Kids Nations Series TF 04 Constructicons
Review by VF5SS
As you may have inferred from my previous review, I am a big fan of the Constructicons. Collectively, they're some of my favorite Transformers, right after Rodimus Prime, and as such I have started checking out non-transforming character merchandise based on the guys in green. I'd been interested in getting some of Kids Logic's collectible Transformers figurines after I had a chance to handle JoshB's Mecha Nations Optimus Prime figure. Now here for inspection are the Kids Nations Constructicons.
The set comes in a nice looking box designed to match the current Transformers: Generations packaging.
Lifting up the front flap reveals that each Constructicon is packaged for individual sale. You always get a full team per box.
With all members present and accounted for, let's take a look at the chibi-fied Constructicons! Each figure is about three and a half inches tall, and is made from dense PVC plastic. I was actually surprised by the sheer heft of the set's box, and initially thought each toy had a bit of diecast metal, but it turned out just to be their hardy construction.
First up is team leader: Scrapper, who does a good job of demonstrating the overall aesthetic of the Kids Nations set. For you see, Kids Logic actually went with the original Generation 1 box art for their main inspiration, and as such, Scrapper has an all-black head (albeit with a cartoon-style red visor). While it is a very characterful sculpt, I feel like the choice to use lots of solid, dark colors buries some of the detail.
He and the other Constructicons also have a number of yellow and black caution markings all over their bodies, which is a nod to the stickers that came with the original toys.
Kids Logic's much more detailed approach provides an interesting contrast to The Loyal Subjects' simplistic Action Vinyls.
And the Kids Nations figures are perfectly sized to hang out with other SD toys, as demonstrated by the Nendoroid Mikudayo.
While they are listed as "static figures," each Constructicon has movable arms, legs, and a neck. Sadly, some of their joints come "stuck" out of the box and may need to be coaxed with some heat or cold. I have yet to get Scrapper's head to turn, but at least you can see the joint in action on the main box photo. While these are all simple swivel joints, I think it's enough articulation to turn cool-looking figurines into legitimate toys.
Also, the small tires present on most of the Constructicons can be (slowly) turned. This isn't a point of articulation, so much as it is a byproduct of how these toys are assembled, but I thought I'd make note of it.
Kids Nations figures mimic their Mecha Nations forebears with light-up LED eyes. Each Constructicon has a hidden switch somewhere on their head that activates the gimmick. With Scrapper, simply push the mohawk block on his forehead and his eyes will blaze in Decepticon red. Scrapper's visor is one of the hardest to see unlit, so engaging this gimmick is a must just to see his handsome robot face.
The light gimmick is powered by three watch batteries, which can be accessed via a panel on the back of each figure's head. Since the panel is held on with a single Phillips screw, each Constructicon's unique backpack can be detached so you can get a small tool in there when it's time to change the batteries. Also, if the figure's eyes aren't lighting up, you may have to re-position the batteries, as the whole setup is a simple circuit with nothing except the metal clips holding the LED's power supply in place.
Next up is Scrapper's fellow Devastator leg, Mixmaster. The maniac mixer is one of the bulkier figures in the set, and one that leans more on the cartoon design for inspiration, as the Kids Nations toy has a smirking mouth instead of a faceplate like Mixmaster's G1 toy.
That big ol' backpack drum accounts for much of Mixmaster's heft.
As with Scrapper, Mixmaster's backpack is easily removable to provide access to the battery compartment.
The switch for his light up eyes is the Decepticon symbol-shaped crest on Mixmaster's forehead.
And Mixmaster has the same articulation as Scrapper, although his neck movement is somewhat impeded by the mixing drum.
Hook comes in to bring a little high-class SD snobbery to the set. He, too, combines aspects of the cartoon design and box art, with a silver face and red eyes topping a body with proper crane cab booties.
His back-mounted boom looks appropriately heavy and industrial, but, unlike some other Hook toys,it does not actually touch the ground. No more "third leg syndrome" like on the Combiner Wars and G1 toy.
Pushing the little square in the middle of Hook's forehead lights up his rockin' shades. He wears his sunglasses at night so he can keep track of the visions in his optics.
My copy has a bit of a paint flaw near the left (on the viewer's right) edge of his visor, where the clear paint didn't quite cover the full bottom.
Hook also has an extra point of articulation in his crane arm, where it can rotate a full 360 degrees after it is pulled out slightly.
At the midway point through this review is the middle of Devastator himself, Long Haul. The grumpy dumper has purple arms and an all-black head like his toy, but with a red 'toon visor. Also, note that his wheels have migrated to the insides of Long Haul's legs like a pair of Scopedog style roller-skates. The only thing I'm a bit ambivalent about with this rendition is the use of yellow for his truck headlights. They make Long Haul look like he turns into an old timey 50s wrecker, rather than a relatively modern construction vehicle.
The roof flap of Long Haul's dump bed has grown in size to match his SD-ified head.
As with the other figures in the set, the roof flap can be removed for battery access.
The left circle on the side of Long Haul's head serves as the button to activate his light-up eyes.
Long Haul is always ready to fist bump it with his buds.
Leaning more on the toy and box art side is Bonecrusher, who sports a mouthless head and a blue visor. This influence also leads to Kids Logic's rendition having a lot more purple than what some fans are used to. Also, they changed Bonecrusher's treads from plain green to a more muted color.
His bulldozer canopy makes for one of the simpler back accouterments among this set.
It is secured to Bonecrusher's back with a pair of pegs.
Bonecrusher's button is his forehead block. The bright blue visor is a direct reference to the character's box art, where the whole team had blue optics.
Bonecrusher is mighty, even if he lacks a mouth for which to shout with.
The final member of the team is of course, Scavenger, who, like Bonecrusher, goes for a heavily toy and box art inspired look. His once purple tread legs have been desaturated into a grayish color.
His back-mounted power shovel serves as an (unnecessary) third leg for the figure.
The shovel part is quite beefy though, as the entire assembly can stand on its own when detached.
My copy suffers from a stuck arm, but his neck and other arm are quite happy to move. I turned his legs slightly inward for that kawaii stance.
Scavenger has another forehead-located power button, which turns on his box art-accurate blue visor. While this does look neat, I would have preferred Bonecrusher and him to have red eyes to match their comrades.
With the team assembled and their eyes lit up, you get a delightfully charming set of Transformers figures.
Their LEDs are nice and bright, so the Constructicons' eyes are easily visible...
Even in the dark.
When I requested this se, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. The Kids Nations Constructicons quickly won me over with their great sculpts and build quality. While I would really have liked if their joints were more consistent, I'm definitely interested in more of Kids Logic's Transformers products. I find that as I mature as a collector, I am getting more into character-specific merchandise, and these are right up my alley.
|Posted 13 January, 2016 - 15:47 by VF5SS|