Transformers Review: Metroplex ACG-Con Exclus. (Generations Titan)

Intro:
            Welcome back to New Planet Cybertron. Now before we get started, and because this is our first entry for the year 2014, we would like to wish all of our readers -- all you Cybertronians and Trans-Fanatix out there -- a happy and prosperous 2014!!!
            Now we’re back to our normal programming…
            For a large part of the Transformers franchise history, Fortress Maximus have held the title for the biggest Transformers figures ever released, that is until Metroplex came out.
            Fortress Maximus, which previously set a record of being 22-inches tall, has now been eclipsed by Metroplex, who stands at 24-inches tall. Yes, granted that Metroplex is the tallest Transformers figure ever, but as far as the biggest, I don’t think. Well, it literally depends on how do you define “big”? Personally, I would like to think that the term “big” encompass not only the height of the figure, but as well as its mass and weight. Metroplex is tall, but he’s not nearly as heavy or massive compared to Fort Max.
            So you take your pick, and as far as I am concerned, Fort Max is still the biggest – period.
            Having said that, I have always been a fan of Base-formers, and I am definitely a fan of Metroplex, as a character. I had a lot of fun with G1 Metroplex and while I do think that he was probably one of the better base-formers back in the day (before Fort Max was released), I have always wished that he was bigger. If he were to be a bit bigger, or at least on par with Fort Max, he would’ve been perfect.
            Fast forward to 2013, we finally gotten our wish, subsequently after the release of the Fall for Cybertron game, Metroplex was finally released into the revamped Generations line (sometimes referred to Generations 2.0).

            So far, there have been 4 different variants of Metroplex: the first to be released was the Hasbro version, which was the first variants to be available in these parts of the planet and is just a basic figure by itself. Then we have the SDCC-exclusive, which included 12 miniature non-transformable figures. The ACG-Con-Exclusive, which is a variant of the SDCC-exclusive released during “The 15th Choice of Animation, Comics and Games Expo, Hong Kong. The difference between the ACG-Con and SDCC version is very minimal – only the slight changes to the box, which now features ACG-Con logo instead of SDCC’s, as well as the colors of the miniature figures. Instead of red and blue, it is now completely golden in color, which kind of invoked the G1 episode “Golden Lagoon”. Anyways, the last of these variants is the Takara-Tomy version.
            With four variants of this figure to choose from, it’s really up to you on which versions to whack, unless of course, you have a lot of cash to spare, then be my guest and just go whack all of them.
            Anyways, for sake of this review, I will be reviewing the ACG-Con version.

Box:
            Honestly, I’ve thought of skipping this part, but then after thinking about it again, it would be a severe injustice if I didn’t take about the box.
            The box itself is one of the major attraction of this variant, as it also acts as a display frame. It looks cool, and I kind of dig it.
            The entire box itself is wider and taller than Fort Max’s, though slimmer and overall, lighter.
            The box art itself looks pretty darn awesome, if you ask me. Phil Jiminez has really done wonderfully in creating the box art, and Romulo Fajardo Jr. is equally great with his wonderful coloring. Kudos to both of them.
            It’s not often when the box itself can receive so much praise from the collectors-dome.

Scamper:
            Just like his predecessor – the G1 Metroplex, Generations Metroplex also comes with the little black car called Scamper. The original Scamper has that Sideswipe-ish feel to it, so I guess this version’s Scamper makes a good update.


            The little is kind of neat, but if you are look for a realistic-looking car, then you will be disappointed. Still, it still looks way better than the G1 version and he definitely has the better transformation.



            Unfortunately, the set doesn’t come with a Six-Gun and Slammer, which is kind of a bummer. I guess that will be a cue to some 3rd Party companies out there.


