Unofficial Binaltech Chevy Cruze

Discussion in 'Transformers 3rd Party Reviews' started by Hicks_Royel, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. Hicks_Royel

    Hicks_Royel Punched a squirrel.

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    This will just be a quick and dirty review of the Chevy Cruze that has surfaced on eBay recently. Being the BT/Alt enthusiast that I am, I welcomed a chance to add to my Autobot ranks with what will wind up being a Cliffjumper stand-in. Forgive the pictures [which will range from decent to worse] I took them one morning at the gym since the lighting it better there.

    I don't read Chinese and my effort to find out any info on this product through the US Chevy contacts has proven useless, but the packaging does lend itself to suggest that this is an officially licensed Chevy China product. If they got permission to use the red washed movie Bumblebee I don't know and don't really care. But the box looks cool, all the same:
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    Like all the Binaltech figures, the cardboard support insert can be used as a display and features more of the movie botmode which, if you're not paying attention, could kinda... almost look like the Cruze in enough places to pass:
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  2. Hicks_Royel

    Hicks_Royel Punched a squirrel.

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    So, Alt mode's what you'd expect... What's nice is that they've certainly gone the etra mile to make this a new vehicle/figure instead of just slapping Chevy Badges on a red Subaru WRX. All the body panels are redesigned and there's an impressive amount of diecast if you're into that kinda thing. The hood, roof, the doors, quarter and rockerpanels are all metal. So, yeah, he's got the same heft to him that the BT WRX's had.
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    The interior of the car is new molding, the IP, the steering wheel, the front seats... all sculpted to look like a Cruze. The IP is also painted in silver and blue highlights. Yes, even the display gauges are painted up with red needles. If I had a better camera, you'd have a better photo of it.
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    Panel fit's not great, but I've had similar issues with my BTs, so I can't write it off as purely being the result of this being an "Unofficial" TF. And I use "unofficial" because it certainly doesn't deserve the negative connotations that come with a term like "knock-off". For all I know, it's my fear of paint chips that keep me from getting it right the first time.
    The biggest issue is with the roof. They've oversized the pin holes that connect the roof with the rear window studs. So yeah, there's that. But it really leads to this weird Chinese Firedrillesk condition with the doors. You get the left rear in under the roof and the right rear pops out... you go to address that and the left front is out again... And it just kinda goes along that way for a few minutes until you get your fingers wrapped around in the right configuration. The decklid, or rather the panels that make up the decklid also have a bit of fit issue, but you can get them to work, this again is because of the roof/rear windshield fit.

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    The bumper panels do fit together better, I just wasn't paying attention while I took the photos. I had to hurry and get this done so I could still get in my workout before the creepy old man who watches the Teen Disney shows came in for his morning jog. Creepy, creepy old man.
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    The paint could use some help... It's pretty nasty on the roof of the one. A little too thin there, a little bit on the heavy side here... there's a few too many seeds in the paint too. You can also see that there's a pretty good bit of silver missing from the trim of the left rear window... But again, it is what it is... and at twenty feet away, meh...
     
  3. Hicks_Royel

    Hicks_Royel Punched a squirrel.

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    But here are some pictures, words to follow:
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    Edit: Actually, I'll leave it to the photos for the most part here. The hips are the only really wobbly spot on the one I've got in bot mode. I don't plan on converting the other to see if it's a common issue. The hands are painted read... so that's fun to work the fingers free the first time. I lost little bit of paint on the left hand doing so. The pin in the gun or the hole in the hand has been been under/oversized respectively so the gun doesn't peg into the palm of his hand properly. Not a big deal, but in alt mode the gun will remain loose under the hood as well. But for display purposes... you're never really going to know. The shoulders on mine are decently tight. I think the fears of wobble come from the fact that all the images we've seen had the shoulders mistranformed and whoever took the photos attempted to pose him dynamically. The feet are good. The ankles, elbows... pretty much any joint but the hips are solid enough.
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    The photo's don't help it any, but the paint on the head and face are pretty rough too. They used silver and got in there pretty heavy. Also, for whatever reason, the barrel of the gun's been retooled and rounded down. There's also the Chevy emblem in plave of an Autobot one. The pin in the back of the barrel does suffer from some excess flashing that kept it from fitting properly at first with the body of the weapon. I've trimmed in down since then.
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  4. Hicks_Royel

    Hicks_Royel Punched a squirrel.

