It’s funny to think that last year I was too skittish to order any third-party Transformers because I was so afraid of paying a lot for knock-off quality garbage. Well, the third-party transforming robots industry has come a long way, and I’ve been sampling most of the heavy hitters with a great deal of joy and success. With Fansproject, Mech Ideas, and TFC all under my belt, I started eyeing up the likes of Mastermind Creations and their glorious looking Feral Rex (aka Not-Predaking). As with TFC’s Uranos line, I was drawn to these guys mostly by their superb looking individual robot modes. On the other hand, having never owned Predaking as a kid, I’m much more excited over the combined mode this time around. The first release in this series is The Supply Specialist, Bovis, who looks enough like a certain G1 Predacon to make Hasbro have a Tantrum. See what I did there? Okdokey… let’s look at the box and robot mode today and tomorrow we’ll check out his alt mode.
Damn, this box is heavy. It’s like a solid brick with some serious heft to it. It’s nice to know that before I even get the bubble wrap off, the weight is helping to justify the cost. The box is big, but not quite as big as the box used for TFC’s Blackbird. You get a grid like pattern on the front, which is slightly evocative of the old G1 packages and a CG model of the figure, which really doesn’t do it justice at all. One side of the box has the name of the figure printed in foil lettering, so the boxes can be lined up on the shelf. The front of the box is a flap that is held down by a magnet (classy!), which opens up to reveal a window displaying the figure in robot mode along with his accessories.
Bovis comes on a plastic tray with a cover piece. His combiner part-slash-cannon-slash-backpack is beside him along with his arsenal of weapons. Behind the tray you get a baggie with a very nice sized instruction booklet-slash-comic book (ok, I’ll stop with the slashes) and a full color profile card. The presentation of the box is a nice effort and it’s executed with high quality cardboard and printing, but the artwork all comes up short in presenting the awesome figure that lies within.
I don’t usually say a lot about the ephemera that the companies toss in with these figures, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate it. In the case of Bovis, the profile card is quite similar to what TFC and Fansproject have done in the past. The instruction booklet is actually useful, which is more than I can say for some of the other third-party robots I’ve picked up. I also like the fact that if you flip the book over the back half has a comic book that I actually found pretty enjoyable and a very nice bonus. Ok, enough with the preamble, let’s break tradition and start off with Bovis in his robot mode…
Fansproject’s excellent Causality figures proffered the idea of “less can be more” with their smaller size and great designs. Well, MMC says, “screw that, more is more”and proves it by delivering one seriously hefty figure. I was probably grinning ear to ear when I took Bovis out of the tray and for the first time got a sense of just what an impressive figure he is. Part of that heft has to do with his size, as he easily stacks up to a modern day Voyager, and part of it has to do with him being a chunky powerhouse of a robot. The fact that the plastic is very sturdy, and of the highest quality, certainly adds to the figure’s heft as well. Either way, I absolutely love the way this dude looks and feels right out of the package. He screams quality and assures that it was money well spent.
Bovis features that awesome boxy G1 design, but with plenty of panel lines and sculpted detail to give that extra oomf you would expect in an animated or comic book makeover. There’s a lot of particulars in the design to love, but if I had to pick one favorite thing it would be the way the silver mesh on his chest turned out. The contouring of his torso looks great and there’s even a convenient indent in the shape of a Decepticon insignia, should you happen to have a spare one lying around. The head sculpt is also fantastic, even if it does lean a bit more toward the organic comic style than the actual cybernetic look of vintage G1. It just exudes personality and works quite well for me. The yellow paint could have been a little thicker, as some of the red plastic can still be seen, and I know some collectors have reported their figure showing some paint rub on the chin while in the package. I don’t have anything like that here, but I guess it’s something to look out for. While on the subject of coloring, Bovis gets by mosty with colored plastic and some minor paint apps here and there. The coloring is pure Predacon goodness, and the use of the orange is far more welcome than the colors used on some of the earlier test shots.
The proportions on the figure are excellent for what he is. He’s got giant, powerful legs and beefy shoulders. The way the bull’s head crowns the robot mode helps to balance everything out and I’ve always loved the way Tantrum’s horns are framed on the sides of his head. This figure replicates that perfectly. I’m also quite happy with the way the beast mode’s legs all pack in securely. Bovis is a robot that wears his kibble with style and there’s nothing left to flop around or get in the way of having fun with him.
Bovis features a great range of serviceable articulation. The arms rotate at the shouders and have some lateral movement as well. The elbows are double hinged, and swivel at the bicep, and the wrists swivel as well. The legs rotate at the hips with ratcheting joints and also feature lateral movement. There are swivels in the thighs and the knees are hinged with ratcheting joints. The feet are attached to a hinged arm with ball joints. Bovis’ head rotates and he can also swivel at the waist.
Bovis looks like he’s perfectly capable of pounding Autobots into the dirt with brute force, but he still comes with a nice little arsenal of weapons and a bevy of ways to use them. You get a pair of pistols and a pair of knives. The pistols are nice pieces, but not overly special. The knives on the other hand… they’re fabulous. I’m not usually a big fan of having my robots wielding edged weapons, but the designs here are just too awesome to overlook. Bovis can hold the weapons in his hands, but they can also attach to his forearms or his lower legs.
Bovis also comes with one foot and hand for his the combined mode of Feral Rex. The hand folds up nicely into the foot and the entire assembly can be used as a backpack for both Bovis’ robot and bull mode. So, if you’re the kind of guy that doesn’t like extra combiner parts lying around, or you want to make Bovis even bulkier, he can wear the foot and hand piece as a backpack and he looks damn fine doing it. Yes, it does make him a tad back heavy, but he can still stand just fine with a modicum of futzing. Bovis can also wield the backpack like a giant cannon. The foot alone gives us a wonderful sneak peak at what’s to come. It’s larger than your average Autobot Deluxe car, suggesting that Feral Rex is going to be a beast of a gestalt mode. But we’ll save all that for when the team is complete.
Ok, I’ve gone pretty long just gushing about Bovis’ robot mode, but it’s kind of hard to contain myself. I’m seriously in love with this figure, and we haven’t even seen his alt mode yet. I’ll come back tomorrow and we’ll talk about his transformation and we’ll see how he looks in his beast mode!