Monday, May 30, 2016

Maketoys Pandinus - Scorponok

Maketoys Pandinus arrives in a hilariously large shipping box. When you crack that open, you see the typical Maketoys box, which is not that much smaller. If it hasn't happened already, this is perhaps the moment your better half thinks you've lost your mind. He is simply too large for my photo tent and plexiglass sheet so I had to make do with a white sheet for most of the shoot.

Out of the box, Pandinus is not in any specific mode. Some assembly is required. The large stinger needs to be attached and screwed into place. The instruction poster details the steps from unboxing to temple to scorpion to robot modes. The pictures for each step are large and clear and the pieces to move are highlighted in different colors, but sometimes the direction is kind of ambiguous. Despite that, I didn't really have too much trouble. Just take things slowly and be careful to not pinch your fingers between panels or stab yourself with the sharp plastic.

Although I love the idea of city bots, I'll probably not have Pandinus in temple mode very often; perhaps once more if I need him as a prop for my projects. You can position the pincers and arches to suit your needs. The cannons on the pincers can rotate but cannot swivel vertically. I couldn't figure out how to get the runway to tab in completely. His rifle tabs into the top of the tower. My only real concern is that some of his weight seems to be supported by clear plastic pieces.

Scorpion mode is absolutely wonderful. A couple of panels swing open to reveal storage compartments that easily fit Nebulons from various product lines. There is also a dedicated cockpit for Zarak. His weight is not really supported on the scorpion legs. Instead, a bit of parts-forming turns the runway into a wheeled undercarriage that supports his weight. The tail articulates at four joints. In addition to the previously mentioned cannons, there are a couple of missile pods that can now articulate.

Robot mode is suitably impressive. Head to head, Pandinus is slightly shorter than Utopia. With the stinger, he is taller. He is a lot bulkier. Typical of Maketoys, the line work is excellent. Paint applications and copious use of transparent plastic really gives the eye much detail to linger on. There is some parts forming again. The runway/undercarriage piece separates and slots onto grooves on the shoulders, becoming pauldrons. A pair of rotating pieces on the arms can be moved to the shoulders. The pincers can also come off to reveal actual hands, but I definitely prefer the pincers.

His head is on a swivel and hinge. His shoulders are on ratcheted swivels and ratcheted hinges. The three parts of the pincers articulate separately. The two outer pieces of the pincers are on ball joints and the inner pieces are on hinges. He has ratcheted swivels at the wrists, forearms, and thighs. He has single-jointed, ratcheted elbows and knees. His thighs are ratcheted universals. He has ratcheted foot tilts and ankle rockers. All the ratchets are extremely strong. The real robot hands are ball jointed at the base knuckles with pins at the first knuckles.

The rifle has a fun gimmick, where you can pull out the magazine and empty out the "spent" cartridges. Replacement cartridges can be found in the back of the legs. The rifle slots securely into grooves in his right pincer.

Zarak is more articulated than most Nebulon figures. He has ball jointed shoulders and thighs and single jointed elbows and knees. His neck, upper chest, and waist are on swivels. A red transparent stinger is attached by a small metallic loop. Pandinus' face is permanently stuck to his back. He transforms into a scorpion as well as Pandinus' head.

Pandinus is probably designed for a Legends scale display. He is a bit small for Masterpiece and CHUG shelves and a little too big next to Utopia, but we probably won't be getting another version any time soon so you'll just have to use a little imagination. He does pack quite a visual punch next to Deluxe class figures of the Fall of Cybertron line. I hope that Maketoys completes the line of city bots with Trypticon and Fortress Maximus.

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