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TFX-04 Protector (KO)

Henkei Hot Rodimus needs upgrade!

When Hotrod activates Matrix of Leadership to destroy Unicron, he is upgraded into Rodimus Prime, complete with trailer / carrier / command base just like his predecessor. FansProject relives that experience by creating this set called TFX Protector. The set that I have here is actually knocked off version as I can’t buy the original release due to skyrocketing price. I won’t discuss KO issues that commonly happen in this set.

TFX Protector is compatible with Classic Hotrod and Henkei Hot Rodimus (and other redeco releases of this mold) though actually for Henkei there is slight color differences. It’s pretty obvious but not too much, I find it okay. This is successor to previous City Commander upgrade set for Classic Optimus / Henkei Convoy and major improvement over it by having simple design, simple attachment, yet solid modifications to Henkei Hot Rodimus I have. It literally upgrades Henkei Rodimus into it’s own incarnation of Classic / Henkei Rodimus Prime.

Vehicle mode, it looks decent. I have no problem at all, now it feels like Rodimus Prime in his alt mode.

This is the carrier detached from Henkei Hot Rodimus.

Disassemble the carrier and transform Hot Rod to be attached with this set to create Rodimus Prime, or FansProject called it Protector due to copyright issue. The progress is complicated but fun to do. The only complain I have is that attaching chest part is really-really pain in the a**.

Rodimus Prime is here!

This set upgrades Hot Rodimus into the next level. It helps to fix some major issues I found in original figure. A real improvement I really need. It looks bada**, tough, and charismatic.

This is Rodimus Prime we want. Yes he is not as good as Optimus Prime in term of leadership, he is still a Prime. I really like this appearance. From hating Henkei Hot Rodimus, now it got redemption by having serious upgrade and improvement to add some values that makes it worth to be collected.

This set also gives you “Guardian”. It’s similar to Roller for Optimus Prime, and it is better. It reminds me of mini 4WD car, and that means great. You can attach Hot Rod’s blaster at the top of this Guardian.

The trailer or carrier can be transformed into a sentry gun base. It looks menacing! I like this kind of upgrade. Not only Rodimus transforms into a Prime, but he is provided with deadly arsenal to help him facing enemies.

In the end, if you hate Hot Rod figure from Classic / Henkei line but still you need him to be collected, then this set is a must. Not only it helps this figure from “bad” to even “better”, this set fixes some issues and improves them for more replay values. If you can afford, buy the original set.

PS: Actually this KO set also gives you a scythe which is originally for Shattered Glass version of Hot Rodimus+Protector. I didn’t document it though.

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Smallest Transforming Transformers Optimus Prime (KO)

Another Optimus Prime collection, and this one is the smallest ever.

I thought legend class is already small enough but this one deserve the name smallest because it’s so small, not only this is the smallest Transformers figure I own, it’s the smallest mecha figure I collect.

Year 2009, I saw this figure (original Takara version) when there was Transformers toys exhibition in a local mall (I wasn’t in my hometown. It was the time when I was still studying for my master degree in Jakarta), and I just love this one. It’s very small yet retains all gimmicks from the original toy (G1 Optimus Prime). But I heard at that time, Smallest Transforming Transformers Optimus Prime (mistakenly called World Smallest Transformers or WST), until now, is a rare figure and expensive as hell. So getting the original toy is an impossible task for me who always put budget issue first when buying toys.

Then, I heard there is knock-off version of this STT Optimus Prime made by HeeroToysMaker and my friend can import this one. But I have to wait almost one month because the delivery went nowhere until it finally arrives. So here it is, STT Optimus Prime.

Vehicle mode, it’s Peterbilt truck with trailer, the iconic alt form of G1 Optimus Prime. I have nothing to complain, in fact, it’s the strongest feature of this figure rather than its robot mode.

