Friday, April 14, 2017

KFC Ditka - Blitzwing

Although I only have a few KFC figures, I was really looking forward to KFC Ditka based on my experiences with Transistor and Crash Hog. Despite liking the aesthetic of the figure, I can't get over the issues with posability.

Tank mode looks pretty nice. Sure, there is some kibble - jet thrusters hang off the back and landing gears are visible near the front. At least unlike DX9 Gewalt, there's no visible head syndrome and the wings are hidden away underneath. There are a lot of panel details and some cleanly applied silver and grey paint applications. The turret can rotate a full 360 degrees on a ratcheted swivel. With a sickening snap each time, the barrel can raise about 45 degrees. The little square detail at the base of the cannon is prone to coming off, as are a couple of the slotted pieces along either side of the turret. There are a pair of slots toward the rear for two sets of missiles. The miniature guns on the turret are on hinges, with each barrel articulating individually. The hatches on top can flip open, but there is no tank detail to reveal. The treads are merely decorative and he doesn't roll all that well on tiny little wheels. Not that I would want to, but I don't see a way to mount the sword or rifle.

Transformation to jet mode is mostly easy. I had a bit of trouble with the nosecone though. The brown piece, which needs to slide up to make room for the nosecone to rotate out, was stuck on my copy. I had to slide a spludger in between it and the cockpit to force it to move. I also don't like how the top panel of the jet pegs into the clear plastic of the canopy.

Although I prefer his proportions over Gewalt, I like Gewalt more in this mode. His overall shape is certainly reminiscent of the G1 toy, but it doesn't make for a very sleek or sexy looking jet. From the top, he looks okay, but from the sides, it's a different story. He is very back heavy. Despite having a pair of rear landing gears, I also needed to flip down the panel on the back of the turret to keep him from tilting backward. For some reason, I can't get the panels at the top to lock into place. Although it may be considered parts-forming, the turret is removable. With the front landing gears folded away, he can sit flush on his belly once the turret is removed. The canopy can open, but you have to unpeg a panel from the canopy first. Besides the seat, there is no other detail inside the cockpit. A pair of missile launchers can be pegged under the wings. The gun can be folded up and pegged under the wings as well, but not the sword.

Transformation to robot mode is pretty easy and straightforward. Just like Masterpiece Seekers, you have to yank out his legs. I didn't run into any problems or clearance issues. Even that brown piece moved out of the way easily this time. I didn't transform him back to either vehicle mode so am not sure how finicky that process may be.

I definitely like the way he looks in robot mode. Gewalt looks great, but just like every other DX9 figure (except maybe Tyrant), there is something off in terms of its Masterpiece aesthetic. Ditka, on the other hand, doesn't have that problem. He has some nice metallic paint applications on his chest. I'm really liking the head sculpt. For the most part, he looks to be pretty close to the G1 cartoon. He has Die-cast feet, but I'm not sure if there is more to be found in his body.

He is extremely back heavy. His wonky knees certainly are not helping with his balance. If not for his very inelegant heel spurs and bending his knees in the wrong direction, Dikta would not be able to stand at attention. Even then, it looks awkward and weird and he still looks in danger of falling over. I never understood why designers create knees that can bend in the opposite direction. In this case, it only exacerbates his balance issues. The ratchets are either too far apart or are extremely loose. If you hold the figure and give a shake, his lower legs will flap about. Badcube Speedbump and Lorry have tighter knees in comparison.

His head is on a tilt and swivel. He can look upwards, to the point of breaking the sculpt, but his downward articulation is limited and very easily undoes his entire chest. He also can't turn his head side to side because of the sliding mechanism just behind it. His shoulders are on ratcheted swivels and hinges. Although he can raise his arms outward and upward to 90 degrees, you have to fold out a flap to do so. His upper arms also tend to hit his backpack, causing it to start coming undone. On my copy, his left shoulder swivel is so ridiculously tight that I'm afraid to use it too much. He swivels at his biceps, wrists, and ratcheted waist. His waist swivel gets obstructed by the backpack. On my copy, it also has a tendency to settle off-centered when trying to have him face straight forward. He has the typical posable KFC fingers that I'm not a big fan of. Every digit is on a tiny ball joint with those easy to pop off second and third knuckles. His thumbs only have one posable knuckle. His double-jointed elbows can achieve full curls. His double-jointed and ratcheted knees can only curl to about 90 degrees. He has ratcheted universals for hips which allow for almost a full side splits, but not much of a front splits. For ankle rockers, he has ratcheted swivels in his toes, but not for the swivels of his heel spurs. Strangely, turning his heel spurs too much will force his toes to start turning too. He has ratcheted toe tilts and separate hinges for his heel spurs to tilt. Technically, he has ankle tilts that engage the whole foot, but I think that is mainly for transformation; it's certainly not strong enough to keep him upright.

He comes with a rifle, a sword, a pair of missile launchers, a football, an alternate head, a flight stand, a large sprue of bonus weapons, and a screw driver. His rifle seems to be purple plastic with some line work. The barrel, stock, and handle are on separate swiveling hinges so that the whole rifle can be folded up. His sword is a large piece of transparent plastic with almost no line work on the blade or handle. It does feature a light-up gimmick. It could also have used some glue on the blade as it separates very easily. Both weapons and the football use Masterpiece-styled tabs that do not work very well. The missile launchers have spring-loaded launchers so I'll probably keep them in the box to avoid losing the missiles. Too bad the football isn't a single piece of rubber or soft plastic. It has screw holes on one side and a large tab for fitting in his hands. I prefer his default head over the alternate with its monocle and chin beard that references the Animated series. The flight stand comes in two pieces of clear plastic. It works. A bunch of plastic missiles, bombs, and mounts come still on their sprues. I'm not sure I'm going to take the effort to pop them all out and mount them since he'll be staying in robot mode. The screw driver is for opening the sword to replace its batteries.

I'll be displaying Ditka on my secondary Masterpiece shelf. I do like his aesthetic a little more than Gewalt's, who is on my DX9 shelf with Chigurh. Ultimately, I'm just not that satisfied with this figure due to the posability issues. I'm curious to see how FansToys upcoming Beserk will compare. I don't have as many KFC figures as I do some of the others, but this one certainly seems like a step backward when compared to their Transistor and Crash Hog. I hope their next figure doesn't disappoint as well.



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