I haven't done a written review in quite a while largely due to the ease of voicing my thoughts through video instead, but Carnifex is such a special release for me I felt a need to cover him outside of my youtube channel more thoroughly. That way I don't have to keep spamming the main thread with "OH MY GOD HE'S SO GOOD YOU GUYS" while all you americans make frowny faces at me for having him before most of you do. Distribution sucks sometimes and this guy is huge and comes in a big ass box, so I imagine it isn't cheap or easy sending big piles of him around quickly, especially in the high traffic time of the year. That said he should be very easy to get a hold of sometime in early November everywhere and a select few sellers may have him as soon as Mid October. First and foremost lets get the most important thing out of the way: The build quality. My god the build quality. Carnifex sets a new standard for build quality as far as I am concerned, literally everything, everything on him is so rock solid, so perfectly molded with such perfect tolerances, joints, tabs, friction, detents, locking points and the like it is nothing short of astounding. Pick up the sturdiest, most solidly made figure you own, guess what? its flimsy dog crap compared to carnifex. I don't care if its a fantoys, maketoys or even a previous mmc release, nothing, and I mean nothing comes close to being as well made as this guy is. Whether its his incredibly tight ankle joints or his wonderfully ratcheted hips and shoulders or his delightfully tight elbow, wrist and knee joints, Carnifex can stand, pose and pretty much do anything you want him to short of pushing the boundaries of his physical mass and even then he's no slouch. All of his plastic seems like some of the best you'd find on the market; the same AAA standard we've come to expect from Reformatted releases as the years have gone on. You can physically feel the time (and money) spent on getting his production down to a hard science, doing it right and being among the best of the best without question. Which like holy crap, thank goodness because I think this guy took like 2 years longer than he was suppose to? Aesthetics! Very important! Believe it or not Carnifex initially was designed by one Cassy Sark, or as we call him around here "mr ridges" and then went through a very thorough re-jiggering thanks to mmc's main engineering man Griffith, who these days isn't allowed to talk to us as much because he was doing that too much back in the early Rex days. So I'd say about 35-40% of this design is pure Cassy, the rest is either his stuff altered or a tonne of additions done by Grif. Though Carnifex's face is so perfectly sculpted I wonder if MMC's newer designer Jesslyn had some involvement with that (she's real good at faces), point is: Carnifex is damn pretty and its because more than one person helped make him so pretty. "you're god damn right I am" Carn would say in the usual Overlord voice I hear when I read the comics that is somewhere between Mark Hammils Joker and Keith David. What is immediately apparent about Carnifex is how much he pulls from the IDW take on the character especially, whether its his very specific face design with two very idw-appropriate expressions for each head, his tall and somewhat slender but still powerful physique, his particular pectoral chest plate molding or even the very deliberate focus away from a distinctive base mode or powermasters that would more closely evoke his g1 self, as no such features are factored in to his modern comic appearances. Yes masterforce Overlord this is not (but as of now mmc may be working on something for that), but you could argue that he certainly takes many liberties away from the idw design as well, certainly with regards to his transformation and the designs of his limbs in particular. Now his colors are fine, they certainly pop wonderfully and I have no real gripes about how anything on him looks really (from a is it good? perspective anyway), everything that needed paint I feel has paint, everything that needed to be blue was blue, everything that needed to be black is black and so on. Its all molded and applied as well as one would expect, no random splotches or missed details or smudges or any imperfections of the sort. It's all just gorgeously well done. But me being me, I'm going to nitpick anyway. Admittedly I would have preferred the lighter and paler blue of the comics, the slightly more green teal and the lighter more bluish than reddish purple parts. Color tones aren't terribly important to many collectors but its just one of those things I (a person who literally draws for a living) will always get really opinionated about. Overlord is my holy grail character, unless the figure is badly made I'm probably going to own every version of him going forward. So does MMC's particular take on him look nice regardless of my particular preferences? of course, I kinda already said that. What stands out most about him is how nicely varied his molded detailing is and despite the fact he's covered from head to toe in sculpted nubs, ridges, mechanical details and so on I never look at him and think well this bit is too busy. I feel like MMC nailed the exact amount of detail on this guy that he needed to feel both new and exciting but also have that super modern super premium look the highest of high end transformer toys should have but still very much feel like an Overlord-ass Overlord. To get really specific for a moment, I really love that his busted-eye face has both silver and metalic red paint on the damaged eye and I really like the matte grey used for his face as it brings out the detail just right. Both versions of