The trailer can be opened up and we have everything here. Repair module with tiny winy Roller. Repair module can be moved although it is limited. And strangely, this figure gives two ion blasters, one for Roller and one for Optimus himself. I don’t know why but that’s a great addition. Yes, Roller needs that blaster because the size is so small, it needs something significant.

Transforming the truck into robot mode is very very difficult……not.

This is Optimus Prime in his smallest G1 incarnation. I have nothing to complain also. Expecting articulations? No, everything that we need from this kind of figure is already there. Why need articulations for such small figure?

For Optimus-fetish, this is hard to resist. And this is funny for me, after buying the biggest Optimus Prime Masterpiece (yeah, MP-10, the biggest of my collection, not MP-4 which is even bigger) I got the smallest counterpart. Overall, as a knockoff toy, HeeroToysMakers really get the job well. I like it and I have no complain at all. It’s so rare that I don’t complain the figure.

Ryuuseishin Great-Lio (KO)

Seriously, I only watch Sazer-X episode 1 and episode 38 since I had no particular interest in this series at all. But one thing that memorable to me from the series was Great-Lio. A mecha based on lion with simple yet effective transformation/combination. I found this bootleg/knock off figure in my local department store with cheap price (around US $5).

This is a surprising knock off figure, aside from common issue we have from KO figure such as cheap plastic quality, lacking feature,  and wrong paintjob, Great-Lio actually retains almost everything from the original toy. The scale is good, proportional, and the biggest surprise I got from this one is that Great-Lio has great articulation points. Yes, the joints are very tight but it looks pretty darn good to be posed or displayed since the design itself is already a kind of mecha that I like.

This set consists of Lio-Carrier ship and a Core Calibur figure. For the Core Calibur figure itself, it is a humanoid fighter with good range of articulations so you can have decent pose. Unfortunately, Core Calibur can’t be transformed into spaceship (is it?) so I can’t be combined with Lio-Carrier. Still it can be folded as the core for X-Formation to create a Ryuuseishin (Shooting Star God). On a funny note, the name of this KO toy is “Superstar Heros” (yes, heros not heroes), maybe there is something that lost in translation (shooting star to superstar). Also, Core Calibur is less painted, very plain.

Combining them is very fun. I don’t need instruction manual at all because it’s so easy and predictable. But the tabs and the clips on this set are in good condition, which surprised me again. The plastic quality is very low but not fragile at all. It’s pretty solid. I have no problem in combining all of them.

 

Great-Lio deserves his name correctly, it’s great. It’s very proportional, not bulky or skinny at all. Kudos to Konami actually as they are the original maker of this toy. Even this KO toy retains everything in robot mode. We still have that Lio-javelin, twin short blades that hidden on waist’s javelin sheath.

For a KO figure, it worth more than its price. This offers more than I have expected, and that means good. I realize now that this KO is smaller than the original toy, which supposed to be the serious contender to that ‘bricky’ DX Sentai mecha toy. Though, the transformation or the combination is not inspiring at all, pretty predictable, not that complex,  and nothing new there. Still, this is knocked off figure and to think this set retains almost everything from the original makes me really really happy.

Henkei Convoy Add-on KO

After that lovable Henkei Convoy, now it’s time to review its add-on.

I also bought two add-on for my Henkei Convoy / Classic Optimus Prime which are TFX-01J DIA Commander and BTS-01s Mobile Command Base, and both are knocked off versions. I admit, I can’t buy the original releases because they are painfully expensive. Very very very expensive. Even for this KO versions, both are already pricy and together with Henkei Convoy KO are the most expensive KO figures I ever buy.

BTS-01s Mobile Command Base (in short I will call it later, BTS trailer) is a trailer for Henkei Convoy. The design is not an ordinary trailer, but rather BTS took different approach by adding some futuristic shapes to match the “classic” incarnation of Optimus Prime. Did I ever told people that “What Optimus Prime would be without his trailer?” So this is a nice trailer for him. I have to say I really like the design a bit. At first I felt it’s strange, but I appreciate the effort BTS took.

