Hello, this is The Weasel. Today, we'll be looking at AMW-07, 08, and 09, who combine to form the Cosmotector Shield (also called the Skyboom Shield). A quick warning before we continue - I decided to go ahead and keep these guys unstickered except for their faction symbols. I have a bad track record with keeping stickers untorn and in place, so I'll probably add some paint to them later instead (and I'd like to keep their surfaces clean for that). Aside from adding a little detail here and there and making the bladed bits shiny, the stickers don't really add all that much (what they really need is some color in the face, which there aren't stickers for). These guys still look good without them, in my opinion. The posability on these guys is not terribly useful. It is all just incidental posability courtesy of their transformation schemes. AMW-08 gets some decent forward-backward movement on both his arms and legs, though. AMW-07 "Prul" Prul looks quite nice, and you can definitely see the Prowl influence in the head crest. The lack of stickers leaves his chest a little bare, which would normally have a sticker with some tech detail on it. Assembly for this guy is a little bit frightening for people not familiar with model kits. So long as you are careful to double check that the legs and blades are going to be facing the proper direction, though, it's not too hard. Mine already got a stress mark on the hip clip during assembly from the hips not going in quite properly and popping back out, though it doesn't show up in any mode. It's not a problem yet, but I'm not sure how well it will last in the long run. Sadly, his faction symbol needs to be upside down for either Weapon/Combined Mode or Robot Mode. Prul's transformation is probably the most complicated of the trio. It's still pretty simple, but you need to do it in the correct order - first the arms, then the legs. The legs involve a somewhat strange inverting that's easier to show than explain. Sword Mode (or Javelin Mode if TFWiki is to be believed) looks pretty decent. I would be lying if I said that this Weapon Mode wasn't one of the biggest reasons I picked up the set. The blade stickers are missed, but it is still a pretty convincing longsword with a good size for Deluxe/Voyager class figures. The extra handle on the back of the blade doesn't serve much purpose unless you want to use it as a javelin, so you can safely cut it off if it bothers you. My only real complaint for Weapon Mode aside from the extra handle is that the main handle isn't quite long enough. Some figures with vehicle parts on their forearms (such as the Generations Warpath I'm using for this review) can struggle to hold it securely in natural poses. It is not a huge issue most of the time, but it deserves a mention. AMW-08 "Sais" In my opinion, Sais is probably the surprise winner of the set in Robot Mode. The head sculpt does not really remind me of Sideswipe (nor Seaspray as TFWiki claims he is an homage to), but the bucket head and wide body work well with the shoulder cannon (which normally would have a sticker to act as the inside of the barrel). The pegs sticking out of his back work surprisingly well as smokestacks, making the most out of his transformation necessities. From his shoulder cannon to his posability to his smokestacks, this guy is the clear winner at taking advantage of his transformation quirks to make a better toy. Nothing really to note about assembly except that the force needed to get the pieces to snap together is very high. Just make sure the legs have the holes facing out, the shoulder cannon is on the right arm, and the perpendicular peg on the cannon points towards the face. His faction symbol/spark crystal is a little wierd in Robot Mode, though, since you need to look through a little cutout in the side to see it. It's rightside up in Robot and Combined Mode, but not Weapon Mode. Transformation is really simple, but it needs to be done in the proper order again. Fold back the cannon, then fold up the arms followed by the legs. Then just unfold the blade, being a little careful to make sure it flattens out all the way. Axe Mode (which can double as Battle Fan Mode if that tickles your fancy) is quite nice as well. It reminds me a little of Castlevanian Axe Lord throwing axes in size and shape, which can't be a bad thing. It's not the best axe we've ever seen wielded by a Transformer, but it certainly works pretty well (so long as you keep the side with the hands/feet away from the viewer). AMW-09 "Jayz" Jayz is probably the weakest of the three figures overall, though his Robot Mode still looks alright. You can definitely see the Jazz influence in his head, and I would go so far as to say he has my favorite head sculpt of the three. His