Thursday, June 1, 2017

Fans Toys Phoenix - Skyfire

Fans Toys Phoenix - Skyfire

I never had a Skyfire figure when I was a kid, not even a Robotech Valkyrie. I was happy when I got a hold of Henkai Skyfire and ecstatic when I picked up Generations Skyfire. When FansToys Phoenix arrived, my family knew it was something special by the stupid grin on my face. It's not a perfect figure, but it's still a great figure.

He is a very large sci-fi jet. There are some gaps in the form, especially under the thruster backpack, but I like his overall shape. His main canopy opens to reveal a chrome and detailed cockpit. His underside does a surprisingly good job of hiding robot bits. It is not the mess of arms and legs of Generations Skyfire or most other Transformer jets. He rolls quite well on his Die-cast landing gears. I could not find a way to store his rifle. 

Transformation to robot mode is straight forward. You have to yank out his legs, which is step that I don't like. The process reveals some die cast parts in his chest/nose cone. Yes, he kind of has a gerwalk mode but it's not that good looking because it's not complete. There are too many gaps in the body and you have to turn his thighs completely backwards on a sculpt not really meant for that. I think I put some dings in the top of the thigh sculpt while attempting it. Going to jet mode is just as simple a process as going to robot mode. Overall, it is a satisfying set of steps. Coming back out of jet mode, one of the little screws on his right wing fell out; it appears to be stripped.

Fans Toys face sculpts usually have a bit of the odd duck lip, but Phoenix does not. I like it a lot actually. He has some line work, but not too much. Transparent colored plastic and metallic grey paint provide highlights. Otherwise, he's a very white figure. There is a bit of red chrome on the sides of his lower legs. Although a nice touch, I would have preferred it match the red elsewhere on his body. He is a little back heavy so heel spurs would have been appreciated. Such tricks don’t bother me, but it’s worth pointing out that he does not have a faux cockpit on his chest.

This is how articulated fingers and wrists should be designed for all figures going forward. The amount of expressiveness in his hands is pretty amazing, without the fragile ball joints of KFC hands nor the annoying nubs that pop off from friction tabs. His thumbs are on big ball joints, with two additional hinges at the knuckles. The rest of his fingers are single-pinned with three knuckles each. The base knuckles of each have an additional hinge for sideways articulation. In essence, he can spread his fingers apart without the awkwardness of KFC or DX9 fingers. His wrists are also on hinges so he can hold out his hands in the stop sign. 

His head is on a swivel and hinge that allows him to look up but not down. His shoulders are on ratcheted hinges and swivels that allow him to raise his arms out to 90 degrees. He swivels at his biceps, wrists, and knees. He has single-jointed elbows that can achieve full curls. His ratcheted, single-jointed knees can only curl to 90 degrees. He does not have a waist swivel. His thighs swivel only a little because they are hindered by the sculpt. His hips are on universals with ratchets along the transverse axis. Jean-Claude Van Damme would not be impressed by his front or side splits. He has ankle tilts and rockers, with additional toe tilts.

His accessories include his rifle, an additional chest plate, an additional eye piece, and a flight stand attachment. The rifle is large and all black. There is some line work, but no paint. Despite using a Masterpiece-style tab, it works pretty well. Maybe it's the little notch to account for the screw in his palm. I like how his trigger finger can fit inside the guard. The additional chest plate lets you have one with the Autobot symbol and the other with the Decepticon symbol, or one with no symbol at all. The extra eye piece is translucent blue plastic, presumably for a light-piping effect. I'll be keeping the default metallic blue eyes. He doesn't come with a full flight stand, only an attachment to be used with the one that came with one of their previous figures.

Phoenix will stand on my FansToys shelf. Despite some limited articulation, I still love this figure. Fans Toys figures rarely disappoint me. Phoenix is no exception. I can't wait for more and to start working on the cast of The Movie.










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