Optimus Prime in vehicle mode looks complete with this trailer. It’s long, big, futuristic, and a kind of Optimus we often see because Optimus is always lacking without his trailer. My only complain for this trailer is that the connector port to Henkei Convoy is not that tight. Often I got the trailer separated because the connector is not that strong to hold both. Other than that, I am pleased to see this.

This trailer can be opened and reveal Mobile Command Base. Unlike other trailers that accompany Optimus, this trailer follows unorthodox style that it’s not separated in the middle of the trailer. Hence the name, it’s indeed a command base complete with repair drone. This trailer also gives two blasters which unfortunately not for Optimus (to Bumblebee if I’m not mistaken), but who cares, Optimus still can use it anyway.

This trailer also has Roller (or Rollout Drone to avoid copyright issues) which attached as trailer’s wheels. The idea is great but I wish the wheels and Roller are actually separated, still I have no complain for that.

Well, except for that connector problem, I am satisfied with this trailer. Big rig is always incomplete without a trailer.

On to the next….

The second add-on is TFX-01J DIA Commander by FansProject. Actually I would love to have Ultra Magnus and City Commander add-on, but since Optimus Prime is my favorite, having DIA Commander is truly a great experience. I am okay with this now, because DIA Commander looks menacing and cool.

TFX-01J is a trailer to Henkei Convoy (or classic Optimus Prime, gee, I refer him as Convoy more than as Optimus Prime) that makes his set looks like a garbage truck. Yes, a garbage truck. What else I could describe with this kind of vehicle except a colorful, missile armed garbage truck. I already applied stickers to some parts needed though I find it quite useless.

This trailer separates into several parts to become an armor for Optimus/Convoy and create DIA Commander. Yes, this one actually recolor version of City Commander for Ultra Magnus. The separation and assembling the armor proved to be a difficult task to do. It’s very complicated and need excessive force a little bit.

Before I praise this set, let’s criticize. As a knock off add-on, this set is very fragile. I already broke folding part from his right foot because I turned it too much. And I have serious problems with his right hand and his right shoulder. They are not locked and fitted very well to the figure. Very loose. Another problem is that it can’t hold that big weapon very well due to being heavy and the joint can’t hold that.

Now for the good parts, this add on is superb. DIA Commander (DIA stands for Diaclone actually, a toyline that inspire Transformers) looks super powerful. Considering complicated assembly and weight issues, this add-on makes the figure has limited articulation. This set also gives two missile launcher and an energon box (which I don’t use because it’s useless anyway). Given the fact that this is a knock off with all terrible problems I found, it is a great feature. The vehicle mode is nice, DIA Commander looks powerful. It’s a good feature, and for a knock off I am really satisfied. I know I can’t pose him much since it’s almost a brick. But, isn’t that a great figure to be displayed only? People will notice this figure easily on display cabinet.

Both are great sets but I wish I could buy the original releases. If you can afford please buy the original. But still, I am so happy with both…

Voyager Class Henkei Convoy / Classic Optimus Prime KO

After months of waiting, finally I get this wonderful figure together with DIA Commander upgrade and BTS Classic Trailer set (and both also KO). I will review those set after this one. Henkei Convoy is actually Takara release of Classic Optimus Prime mold with better paint job. I just can’t imagine how impressive this figure is. Henkei Convoy is modernized version of G1 Optimus Prime (which ironically called as “classic”) and this figure, again, is wonderful.

I have a long story to get this figure. When my interest in Transformers emerged, Classic Optimus was not one of my targets because I had no idea about Classic series or Henkei Henkei until every TF fanboys I know told me that the best Optimus Prime figure that only can match (or even surpass) Masterpiece release is this classic line in voyager class size. Damn, they were right. When I started to find this I had two facts, Classic Optimus Prime is rare as hell  and actually it has third party upgrade. When I knew the fact that Classic and Henkei lineup is a rare figure to find (with OMG price tag) I just pissed off. There is no way people will sell this figure due to its quality.

