Sunday, 15 May 2016

Time for Unite Warriors Menasor


MenaHead
Now for some big sized action.  I’ve taken care of the component parts, now it’s time to form

MENASOOOOR!


First a quick box look.  Damn it’s nice.  They’ve really outdone themselves with the Transformers artwork on all the lines recently.  Legends is great, Masterpiece has been wonderful and the Unite Warriors have all had incredibly marvellous art on their boxes.

Menasor has a scene on the front of the cars busting through some buildings onto a highway and making Menasor on the front, and on the back has some images of the toy in combined mode and individual with a small blurb about Menasor being the combined warrior mode of the Stunticons from the original cartoon.  He also looks rather nicely posed as well.

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The front flap is held closed with magnets ( a classy touch) and flips open to show the toys inside, as well as Menasor’s tech specs. It’s all very nice.
 
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The cardboard backing has a blueprint style design to them, allocating which Stunticon goes where, It looks rather nice, but you can’t tell the difference between Wildrider’s and Deadend’s  line drawings.

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How is the toy?


OK.



Stunticons, UNITE!



Changing them from vehicle to limb mode is easy.  It’s pretty much exactly how you’d think it would go.  Motormaster is a bit more complex, but even then it’s pretty simple and quick.  Great for play and kids.

 
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Menacing colours.

Hrm, I wonder how my previous pun and compartmentalisation of figures will work with this guy?  None of the colours really clash with each other all that horribly and he’s easily identifiable as Menasor

Sculpty Julpty

Sculpting is well, nothing I haven’t covered before, except for his head and if you open the black box, his chest.  I really dig the head as it looks angry and yelly upset.  His red eyes are just glorious.  The silver paint is great and he even has a frown sculpted into his forehead.  His neck is an unhindered ball joint, allowing for him to look way up and very much down.  I think tall robots need to be able to look down, so I like this.
Menasor (52)
 
My main complaint with his head would be his horns.  They’ve gone from being a fancy crest from his forehead to actually being like bull horns off the side of his head.  If Motormaster had some decorative horns on his vehicle I could sort of understand, but these just seem to have come out of nowhere.

Inside the black box of MM’s back(and Menasor’s chest) is some nice sculpting, but no paint.  It looks a lot like Galvatron’s chest (from Age of Extinction), or some kind of matrix housing compartment.  I can see why this is here, as MM was also made into Optimus.  It’s all right, but I prefer the colour addition that Runabout can provide over an open box or a closed box.


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The body just consists of whatever his component parts had.  Great! That’s the way it should be!


スクランブル合体



たぶん


You can swap the limbs around as much as you like.  They all work fine as either leg or arm…
Except for Breakdown.  His square shoulders Clash with Motormaster’s when used as a limb, but his arm mode explains his funky robot hips.  He actually ends up being the thinnest (from the front) arm, which I rather like the look of as he stays side on the whole time.  Sadly the elbow ends up being a bit floppy though.

 
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Looking at the limbs, the default formation has the bonnets all folded down exposing the knee joints.  I don’t like this much, as it takes away from the 5 vehicles joined together aspect and part of Menasor’s “Thing” was that he was well armoured and his joints were particularly well covered.  So, it is possible to have Deadend and Wildrider cover theirs, it just looks a bit, well, derpy looking from the side.  Sadly the way Breakdown’s bonnet works, you can’t do much, except give Menasor a pointy knee.  But to be honest, I don’t mind it so much.

I guess you could say that the default foot for Dragstrip looks a bit smaller than the others as a foot too, but aside from those niggles, it isn’t that bad.

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OffRoad works well and even Alpha Bravo as arms.  Well, maybe Alpha Bravo is a little too thin… 

 
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Categories not working so well, so let’s talk about joints.


All the others are fine though.  The biggest flaw with Menasor is (sadly) Motormaster.  His hip design is just plain weird.  You have these flaps that fold up from MM’s legs to lock the thighs to the clave at the ‘correct’ angle and the hips then work at an unnatural angle that just messes thing up a s little bit.  On top of that, the look is ruined somewhat by the squat torso.

 
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Menasor (9)He does have the groin panel that can be moved down, but it doesn’t lock in anywhere and just floats above everything, looking (and being) somewhat superfluous in presence.  If you do put it up to be less flimsy looking, you end up with well….





 
You know when you’re a kid and you draw a picture of a circle with a mouth and eyes and the arms and legs  come straight off the face?
  Like this
That is the kind of vibe I get from his default Torso mode.
Articulation is pretty good with joints where you want them
  • Full shoulder range from combiner joints.
  • Ball jointed head
  • Swivel and bend at elbow with good range from Stunticon waist (depends of course on the robot concerned)
  • So so hips, depending on your config, with a bit of in/out and a fair bit of up/down movement
  • Ratcheted Knee hinges and swivels from the combiner joint
Hindered posing

Sadly the posing options are hindered by those hips and those bloody stupid foot/hand guns.  To be completely honest in this mode, they look all right as hands, but way too small as feet and having an ankle joint would have negated some of my concerns about the hips.

 
Swagger

Another slight annoyance is the way that MM’s arms clip together. That is, not all together well.  The shoulder connection joints stem from MM’s wrists, so you have to fold up the forearms and lock them into the biceps.  This lock is formed with the tiniest of tabs that makes a satisfying ‘click’ when connected, but still manages to pop out every time you move the shoulder joint….  The rest are solidly connected.

