Uranos: AV-88 Harrier by TFC, Part 2

Alrighty folks, yesterday we checked out Harrier’s jet mode and today we’re having a look at his robot mode. First off, this guy transforms almost exactly like his brother Phantom. The wings on his legs fold up a little differently, but that’s really the only difference. It’s a fairly simple and intuitive process although just like Phantom, clipping and unclipping the tail section still makes me a little nervous every time because it’s a tight fit and the thin arm that it’s attached to. I’ve changed Phantom back and forth dozens of times and haven’t even seen any stress marks appear so at this point I don’t think it’s anything to worry about.

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In robot mode, Harrier looks mighty damn good and shares a lot more similarities with Phantom than he does in his aircraft mode. But even here, the similarities are only superficial. If you look closely even the parts that appear to be identical have subtle little changes to the sculpt or paint to make him unique. Obviously, pieces like the shoulders are different because Harrier’s shoulders make up the intakes on his alt mode, but TFC made all sorts of changes to the parts that don’t even show up in his Harrier form. The chest is completely new and features that great boxy look that screams G1 Transformer. Check out the upper legs, pelvis, and forearms. These could all have been reused directly from Phantom, but TFC still took the time to make little changes to the sculpt to set them apart. Sure, we should expect that in a $100 toy, but it’s still not something that I’m going to take for granted.

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Obviously, Harrier gets a brand new head, and honestly I’m not terribly keen on it. It’s the two silver pieces on his cheeks that I’m not in love with. The rest of it is Ok. He has yellow light piping in the eyes and a regular mouth instead of a plate. None of these figures heads have been close homages to the G1 characters, but Slingshot had a pretty distinctive looking head and this one is quite far from the original. Anyway, it’s not terrible and it’ll probably grow on me.

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Harrier wears the nose and tail of his aircraft mode on his back just like Phantom does. The two sides peg in together and stays together quite well. Sure it’s a lot of aircraft kibble, but it’s wonderfully faithful to the old G1 animated designs where they basically had deformed jets on their backs. I love it!

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Also like Phantom, Harrier’s fuel pods can be used as weapons. You can put them into his hands or you can plug them into his arms, which is the way I prefer them. These pieces are sculpted in red plastic and the tips are painted with a little metallic silver.

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Of course, Harrier also transforms into one of Uranos’ arms, but I’m still not combining these guys until I get the last one. The first three Uranos figures were one hundred percent originals, so Harrier was the first of the last two, which are reworked versions of the first two. I wasn’t sure how different he’d be, but I’m totally pleased with the outcome. TFC went out of their way to set him apart with a lot of tiny little superficial changes that they could have just as easily not bothered with. I’ve been totally satisfied with these guys each step of the way and Harrier is no exception.  So that’s four down with only Falcon left. I’m still hoping he’s going to show up in August so I can finally put this long journey to bed.

6 comments on “Uranos: AV-88 Harrier by TFC, Part 2

  1. The face isn’t a deal-breaker for me but I wish it was more G1-accurate. I’ve wanted a REALLY good set of Aerialbots for a long time, I wish I could afford these guys.

    Maybe they should do a G2-deco gift set.

  2. Now we need a third-party to do G1 accurate heads for the third-party Aerialbots!

    Coughing up the money for these guys wasn’t so bad because they’ve been spaced out over the course of almost a year now. On the downside, it’s been really tough having the pre-orders for the last two figures looming over my bank account. I’ve passed up some other things knowing that I had that last $200 pending. I was going to take a break from third party combiners for a while because of that, but I may have to go for MMC’s Not-Predaking. It looks too good to pass up and I never owned Predaking as a kid.

    • I’ve only bought one set of third party combiners — barely at that — which was Bruticus. I’ve yet to commit to one of these guys from the start. The other one I’d consider buying are the Stunticons, but it’s a real leap of faith when you have no idea what Motormaster is going to look like. He was such a weird figure originally, regarding his scale and the way his trailer is basically his whole body, except for his cab becoming his feet. So my fear there is a case of, “Will it work, scale wise? How will they do the trailer? Or will he not have a trailer at all?”

      The Predacons do look incredible, and I would have considered that if not for the fact that my much-loved mother in law bought me an Encore set for my birthday last year, and I love it.

      • Encore Predacons!!! You lucky dawg!

        Some initial pics of Fansprojects Motormaster are making me pretty happy. I have their four Stunticons. I’ll be featuring Last Chance next week. Granted they’re a lot cheaper than TFC’s Aerialbots. Plus, I’m a sucker for Decepticon cars so I couldn’t resist!

      • The Predacons are very sweet, I can’t endorse them enough.

        I do trust Fansproject, they have not failed to impress me really. I like their not-Swindle and not-Blast Off very much, much more than the three official figures.

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