The wizards at Intelligent Robotics lab at Osaka University and Kokoro Co. Ltd. have joined forces and created the Geminoid F, a female robot that is amazingly lifelike. She is modeled after a twenty-something Japanese woman. Can you tell who is who in the pic above? Click on the full story for the answer. The “F” stands for female. My buddy Gemini should get a kick out of her name.

In Ghost in the Shell, we see plenty of androids that look, think, and feel just like real humans. Are we one step closer to that reality?

It’s too bad she doesn’t transform. Then she would be both practical and entertaining. Botcon organizers should try to get their hands on one and have her greet Botcon goers. I think all TransFans would get a kick out of seeing her.

At $110,000 a piece, the Geminoid F does not come cheap. I like to see some online retailers start taking pre-orders for her. For the hardcore collector only. I wouldn’t mind having a few of these for the carpool lane. And to answer the burning question of all lonely TransFans everywhere… she does not do laundry. What were you thinking?

Geminoid F… Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: Uncategorized

ROTF Brawn Review

April 9th, 2010 2 comments

I have been very impressed with some of the new figures that were released in the Revenge of the Fallen line. This is partly due to the fact that I’ve been more selective in the figures I buy from ROTF, unlike the first Michael Bay Movie where I bought almost every new mold that was released, in which case you get the good with the bad. In ROTF I only buy the ones that I think I will like, and so far I am not at all disappointed. Out of the select few that I felt warranted a purchase, I am genuinely impressed with the toys’ clever mechanical engineering, unique transformation, solid construction, great aesthetics, and in many cases, obvious homage to G1. The last ROTF figure I reviewed was Dirge, a highly recommended figure for all these reasons. Today I will be reviewing ROTF Brawn, a figure I picked up last month but unfortunately did not have a chance to open until this past weekend. Before I start the review, I will just say that he also gets a very high recommendation for all the same reasons just mentioned. So if you don’t want to bother reading this review, just go out and get him now. But if you’re still here, I will explain why he’s a must have in your TF collection.

Brawn is definitely well known among fans of G1. He appeared as early as the 1st episode, and he is famous for being the tough, no non-sense Autobot that fights first and asks questions later. He is small but strong, often taking down Decepticons much larger than himself. In the G1 Movie he was the first TF to die, running right into a direct blast from Megatron’s weapon mode (some fans have theorized that his Spark must be located in his shoulder if one blast in that area would kill him).

To my knowledge, ROTF Brawn does not appear in the movie. It’s possible he has an appearance in the ROTF video game, but I really don’t know. Regardless, his ROTF incarnation definitely takes cues from G1. Check him out in the package.

Brawn’s alt mode is some kind of 4×4 pickup truck. In G1 he was a jeep or off-road type vehicle, but I think being a truck works just as well to reflect his rough and tumble persona. Appearance wise, the truck mode does not disappoint. There are plenty of detail all over, and I especially like the look of the front grill. His overall color is a weird shade of brown. On any other TF this may look a bit strange, but it works for Brawn. His G1 color was a different shade of brown that looked a bit more cartoony, so this more realistic brown is a better fit for a ROTF figure. We see bits of green here and there, while the front blinkers are painted yellow and the rear break lights painted red. I also really like the NEST Autobot symbol painted on the side.

Situated on top of Brawn is a good size cannon that he can use for combat in alt mode. The following pic shows that this cannon can be angled upwards to shoot down some incoming Decepticons.

The construction of this figure is quite solid. Brawn is another ROTF figure where you don’t realize how well everything fits together until he is transformed from robot mode back to alt mode. All panels are designed to click into place so there are no dangling pieces. He rolls quite well on a flat surface. Below is a shot of the rear view.

In the pics below, I do some size comparisons of the alt mode. He’s pretty much standard deluxe size.

Overall, I’m very happy with Brawn’s alt mode. No complaints at all. Now let’s move on to the robot mode.

Transformation into robot is pretty unique. The hood and engine section of the truck forms the legs. The cargo area forms the arms, while the cabin area makes up most of the body. I know it doesn’t sound so unique when I describe it in words, and conceptually it does feel like it’s been done. But when I transformed him the first time, the process felt very refreshing. It was probably in the little details of how things are formed. For example, the two pistols are placed in his hands even in truck mode. This means he’s ready for action as soon as he transforms. Brawn wastes no time. In almost all other TFs, the weapons are usually placed elsewhere in alt mode and then you put them where they need to go in bot mode. It’s nice to see a TF break that trend.

The cannon seen in truck mode can also be used in robot mode. It is positioned nicely on his back when not in use, but when he needs some extra firepower, the cannot folds forward right over his sholder. Notice that there is a scope attached to this cannon, and the whole thing can be positioned so that this scope is right in front of his eyes. Very nice. Brawn is all warrior and the toy designers certainly did not forget that fact.

Appearance wise, Brawn’s robot mode takes heavy cues from G1. His body colors of green and yellow is distinctly G1. The head mold, while not looking too much like the G1 cartoon, is very reminiscent of the G1 toy figure of the mini-bot. Its got the silver helmet, black visor as his eyes, and no lips in the mouth area. Brawn is bulky looking all over, and this fits perfectly with the warrior whose motto is “Might over microchips”.

Brawn has got great articulation and he’s capable of a wide range of poses. He is a tad back-heavy so balancing him in some action poses can be tricky, but it’s not a big issue.

Brawn ready to take down Decepticons all by himself

Overall, I can’t recommend Brawn enough. He will be a worthy addition to your TF collection. There really hasn’t been that many incarnations of Brawn. Other than this one I can only think of the G1 figure (which sucks by today’s standards) and the scout class figure in the Universe line that was released early 2009 (that’s a great figure, BTW). It’s good to see him get some love in the ROTF line. Show Hasbro they did the right thing by honoring a purchase. Go out to your favorite retailer and get this now… Transform and Roll Out!

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews