Fans Toys Soar
Review by siningy
“Swoop is the friendliest and most outgoing of the Dinobots. He's surprisingly good natured, kind, and upbeat. Few of his comrades realize this however, as his team's reputation and his alt-form, considered (for some reason) particularly "horrifying" to Transformer aesthetics, makes others wary of getting close enough to learn about the bot himself. Swoop is an excellent aerial combatant and bombardier, and has become skilled at using the fear his alt mode creates in battle. He considers it his greatest weapon. Like all the Dinobots, Swoop tends to be arrogant, disobedient, and generally disagree with Optimus Prime's leadership style. He's also a bit of a show-off.” (Source: TFWIKI)
The second in Fans Toys Iron Dibots line of Masterpiece “not Dinobots”, Soar (definitely not Swoop) is available in two colors; a blue chest based off the original cartoon and a red chest version based on the original G1 toy. This review will be of the blue chest Soar generously provided by TFSource. Soar is available for order HERE.
As a child of the 80s, I actually never had any experience with any G1 transformers until the latter Micromasters releases and Headmasters sets my Dad brought me from China. I only knew the Dinobots was from the cartoon and I never even got to play with any until the G2 releases. I do however like Pterodactyls and Swoop was the only Dinobot apart from Grimlock whose name I could ever remember.
Being essentially a Masterpiece Transformer, Soar comes packaged in a large box featuring nice artwork on both sides as well as a moderately long bio. There are actually Iron Dibot stickers placed all over the box which I believe was meant to cover the original Dinobot markings on the box. Soar is packed in three layers of Styrofoam and includes quite a lot more accessories than I would have assumed for a not Dinobot. While most older collectors will probably Styrofoam packaging from a nostalgia perspective, the sound of Styrofoam rubbing together makes me really uncomfortable.
Along with the instructions, Soar also comes with a tiny card, display stand, sword, two missiles, a pair of alternate non-chromed wings and alternate translucent beak. The display stand is pretty gigantic and allows you to attach Soar in both robot and alternate modes. There is only one hinge on the arm of the stand which is held in place by friction but supports the weight of Soar easily though I would have preferred if they added a locking mechanism to it just to be safe. The base of the stand actually looks a lot like a Tekkaman crystal and makes me want to run around shouting Tek Setter with it. Soar’s sword looks incredibly accurate to the original toys, and features a translucent red blade that lights up by pressing the small button at the base of the hilt and requires two LR626 batteries that are not included. Like the sword, the missiles are also look so much like the original I actually tried to press the red button to fire them (it didn’t work). You can also pull handles out from the bottom of the missiles to allow Soar to hold them instead of attaching them to the wings. The translucent beak turns soar into a Diaclone version of Soar while the alternative wings are something I am incredibly grateful for. As someone with sweaty hands, chrome parts terrify me and I’m always worrying about the chrome corroding so the alternative wings are a godsend.
Staring out in the alternate Pterodactyl mode, Soar looks like a fantastic update to the original G1 version. The wings have a roughly 18in wingspan with four hinges on each wing as well as the ability to swing up and down slightly. The pterodactyl legs on mine were slightly loose and even after trying to tighten some of the screws; I still could not get Soar to stand up without tipping over. While not shown in the instructions, you can also fold up the legs to get a more classic G1 look which I prefer.
Transformation is not difficult, but there are a lot of small parts that can be difficult to move. There are two small locking tabs on each leg that as well as two small parts on the inside of the beak to secure to Soar’s head that can be a pain to get out with short fingernails. Changing the face from neutral to grinning is done by pushing the face up and then rotating it around. The gold tab that locks the thighs of Soar are also a little concerning as they are rather thin and long, but very tight when locked in. I’m always scared of snapping the part when moving it.
In robot mode, Soar stands roughly 9 inches tall and comes in at a whopping 1.5 lbs. The chest plates, shoulders, and legs are all metal, with the majority in the legs, allow the figure to balance without issue. There is a surprising amount of articulation in the figure, with double jointed elbows and knees as well as fully articulated hands. You can easily get Soar to kneel and hands grip the weapons very firmly, something I’ve had issues with on official Masterpiece Transformers. From photos I’ve seen online, Soar does seem to have waist articulation but the beak does block it so it needs to be unlocked to use it. Unfortunately the waist is incredibly tight on my figure and even after trying to loosen some of the screws, I could not twist it at all using an exceptional amount of force. One rather annoying thing about Soar is that the shoulder joints are extremely tight, and create a rather high pitched squeak when rotated. Loosening the screws does not seem to help this at all as taking apart the chest reveals that the shoulder joint fits extremely tight into the chest. Luckily the shoulder joint itself is made of metal so I ‘m not too worried about anything breaking but the high pitched sounds moving the arms are not pleasant.The screws used in Soar are also quite strong, with no worry about stripping that many have probobably experienced in their other figures.
While rather expensive at nearly two hundred dollars, Fans Toys Soar is truly an exceptional figure. I’ve only owned a few other Masterpiece Transformers but I think the quality of Soar is better than many of the official releases I’ve owned. There is a satisfying amount of die cast and the articulation is great. I also love that they included the alternate beak to create a more Diaclone accurate version and the non-chrome wings make my sweaty hands so happy. The super-tight waist joint is unfortunate, though I haven’t bothered trying to take the hip apart to see if I can fix it. My only real annoyance is the squeaky shoulders which I hope is just an isolated incident as the sound it creates is not pleasant at all. One thing I have noticed is the inconsistent nature of many of the joints. Some were too tight, and others too loose, requiring a lot of adjusting before everything felt like it was at the correct tolerances. Soar probably isn’t for everyone given the price tag, but it is a great update to the classic G1 design. For the hardcore Transformers fans, this really is a fantastic figure worth picking up.
|Posted 6 March, 2015 - 13:16 by siningy|