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Maketoys Mobile Crane and Dump Truck (Pic Heavy)

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Old 04-22-2012, 01:17 AM   #1
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Maketoys Mobile Crane and Dump Truck (Pic Heavy)

I know there are already some better pictures up, but since I haven't seen an actual review posted I thought I'd go ahead! For anyone who needs a refresher, my review of Excavator and Bulldozer can be found here: Maketoys Bulldozer and Excavator (Pic heavy)

As with before, let's start with some pictures of the box!

Front:


Sides:



Back:


As with Excavator and Bulldozer, the box consistently calls the two by their proper Japanese vehicle names (Dump Truck and Idoushiki Crane).

The packaging is largely the same as Excavator and Bulldozer as well, with Mobile Crane and Dump Truck nestled in a plastic try with a plastic over-tray:


There's a card behind them with pictures of the two:


The instructions are taped to the back of the card:


The instructions are the same style as Maketoys' other releases so far. Prototype photos with pieces highlighted in different colors and some arrows. In some cases, I found them a little confusing. Paying attention to the hinges on the toy should help.

There was also a supplement in the shipping box (not the actual toy box) with additional warnings and caution points:


It notes that "MT-03C" (The third set, I'm assuming) will include a revised Giant head, revised Giant crotch piece, and the various screws necessary to attach them.

For initial impressions, my comments are largely the same as Excavator and Bulldozer - same high-quality plastic, same sharp edges. This is actually an issue in a few places this time, and I'll note that when it comes up.

In the box we have:
- Mobile Crane
- Dump Truck
- Cannon housing (Part 1)

The cannon housing forms part of Giant's main gun:



And it splits into two smaller guns for Mobile Crane and Dump Truck:



Pretty standard gun fare. You'll notice that even with this set Giant's gun isn't complete - we're still missing the other half of the gun's housing.


Next up is the vehicle modes. Same warning as last time: the colors on these two are much darker than these alt mode pics suggest. For some reason my phone's camera likes to over-saturate in some lights.

Mobile Crane:





Mobile Crane's crane can extend, but the hook has no articulation at all:


Mobile Crane with his smaller gun attached:


It's a little disappointing that there's no articulation on Mobile Crane's hook, but I suppose that removes the issue Dr. Crank had with stringing his crane...

Additionally, the kibble on Mobile Crane's robot mode chest makes it impossible for all of his vehicle wheels to touch the ground at once, and means that attempting to roll the vehicle mode would scrape parts of his robot mode chest along the ground. Not good design. Couple that with the "mish-mash" feel of his alt mode, and he's definitely my least favorite vehicle of the bunch so far .

Dump Truck:





An interesting aside is that Dump Truck's front wheels can turn!:


Dump Truck with his smaller gun attached:


Dump Truck's tools:



Dump Truck's vehicle mode is far superior here - it's more coherent and functions pretty well! No complaints here!

Group shot of the Giant members released so far in vehicle mode:


On to robot modes:

Mobile Crane:





You can fold his crane in this mode too, leaving him with a strange kind of hook tonfa:


My biggest gripe with Mobile Crane is that his Robot Mode feels kind of like an afterthought. There's kibble everywhere, almost all of which interferes with posing. He's hard to transform (especially around the arms - the amount of force required to transform them is truly scary), and he ends up having several potential breakage points because of joints needed for him to transform. Especially worrisome are his knees:


And the way his crane attaches to his arm:


I guess it's a good thing the plastic is strong!

Poseability for Mobile Crane is a little lack-luster given the other Giant bots. He has a ball-jointed neck, as well as ball-jointed shoulders and legs and thigh swivels. The rest of his articulation (knees and elbows) is straight hinges.

On to Dump Truck:




Dump Truck is much more solid in this mode too. There's one scary bit in his transformation which has to do with the way his hands tuck into his truck bed, but I forgot to photograph it... Essentially there's a really thin piece of plastic that stops the hands from turning more - I'd recommend caution when transforming the first couple of times. This is that "sharp edge" I was talking about earlier.

Additionally, if you pull his head all the way up until it clicks into position, he's stuck looking down. This is easily fixed by just not pulling it all the way, but is mildly annoying. His tools can store in the arm kibble on his upper arms.

