Thursday, 15 March 2012

Review: City Commander TFX-01

Let's be clear before we start this review: hardly anyone is going to want this. It's an add-on kit for a Transformer sold only in Woolworths in the UK, which now fetches a fair amount of money on ebay. Let's also be clear: those people who do own the Woolworths exclusive, who don't already down TFX-01, are unlikely ever to do so. Not unless you're willing to put down a sizeable amount of money for the privilege.

So really the point of doing this review is in question. Why bother reviewing something you either already own or will never be able to own? Well... I dunno. I pretty much just thought it was cool and wanted to show it off.

Hasbro, bless its cotton socks, tries its best, but at times the toys it produces are lacking a little. There has, therefore, arisen a number of Transformers 'fan' companies which have decided to attempt to fix these lacks. A lot of the time these Lackers are repaints of previously released toys, which Hasbro has done in a different colour to try and get people to buy an exact copy of something they already own.

Take Ultra Magnus, for example. In the 80s Magnus was made up of an Optimus Prime painted white, with a new trailer which gave him some snazzy armour. The armour made Magnus look completely different to Prime in this case, however ever since whenever an Optimus Prime toy has been released, it's been quickly followed by a white version and named Ultra Magnus.

99% of the time this white repaint has come without a trailer/armour.

This was true of the repaint of the Classics/Universe/Generations/Whatever (the name keeps changing) Optimus Prime. The white Magnus was released as a twin pack with Skywarp (also a repaint) solely in Woolworths in the UK. It didn't look great, and I only really bought it because I wanted Skywarp and it was 50% off.

FansProject, one of the 'fan' companies I mentioned earlier, decided enough was enough. It was time to take this white Prime and make him into a proper Magnus.


The armour FansProject designed makes a HUGE difference to Magnus, making him look like a completely different character. If you own the white repaint then I'd go so far as to say the upgrade kit is an essential buy.

While the trailer mode isn't a car transporter of old, it looks enough like one that it doesn't really matter that you can't park cars on it. Besides, what you really bought it for was robot mode...

...which is Awesome.

Okay, there are Issues. Many won't like having to take the armour apart lego-style and then rebuilding it on the core robot. Yes, it takes time but there isn't really a way round it. More annoying is the fact that you're leftover with a large chunk of odd-shaped trailer that doesn't form any part in the armour. FansProject did their best trying to make it into a gun, but it's ridiculously large and so heavy that Magnus can't lift it. Best to toss it aside and pretend it's gone to the same place that Prime's trailer does when he transforms.

All the poseability of the core robot is maintained with the armour on, which is excellent and the whole thing is made of plastic as high (if not higher) quality as the core robot from Hasbro.

One thing to be wary of is that there are a number of knock-off versions out there. Fine if you know you're buying a KO, extremely annoying if you don't and pay a fortune for it. As far as I'm aware the KOs are generally okay, but there is a problem with the shoulder pieces not fitting correctly.

Since Magnus, FansProject have gone on to make many other products, each one an improvement over the previous. There are loads of 'fan' companies out there these days, some making good products, some poor and some outright breaking copyright and just waiting to be sued. FansProject is one of, if not the best. It stays well clear of copyright and makes products that are highly desired by fans to a very high quality.

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