Thursday, September 15, 2016

Maketoys Striker Manus - Optimus Prime

I'm a sucker for Maketoys figures so was excited when I heard about this new version of Optimus Prime.

This is a great looking truck. It has a Cybertronian aesthetic. Even the undercarriage does a great job of hiding the robot form. He rolls alright on his plastic tires. The middle pair of tires don't always touch the ground. The inner pair of the rear tires are merely decorative and do not rotate. I like how his weapons form the smoke stacks and wind vane. I don't see a port for a trailer, but I don't suppose that would stop someone making an add-on.

Transformation into vehicle mode is not difficult. There are some panels and tabs that need lining up, but everything comes together pretty easily. The arms form the cab in a very similar manner to MP-10. Going back to robot mode is even easier.

He's a little larger than Voyager size. This figure seems to be all about the line work. Not surprisingly, the paint application is cleanly applied. The transparent windshield on his chest looks great too. I don't like the forearm flaps. They're not as bad as those on Classics Optimus Prime, but they don't tab in place so are constantly flapping about.

His head is on a ball joint. Both shoulders are double-jointed, with ball joints and hinges. He swivels at the biceps, wrists, waist, and hips. His thumbs are fixed and his fingers are single-pinned. The pointing fingers articulate separately from the rest. He has single-jointed elbows and double-jointed knees. He also has an ab crunch. His hips are on universal joints. He has ankle rockers and tilts. His toes are on hinges.

Delineating a figure's articulation points sometimes doesn't give a proper sense of how posable, or not, a figure is. Striker Manus is extremely easy to pose. His heel spurs could be more functional. The ab crunch and double-jointed knees almost gives him an action figure level of posability.

His accessories include a rifle and a pair of battle axes. The rifle is several pieces of colored plastic, joined by a couple of hinges and a sliding mechanism. There is no line work, which makes it stand out from the richly detailed figure. Annoyingly, the sliding part doesn't click into place at the end. The slotted handle works well with the grooves in his hands. The battle axes are metallic gray, with good line work. I love how the blade is orange transparent plastic. They fit rather loosely in his hands. The slot and groove, if that is even what the mold on the handles are, don't pair well together.

For now, I'll use Striker Manus and Riotter Despotron to start a new shelf. I like how the FansProject Dinobots work with this design so I'll move them over from my Prime shelf. Badcube Sunsurge and Spinout will come here too since I've been growing dissatisfied with their scale and design for a Masterpiece shelf. I can't wait for Riotter Despotron, and can only hope that Maketoys continues to work on more figures in this style and scale.

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