Review by chachipower
Star Saber is an Autobot Brainmaster from the Victory portion of the Generation 1 continuity family. Takara Tomy has reimagined Star Saber in a new line of licensed GT race car robots, hence his new name GT-R Saber. This is the GT-02 meaning it is the second figure in this line. Transformers fans may recognize this as a heavy retool of the Alternity Convoy mold. I've had a bit of involvement in racing in the past and I always loved the design of the IMPUL Calsonic GT-R. So this was a no-brainer for me. They've taken an existing mold and spiced it up to look like the real Super GT IMPUL car but in 1:32 scale which was sure to attract race fans and Transformers fans alike... and maybe a couple of perverts too.
Saber come in a window box with sharp crisp graphics all around.
The tray keeps Saber secure in vehicle mode and to the side of him is Anna, the "GT-Sister".
Vehicle mode is incredible detail and well-proportioned. At first glance, you'd be hard pressed to realize that this is a transformable toy instead of a full blown diecast collectible.
Even the doors and hood open.
The fine detailing even carries into the interior. It's amazing that these things can be engineered into a transforming toy.
The tampo prints are well done. While not quite the same level as some Bandai Gundam releases, it is enough to produce awe when looking at how small some of the sponsor logos are. Some are hard to read but if you are a race/tuner fan, you may figure them out easily. Check out the detail on the wheels and tires alone. They are small versions of the real things, not just generic wheels. Even the tires are rubber. Don't miss the drilled rotors just behind them.
The side of the car has all the sponsor logos in the right layout and size. It even has the Autobacs number decal.
A smaller less dramatic detail is on the rear spoiler. There is a cross hatch molded into the spoiler to simulate the weave of carbon fiber.
Saber's weapon mounts to the back of the vehicle mode. It double as a gas filler so that explains the silly "Gas-Fill Blade" name.
Most Transformers dont have a numerical scale, but this line does. It is 1:32 scale and this is how it compares to a Deluxe Jazz figure.
Now lets take a look at Anna, the GT-Sister. Anna is a race queen. The official job of a race queen is to hold an umbrella over the driver while his car is being worked on. They generally wear some sort of revealing costume. Campaign girls in other countries are generally looked down upon as the occupation is regarded as "low profile" or disgraceful. However, in Japan, race queens have a higher profile and are regarded as idols varying only by the motor sport event they appear in. In the US, they just mainly annoy the drivers, make girlfriends jealous and cause drama. At least in my experience. Say hello to Anna.
Lets try that again. Say hello to Anna.
I did my best to get a cute race queen pose out of her but I don't like teeny dolls. She's not even in scale with the car so I'm assuming this is just put in there to attract Japanese race queen perverts. Otherwise she is very Micromanish in articulation and design.
Transformation into Saber was not easy to do without relying on the instruction sheet. Even then I was a bit lost. There were lots of bit and pieces needing to be moved and folded. It's not a bad transformation but so many painted parts rub together...and chip. So it is necessary to be very careful. Definitely not a Transformer for kids.
While transforming, I discovered a generous amount of diecast located in the core of the figure. Not only does this give the figure heft, but it makes the figure feel a bit more solid during transformation. Had it been completely made out of plastic, it would have felt much more delicate than it already feels. It only feels delicate because of all the small parts, but I've manage to transform it a few times and everything is still intact so plastic quality is not an issue.
I have to admit I bit my lip during the whole transformation. I was actually quite concentrated. The end result yields a handsome winged robot figure. I felt a little balance issue at first but was able to get him to stand a bit hunched over.
What was once completely blue now sports some bright red accents. It almost looks like a red robot wearing a blue armored suit.
I absolutely love the head sculpt. Notice the added detail of a clear visor.
I felt that the articulation was not one of it's strong points. While the figure does look nice in a neutral stance, it starts to suffer when articulating. just feels awkward to pose and the arms leave a lot to be desired.
Taking a look at the back of a Transformer is a must as this is a favorite spot for engineers to hide stuff. Saber is no exception as his back has a good portion of the vehicle showing. I couldnt really see how they could have done it otherwise, but it is a bit of an eyesore. Not the worst I've seen though as its not a big jumble of parts, only clean panels.
He is bigger than a Deluxe Transformers figure. Here he is next to a Deluxe Jazz which is one of the taller Deluxe figures.
The race seats that hang off his forearm unfold to form blasters.
The Gas Fill Blade weapon can attach to his hand, although somewhat clumsily as there is no handle in the middle of the weapon. I thought maybe I was doing something wrong but that's how the pictures show it. The design prioritized the use of it for vehicle mode it seems and not so much for robot mode.
While it is possible to have fun with race queens...
They can also get annoying too.
You can always play "Hide the skirt before a big race" They love that.
Overall I enjoyed this figure. I don't collect much in the way of Alternity, it was never my thing but the retool/repaint in this case was enough to get my attention. After handling this, I realized it may very well have better fit and finish than the newer and smaller Masterpiece figures. It even has more metal. I guess the higher price this demands explains that a bit.
|Posted 10 July, 2013 - 19:00 by chachipower|