Metroplex
Robot Mode:
Metroplex and Fortress Maximus
            Since Metroplex comes packed in robot mode, so I guess it’s apt that we start things off from here.
Clockwise from Left: Cybertron Metroplex, FOC Metroplex, G1 Metroplex, FOC Scamper, G1 Scamper
            First of all, I just want to clarify this never-ending question frequently asked by the fans – who is bigger? Fortress Maximus or Metroplex?
            In terms of action figure, Fortress Maximus stands about 22-inches tall. The old G1 Metroplex was less than half the size, and the Generations Metroplex tends to eclipse Fort Max by a mere 2-inches. Yes, Metroplex is taller, but in terms of overall size and weight, I would still give it to Fort Max as he is beefier and heavier.
            In terms of their fictional depiction, I would have to give it to Metroplex. Fortress Maximus has always been marketed as having a base-mode or fortress mode, whereas Metroplex is actually a city or part of the city. In newer fiction, Metroplex is actually one of the last remaining Titans, which are depicted as being insanely huge. In several official/ unofficial stats released, Fort Max has consistently stated as standing at about 200 feet (60m) tall.


Dial for the Visors
            Metroplex, on the other hand, has been consistently stated to be about 800-feet tall (243m) tall, which would make him at least 4-times the height of Fort Max.
Tiny Scamper
            Alright, enough with the theories and let’s go straight to the figure itself. So far, there have been only 3 basic molds for Metroplex. The first was obviously the G1 Metroplex that most of us knew and loved, which this Generations/ FOC Metroplex paid numerous homage to. Then from the Galaxy Force/ Cybertron line, we have Galaxy Convoy/ Metroplex, than although has numerous throwbacks to the classic G1, does not have any official city mode.
            This variant tend to have more chrome paints visible, namely to the face and hips – shiny does it.  
The ACG Con figure itself is quite proportionate, although it does think that the waist is a bit way too small. I guess most girls would have loved to have such a “to-die-for” body figure. Otherwise, everything else is sized just nicely.
            The head sculpt is good, and the face itself is chromed in color. The head has a gimmick ala Masterpiece Rodimus Convoy. There is a visor underneath, and collector may choose either to pose Metroplex to resemble his G1 animated depiction, or without the visor to resemble his G1 action figure.
            When posed next to Fortress Maximus, they both really do look like brothers. For the first time ever, Fortress Maximus actually has someone else that can look at him straight in the eyes, face to face.
            In robot mode, Metroplex is heavily armed, though to some extent, not as heavily loaded as Fort Max. Still, the shoulder cannon/ blaster looks so wonderfully menacing and huge, it just so cool.
            On his left shoulder, there is a compartment that you can open up to reveal a seat and a set of blasters. You can either have Scamper sit in there wielding those blasters in this mode or in another mode, which I will get into it later.
            Articulation-wise, Metroplex is quite amazing for a guy his size. Theoretically, the head can turn 360°, but unfortunately due to the designs of the “helmet”, the movement has become restricted. The soft-ratcheted, universal-jointed elbows have all range of movements, which is always a welcome. The ratchets used on the elbows for both the rotations and bending are quite heavy and tight. The wrists rotate. The fingers, though individually pose-able, are not as pose-able as either Cybertron Primus or Universe/ Energon/ Armada Unicron, which is kind of a bummer.
            The waist rotates. The hips are on universal joints as well. However, the ratchets used on the rotational and outward motions of the legs can be relatively less tight. Coupled that the equally soft ratcheted knee joints and the top heavy nature of the figure itself, especially during transformation and posing, the posture tends to collapse and topple over easily.  
            Despite that, it is still possible to put him in numerous wonderful poses, but all you need is some patience to find the sweet spots.
            There is also light and sound gimmick here. Once 2 AA batteries are inserted into the compartment at the back, each press of the button on the chest will activate sound effects that alternate between Metroplex talking, and some transformation sequence sound effect. These will be accompanied by both the eyes and the chest light lighting up red.
            The robot mode looks absolutely majestic, though not as tough-looking as Fort Max, he does make a perfect partner for the big. Metroplex, being the more agile of the duo, while Fort Max just brings in the MAXIMUM fire power.

