Fans Hobby MB-01 Archenemy Review

Discussion in 'Transformers 3rd Party Discussion' started by Sidecutter, Jan 20, 2017.

  1. Sidecutter

    Sidecutter Evil Dealer Scum TFW2005 Supporter

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    Full disclosure upfront:
    We received copy of Archenemy thanks to Fans Hobby for photography and review. However, I will still do my best to provide an unbiased review, as it is never my desire to mislead my customers and fellow fans. The level of trust you assign to that statement, of course, is up to you.

    The rep has also informed me that the chest panels on this figure do NOT open. They are designed to do so, and as a result look like they do, but that feature is disabled on Archenemy, as there is no Matrix as a part of him. There will be a Matrix included with MB-04 Gunfighter 2, the Optimus Prime version of this mold (as well as a rifle), so the feature will be functional on that figure. A slip warning of this will be in the final packaging of the figure, but was not part of the sample.

    Overview:
    Right off the bat, I'll give you fair warning, you are probably going to want to let this thing air out for a while. The tires of the figure are made of vinyl, instead of rubber, which should give them much better longevity over the coming years. The flipside of this is that the vinyl has quite a strong smell when you first open the package, so be prepared for that. In the long run, I'm sure it will be an advantage but man, that vinyl odor was a shock! The company rep I deal with seemed to indicate that it may not be such a problem on the production copies, but that the samples were rushed out to get them to retailers and reviewers, so this figure probably had less time to air out than normal. your mileage may vary as a result, and it might not even be noticeable when you get this in hand.

    First impressions out of the box, this figure really feels quality. It has a nice weight to it thanks to several die-cast parts, and the paint work is extremely clean and tightly applied. The figure shipped packed with protective film over both the top and bottom of the figure inside the two-layer plastic tray, helping make sure that the plastic and paint were protected as well as possible. The box and tray are both sturdy, and feel like they went to some effort to make sure they would support the figure. Likewise, the sword and instruction booklet are both protected by their own plastic wrappings. The front half of each foot, as well as the thighs and the exhaust pipes of the truck mode are all die-cast metal.

    The figure is clearly designed to fit in with official Hasbro and Takara-TOMY Masterpiece offerings, and indeed takes some cues right from MP-10 in this regard, which does make sense, as it is meant to stand alongside that figure and look like it belongs there. The hands, while q unique mold, basically copy the design of the MP-10 hands, aside from being a single piece that clips onto a mushroom-peg, like most the newer MP cars use. The shaping of the hands and the articulation, however, is very similar to MP-10, with movement in the same places. You won't have to worry about the middle knuckle of the index finger popping off, however, as the knuckle joints are all securely pinned together. Likewise, the feet are strongly based on MP-10s, and the shins use panels that fold to the inside to link together in the truck mode, albeit these fold around from the back, instead of forming the vents on the front of the legs.

    Articulation, Sculpt, & Paint:
    Articulation is excellent, and very much in the Masterpiece style, with a focus on sturdy ratchets, hinge, and swivel joints. The head can look up and down, and turn as expected. The antennae on the side of the head can also be tilted backward and forward, which is a big help in the transformation process. The shoulders feature an inside-the-chest ratcheting joint allowing movement up and down (partly a relic of the transformation, but ratcheted in a manner that is not needed for that use), a front/back ratcheting swivel, and an up/down hinge. The shoulders do often want to hit on the side mirrors of the truck mode, which do not fold away, but the company seems to have considered this, and the mirrors are made of die-cast to prevent issues. A bicep swivel rests just above the elbow hinge, and a swivel wrist attaches the hand. The hand itself features movement at the base of all four fingers, with the middle, ring, and pinkie fingers joined as a single unit, the same as MP-10, and an extra middle knuckle joint on the index finger, again, just like MP-10. Unlike MP-10, however, the hand uses a dovetail slot between the thumb and palm to help secure the weapon in the hand.

    There is a slight "crunch" articulation between the chest and abs, and a waist swivel. The hips feature a hinge and swivel combination that ratchets in all directions, with a thigh swivel just below on the legs, and double knee joints also ratchet solidly on both ends. The feet bear a side to side swivel, as well as and up/down hinge, both located at the back inside corner, and very similar in design and range of motion to MP-10. All of the jointing feels very sturdy and reliable, and I don't anticipate there being much in the way of problems with sagging or inability to hold poses or support weapons with extended arms.

    The sculpt of the figure is terrific, with loads of simple detail that doesn't make the figure look busy, while still giving it visual appeal. The paint is likewise excellent, following the scupt very cleanly, with good, clean edges and solid coverage. No fuzzy edges, overspray, thin spots, patching, or other flaws are evident that I can find on this copy of the figure. Small details added in, like gold and silver on pistons inside the calves, really adds a nice touch of contrast to the simple black, grey, and metallic turquoise color scheme. I will note that the eyes are made of a clear, red plastic. Much like MP-10, this gives them a sort of dark, dead look that I know some collectors dislike, but I think that it is appropriate to this figure. If you happen not to like it, though, it should be a simple matter to open the head and paint the eyes to suit yourself.

    Accessories:
    With Archenemy, the sole accessory is his signature sword. The sculpt of the blade and hilt are excellent, very clean and sharp, with a vibrant, deep red color to the blade. There are no light-up gimmicks here, which means no need for bulky battery packs or compromises to the articulation. The sword has a small peg which can be flipped out on the side of the hilt, and both shoulders have really neat little rotating panels, which reveal a peg hole when flopped over 180 degrees, allowing the sword to store on the back of either shoulder pad. You can also lift the windshield of the truck mode on the back and stow the sword through the backpack if desired, though this is not an intended feature, per se.

    Transformation:
    Transformation is simple, and fairly intuitive. Like many official MP figures, this one essentially replicates the transformation of the original toy, but with some added twists and turns that improve both modes. Transformation takes about 12 steps, depending on how you count them, and should not take long at all. The resulting truck mode is quite good, and does an excellent job of replicating the look of the original figure this is based on, with some modifications such as a sleeper area on the the top of the cab. I do have some concern about the "side steps" that are formed out of the forearms being rather large and wide, but it is a fairly minor quibble overall. Unfortunately, this truck mode does not seem to be designed to be able to tow the MP-10 trailer, but as that trailer would be the wrong type for this character anyway, I don't see that as a major issue.

    Final Thoughts:
    This is a big figure, and feels to be of terrific quality. I would not hesitate to recommend this figure to anyone, and would absolutely feel it is worth the MSRP. It has been a while since I held the first toy from a new company and thought "wow, this feels like a great toy". The last time I was this impressed by a new company's first offering was with Fans Toys' FT-03 Quake Wave.

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  2. calubin175

    calubin175 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the review.

    Is the plastic quality on par with Fans Toys, MMC and Wei Jiang?
     
  3. Sidecutter

    Sidecutter Evil Dealer Scum TFW2005 Supporter

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    The plastic quality is terrific, yes. Everything about this figure really feels like quality so far.
     
  4. Robogeek28

    Robogeek28 Who're you calling a geek?

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    I'm going nuts waiting for this guy. :lol