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FansProject Causality Multiplexer Part 2: CA-11

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FansProject Causality Multiplexer Part 2: CA-11

Post by Detective Barricade on Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:56 am

Of all the third party toys I've reviewed so far, I've never reviewed anything from FansProject, one of the longest running, beloved, and successful of these companies to date. Let's fix that, shall we?

FansProject's first tinkering with combiners was with the Aerial Team Appendage Add-on kit for Energon/Universe/ROTF Superion. The second was a set of two figures with some extra parts that combined with Energon/Universe/ROTF Bruticus. (and a re-release of sorts of the entire set colored to go with United Bruticus) Just recently, they've completed two combiner teams. One is the Glacialbots who form Glacialord. I'm reviewing the other team, the Motor Squad. They're Stunt-y, they're con-y, and they're all a little loony. I'd recommend staying well away from these guys on the road. But in toy form? We shall see.

I'm breaking this up into five parts. Part 1 was Causality CA-09 Car Crash and CA-10 T-Bone. We're now on part 2: Causality CA-11 Down Force. Part 3 shall involve CA-12 Last Chance. Part 4 features CA-13 Diesel and Military Multiplexer kit by himself. Finally, part 5 brings it all together - literally - with the team as a whole and their combined form, Multiplexer. With me so far? Then let's dive in!



Down Force in alternate mode looks like a super sleek race car, but it's not. Well, not exactly. It's actually based on a Caparo T1, a two seat road-worthy sports car from the United Kingdom. I doubt though that this means Down Force has any inclination towards drinking tea or other British stereotypes. Since Down Force is based on G1 Dragstrip, he's mostly yellow with black wheels. He's also the only one to feature translucent plastic of any kind out of any Causality figure so far including Last Chance and Diesel. Translucent blue for the canopy and the headlights specifically. There's a bit of black paint, and red stripes on the spoiler, but it's mostly silver paint in this mode. The silver is cleverly used to pick out the headlight details behind the translucent blue cover pieces and to pick out the axle details that you're supposed to be paying attention to in what will be his forearms. For features in this mode...he rolls. And he stores the halves of his gun underneath the car, plugging in the insides of the side panels. Though since they're yellow, and the places where they store in vehicle mode are also yellow, it's sometimes easy to forget that they're there when transforming to robot mode. And the gun pieces themselves are tiny and potentially easily lost, making his gun the smallest of the set. Do yourself a favor if you get this guy, and don't play with him anywhere that those gun pieces could get lost forever. That would suck. At least his head is hidden.

I really haven't much to fault with Down Force in this mode, so how about a size comparison? Oh wait. I already did that with Car Crash and T-Bone. Down Force is the longest of the cars, but only by a millimeter or two at best. Guess we should move on to the robot mode, then.



Transformation for Down Force is more finicky than it is with the rest of the cars. The front spoiler pieces attached to the nose panels are a bit on the thin side. They'll easily stress and/or break if you try splitting the front of the car apart by pulling on them, so don't pull on them. Instead, just grab close to the base of the panels and underneath and gently wiggle them apart, or use a fingernail to split the nose. The feet are underneath the back of the canopy, and don't come out so happily even when the canopy is slid forward as far as it'll go. If you're not careful they will pop off and go flying, so once the canopy is slid forward split the legs and unfold them one at a time. Do the same in reverse when going back to vehicle mode, but make sure the feet are out of the way of the column the canopy is attached by before sliding it back. Finally, the canopy is translucent plastic, and thus is a bit more brittle than the opaque plastic used everywhere else. It'll crack or break if you're doing something stupid with it. So follow the advice for dealing with the feet. The black piece it's connected to has two stopping tabs that stick up on one side, and the canopy has a very visible extension on the inside towards the front. This is to tell you where to stop and what direction to rotate it in: clockwise for robot mode, counterclockwise for vehicle. DON'T TRY TO TURN IT THE WRONG WAY OR PAST WHERE IT STOPS. IT WILL END IN TEARS AND A BROKEN $60 FIGURE IF YOU DO. Also, make sure everything in the path of where it's going to be turning is out of the way. The head is under the canopy as well, and is raised when the canopy is slid forward. So if it gets stuck midway, DON'T FORCE IT. The head may have tilted back and is getting in the way, so tilt it back forward.

