So, way back in January I first dipped my toes into the third-party Transformers pool. Actually, I dove right in by buying TFC’s Phantom and committing myself to their five figure set called Uranos. I went for these because I absolutely love the Aerialbots and I was tired of waiting for Hasbro to do them properly. Much like the Constructicons, for me the Aerialbots were always more about the team of individual robots rather than their gestalt form, and the individual figures TFC showed off looked mighty good. As we saw yesterday, the final figure arrived and I am extremely pleased with the way this team turned out. Just to give you an idea of how much the combined mode was an afterthought to me, I had the last figure for over a week before finally combining these guys for the purpose of today’s feature.
So, each of the individual figures transform into their component parts quite easily. It’s so intuitive that I was able to do each one just by looking at the picture on the package. The only extra parts needed are the hands and feet. Once I got each figure in the combiner mode, it was just a matter of plugging in the arms and lower legs to the connector ports. Here’s where I was worried things might go awry and I was right on target. Plugging the connecting ports into the sockets requires a lot more force than I’m comfortable applying to these figures. Keep in mind, I was totally happy with the quality of plastic on the individual figures and very few things about them made me nervous when transforming them up until now. The arms go in just fine, but getting them apart again was nerve racking. Connecting the leg ports was the major problem. They fall out a lot, so I’m thinking that I was probably not clicking them in all the way. At the same time, I’m not willing to apply any more force to get them in further. I just had to be super careful handling him to watch for the legs coming out. Finally, using Ray as a chest piece was a cool idea, but since he only pegs in at one spot, he flops around a bit. You can even see in one picture, two of his diagonal panels are misaligned because of this.
I do like the look of this guy a lot. His head sculpt is rather derpy, yes, but as a whole, he looks ridiculously cool and complex and it’s a design that I think could easily work for as a movie-style combiner done right. If you’re looking for a G1 Sunbow accurate Superion, this sure ain’t him, but if you’re looking for what a real life Superion might look like, this is your guy. However, all that complexity comes with a price. There are all sorts of wings and things pegged into him and trying to pose him causes a lot of these to drop out. There’s also nowhere that I really feel comfortable holding him because of this very point. Just handling him became an exercise in frustration. I suppose if I were interested in keeping him displayed as Uranos, I could get a 1:6 scale figure stand to rest his robo-crotch on and that would do the trick, but thankfully it’s not the Uranos mode I bought him for, so that’s not an issue for me.
If I could apply a single phrase to sum up Uranos it would be “look but don’t touch.” I really dig the way he displays, but he’s so darn fragile in combined mode that I was anxious to get him separated back into his individual bots. So much so, that I snapped some quick pictures and was done with it. Granted, I’m rarely ever satisfied with the results of my poor photographic skills mixed with my ancient camera, but in this case the photo shoot was just a disaster. I really wanted to get some shots that made this guy look as great as he does on the shelf, but between him falling over and me not wanting to break him, I just decided to go with what quick snaps I had and be done with it. I think that tells more about the combined mode than any picture could.
I should note that I did pre-order TFC’s accessory pack. I mainly bought it for the guns for the individual figures, but it does come with a G1 style chest plate. In all honesty, the next time I bother combining these figures will be when that pack arrives. I love these guys to death when displayed as a team, and if I had to do it all over, I’d still buy each and every one of them, but I’m in no hurry to mess with combining them again. I’m just too afraid that it’ll result in damaging one of the figures.