body has a couple issues brought on by his transformation into Combined Mode, most notably the big hinge in the middle of his chest and the obvious line down his middle that doesn't come together quite perfectly. Probably the most... unfortunate... thing about his Robot Mode is necessitated by his Weapon Mode transformation. Because the swivels need to be in the middle of his legs, he has a lot of plastic dangling down below where his hips should be, not to mention the long handle behind him that serves as (I kid you not) a third leg. Assembly is probably the worst of the three, too. Somewhat inexplicably, the front and back of each side are separate pieces, which need to be connected via a tab, a peg-like thing, and a tiny little tab that needs to be hooked in. I might have just assembled those pieces in not quite the perfect way, since both sides developed light stress marks in the process (they aren't very visible, fortunately). Just to add to my issues with this figure, the faction symbol will never, ever be rightside up or upside down in any of the three modes - you only get to choose between the chin facing towards the front or the back. Transformation isn't bad on this guy, though again you need to do things in order. First, fold up the handle over his head, then rotate the legs, then push the legs and arms against the body. Spear Mode (or Cudgel Mode if you can't get past the short handle) is a mixed bag in my opinion. On the one hand, it really looks good from every angle, something that cannot be said of the other two figures in the set. On the other hand... that handle is far too short to be a convincing spear. It's certainly not a bad Weapon Mode, it is just that my expectations were a little too high. I tried to custom something up with Lego pieces, but the handle is too wide for anything to fit over it. I know that a telescoping handle or something is a little too much to ask, but I'm still a little saddened that something couldn't have been worked out. All Together Now As a weapons pack, these guys are overall very satisfying, and they feel far more intentional individually than the Dark Matter Calibur set did. Aside from Jayz's short handle, these guys do a great job performing as melee weapons so long as you keep the correct side facing the viewer. Preparing these guys for Combined Mode is pretty simple - Prul needs to rotate his hips back into Robot Mode, while Sais just gets his handle folded down and Jayz is torn in half. Combining Prul and Sais is a little counter-intuitive. Start by putting Prul's head right next to Sais's handle, line up the pegs and holes, and then push both of Prul's legs onto the pegs simultaneously. Jayz then plugs into Sais's feet, which shouldn't be an issue if both figures are unfolded all the way. The combined Cosmotector Shield looks great. It's a little unfortunate that Jayz's faction symbol doesn't face the same way as the other two, but it's a minor issue in the long run. The red, silver, and blue color scheme isn't nearly as jarring as you might think, and the shield has a nice triangular shape to it. The handle is a decent distant away from the shield, which really helps most figures be able to hold it either in front of their fist or parallel to the arm. Now onto some non-official modes. First off, by folding the handle up against the shield, you can pull off a decent Blaster and Sword combination (the Sword doesn't really work all that well in practice, but it can work for display from certain angles). The other alternate transformation involves taking off Jayz, folding out Sais's right leg, rotating the handle 90 degrees, then returning everything but the handle back into the normal Cosmotector (if you are careful, you can move the leg out of the way without taking off Jayz, but it's probably safer to just take him off). This configuration is a little less secure than the regular Combined Mode, but it looks cool. On the left hand, it becomes an along-the-arm Shield, and when plugged into the right hand, it makes for a nifty Arm Blade Mode. Final Thoughts Ultimately, I think that the Cosmotector trio is a really cool set, but not without its flaws. It seems more solid overall than the Dark Matter Caliber set, which looks great combined but had 2 Weapon Modes that felt pretty tacked on. The theme of G1 character homages is pulled off well with 2 of the 3 figures in the Cosmotector set, and all three Weapon Modes are nice (if you can get past Jayz's stubby handle). My biggest complaints are the plastic quality (all three of my figures now have minor stress marks) and the price. If you can find these guys for close to their Japanese retail price, they are great, but I'm not sure they are really worth the $10 each I paid for them after shipping.