Review by chachipower
Exgraver looks so nice and innocent with his green and purple colors. Let's bring color psychology into the mix. Green is the easiest color on the eye and can improve vision. It is a calming, refreshing color. Purple is the color of royalty, purple connotes luxury, wealth, and sophistication.
Bring those two colors together and they symbolize devastation to your wallet. He's a bit expensive sure, OK really expensive. He is a $100 modern transforming figure that's made out of plastic. $100 gets you a licensed Masterpiece Grimlock/Rodimus and a few Deluxe Transformer figures. So why the big fuss over a $100 toy? You will need to fork out $100 minimum about every month or two six times. Well, that is if you want to complete Devastator..oops I meant Hercules or as he is fondly called online, Non-Devastator. Exgraver is but 1 of 6 figures needed to complete Hercules. And such a fitting name it is because it's bound to be one of the biggest figures on your shelf. If it can even fit in one.
Exgraver is made by TFC Toys which is a 3rd Party company. Third Party companies make toys and/or accessories to use on existing Transformer toys. They are unofficial releases. In other words, they are not approved nor have anything to do with Hasbro/Takara. They are meant merely to enhance your collection. Third Party companies usually fill the gaps in Transformer collections when Hasbro/Takara do not release a certain figure or do not release a figure worthy of the character. In this case, the Movieverse Devastator was not enough to quench the thirst of most fans. TFC Toys to the rescue!
The first Hercules release is Exgraver. He is inspired by the Constructicon's Scavenger figure which forms the right arm. He comes in a nice solid box which gives the figure a high-class feel but the finish could have benefited from a gloss layer. Exgraver is visible from the outside thanks in part to the window-box design.
The back shows off the figure and accessories. The graphic design is lacking a bit but what they lack in packaging, they more than make up for inside.
Exgraver comes in your modern plastic tray held in with plastic coated wire-ties.
Once you have him out, you immediately start scanning it for signs of unlicensed bootleginess, except you don't really find anything out of the ordinary. Sure, it doesn't have that soft squishy plastic feel of a Hasbro product but it does feel as solid as something Hasbro would be proud to stamp their name on. It is sturdy and sharply molded.
From the back you can see the two guns he comes with which are mounted on his shoulders. These weapons combine with the weapons of the other releases to form a big gun for Hercules. These guns have several attachment points or the screw recesses are coincidentally the same diameter as the gun pegs. Either way, you win.
He also comes with his big shovel that attaches to the back and in some cases, helps to support him. You can get creative with this as it is pleasantly articulated. You will also see a purple part hanging from his back. This is Hercules' hand. You can choose to leave it there or remove it. Your choice.
If having a tail doesn't suit your fancy, you can always use the shovel as a weapon.
Exgraver is quite poseable. I did not feel the need for more articulation than it offers. The head moves freely, the shoulders provide adequate movement, the waist ratchets, the legs are on ball-joints, the knees bend as far back as you need them and the feet are well, they are a bit of a headache to some people who do not know how to pose them. More on that later.
Transformation is actually more clever than I expected it to be. Not what I expected from an unlicensed toy. The end result is a convincing digger. If diggers were green and purple.
The digger arm opens up and the shovel can also be swiveled. The arm can also swing to the sides. Care must be taken not to over-extend the arm as there have been issues related to this. More on that later.
From the back you will see that Hercules' hand is integrated into the figure in vehicle mode.
Remember I mentioned that the completed Hercules was going to be big? Well here is arm-mode next to the CDX standard of measurement, Pheyden.
If you are not lucky enough to own a CDX Exclusive Pheyden or similar, then you surely must get the idea when stacked up against a G1 Devastator. Yup... it's about as tall as old Devastator!
OK, so bottom-line is that you have to be a wealthy casual fan, or a hardcore fan to jump on this. I am neither wealthy nor a hardcore fan of Devastator, but there is no denying it's going to be Devastatingly cool if they get this right.
So if you were curious about the issues surrounding this release, I will show you what they are and what fixes exist. One issue was the feet were near impossible to get into a flat straight pose. This is because the heel and the toe section of the feet are geared together. Clever engineering, but a bit confusing to some. When opening the feet from tread mode, they open together when only pulling one side out. However when closing, if you do not evenly close both sides, the gears catch in an offset position. Many people became frustrated and forced the geared pieces to jump causing damage. The good news is that it's not a defect. It is simply a matter of knowing how to reset the pieces. There is a section of the feet that is not geared. Getting it into the non -geared position allows to to set it up to close correctly.
The other problem was breakage of the digger arm/shovel piece. People were over extending the arm and/or forcing the base ratchets causing damage. The base mount has a ratchet movement which is very stiff. It is better to move this part when not installed onto the figure. Another option is modifying it's internals. An even better option is to wait for the future Heavylabor release which will come with an updated digger set for Exgraver. I personally found the plastic to be very rigid, so it should be a matter of being careful. The following are pictures that TFC-Toys released to help users with both these issues.
|Posted 12 September, 2011 - 01:12 by chachipower|