Review by The Enthusiast
A&L’s Conversion Tractor is rare beast: an original Chinese transforming toy. China cranks out innumerable copies and fakes alongside its legitimage toy output, but very little original product. Even the notorious Astro Plan toys barely cross over from Bootleg to Knockoff. Conversion Tractor is something special.
The vehicle mode is the same scale as Binaltech, 1:24. CT is packaged in a similarly Binaltech-inspired box, sturdy and sharp.
Out of the box, I was struck by the sheer competence of the piece. It’s heavy, with the cab roof, chassis/rear fender, and front engine cover all made of diecast. The paint is excellent, as is the sculpted detail. It looks and feels like a proper adult collector toy.
The transformation is complex, detail-oriented. Watch the video for the very involved process. A few joints feel a little brittle, but it holds together well with sophisticated engineering.
The result is a homely robot. This thing is all wrong. The proportions don’t work, the legs are baffling. The arms are an embarrassment.
Posing consists of wagging the arms about.
The head does move, and lights up, which is a nice feature.
While CT transforms into a disaster, I happen to love it. Even though it is clearly based upon Binaltech, its creators took a few clumsy first steps towards innovation. The designers were ultimately moved by their own vision, not a warmed over Japanese vision.
Whether you like it or not, Conversion Tractor is the future. With the US, Europe, and Japan in decline, China is poised to evolve into a massive block of consumer demand. Instead of aping the wares of the west, it will determine the course of consumerism. I feel optimistic. I look forward to a new era in our hobby, invigorated by a new voice.
If you’re interested in picking up your own, check out kotoys.com. These guys sell an amazing variety of China-sourced oddball robots. This isn’t a sponsored review, I just really love the site, and the service is great.
|Posted 1 May, 2011 - 12:57 by The Enthusiast|