the head are just so distinct and so beautifully realized. As an idw fan, as an idw overlord fan I could not have asked for a more perfect rendition of his head. Best head ever on a figure? quite possibly yes I would say. I love that his black hands have some nice strong contrast blue markings on the back of each palm and despite its lack of source material accuracy I kinda love how the forearms seamlessly flow from white to black due to the figure subverting the usual overlord transformation and having its jet nosecone formed out of the arms. I mean sure I would love a strict IDW slavish Overlord but all of mmc's deviations are certainly not bad at all, some I like more than the source material, some a little less but ah that's all theoretical design isn't it, things change between drawings and physical plastic, and being super faithful doesn't always translate to "nicer looking toy" or "more fun toy". What is is what I got in front of me and I am still very grateful for this toys mere existence. And of course everything about the front of his torso is perfect and the blue plastic on his torso has a nice extra coating of some kind to give it an extra sheen you don't see on either the head or thighs though the blue is all cast in a slightly metalic looking plastic at the basic level. I'm no material expert, its shiny in the ways I like. haha He's got such a perfect silhouette too, his shoulders are just the right size, his arms just the right length, his legs... maybe the lower portions could have been a littler narrower? but ah they do need to have room for the thighs to fully fold in to so I think MMC did really well with what they were aiming for. Then again maybe its just the treads that add that extra width, so if you think of that as extraneous component its all good. As a last note on his bot visuals, man oh man do I love how clean Carn is from all angles, no gaps, no loose kibble, nothing that feels compromised or neglected for the alt modes. If for some bizarre reason you never want to transform him he manages to be one heck of a fantastic giant action figure. Alt Modes, Because its a Transformer (minus the official label) Carnifex has two, not just because he's a duocon but because the vehicles can combine. So I guess that's technically three? You have the regular tank, the regular jet and the jet with two halves of a tank and a cannon plugged on to it. I mean sure the super jet sounds like its no more than that but even if that's technically the truth it still looks cool. I think of them I like the regular jet the most. Cassy's original design leaned more so towards a more typically shaped spaceship and even though grif "sleeked it up" the original idea remains in tact. Where g1 overlord and idw overlord have a stockier more blocky ship mode that really could be cynically boiled down to overlords torso face down with a nosecone plugged on mmc's take is more distinct, more visually interesting and overall has a really nice shape to it that I think I prefer over a more faithful design. What's really impressive is how the shield does an amazing job of covering up so much of the arms to the point a lot of the white gets hidden and you're left with a really nice mix of shiny black plastic and matte black plastic with that super nice orange cockpit in the center breaking up the monotony and given the cockpit screen was painted to match plastic its nice to see the black paint on it perfectly complimenting the materials around it. And from the back you get a really nice assortment of thrusters and just neat looking ship-detail type stuff. Its funny how Carns crotch even just being there doesn't seem out of place at all or appear to just be exactly what it is. The landing gear folds in to his butt so you need to make sure his waist is rotated if you want them down. As for his tank, it has working treads! and they're super cool looking, very chainsaw in design perhaps deliberately given its overlord and all and in the comics he can be seen utilizing a chainsaw while er, interagating FortMax. Though they're so tightly held on to the wheels you'll need to apply quite a lot of force to get them to budge while he's sat down on a surface, so the feature only really has its merits when being manually manipulated directly. Besides that I mean its a cool looking tank, what more do you need really. Here it is besides MMC's own Commotus to really show off how big it is despite it really just being 90% carn shin and calf. The super jet actually his a different transformation aspect to it where you leave the regular wings in their usual backpack position, flip up some tiny clips besides his torso to secure the shoulders in place (though they aren't really needed, did I mention how well this guy is made?) and then the gun can peg on either folded down shin and then each subsequent tank half is just attached to either side of the jet forming what I guess can be interpreted as additional engines or some sort of booster power set like an armored up macross valkyrie jet. It gets real bulky and just like with DX9 Gewalts jet the true mass of the figure can really be felt in this mode especially. Carnifex like any large figure will certainly be demanding of your space no matter what mode he's in. Now although MMC did kinda tease that Carnifex supposedly had a base mode, he doesn't really. I mean if you use your imagination I guess he does but it involves little more than swapping the side the shield sits on and leaving his legs unfolded besides his torso in an upright position. This alone doesn't make for a convincing structure all that much so maybe if MMC goes the extra mile with a future upgrade with some ramps or connecting pieces, extra