Vehicle Mode:
Official Mode
            Well, sometimes I’d just like to call it the tank mode, and what a huge tank it is. It’s kinda of normal for Base-formers to have some intermediate mode between the robot and their respective base modes. Examples can clearly be seen with Fort Max, Scorponok, Trypticon, Super Ginrai, Primus etc. Not many can actually pull off a good third mode. Super Ginrai and Scorponok are some of the few that actually pulled it off with flying colors.
            Metroplex unfortunately doesn’t fall into the excellent category, but it isn’t exactly that bad either. Just like his G1 namesake, the tank looks good, and this time around, he looks almost like a carrier warship on wheels, and he does pack with a lot of firing power.

            The tank is supported by 8 pairs of tyres, which unfortunately is made from PVC plastics rather than rubbers, but they do roll just fine.
            Officially in the instructions, while the set comes supplied with two humongous blasters, only one is actually used in this mode, which honestly kind of bugged me. In his original G1 released, the two blasters or cannons, if you will, can be attached to the front of the tank, adding more firepower to his already deadly weaponries.
Hidden Peg for Metroplex
            Fortunately, you can still do that. There is still a peg that you can still used to attach the cannons, as depicted in the photos.
            One major problem in this mode is actually the leeway between the robot’s knee caps, which now form the underneath portion of the front part of the tank. At times, you could actually hear them scraping against the floor beneath.
            Some kibbles quite noticeable in this mode, particularly the head and the hands.
            Overall, this mode is moderate at best, bordering on good, but not great.

City Mode:
Official Mode
            In most cases, people buy Metroplex for both the robot and the city modes. Metroplex is so synonymous with his base mode that in all cases, be it the G1 animated series or the Fall of Cybertron games, fans know him at the city first, robot second.
With the 2nd Gun Attached
            The G1 city mode was great, and most of us did wish that he was made bigger, or on par with Fortress Maximus. Now, our dreams are finally realized.
            However, while the size is deliciously wonderful, the newer base doesn’t exactly look as awesome city as G1 Metroplex ever did. In fact, I would actually rank Fort Max’s base mode as being the better base, visually.
            Based on the official instructions, it is as if something else is missing from this mode. The fact that the other cannon is left unattended to kind of irked me to no end.
Hidden Peg Holes Behind the Base
            However, a careful inspection at the back of the base mode revealed a hidden peg hold, and voila, the cannon’s peg fits! So now, at least the base mode is visually more pleasing. At least it doesn’t seem empty.
            It has basically all the essence and basics of the G1 Metroplex in base mode, but in larger scale.
            Last thought of the city mode, I still think they could have done better with the legs portions, as they look kind of hollow.

Accessories:
Miniature Figures -- Still in Packaging
            In terms of accessories, apart from the miniature figures and Scampers mentioned earlier, there are also the two large cannons and the smaller cannons that are mounted to his shoulders.
            He also comes with a set of stickers, which so far, I have no interest on pasting them. 



Stickers
Overall:
            I have always loved Metroplex and I absolutely love base-formers. I mean, who doesn’t like play sets, right? Metroplex is a good update from the original G1 Metroplex, and I really love the size of the monster. Hasbro is aggressively promoting Metroplex as being the largest ever, but honestly for me, I would still regard Fortress Maximus as the largest.
            Yes, Metroplex should be the tallest, but when it comes to the largest, it has to be the combination of size, height and weight, and Fort Max is definitely beefier and heavier, no questions about it. However, having said that, just like Fortress Maximus, this figure would still be hassle for a child to play with alone. Adult supervision is required if parents actually buys this guy for their children.
            Similar to Fort Max, I always think that play sets such as this can provide a good parents-children bonding time.
            For most of the fans that already has a Fort Max figure, you will probably want to get this guy, because finally, you can actually have him face off with someone his own size.
            There are four variants to choose from, so choose wisely Trans-Fanatix!!!
            Highly recommended.

            Final verdict: 9.5/10


No comments:

Post a Comment