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TRANSFORMERS TOYS AND MERCHANDISE SECTION

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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
Robot Mode:
Alternate Mode:
Box Art:

Pun-3X' review of: Knockoff F-117a

This guy is based on the Macross-7 (I think?) VF-17 design, but it's highly retooled. I'd compare this guy and the VF-17 to G2-Smokescreen/RiD-Smokejumper and Energon Starscream. Both transform exactly the same way, but no part is exactly the same. Difference is, this new one is the smaller one, where the newer model Starscream was larger. Eh...

Vehicle Mode:
They definitely tooled this one up to look more like the F-117a, and they pulled it off nicely. Beautiful rendition all around. The "clouded-sky" camo is definitely not of the F-117's style, but it doesn't hurt the thing at all. The gun fits underneath the jet between it's legs with the shield acting as a cover under the gun. (See pic) Landing gear is basic flip-out, but it works well. Very nice style to the jet mode. I like him just for this alone.

Robot Mode:
Well, this is where the toy suffers a bit. The overall look of the robot mode is not bad until you get to the head. It is WAY oversized. It would have been better if they made most of the 'head' as a backpanel of some kind, and used less of the material to actually make the head with. (This whole head piece swivels around 180 to form the back end of the cockpit, so it needs to be at least that size) Think of the head design and surrounding 'box style' of the Stunticons' Motormaster, but vertically. That might have worked for this toy. I can get used to the look of his face if it weren't so huge.

The other problem is the legs. The heels really. They are a little too short in the back, so he tends to be backwards top-heavy. You have to lean him (hunch him over is better) to make him stand straight. I may try to take him apart and fix this if I can. Don't know if it's possible or not without some kind of remolding. Also, his arms don't transform exactly parrellel to his body. They're out at a slight angle, enough to look...eh...not quite right. Finally, his wings don't fold like the VF-17's do. (minor thing here)

He does have nice articulation: hip joints, knees, shoulder and elbow joints, head-turning ability, etc. One thing I really like about this toy, for some odd reason, is the rifle that comes with him. It's very nicely detailed and just looks mean. The handle isn't the typical round-peg type, so his hands have to be rectangularly slotted to hold it. However, the 'realistic handle' style of the rifle just adds to it. The shield is a nice compliment to the toy, if a bit on the small side. (and limited in positioning--it only works facing forward on the side of the arm)

Transformation: 7 - This toy has decent complexity in the transformation. A few twists of the limbs here and there but still keeping it straight forward.
Durability: 6 - This toy is of a quality plastic maybe a grade higher than a lot of knock-offs I've seen. He's still cheap quality, which you can feel in the toy's weight (VERY light). Still, there isn't anything that would concern me about possibly breaking easily.
Fun: 8 - Both modes are very nice. The F-117a has a great look, and the robot mode has some good articulation. A great looking weapon and the possibility for nice poses makes for a very fun toy.
Price: 10 - ($3.98) For $4, you're getting a smaller, lower-quality knock-off of a toy that might run you $50 to $100 depending. Just for its size alone (larger than most Transformer Megas on the market) you're getting a lot of bang for your buck. Add in the quality in its design and you've got a nice piece to add to your collection.
Summary: He's not all that bad, though his robot mode fell a little short. Still, for all of $3.98, considering some of the bricks in the Galaxy Defender line, it really isn't a bad deal.

 
 
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