Poseability on Dump Truck is much better than Mobile Crane - he has bicep, wrist, shoulder and thigh swivels; ball-jointed feet and a ball-jointed neck; ratcheting hips with outward motion; and elbow and knee hinges! Much of his kibble is also on hinges or swivels to allow it to rotate out of the way of articulation, though the kibble on his upper arms can get in the way of his lower arms for some poses.

Group shot of all the Giant members so far in robot mode:



Finally, combiner modes!

Mobile Crane:




You can also fold his crane down to make it a little more streamlined:


I'll hold off on most of my comments on this mode until the end... But I do want to note one thing:


The reason why the head's been "hidden" in all of the pictures we've seen is because the neck is PURPOSELY MOLDED THAT WAY. It means that Giant is ALWAYS looking slightly down. You cannot truly straighten his head or have him look up. Not a fan of that design choice personally...

Dump Truck:





No real complaints or comments here, so let's move on to the combined mode so far:





His back is kind of a hot mess of kibble, but really - who's looking at his back? From the front, he's badass!

One issue some have mentioned (and it does bug me) is that there's a gaping hole in his left arm. You can "fix" this by repositioning Bulldozer's cab:



The fix looks fine from the side, but kind of bugs me in a front-on view. I prefer to leave it with the hole and the proper vehicle mode silhouette.

Giant can, of course, wield the Tools of Destruction:



The tools can store in his "skirt" when not in use, so they have a place to go in every mode!

Many have also noted his compatibility with the Danboard Sensou effect part kits:



Worth picking up if you like the fiery spinning drill look!

For over-all combined mode comments... I think there are really only one thing I can say based on what we have so far. Without pulling the arms out away from their "Menasor Syndrome" combiner skeleton, the treads actually present a bit of a kibble hindrance to poseability. Given that, I can understand why they went with the combiner skeleton in this instance even if I don't like the impact it has on the two arm robots.

The combiner joint connections are pretty solid and stable. Mobile Crane's attachment to Dump Truck works via two clips that you squeeze to open and release to lock onto Mobile Crane. Mobile Crane's connection to Excavator and Bulldozer is likewise accomplished by pressing buttons next to the joint housings to "open" them while you insert the male combiner joints. Once the buttons are released, all the connections seem quite effective. Pretty cool!

Pics of the combination mechanisms, with my fingers touching the buttons you press to "open" the various mechanisms:




And finally, just for fun, one pic entitled, "Uncombine, you idiot! Uncombine!"


Overall, I think Mobile Crane and Dump Truck are much more interesting as stand-alone toys than Bulldozer and Excavator, but I kind of miss the simplicity and solidity that the first two had (which is saying something, since the combiner kibble meant that the first two weren't THAT stable). Regardless, I think Dump Truck is still a good toy, and an interesting take on Long Haul. Mobile Crane, however... If he wasn't necessary for Giant, I would recommend against picking him up.

As for the combined mode... Well, I still think it's pretty busy, and I still like the clean, solid look of Hercules better... But I have to admit Giant looks pretty badass, and I especially like all the paint detailing and the look of black-on-yellow this release has. I don't think I'll regret having him in my collection!
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Old 04-22-2012, 01:40 AM   #2
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Poseability is about what you'd expect - close to full range of motion except for wrist swivels, feet, and knees.
What do you mean by this? Hook has knees. They're really low, but they are there, they're used in transformation.
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Old 04-22-2012, 01:50 AM   #3
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Agree with loving Hercules simple as compared to giant. But the joints are really best things from giant. And hook is the worst designed among the 4 figures so far even thou the bot look is the best.
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Old 04-22-2012, 02:02 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Valkysas View Post
What do you mean by this? Hook has knees. They're really low, but they are there, they're used in transformation.
I apologize - that was unclear. He has knees, yes (and I have a picture of them above, as they're really thin and kind of worrisome...). I just meant that they don't swivel. I'll edit the review to reflect!

