Function X-4: Sigma-L by Fansproject

Oh, man. I’m so behind on this one that I’m even going to allow a Third Party Change-a-bot on today’s Transformers Thursday. Normally in February when I say something like, “I’ve had this figure sitting around since last year!” it doesn’t really mean that much. In this case, however, poor Sigma-L really has been hanging out for a long time and waiting for his day in the spotlight. It’s pretty crazy because I was anticipating this figure so much right up until it shipped and then it just kind of got lost in the craziness of my life that is The 4th Quarter. I was dusting my shelves the other day and saw him and it suddenly dawned on me that I hadn’t featured him here yet. So, by no means assume that the fact that I’m only now getting to talk about him reflects in any way poorly on my love of the Function series in general or this figure in particular, because he is indeed spectacular! Oh yeah, while some may say there’s a slight passing resemblance… Sigma-L is most definitely not Mindwipe, so don’t even think that.

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Mindwipe Sigma-L comes in a package that eschews the normal window boxes meant to approximate something you’d see on the toy shelves, Fansproject has been using this rather unique presentation for their Function Series since X-01 Code was first rolled out. It’s a colored, and otherwise blank, shoebox affair with an illustrated clear plastic sleeve around it. I wouldn’t like to see this package design used for everything but I rather like it in the limited confines of this series. It feels rather classy and special. My only complaint here is that the clear sleeve on mine got scuffed up in transit, but that’s not such a big deal to me.

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Inside the box, Sigma-L comes sandwiched between two clear plastic sleeves. You also get his weapons and a folded instruction sheet. Did I mention how much I love the smell of Fansproject’s figures when they come out of the box? I’m not sure if it’s the paint or the plastic or a combination of both, but that’s good stuff! I’m going to break with convention and actually start with his robot mode because I’m feeling just that crazy today.

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Holy hell, this is one hot and sexy looking robot! Yeah, I said it and I’m not ashamed. There’s something about the aesthetics of Fansproject’s Function line that really just gets it. The figures manage to look modern and interesting and yet somehow still capture a bit of the boxy G1 designs. In this case, Sigma-L looks like he belongs to the whole Post-1986 movie aesthetic where the robots were getting a little more contoured and organic in their style. What I’m saying is that Sigma-L hits the sweet spot between those two style books that totally scratches my itch. This figure is also oozing personality from his sharp silver claws to his bat wings, which are fully accessible in robot mode, but can also be folded in for a more streamlined look. I honestly can’t decide which I prefer more, so I’d just like to think he deploys them when he’s ready to attack.

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Will ya just look at that head sculpt. It’s so damn gorgeous! I want to take that head sculpt out for a lobster dinner, bring it home and make sweet passionate love to it all night long. The detail in the face makes it quite possibly some of FP’s best work and yeah that’s saying a lot. It’s not a big noggin and yet they managed to pack plenty into it. The crown-like aspect of the helmet is pure love, the paint is crisp, and I’ll be damned if Sigma-L’s clear visor doesn’t raise and lower to give you the look you want. I am not being impulsive when I say this is undoubtedly among my Top Ten Transformer heads since I can remember. It really is that damn good! The fact that it also happens to be a Headmaster, which transforms into a tiny little robot makes this pudding all the more sweeter.

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Hell, even the Headmaster (don’t call him Vorath!) is a tiny little work of art that makes me wonder if Fansproject doesn’t have some kind of shrink ray to make these teeny bots. Not-Vorath sports a stylish silver bat symbol on his chest and he has points of articulation at his shoulders, hips, and knees.

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Sigma-L’s coloring takes what is an amazing sculpt and elevates it even further. You get those great traditional Decepticon colors of black and purple complimented by some beautiful silver paint, some redder purple plastic and a surprising bit of minty green trim, all capped off with translucent plastic on his legs. A lot of the coloring comes from the plastic itself, which is always a plus in my book, but what paint is here is precise and crisp making the colors look unbelievably good.

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That which shall not be called Mindwipe comes with two weapons and they are indeed the Cybertronian equivalent of pump-action shotguns. I have only two things to say to that. Hell and Yeah! They’re simple enough guns, which fit comfortably into his hands and he looks mighty wicked when wielding them akimbo! And that brings us to…

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Beast Mode! I love them mechanical beasties and Sigma-L pulls off his Cyber-Bat mode quite nicely. Unlike all the other Function figures I own, there’s nothing specific in Sigma’s transformation that wowed me as being super clever, but it is nonetheless a pretty fun and worry-free change. I suppose the coolest thing about the engineering is that it actually allows room for a cockpit that will fit Not-Vorath with the canopy splitting in the center to open up.

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FP designed this bat mode to work either standing up or in flight with a simple adjustment to the head and both modes have their good points. Sigma-L’s little bat mouth is also hinged so that it can open. When standing on his little bat feetsies you can clearly make out the speakers that Sigma uses to beam hypnotic waves at his foes. So good! On the other hand, when in flight Sigma shows off his two shotguns quite nicely. Yes, we have here a robot bat with dual shotguns mounted to his wings. God, I love this toy!

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At $70 Sigma-L is certainly pricey for what is essentially a large Deluxe, but that’s all part of being a Third Party Convertobot collector. Besides, when I have him in hand it’s easy to see where the money went, not to mention he’s notable larger than previous Function figures. I make it no secret that I think Fansproject is one of the best 3P makers of robo-changers out there right now and Sigma-L is another prime example of why. He’s an absolute exquisite looking figure and everything about him reflects quality, care, and love. His transformation may not be as insanely clever as Code, Quadruple-U or Smart Robin, but there’s no shame in hat because it still works beautifully. It’s been a little while since we’ve seen anything new from this line of Not-Headmasters, but I’m looking forward to whatever FP has in store for us next.

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