TFC’s Eagle impressed with his jet mode, but there’s still a lot more to love about this guy. Let’s start with his transformation…
Ok, so Eagle’s transformation does feature a few minor hiccups and converting him is a lot more nerve wracking for me than converting Phantom. It’s not that he’s particularly difficult to convert, but rather Eagle has a lot more moving and folding parts and some of them feel a tad fragile. Not cheap, just delicate by the nature of their design. A good example is the way his nose cone splits open on his back. This is a very cool element to improve the figure’s aesthetics, but the hinged arms are very thin, far more so than the arms holding Phantom’s back section together. I eventually got very comfortable changing Phantom back and forth, but I’m not sure that will ever be the case with Eagle. I should be fine so long as I’m careful, but there are certainly parts of this figure that command caution. Another little issue I have with the conversion is the arms. I’ve already mentioned the way his hands remain visible in the jet mode, but getting his arms flush on the sides of the aircraft is hit and miss. Sometimes they snap in and lock, sometimes they keep wanting to pop out. It seems like a little better engineering could have gone into this aspect of the conversion.
Fortunately, whatever little hiccups arise in the conversion are all well worth it, because just like Eagle’s jet mode, the robot mode kicks all kinds of ass. Air Raid was one of my favorite Aerialbots and it’s so damn cool to see this character get this kind of complex homage. Starting with the head, this time TFC went a little closer to the Sunbow design over the G1 toy by omitting the mouth plate, but truth be told Eagle’s head isn’t all that close to either toy or animated design. He has a little smiling mouth and a yellow visor with excellent light piping. I like the head sculpt a lot, but collectors hoping for a direct match to the G1 character’s portrait will be disappointed.
Eagle’s body has that great boxy G1 look that does the character proud and I really dig the way so much of his jet mode just packs away so neatly. His tail fins fold up onto his legs, similar to the Classic Seekers, and his primary wings fold up behind his arms and remain out of the way. Sure, he’s still got the canopy and nose on his back, but it’s a lot less bulky than Phantom, and as mentioned, even the nose cone splits to improve his profile from the front. The landing gear on the front of his lower legs can be positioned in two ways, either up to form knees, or down to be more flush with his legs. I haven’t decided which I like better yet, but each configuration has its merits. Eagle even has a cool surprise. The intakes on each side of his chest fold down to reveal banks of missiles. I was totally not expecting that!
Eagle’s coloring is more varied than Phantom’s. He appropriately retains the same red and off-white base colors to his body as is the common deco for all the G1 Aerialbots, but adds black to the mix. The black all lands on his back and his legs, making him fit in very nicely with Phantom. There are a few particularly nice paint apps here, like the red on his arms and legs and the yellow on his chest. My favorite, however, are the silver panels on the insides of his legs. They aren’t even a majorly visible area of the toy and yet TFC still painted them. Cool! Eagle can hold his missiles in his hands as guns, but I prefer mounting them to his arms.
So, TFC is two for two in Project Uranos. I may have had a few more nits to pick with Eagle, but he’s still an amazing and high quality figure that does not disappoint. As with Phantom, I’m holding off looking at his combiner mode until I have the entire set to work with. Next month TFC should be launching the big daddy of the bunch: “Not-Silverbolt” and frankly, I can’t wait!
Right now my hopper is mostly full of Star Trek stuff, so in an effort to get some of it cleaned out, I’m going to be doing Star Trek features for the rest of the week, which will culminate in a look at one of Diamond Select’s brand new Starship on Saturday!