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Originally Posted by blueben View Post
Agree with loving Hercules simple as compared to giant. But the joints are really best things from giant. And hook is the worst designed among the 4 figures so far even thou the bot look is the best.
I like the joints from Giant just fine... Except that Excavator and Bulldozer don't stay attached. I don't have Hercules in person yet to compare them, so what exactly is better about Giant's joints?
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Old 04-22-2012, 02:06 AM   #5
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wow. thanks for the review. i am seriously thinking about canceling my green giant preorder now.

it sounds like these are unnecessary because i already have herc. i havent been paying attention to giant much because im not interested in the yellow version, but i thought they were going to be better (than this review made them sound) from all the hype from the herc haters around here.

now it looks like they are of a similar size, and dont really look any better than the herc bots. (read i like the look of the individual herc bots better...)

with my recent preorder of upgrade package for herc, i really dont even see any superiority in the gestault mode either. i like the tread up look that is more g1ish. i think i just taked myself into canceling my preorder for green giant...

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Old 04-22-2012, 02:11 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by BraveMax View Post
I like the joints from Giant just fine... Except that Excavator and Bulldozer don't stay attached. I don't have Hercules in person yet to compare them, so what exactly is better about Giant's joints?
Spring gears and material used for those gears on the joints. If you ever touches Hercules, you will now what I mean.
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Old 04-22-2012, 02:18 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by CVprowl View Post
wow. thanks for the review. i am seriously thinking about canceling my green giant preorder now.

it sounds like these are unnecessary because i already have herc. i havent been paying attention to giant much because im not interested in the yellow version, but i thought they were going to be better (than this review made them sound) from all the hype from the herc haters around here.

now it looks like they are of a similar size, and dont really look any better than the herc bots.

with the recently preordered upgrade package for herc i really dont even see any superiority in the gestault mode either. i think i just taked myself into canceling my preorder for green giant...
As I said above, my Herc is waiting at home in storage... So, unfortunately I can't really compare the two on anything but design and plastic quality (from the two Herc members I had time to open).

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueben View Post
Spring gears and material used for those gears on the joints. If you ever touches Hercules, you will now what I mean.
I've touched Hercules. I just haven't had the chance to combine him. You may well have a point about springs and plastic quality - I'll agree Giant's plastic is top-notch. My only complaint about the joints is the design of the members around them ("Menasor Syndrome" for the arms, and its effect on the arm robots mostly) and the fact that the springs apparently don't help keep the arm robots attached to Mobile Crane, which is very disappointing to me.

For what it's worth, I'm kind of hoping that someone finds something I missed that will allow them to connect more securely - having paid for the toy, it's not like I'm rooting for it to be inferior here!

I need to clarify that - I know my reviews of these two sets haven't been the most positive, and that I've made it clear that I prefer Hercules from a design perspective... But I still like the Giant design quite a bit. I wouldn't have bought it otherwise. The rest is really just my desire to give an honest review without sugar-coating the faults. Feel free to post your own review if you don't like mine...
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Old 04-22-2012, 02:37 AM   #8
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Did you tried the lock button of the arm-joint? It is a bit tricky to get the arms lock in place, but once they are locked, It is nearly not possible to pull the arms out unless you press and hold the button. I have mine combined and I can hold one arm and swing the body with out pulling out the arms.

Don't know if that can help?
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Old 04-22-2012, 02:41 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by lushkwok View Post
Did you tried the lock button of the arm-joint? It is a bit tricky to get the arms lock in place, but once they are locked, It is nearly not possible to pull the arms out unless you press and hold the button. I have mine combined and I can hold one arm and swing the body with out pulling out the arms.

Don't know if that can help?
That might well be what I was missing. Can you explain this a little better or show pictures? I don't see a "lock button"...

EDIT: Nevermind - I was looking in the wrong place. You're absolutely right - there IS a button on each side of Mobile Crane next to the joint housing that you can press to "open" the joint to connect to the two arm robots. I have them in robot mode at the moment, but it seems MUCH more secure when you lock them in this way. I'll edit the review to reflect!
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:02 AM   #10
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I was just about to say that about the arm joints. I did it wrong myself the first time and they were loose. I was pushing the tab on Mobile Crane, but didn't push the arms far enough so the tabs on Bulldozer and Excavator locked in. You have to push the arms all the way in after pushing the tab on Mobile Crane. Once they're in there, they're not going anywhere.
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