Then, I saw Ultra Magnus upgrade called City Commander by FansProject whose price also beyond madness. I was wondering if people ever made knocked off version and to my surprise, there are lots of KO for this figure.

Then, long story short, I found someone who can help me to get I what I have dreamed for long. There is a very high quality knock off of Henkei Convoy available, but I have to wait for months due to certain regulations of importing stuff like this. And finally, it has arrived!

This figure, I don’t know how to start from. I never own the original Hasbro or Takara release but I have to say the quality is even better than all Optimus figures I own. The joints are very tight, no loose parts, no more sh*tty problems usually found on KO figure. Even it is very tight that I have difficulties in twisting, separating, or joining parts in transformation, notably from the weapons. Just look at it. It’s an art, a masterpiece (no pun intended) of its own. The fact that this figure solely depends on transformation gimmick makes this figure very valuable in every aspects. No spring loaded weapon, no strange weapon lights, it’s just a plain yet magnificent figure to play with. Not to forget it has light pipe gimmick which is small but added more wonderful things in here.

Am I being biased by this description? No, in fact my words are not enough to describe how awesome this figure is. That great design, that great ratchet joints, that tight mechanism, that great sculpt, oh my, I love love love this figure so much. I never do such thing ever to knock off figure until this one. Better than most of my collection, in fact.

Vehicle mode, this Optimus is a big rig, a good interpretation on how modern Optimus would be. Its paint job also helped to capture this kind of imagination. Unlike Habro release which has too much yellow-ish paint to certain useless parts, this figure follows Henkei release pattern to make reminiscence of G1 Optimus in retrospect. And look at that chrome grills, it’s beautiful.

Transforming this figure is not easy but satisfying. Its mechanism is very good, you’ll have no problem transforming it. Its wind roof and smokestacks can be transformed into blasters. This gimmick is simple but that’s what I want from a transforming toy.

This figure is superb, note that he is actually a knocked off version, a very high quality knock off figure, ever. Modernized G1 proved to be a great design for this line. Just a great great looking robot. And since he is Optimus Prime, so this is the best incarnation ever. Not to forget, the light pipping mechanism works really well.

This is a piece of art, this is a masterpiece, and even this is a knock off figure. I am so happy to finally own Henkei Convoy after long waiting. Yes it is not cheap at all. Probably this is the most expensive KO toy I ever buy, but the quality really worth the price. I am not only satisfied but also really adore this figure a lot.

I have to thank my friend Dimas for making my wishlist come true. For those who are interested to order this figure you may contact his Facebook here >>http://www.facebook.com/dimas.a.sasongko<<

CFC Fun Meal Toys (Dinosaurus Dino Max KO)

I don’t know how to name this combiner. This so called “fun meal” gives you four set of dinosaurs that can transform into big robots and finally combine into even bigger robot. Yes, this is actually targeted for kids as this set is ridiculously simple, kiddies, and deformed. But this set is not bad at all, in fact, it offers great playability and very fun to play. As for me, a combiner-fetish,  this one is hard to resist.

This set consists of four dinosaurs which are Tyrannosaurus Rex (1), Triceratops (2), Brachiosaurus (labeled as Brontosaurus, 3), and Stegosaurus (4).

Their animal mode is quite good, very reminiscence of dinosaurs with their glories of the past. You can add extra parts to give them some kind of weapons.

The robot mode is just okay. Not bad, but I have to say not that good either. And this mode is not advertised from the meal at all. I found this mode because the design of two hands exist in every figures.

It’s time to combine!

Combining them into a big robot is not difficult at all. Even for first-timers, they will combine them without problems.

For this kiddie toy, the combined robot mode is actually very cool looking. It reminds me of RV Robo from Carranger. One complain from me, but probably my biased opinion that I love Super Sentai, I just don’t like the position. I don’t like T-Rex as the right foot at all because red is supposed to be the head or the body. Ah, the kids who love this figure will not care at all. And also there are so many parts that will be useless. So with extra ports on the body I just add them to make it even more menacing.