In robot mode, Down Force more strongly resembles G1 Dragstrip in the details. Silver plastic is added primarily for the upper legs, and purple and gunmetal make their presence known as well. The upside-down U shaped detail on the chest evokes the flipped up chrome cockpit of the original toy, and Down Force also rocks the blue face in a purple helmet. The head is still square-ish, but more like a rounded square. I like the idea of having the fenders and nose of the car fold around on the shoulders, as it's quite striking, and how the legs have more to do than just unfold from the back. However, I do have some complaints to point out. The feet stick out like sore thumbs, and the exposed ball that attaches them to the leg combined with the rounded edge on the inside in the back can affect some poses. The fenders and nose folding around the shoulders, while a nice idea, have no place to actually lock in. Granted, it's more the fenders than the nose pieces, but it all still feels a bit weird when handling. My biggest complaint, however, is the fact that the head platform doesn't lock into place in any way, shape, or form. It's tight enough to not fall back down on its own, but there's no resistance to being pushed down by accident when trying to pose the head. Something there would have been really nice, but it's still not a deal-breaker for me. (otherwise I probably wouldn't have completed the set)

Articulation for this guy is generally pretty good. About 22 points counting the ability to raise the shoulder ball stems from the transformation. Hey, if you want him shrugging his shoulders, you'll appreciate that. Thanks to the transformation, Down Force has a double jointed elbow, though using it is a little tricky because of the fenders on his shoulders getting in the way. The nose pieces will also need consideration for using the bicep swivel, but that's surprisingly not so hard. The feet are ball jointed for whatever pleases you to do with 'em. The one sour point of his articulation is the knees. Because of the rear fenders sticking up behind them, he can't accomplish even a full 90 degrees. FansProject seems to have foreseen this to a degree, as the cuts in the back of the thighs for getting around a screw hole column also conveniently allow the knees to have just a bit more range than they would otherwise. There's some fan transformations possible where you don't fold the side panels into the back of the legs, and that can work for robot mode...but not for arm mode. We'll get there in part 5.

For size comparison in robot mode...you're just gonna have to wait for Last Chance's review in part 3, or backtrack to my review of United Laser Optimus where I compared Car Crash to Optimus. (they're all the same size in robot mode)

And now we come to the final thoughts and recommendations. Just like Car Crash and T-Bone, Down Force is a delightful little toy. It was this guy's car mode that actually drew me in to considering the set in the first place, and to learn that it's based on a real car is rather cool! He's also pretty bad ass in robot mode, and still loaded with articulation even if his knees are the most limited of the whole group. And just like Car Crash and T-Bone, the major turn off is the $60 price tag he's sporting. Again, $40 or $50 would be making me strongly recommending this guy all day long, and again the slightly overpriced viewpoint may change one we get to BUILD GIANT ROBOT! later. (I'm starting to love typing that...)

Though if you REALLY need to G1-ify him, there is an upgrade set in the works by G.I. Eddie and I think Echo Transformer on TFW, the latter being responsible for designing the FOC Bruticus upgrade set, that gives extra wheels and new nose pieces with a more G1 Dragstrip vehicle mode front spoiler and some other things. Personally, I like that Down Force's car mode fits in better with his comrades than G1 Dragstrip did, so I won't be picking that up.

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Re: FansProject Causality Multiplexer Part 2: CA-11

Post by Galvatron on Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:21 am

i always thought his engine should be exposed in vehicle mode. But you are right, the design they gave him does fit in better with his companions.

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Re: FansProject Causality Multiplexer Part 2: CA-11

Post by Detective Barricade on Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:49 am

The engine on the Caparo T1 isn't exposed, though there are vents along the back for air to get to it that aren't on Down Force. Probably for the better.

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Re: FansProject Causality Multiplexer Part 2: CA-11

Post by Ravage on Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:02 am

I think this car is my favorite

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Re: FansProject Causality Multiplexer Part 2: CA-11

Post by Sixshot on Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:24 am

Great review as always, DB!  :pop: I'm tempted to go after GI Eddies add-on kit. Just need more info, perhaps a review video to sell me.  hmmm 
Has there been any word on the price he's wanting? Or better yet, where to order?

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Re: FansProject Causality Multiplexer Part 2: CA-11

Post by Detective Barricade on Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:54 pm

Sixshot wrote:Great review as always, DB!  :pop: I'm tempted to go after GI Eddies add-on kit. Just need more info, perhaps a review video to sell me.  hmmm 
Has there been any word on the price he's wanting? Or better yet, where to order?
So far, no and no. He's not even sure of everything he's going to be able to get into the set, but there will definitely be more than just parts for Down Force included. Seems though I goofed up, as the spoiler wing bits just fit over the existing nose pieces for Down Force, not all new parts.

...I was working on memory, alright?!

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Re: FansProject Causality Multiplexer Part 2: CA-11

Post by SuperOmegaPrime on Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:05 pm

Addon kit,  wtf  This for FP combiner or the G1, I not heard anything like that!

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Re: FansProject Causality Multiplexer Part 2: CA-11

Post by Detective Barricade on Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:44 am

It's for M3 to make him more G1-y. There's a whole thread about it over on TFW, where the guy coming up with it resides.

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Re: FansProject Causality Multiplexer Part 2: CA-11

Post by Ravage on Sun Feb 16, 2014 2:30 am

yeah the kit looks bad ass.  cant wait to see final products.

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