I’m back to wrap up my look at Fansproject’s Cubrar, Not-Slag, and it’s time to get to the transforming. Going from dinosaur to robot involves some clever engineering, although there are also some subtle double-hinged plates that need to be positioned just right to make some things work. I know, that’s the case for most changeable robots, but it the margin for error feels particularly small here. For example, if you miss a minor double-fold on the plate holding the dino legs, then getting them packed into the robot legs is an impossibility. It took me a little patience the first time, but after that it was easy-peasy. Changing him back into the dinosaur mode has its own challenges, particularly getting everything to pack in and close up just right. That’s where that extra sheet of instructions came in real handy. In the end, Cubrar’s transformation feels a lot more complex and fidgety than Columpio’s, but the tolerances and clearance all feel good and not at all scary.
Like Columpio, Cubrar’s robot mode walks a fine line between G1 Dinobot and original design. It’s easy to see a lot of the stuff borrowed from Slag, the most obvious being the way the dino’s bottom jaw drops down to form the center of his chest and the top of the dino head forms a hood behind the robot head, complete with horns and all. On the flip side, Fansproject put enough of their own marks on this design to make it feel fresh. Probably my favorite departure from the G1 look is the way Cubrar wears the dinosaur’s neck crest as shoulder armor. It’s a beautiful touch and pretty damn clever the way it works. Also, rather than wear his bulky dino legs on the outside of his robot legs, they pack neatly inside, similar to what Columpio’s design did with his tail. This wonderful mix of old and new results in an absolutely fantastic robot mode. The proportions on this guy are just amazing and he follows he whole G1-but-not-G1 aesthetic that I love so much about most of Hasbro’s Classics and Generations lines.
Cubrar also improves on a couple of issues I had with Columpio, particularly in the way the back kibble is handled. Cubrar wears the dino’s tail on his back in a similar fashion to the way Columpio wore his dino’s neck and head. But while Columpio’s was left to flop in the breeze, Cubrar’s actually pegs in securely, making for a more solid robot mode. Of course, the downside of this is that it locks up his waist pivot. It’s a shame the hinge for the tail couldn’t have been mounted higher to avoid this. The biggest issue I had with Columpio was how loose his hip joints were, although I was able to fix them with a little nail polish. You get none of that with Cubrar. Every joint on this guy is tight and solid and he holds a pose beautifully.
Cubrar’s noggin is a bit beefier than Columpio’s, partly because his face is broader and partly because his “helmet” is larger. His face has plenty of character with large blue visor and an extra helping of lips and the silver paint is immaculate. And for those of you who are fans of Lockdown from Age of Extinction (Shame on you!!!), you can transform Cubrar’s face into a gun, or in this case, I guess it’s a flame-thrower. Yeah, it’s just a byproduct of the transformation, but a fun option nonetheless.
The deco in Cubrar’s robot mode closely matches what we saw in dino mode. You get the same great gray and red plastics with some metallic blue and silver detail work and more of that satiny smooth gold. The colors on this guy really pop and they match Columpio perfectly. I’m hoping this is the coloring that we’re going to get all the way through to the end of the line.
Accessories? Cubrar comes with two guns and a sword. The guns are a matched pair of short and stocky weapons, not quite pistols and not quite rifles. Individually they aren’t as cool as Columpio’s rifle with folding bayonet, but Cubrar sure looks great dual wielding them. The sword has a translucent red energon blade and is a very nice piece. Chances are I’ll wind up displaying him with the sword and one gun.
As with Columpio, Cubrar can store two of his weapons by pegging them into his back flaps. I think the sword looks great positioned diagonally across his back. The guns can also peg in side by side, or you can go one gun and one sword. I think this storage gimmick works a little better than Columpio’s. The stored weapons don’t look as awkward this time around.
And last but not least we have Tekour’s axe mode. I thought Drepan’s weapon mode was pretty good, but I think Tekour’s outshines it. Drepan was kind of a war pick, whereaas Tekour is just a bitchin double-bladed axe. It’s a damn solid weapon mode and the pommel of the handle is sculpted with a triceratops head, because Cubrar likes to accessorize, dammit!
Tekour can also double as a rifle and while it’s basically just the axe held differently, I think it works really well. The stock does get in the way, as it doesn’t fit into the crook of Cubrar’s elbow, but he can hold it out in a pretty sweet firing position.
With two Lost Exo-Realm figures on my shelf, I’m loving this line more and more and I’m getting really excited to see the team together, even though that’s going to be a long road to travel. The quality and engineering on Cubrar is up to FP’s usual impeccable standards and I’ve totally fallen in love with this aesthetic. The only hard choice will be deciding whether to display them in robot or dino modes because I really dig them both. Fansproject has been a little quiet on the Lost Exo-Realm front lately, but if things progress as they seem to be, their Not-Swoop may very well be next, but there are no pre-orders up yet, so at this point anything could happen. All I have to say is keep them coming, and I’ll keep buying them!