Menasor (3)

Also he seems a tad back heavy at times, or he has a tendency to lean backwards a  lot.  I think this is due to the hand/foot guns, as I have twisted them around and he balances pretty well.


Or you could plug something onto his chest

Official Unite Warriors config has the MM back piece (which is Menasor’s chest) closed and it adds a look of bulk to him.  However if you have Runabout, you can plug him on the chest no problems and he’s held fairly loosely and the axe handle can become a little bit of chest armour too.  Cute.  

Menasor (1)

 
Sadly though his bad torso proportions are only exacerbated by this.  If Runabout was designed to bulk up the waist are a bit more, he would have been a much better looking robot.  There are a number of fan configurations for Runabout/Blackjack kicking about, but none of them seem to tickle my fancy, as well as being secure so I just stick with the original for now.

Once again you can mess about with MM’s thigh set up and  get reasonably solid set up, but once again, none of them have yelled at me “EUREKA!”  I’m not a big fan of third party addons, as I think a Transformer should be good enough as it is, but I have to say, I am deeply thinking about getting the Perfect Effect Upgrade kit as it makes Menasor look amazing.  I’m a bit undecided about it, as I don’t like the way Motormaster looks with his bits and it makes Menasor look quite a bit G1.  Since this is an update figure, I’m quite happy to have Menasor looking a bit different.  After all, I already have a G1 Menasor.


Enough Whingeing, Let’s talk DAMAGE!


What I do like about his guy is that you can slap most of the Stunticon’s weapons on him somewhere as the majority of their weapon 5mm joints are still available.  Plus a nice part I like is that the stupid exhaust-pipe clubs finally come in handy.  You can plug them into MM’s hands on top of the shoulder and have them point forwards or up depending on how you feel.  Personally I prefer up, and imagine them actually expending a bit of exhaust as Menasor does things.  Like a power up, as he gets angry (angrier…) he revs up the engines and lets RIIIIIIP!


He also comes with a sword, which is formed from Motormaster’s gun and smaller sword combined.  It looks pretty cool and I like the design, but with the huge handfoot guns as hand, it could do with being a tad larger.  It just looks a little bit weeny for Menasor. I have seen a bit of custom work which stuck the fanaxe of Runabout/Blackjack onto the handle for the sword and it adds just that little bit more ‘oomph’ to it.  It’s a shame they didn’t just add a clip option to the axe for the sword handle… It’s almost there but not quite.


Menasor (38)

The one plus with the hand foot guns is that  all his knuckles have blasters on them.  THIS I like!  There had to be something I liked about those damn things.  If you use OffRoad as an arm, you can use one of the other Stunticons’ guns for the hand and plug OffRoad’s onto the forearm.  It looks pretty cool and adds a bit of bulk to him.

Menasor (34)


So let’s finish this!

Despite the...

(Looks back over writing)



….large amount of complaining,



I am actually am rather fond of Menasor.  If you can  get his hips into a solid stance he can actually look OK.  Not great, but OK.  Sadly the hip set up just kind of falls apart (figuratively) when you try and pose him.  This isn’t helped by the crappy little feet either.  Despite my Third Party product reservations, I think at the very least he needs some feet upgrades.  I have to admit, that due to his floppyness, I did find taking these photos not as fun as they should have been.  He’s fine when standing, but try and pose him and you’re off to flop city!

I do rather like the customisation options available to this guy.  You can mess about with him quite a lot to get your own personal Menasor.  I find it rather odd, as I stated in my G2 FOC Bruticus review that making a combiner of the Stunticons would be a good start due to the similar nature of the vehicles and so it should be fairly easy to get a decent Gestalt figure from them and while the limbs are solidly made and quite good, like FOC Bruticus, Menasor suffers from a weak central piece.


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One config a friend linked me to was this one.  It certainly makes him look more solid, but posing him is a bit hard, he’s relegated to standing still.  I’m still looking.

If Motormaster made a better torso, the whole of Menasor would be a better robot.  Perhaps making the cab have the combiner joints and MM’s forearms forming part of Meansor’s waist, would have still provided him with chest bulk as well as adding a more solid waist.


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As the first of the Unite Warriors/Combiner Wars figures release, I can understand the crappy footgun used, but since TT have been doing these in box sets as opposed to mix n matching figures like Hasbro, I find it baffling they haven’t bothered improving the feet like Hasbro have.  Hasbro’s Victorion and Computron come with new feet pieces and TT Bruticus is due out after Victorion and still comes with Menasor styled foot guns.  Which might look even worse and smaller on the bulkier Brawl and Swindle.


Here’s the real conclusion:

In the end, It’s a little bit hard to put my finger on exactly what the problem is with Menasor.  He isn’t bad, but he could’ve been a lot better with just a couple of minor fixes.  If you’re a fan of Menasor, I think finding a cheap one is not a bad idea at all.  Menasor is a decent Gestalt figure and the individual Stunticons themselves are all very solid characters.  The thing that let’s them down is the weakly designed torso mode of Motormaster. 

I wonder if Hasbro or TT read my review of Bruticus and thought, “Hey, this guy has some good ideas there!”
 

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