FansProject WB001 Warbot Defender Reviews

Discussion in 'Transformers 3rd Party Reviews' started by Vangelus, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. Vangelus

    Vangelus Long Live the New Flesh Moderator Content Contributor

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    Head here to see a fairly comprehensive video about the toy:
    http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/trans...us-review-99-fansproject-warbot-defender.html

    There are transformation sequences, a demo of the gun-drawing thing, and a clickable chapter list if you just want to go to a certain part of the video! :D 


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    Fansproject's Warbot Defender is a very interesting 3rd-party release. Everything I was worried about ended up better than I expected, and his biggest flaws took me completely by surprise.

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    His box is simple, striking, and professional. It also has Japanese all over it.

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    Inside, Defender is encased in a rubber-band-less twist-tie-less plastic coffin. Behind him is a less-inspiring plastic baggie, and a strangely thick booklet.

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    Defender's robot mode stands a healthy 6 inches tall, and bears an aesthetic that blends in well with the Classics and Universe 2.0 look.

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    He has very decent posability, with most of the major joints one would want. A really nice touch is how a large number of those joints are tight and/or ratcheting. The only point of weakness I've found here is that my own Defender has a loose forward/backward hip ratchet at the top of his right leg, but all that means is sometimes the die-cast weighs his leg down when I pick him up.

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    Speaking of die-cast, that was one of my biggest points of trepidation. I am not as big a fan of die-cast as most, especially if it's implemented in the way Binaltech often did. I am pleased to report that Defender's die-cast is really well done on my copy. The placement is pretty smart, avoiding unnecessary collisions and keeping metal away from metal most of the time. The paint is durable, having survived several horrific falls in the short time I've messed with the toy thus far. And best of all, the die-cast has a matte finish that really helps it blend in with the plastic around it. Another nice touch is that there are plastic additions throughout the die-cast that prevent the zinc pieces from having to be involved in tab-and-slot connections.

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    Unfortunately, just as I was pleasantly surprised by the die-cast aspect, I was unpleasantly surprised by Defender's biggest issue for me: his heels. He needs longer heels. Now, he doesn't topple over at a distant glance or anything like that, but he teeters just enough for it to be a citable con. And it's somewhat exacerbated by the leg-based die-cast plates, as they pull back and down slightly due to gravity. However, it's by no means a crippling flaw, and I hope that if Fansproject revisit this design they take a look at the heels first.

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    Defender's accessories are his sword and two pistols. The sword is the other big con for me, as it is unbelievably thin. Now, this LOOKS great, but the plastic used is very stiff. This makes the sword feel really fragile, and is a long-term point of observation for me.

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    On the bright side, Defender's pistols are the stuff of deliciousness. All three weapons can store on Defender's body, but the pistols are particularly fabulous in that Defender can literally reach down and draw them from their holsters.

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    That small touch goes miles with me, much like Animated Deluxe Cybertronian Prime and how he transforms while swinging his axe down.

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    Transformation is true triple-changer style, and any mode can shift to any other mode with equal effort. For the sake of brevity I'll stick to the instructions' order of Robot-->Car-->Copter. That booklet, by the way, contains a new Fansproject comic book followed by photoshop-highlighted instructions. They were pretty clear to me, though I think a step or two may be missing. Those steps were pretty obvious to me in the process, so I can't actually recall what they are. D:

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    What looked simple to me on paper turned out to be a really intricate bit of robot engineering. The rear half of the car mode is pretty obvious in how it transforms, but the front half/upper body is made oddly complicated by the way the arms transform. It's very satisfying to pull off. The only downside is that while everything down to the thighs locks in place, the shins (and thus, the big die-cast plates and rear wheels) do not. It's a minor issue since the knee ratchets are quite solid, but I always feel like I'm missing a tab somewhere.

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    Armoured Car mode is a vaguely flattened 6-wheeled tank-car from the future. Personally, I love it. If you dislike futuristic or non-earthen altmodes, this will troll you hardcore with its crazy front-mounted cannons, giant windshield, and layered armour plating. The pistols can also be placed in their holsters, which would leave them sticking slightly out of the back of the die-cast armour plates.

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    The sword stores beneath the armoured car mode in a friction clip, and while it feels solid and durable...the sword's thin form always has me wondering if one day it'll come out of there in pieces. I think I keep loading it into the storage position out of defiance of my own fears. :lol 

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    That said, with a sword stored underneath and 6 wheels to align with the floor, the armoured car mode rolls very well. That combined with its heft and crazy tank-mobile aesthetic really won me over.


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    The final big surprise of the Defender was that its Attack Helicopter mode...was NOT just the car mode with a tail folded out! A TON of transformation actually happens, with the arms taking on an entirely new formation, and the waist joint actually extending and unveiling a new locking tab. This really shut down my assumption that one of the vehicle modes would be fully compromised for the other.

