Fighter Team Jet
|Toy Design||Shoji Kawamori|
Review by VF5SS
For the longest time, fan created toys was largely confined to the realm of garage kits. Nowadays, companies like Fansproject have created their very own original toys and accessories all in the name of enriching the Transformers brand. Most of these items such as Warbot Defender and Scouting Force X are wholly original and are not cobbled together from a previously produced toy. The company iGear has done things a little differently. Probably their most well known item is the oddly named "Faith Leader," which is a copy of the Masterpiece Optimus Prime scaled down to what some consider a more palpable size.
Wouldn't an unlicensed copy of a toy produced in a different size be considered a bootleg? This is where things start to get a little questionable. By all reports the Faith Leader and its subsequent repaints are all high quality figures and a far cry with what one usually associates with bootlegs.
So here we are at iGear's next major line of figures, the Fighter Team series. These toys use the Masterpiece Starscream design as their base with major modifications to represent the classic "Conehead" trio from the second season of Transformers Generation 1. The first of these is simply called Jet, which is dangerously close to what people will be calling it: Ramjet.
I first want to show off the custom outer shipping box as it reveals iGear's plans for their Fighter Team line. As you can see, there are a total of nine different toy numbers on this box. The first five have been revealed already. The top three are the so called coneheads while the next two are "Storm" and "Current," which are slightly altered copies of the original Masterpiece Starscream mold. I must say, nine toys is quite ambitious.
Next is the toy packaging itself. As with many of these third party Transformers, it is quite well done. While not in the style of the official Masterpiece toys, it still looks very legitimate. The reverse side has a picture of Jet in jet mode.
Starting off with the toy in jet mode, Jet is a modified Masterpiece Starscream with new wings and some changes to its engineering. The overall build quality is almost indistinguishable from the official toys. Nothing about it screams bootleg. In you didn't know it was a third party product you'd have a hard time telling it wasn't legit.
It still features all the little details as the official toy such as the air brake, radar dish, landing gear, etc. It also comes with the same accessories including the clip for holding the Megatron gun (from Masterpiece Optimus) and an in scale Dr. Arkeville figure (called Dr. Evil on their website). It also comes with stickers, a character card, and a comic. No instructions were included with my figure.
And also like the official toys it includes the two-part display stand for use in fighter mode and robot mode. The molding on the stand is much less precise than it is on the figure itself as the arm of the stand doesn't really fit into the base without excessive force.
Despite the molding issues, the stand still works well enough for displaying Jet in robot mode. For details on the transformation and the changes made, check out the video at the end of this review.
The most prominent of the new parts is of course the head. It's very bland all things considered. The face doesn't really match the Masterpiece toys and it has the obvious cheat of not being made from the fighter mode's nosecone. Plus the balljointed neck on my figure is really lose and tends to flop around.
Jet still features the manly breast missiles like Masterpiece Starscream.
New to this toy is a pair of wrist communicators inspired by the ones on Masterpiece Optimus. Now I don't recall Ramjet ever using this kind of device in the cartoon much less talking to Soundwave and Skywarp (well I'm assuming that's Skywayp). It's kind of an odd thing to add to the toy and is pretty forgettable.
Now this is the part where I hope TheEnthusiast isn't reading because this toy has a major problem with standing up. Now this is not a problem with the original Masterpiece Starscream mold as in the video review you see me plop down Masterpiece Thundercracker next to Jet with no problem. Something is just really off with the modifications made to the original mold.
I was told that if you leave the leg wings untransformed then it is easier to make Jet stand up but all I found was it made Jet lean forward instead of backwards.
Of course you can mess around with his hips to made him stand a little straight but that just produces crotch thrust.
If you get creative you can sorta put Jet in different poses but there's not a lot that can be done with the legs.
Fighter Team Jet is not all in all a terrible toy, but one with a lot of problems that stem entirely from all the modifications made in the name of fan-pleasing silliness. Sure it looks good on paper, take the Masterpiece Decepticon jets and modify them into the Coneheads just like how it was done with the G1 toys but here it just doesn't work. The new head is passable but putting the entirety of the fighter mode's wings onto the figure's legs makes it completely unbalanced and more or less breaks the toy. Add to that the price for Jet and the other two Coneheads is sixty dollars more than what they're asking for the less modified ones like Storm and Current. So you have to pay more for a toy that is inherently less functional. iGear really should have made their own design instead of adapting an existing one and completely botching it up. I was excited about getting Jet at first but after handling it I can't help but be extremely disappointed. I can't recommend this toy to anyone.
|Posted 5 July, 2011 - 11:09 by VF5SS|