Friday, January 2, 2015

Prime Spotlight: KFCToys E.A.V.I. Metal Phase 4 Transistor with Hifi

Prime Spotlight presents: 

KFCToys E.A.V.I. Metal Phase 4 Transistor

KFCToys E.A.V.I. Metal (KFC) – Transistor/HiFi

Bottom Line (*** 1/2 stars- <out of 5>)

by Stygian360

For many collectors Blaster falls into one of two camps.  Either you really liked him and fondly recall his cartoon character and 80’s action figure, or there really isn’t much you’d likely have to say about him.  He’s not polarizing in the traditional sense- either love him or hate him- but he’s not a character most associate with hours of fun role play or adoration.  So how do I personally feel about him?  Frankly, I’ve always loved Blaster.  Between his appropriately ethnic portrayal in the 80’s cartoon and his love of “sick beats” Blaster just had it going on.  I loved that he seemed to embrace music and although it was obviously his toys theme it was also an intricate part of his character.  Also, I adored the fact that he came with tapes and like Soundwave had his own arsenal of diminutive minions.  So, when Keith’s Fantasy Club announced they were doing their version of Blaster they had an enormous amount of expectation to live up to.  Does he deliver?  Let’s find out.

Transistor has an enormous amount of articulation and all of it useful.  His head is on a swivel with minimal up and down, but does include a great change out feature which allows for either his cartoon or original toy look.  He includes multiple swivels at the shoulders/arms and legs/thighs, as well as waist (albeit hampered by a back plate that while in place helps to keep the pelvis pieces in place), and even a pivot for his feet.  Keith really put solid thought into every aspect of Transistor’s articulation.  As most exemplified by articulation joints in each individual digit of each hand- although this poses a different problem, which I’ll get into as part of the articulation section.
HiFi- Transistors minion and KFC’s analog for G1 Rewind- is also included as part of this set.  His articulation is excellent with swivels everywhere, all of which make sense and add to his overall play value.  He even has swivel wrists!

Okay, let’s not beat around the bush.  The paint on this guy is both a blessing and a curse.  The metallic paint is a gorgeous cherry red which looks fantastic and really showcases the best aspects of the figure, but it is prone to (thankfully) minimal chipping.  There are certain places, especially involving the panel that must be pulled down to place the head inside the figure during transformation, where you have no choice but to get your fingers all of those parts, and chipping is not only bound to occur but on my figure is occurring.  Other areas came chipped right out of the packaging- again minimally.  The positive is that most of this chipping is not overt and does not involve chunks of paint peeling off or anything else that may have you pulling your hair out.  No, Keith did his solid best to ensure the paint not only looks good, but for the most part stays where it’s meant to.  Also, the color is uniformly red, yellow, black and silver accordingly.  In fact I would say in all fairness that the paint on this piece is a step above what it could have been given the liberal use of metallic coloring.

HiFi’s paint work is also solid.  Although the palette is limited to white, gold and black there is little to no overspray, chipping or blemish.  And the fact that Keith was able to replicate the look of an actual 80’s era tape on the front for his alt mode only cements the fact that he is really pushing the envelope in a solid and positive way.

Surprisingly for such a large figure the transformation on Transistor is intuitive and flows nicely.  Which isn’t to imply it’s easy.  I certainly needed the instructions the first time.  But after one time using the instructions I was able to put them away and simply focus on the fun engineering.  That said there are a few things to watch out for.  The panel that must be pulled back in order to seat his head going into alt mode does not pop out easily.  I found that by pushing on the bottom of the panel that the top would slide out of its slots easier and then I could push the head in.  And this is where some chipping may occur as you attempt to get your nails into the piece meant to help aid in getting the panel open.  Again, if you encounter problems with that piece try pushing at the bottom of the panel which may save you a few headaches.  Also vexing are the aforementioned hands.  Due to the multiple articulation points on each finger you may find it difficult to seat the hands going into alt mode and pull them back out going into robot.  Just be careful and resist the urge to pull on the thumb in order to get the hand back out, and try to use care and patience.  Ultimately the transformation is satisfying with lots of tabs slipping into place and panel twisting, but blissfully few moments where aspects don’t make sense or require watching a video in order to glean the finer points.

HiFi’s transformation, although limited obviously due to his size, I find oddly fun and meditative.  Whereas some figures create needlessly complicated transformations Keith has instead opted for simplicity and here it works.  Even more fun are the two panels which pull out of his foot to help complete the seamless look of the alt mode tape.  Also included as part of this set are two alternate heads for HiFi; all of which simply pull up off a peg and don’t require intricate screwdriver work.  He also includes two gold blasters.  And last but not least he very obviously includes die cast parts- a first on a KFC tape to my knowledge.  It helps to aid his heft, ensure he is able to stand up to multiple transformations without the dreaded sagging/drooping parts of some of his earlier releases, and even provides greater stability while posing.

Bottom Line:
If you are a Blaster and Rewind fan or just a fan of intricate yet fun engineering then EAVI Transistor/HiFi is the set for you.  The paint is gorgeous and although the metallic paint isn’t a perfect solution it does help bring out the finer points of the figure, the transformation is fun without being needlessly complicated, and each figure does everything it’s meant to in such a way that it makes wanting to transform them a fun rather than vexing prospect.  So, buy with confidence and enjoy this excellent latest addition to the E.A.V.I. universe.

Check out the rest of the pictures. If you're interested in acquiring this figure, please click the main image on this blog post, or use the order form at the bottom.

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