turrets or something will really help to spruce up this mode and make it worthwhile. Honestly though I only mention it for the sake of this review, its not a thing I'm fussed over because Overlord to me is always 1: a robot and 2: a tank and jet, everything else is secondary and I think his two vehicles are lovely to both hold and look at. Posability, The Third Most Important Thing. Carnifex certainly does all the things you would hope of a figure of this size when it comes to poses and a decent amount more. His biggest assets in this regard are his shoulder pads being able to easily move out of the way of his actual shoulder joints (which aren't connected to them directly), giving them full range and they're double jointed too so he can literally shrug. Yes, shrug. His upper torso has a crunch that allows him to hunch forward slightly and lean back slightly and his double jointed neck that has full rotation, the ability to look all the way down and up and even tilt from side to side allows his head to pretty much sit exactly how you want it to no matter what he's doing. He can almost pull off the full range of an actual persons neck and head which is real nice, and this feature doubles as a transformation means to compact his head down so the jet shield doesn't have to have a big raised panel in the center. And his fingers are the other exceptionally well jointed aspect where every single knuckle can be bent on all five digits and the thumb itself even has an additional joint to give the hands that much more expression. Best of all? none of this is required to keep the cannon or swords in his hands as they tab very tightly all on their own. So you needn't even worry about specifically scrunching his fingers down firmly around the weapon grips. And the craziest thing is his fingers are so nicely tightened just right you can literally put a whole range of other weapons in his hands to grip firmly, from Hexatrons big cleavers to whatever random gundam or model kit weapon you may have lying around. Heck I have no doubt he can easily wield those ludicrously heavy dycast buster swords I've seen a few times. A new standard for transformer hands really, if the fingers could splay outwards carn would literally have the most articulated fingers on any toy ever. As a minor side note I absolutely love that the rotating section on the cannon barrel has distinct locking points in its handheld and tank barrel settings, just a little extra bit of smart design that makes Carn that much more satisfying to handle. Initial Transformation Ficklness In general getting Carnifex to jet and tank mode is quite straight forward, once you know what goes where and why it all works he's great in this regard. However understanding the process needed for the jet specifically can be quite the hurdle. My initial experience was one of confusion and honestly, just a wee bit of anger because I felt really really dumb right up until I figured out what I was missing. And it can be summarized with but a few qwerks of his shoulder parts, the biggest culprit being these kinda rubbery C shaped bits on the inside: The areas I've circled are what you need to be mindful of, their are two parts, each with a "prong" that pokes out, one set of prongs goes behind these raised sections they sit next to, the others around and nudging these parts to sit just right requires some fiddly finger poking around this area. And to even get to this point you'll need to make sure the pilons are extended, rotated the correct direction so they may slot in to the shoulder pads and push the larger flat grey sections until they sort of click in to their natural resting place. Its really difficult to explain in text until you're actually handling the figure, now imagine trying to do all this while staring at super tiny very vague images in his manual that seem to skip multiple steps involving getting the shoulders where they need to go. My video review kinda sucked for showing this so I may just record another video of how to do it to help people eventually. Long story short the shoulders will likely be a hassle for all newcomers right away, but don't worry, you'll get em eventually. And luckily the bits you feel like you'll be stressing are made of a super high grade but flexible grey material so I think mmc anticipated people faffing with these bits and made sure they at least won't break on ya. Mine sure seem fine, zero stress, still work great. Final Thoughts Geezus on a cracker is this toy incredible. I mean I knew he'd be great, mmc has made a lot of good things in the past few years but Carnifex blew my high expectations right off the chart. If not for that up front bother with the jet transformation he'd have been a 100% flawless dream experience right out of the box. I mean he is now obviously, I've transformed him almost 10 times already and its second nature now, loove transforming him. I have no negatives to say outside of my own personal nitpicks with colors I guess? None of that I imagine will deter anyone from a purchase unless they really really don't like the shade of purple he has haha. So yes, Carnifex is amazing, yes he's worth every cent, yes if you love idw, love great toys, need more decepticons, whatever you need this guy. Pick an excuse, and get him asap. And best of all even the Masterforce Overlord fans may very well have just as much reason to grab this guy if his upgrade set happens and it certainly seems likely already. MMC ya done real good with this one. Finally, no the PSX exclusive harpoon for Spartan isn't something you need to swap your order over. Its a dumb little nod to the comic, you might use it once tops. Seriously, don't worry about it.