My impression is quite similar with Mugenbine Arch Tiger, it’s very fun figure to play. It’s so simple, has lot of gimmicks, and easy to assemble/transform/combine. It’s actually a partformers but it’s cool anyway.

UPDATE:
It turns out that this figure is actually a simplified, knock-off version of Deformation Dinosaurs Dino Max by Marushin. More information about this figure can be seen here.

Mugenbine Arch Tiger (KO)

This is my second Mugenbine knock off figure (the first one is Mugen Ryuuoh, maybe I will review this in the future) and I found this figure in my local department store with affordable price. Speaking of Mugenbine (or infinite combinations), this figure is unique and challenging. Literally, I can’t count how many combinations I have created using this figure. The concept is genius and the value of playing this figure is very high. At first this figure might be confusing but hence the name, it offers nothing but infinite combinations.

This figure called Arch Tiger and falls into Engine series, rather giving us Mugenroid figure (the core figure to be combined with other parts), this figure gives us Mugen Engine with mechanism to rotate certain parts of the block. I find this is useless, but considering this figure is essentially for kids so that feature is neat. This figure consist of 9 parts and officially has three modes which are vehicle, animal, and robot mode. Isn’t that sweet? This is a knock-off so expect some flaws.

Its vehicle mode is absolutely fantastic. A cyber formula-type police car that wins my heart a lot. This is the reason why I bought this figure, its vehicle mode that matters. Using that Mugen Engine, the siren and tiger head parts can be rotated. Too bad, this knock-off has problem on it, it doesn’t work properly. Oh well, I don’t really care with that gimmick though.

Moving to animal mode, this one is a white tiger (byakko) which in my opinion is quite okay. Not as good as his vehicle mode, but that’s fine.

Its robot mode is definitely the weakest of all three forms. Only has shoulder articulation and the design is not proportional, almost a brick. It has shield, but I find it works properly as chest piece of robot mode.

The selling point of this figure is the ability to create configurations or combinations according to our taste. The limit is our creativity and the joints that available. Imagine Lego that deals with mecha, the result is this Mugenbine. I can create Jet mode and Command Base Mode, but I find them silly. Still, what a great idea to have unlimited combinations, I can’t stop playing with this figure.

Overall, this figure is great even though it is knocked off version. This figure has misplaced decals, poor paint job, fragile and loose pegs, and other usual KO problems. Still this figure is playable and offers lots and lots configurations. This figure is very good to be played by children to trigger their creativeness. Very recommended!

If you can find it, buy the original version. And for those wondering about this Arch Tiger or Mugenbine combination mechanism, watch the video below.

Some Transformers Knock Off

These are Transformers knock off (or in Indonesia, we use to call it KW) I found in my local toy stores. Just don’t ask for the quality, as knock off figures or bootleg, these all are horrible. Cheap plastic, wrong color accuracy, incomplete gimmick, all found in these figures.

1. Legend Class Galaxy Convoy / Optimus Prime from Transformers Cybertron

I can’t help but wonder, why the body part must be blue, not red? And considering this is from legend class, the figure doesn’t have the firetruck trailer. Not a bad looking figure but this one is a great thing to be customized. I was surprised to put this figure side by side with my own DOTM Cyberverse Optimus Prime (not pictured), both are on the same size. I thought Cyberverse Commander size is quite bigger than Legend class, but then I was wrong. Overall, a nice bootlegged figure to be displayed on cabinet.

2. Classic Bumblebee (redeco of Cybertron’s Hot Shot)

The size is actually a misfit, as I can’t figure out what size-class is this. I knew this was Bumblebee after searching the toy database and found it to be a redeco of Hot Shot but the size of this figure is nowhere from Legend class. But I realize this is the perfect scale to be displayed. Wrong colors here and there, particularly on his head. He is perfect in vehicle mode, but the robot mode? Just keep it as a vehicle, and you will know why.