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    Attack Heli mode, much like its sibling vehicle mode, is a very futuristic and alien helicopter. Again, this rubs my G1 Season 3-loving butt the right way, but your stroke may be different than mine. The unfurled sword blades spin extremely well, though there is no smaller rotor on the tail of the copter. It has a good silhouette to it, though.

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    The copter mode also uses Defender's final accessory- an adapter to allow the copter mode to use a Bandai Action Base stand. Unfortunately, I don't know which type. :(  I have a Type 2 and seem to lack the proper connector for Defender's adapter. Still, it's a thoughtful touch and I appreciate that Fansproject recognized how hard it can be to display a flying altmode in a satisfying way.

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    Overall, the Warbot Defender is worth the cost, in the realm of 3rd-party and garage kit releases. Naturally, those looking for the bang-for-your-buck of a larger retail mainline may not be satisfied, but if you're ready to pay extra for something that's a weirder, more limited-run bit of creativity, Defender pulls off a thumbs-up in my book. While he has issues with his heels and frighteningly thin sword, his smart use of apparently-durable and subtle die-cast, as well as his mostly-solid joints and unexpectedly thoughtful transformation have generally won me over. The number of ratcheting joints alone have me convinced he might have the most separate components of any Fansproject release thus far. That combined with the overall build quality leave me surprised that he came out under $100.

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    Last edited: Mar 24, 2010
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  2. panzerjedi

    panzerjedi Well-Known Member

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    Damn you! I'm off to buy one now.
     
  3. GAUGE

    GAUGE In Art, Nothing Is Impossible.

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    Thanks for sharing with us Vangelus.

    TFsource is supposed to be making a video review of this guy as well.
     
  4. ki1983ng

    ki1983ng Well-Known Member

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    Great review Vangelus! The colours look much better here. Sucks about the heels but it seems that the length of the heels were compromised for the copter mode. I think the only thing I'm not really liking is the copter's cockpit, not sure why they designed it that way, plus it looks like they could have left that piece out or shorten it.

    Can't wait for the video review!
     
  5. Liege Prime

    Liege Prime Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the review. Mines on the way. You know I totally forgot about the die cast. He really looks like a great value.
     
  6. TCracker

    TCracker おもちゃは今とても暑いです

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    Thanks, vange1us, I just made an order for mine.
     
  7. DJCHARTERS

    DJCHARTERS Well-Known Member

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    this is awsome. ive had it on pre order. i cant wait to get mine. i love it
     
  8. Acteon

    Acteon Overworked

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    It's a lovely curio, but I'll pass due to the cost and the fact I really don't like the legs.

    Chest/Head is superb though.
     
  9. JazzSanti86

    JazzSanti86 Rockin Out! Latino Style!

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    That is sweet man, I definitely have to get this guy when I see him at Botcon.
     
  10. Phoenix Blaze

    Phoenix Blaze Brain Waster

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    Firstly, was anyone else reading that in Vangelus' voice? I sure was.

    Hmm, I'm still not sold on him, even if he were cheaper, something seems missing. There's a lot of grey going on there, and his legs remind me of Universe Galvatron, which isn't a good thing.

    Nonetheless, a great review and I look forward to watching the video.
     
  11. T16skyhopp

    T16skyhopp Well-Known Member

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    hot.
     
  12. frenzyrumble

    frenzyrumble Banned

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    looks great!
     
  13. Trailbreaker77

    Trailbreaker77 Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    Wow, I wish I have the money for this it looks great. Damn Camaro!
     
  14. kajobaldisimo

    kajobaldisimo Well-Known Member

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    nice toy! cool review!

    i woulda bought this.

    but a hot toys war machine is the priority
     
  15. marshall dusty

    marshall dusty Well-Known Member

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    i have to buy one now....sigh.
     
  16. jessecuster

    jessecuster One Goal!

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    Ditto!
     
  17. Silent Bob

    Silent Bob Well-Known Member

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    Great review !!


    Get both, I know I'm gonna !! :D 


    Bob
     
  18. BaltMatrix

    BaltMatrix Well-Known Member

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    Waiting for mine to be delivered. :( 
     
  19. Pikachu_King

    Pikachu_King Well-Known Member

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    Hooray for today being my B-day, this has been on my pre-orders for as long as it's been up on BBTS, and I just shipped my loot with just it i it (that's how excited I am). Can't wait for explorer and munitioner.
     
  20. kajobaldisimo

    kajobaldisimo Well-Known Member

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    hehe. would really love to. but with war machine, also come ghost mp ss, fp bruticus upgrade, and battle damage mark 3.

    something has got to go. :) 
     

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