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    Aside from the normal issues related to "Unofficial" Products, panel fits, sloppy paint, the occassional "whoops" moments... There are only three real concerns I have with the new designs:

    The first being that with the weapon storage turned ninety degrees under the hood, they removed the support bracket that clipped the doghouse to the torso. This allows the weapon to sit inside the car but it also causes the whole chest to drop down in bot mode.
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    Second, the pins in the shoulder/steering mechanism have been redesigned to no longer require magnets. Now you just have a long stud that clips into the crossmember that allows for the "steering" action. Seems great in theory and probably cut costs, but there's not a lot of room in there and the pin gets in the way during transformation. I think it had a knack for hanging up on the bottom of the fender.
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    Finally, and this is the one that gave me the biggest concern, they redesigned the clips that attach the doghouse to the rockerpanels in alt mode. The photo doesn't do it justice and if you don't have an Alt or BT to compare to, you'd never know the problem, but the pins that slot into place are just a little bit too long and it results in having to really force the panels apart, overextending the fender to get it clear of the slot in the bottom of the rockerpanel. Plus there's an extra bump on the side of the pin that knotches in the slot... because apparently this is that one place that they really wanted to make sure things held together... It's a headache that, after fighting with the doors, really seems unwarranted. Edit: You know, now that I think about it... Maybe Alt Ricochet had this same thing going on. I know one of the Subarus was different from the others. But it really, really stands out here with this third party attempt.
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  5. Hicks_Royel

    Hicks_Royel Punched a squirrel.

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    Sheesh... this is getting stupid. Alright, I'll try again when I'm not in an Internet deadzone.
     
  6. Biotoakid

    Biotoakid I've never been wrong

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    I really like this guy. Hows most his build. Study? Not cheap in the on die cast areas? Can you get him not on Ebay?
     
  7. Lysist

    Lysist Member

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    Thanks For posting this Hicks :) 

    I am really stoked to get a look at mine when it gets here.
     
  8. seali_me

    seali_me Well-Known Member

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    Thank you. I love this thing so much.

    Plus it's diecast. Something the wife has been commenting about in my collection which has been on a steep decline.
     
  9. iron maniac

    iron maniac Help Uncle Sixshot, Help!

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    I really like that, I might pick one up now
     
  10. Lysist

    Lysist Member

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    I got mine in the mail. I Noticed the same issue with the hips being a bit on the loose side and the rear window pegs not quite fitting in. I think I will try the clear nail polish trick and see if that works. No issues with the paint. It matches up quite well.

    Thanks for the Photos Hicks.
     
  11. deaculpa

    deaculpa Seven Star Fist

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    Interesting that they have a different robot in the box.
     
  12. jtscribe

    jtscribe Well-Known Member

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    Oof. $100 bucks on EBay?
     
  13. Hicks_Royel

    Hicks_Royel Punched a squirrel.

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    Sorry, I forgot all about this thread.

    Uh, the figure's fairly solid aside from what I mentioned. The plastic and metal are both decent. I mean, there's the "almost but not quite official" feel to it all. I'd compare them to the iGear Seekers. Whoever made these took the time to get a lot of it right and I'm sure that since Chevy China had a hand in their creation, this wasn't by accident.

    And no, I don't think anyone's found a source outside of eBay for these. I know CapturedPrey was looking into them but I don't know that there was any luck. Which reminds me, I should point him to this thread...

    Yeah, the price it a little steep, but given that there only seem to be four of them available... I mean, I guess it depends on your own opinion. To me, it was obviously worth it. I love the Binaltech/Alternator line and adding a Cliffjumper to the ranks is something that I'm happy with. That it's a new car type is icing.
     
  14. plowking

    plowking I'm with ErechOveraker. Veteran

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    thanks for the review man....pretty neat lil BT here.
     

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