3. Robot Conversions G1 Convoy (Robot Masters Knock Off)

Previously I watched several G1 episodes, mainly the important ones such as The Return of Optimus, More than Meets the Eye, and even The Transformers Movie (1986), and I was wondering if I ever find at least a knock off G1 Optimus Prime. Well, my wish is half granted with this ridiculous name called Robot Conversions. Again, strange size here. Although originally Robot Masters are small size toyline, this one is huge. I can predict that this one is on Voyager Class size. What kind of drug the maker of this bootlegged figure has taken? The size is big enough for me to buy it. Other than wrong color weapon, cheap plastic, and other complaints, I found that this figure looks nice on the shelf.

4. I Have no Idea What Figure is This

Can somebody identify this one? This one looks good and poseable, too bad I have no references about this one.

See my flickr album for full image. Sorry, I am too lazy to create permalink here :p

NG 1/100 00 Raiser (Hongli)

The only reason why I choose this set is because of the price.

This was one of my wishlist, but it took a long time to finally buy it with a lot of considerations. I have read so many information regarding this gunpla set. It has weight issues and of course less detailed than its Master Grade counterpart. Maybe that can be expected from No Grade releases, only offering larger scale gimmick. And considering this is a Hongli release, you may guess my difficulties in assembling it.

Non Grade 00 Raiser Hongli brought up its problems originally from Bandai release. The design stays true to the original anime appearance and when assembling it, we have “HG-esque” feeling considering similarities on the runners. Complete with lack of details on color and molding. But when I finish the assembling, it is actually a very good figure to display. Am I the only one who think NG 00 Raiser is far better in terms of display than its MG version? Yes I know MG has its own appeals and the details are top-notch, but MG 00 Raiser has one major flaw, a serious flaw, “too many joints” sometimes proven to be annoying. I don’t have such experiences on this NG.

Yes, I don’t have batteries to put on its LED gimmick yet, but for me it’s more than enough. For a bootleg release it surpasses my expectation. Big, poseable, complete set (minus GN Sword III which only available in Designer Color release), and cheap.

More galleries can be found on my Flickr album

HG 1/144 Trans-Am Raiser (Hongli)

This is bootlegged release of High Grade 1/144 Trans-Am Raiser made by TT Hongli.

As expected from Hongli releases, I have got assembling issues ranging from painful snap-fit, below average quality stickers, and poor plastic molding. It can’t be helped because this is a bootleg, you cannot expect more.

Surprisingly, it is still a good figure to display considering this the Trans-Am version of my beloved 00 Raiser. I chose this over original Bandai release because in my opinion, Trans-Am version is just a recolored version without great appealing as the original color is. Still for a bootleg plastic model it surpasses my expectation.

Still for those who wants to have this, just buy Bandai original release and you do know why.

Ini merupakan rilisan bootleg dari High Grade 1/144 Trans-Am Raiser yang dibuat oleh TT Hongli

Namanya juga rilisan Hongli, saya mengalami masalah dalam perakitan seperti snap-fitnya yang menyakitkan, stiker yang benar-benar dibawah standar, hingga kualitas cetakan plastiknya yang sangat parah. Ini memang tidak bisa diharapkan karena ini rilisan bootleg, tidak bisa berharap lebih.

Yang mengejutkan, gunpla ini masih sangat bagus untuk dipajang karena ini adalah versi Trans-Am dari figur 00 Raiser favorit saya. Saya memilih ini daripada rilisan Bandainya karena menurut saya, versi Trans-Amhanya versi warna ulang tanpa daya tarik yang sama bagusnya dengan rilisan warna aslinya. Tapi sebagai figur bootleg, model plastik ini melampaui ekspektasi saya.

Tapi tetap saja bagi yang tertarik dengan figur ini, lebih baik membeli rilisan original dari Bandai-nya.