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FansProject Causality Multiplexer Part 5: Multiplexer

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FansProject Causality Multiplexer Part 5: Multiplexer

Post by Detective Barricade on Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:04 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've cleared part 2, which was Causality CA-11 Down Force. Part 3, Causality CA-12 Last Chance, has crossed the finish line. Part 4 featured Causality 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. If you haven't checked out the other four reviews on the individuals...they're linked up there for a reason. Go check them out, then come back here. Now let's finish this string of reviews!



First up though, I want to show off the whole team in their vehicle modes. Car Crash, T-Bone, Down Force, Last Chance, and Diesel. These guys are based on the G1 Stunticons Breakdown, Wildrider, Dragstrip, Dead End, and Motormaster respectfully. Of course, you'd know that if you've been following along or have just come back from the linked reviews. As a team, it's important for them to look good together in their alternate modes, and the Motor Squad looks fantastic together like this. They fit together perfectly, like they belong together. Granted, the odds of seeing three very low production European sports cars, a fourth that never went beyond a concept model, and a flat nose semi truck all traveling together are incredibly low, but they look good together just the same. It's not really any weirder than seeing four different fighter jets accompanying a Concord passenger jet, or four different military vehicles and a space shuttle...



Next, a look at the team together in robot modes. I prefer not to equip the kit onto Diesel, as it then becomes very cumbersome to do much with him, but I also wanted to show the shoulder weapons rotated forward. The team still fits together nicely, however. They don't look out of place next to each other, and that is also very important. But that's not what we're here to see so much, is it? We want to BUILD GIANT ROBOT! So let's get to that.



Transformation for the cars is simple. For the legs, Car Crash and T-Bone need to open the rear panel a bit to make room for the weapons to remain there. Down Force and Last Chance basically just transform their legs and leave the rest of them in car mode, but store their guns somewhere. Down Force does require the front of the car to be split apart so that the canopy can slide forward so the feet don't break it, but once the legs are unfolded the rest closes back up. It's important that the little tabs behind the robot feet plug into the corresponding slots in the rear wheels, as the wrist is going to plug onto the wheels. The shoulder connectors have little bar pieces that snap over a pair of tabs on Down Force and Last Chance's waists, then swing up and plug into the underside of the cars. Naturally, Diesel has a lot more to do, and some of it can be kind of scary the first time. But the end result...wow. Just WOW. Multiplexer bears an amazing resemblance to G1 Menasor, with some of his own flair thrown in for good measure. There is a bit of a gap behind the 'roller car' chest plate still visible, but I don't exactly notice it that much when I'm not looking for it. I love that the wheels of the 'roller car' shift into the sides and try to fill the gap in front of the head.

Before we get into articulation and features, why not a size comparison? Just how beastly big is Multiplexer/Menasor? The original was one of the smallest in terms of the toy, so is it any different here?



FansProject's Colossus is...definitely not living up to his name in this comparison to Multiplexer. That is pretty darn big! And is much more solid, thanks to the fact the set is entirely FansProject's work rather than trying to attach parts and a pair of new figures to a preexisting combiner set.

Articulation on this guy is pretty good for a combiner. 28 points in the body, 22 in the hands, for a grand total of 50 points. A very expressive ball jointed head is included with that, even though he's not really going to be seeing much to either side of him. Down Force as an arm is a little more limited in the elbow, but for any of them you can use their hip joints as a second elbow joint. The knees don't bend back crazy far, but it's far enough to get some decent poses out of him. The ankles have huge, tight ball joints followed by a ratchet for tilting the foot back. Which leads me into features, where I want to start with the feet. Remember those little black bits near the back of the trailer for Diesel? Those are rubber pads. There's four little pads on each foot, and they ensure that the feet will not slip out from underneath him. This is something all future third party combiners should implement, though it's too late for MMC's Feral Rex as the leg guys are already released. The next feature is that he gets a sword and a rifle to wield. Some have reported that the gun grip doesn't fit in the hand, and FansProject has included a replacement set for the block of gun bits that may or may not be shipped out with Diesel depending on who you order it from. I didn't get one, but then mine fits just fine, so mileage may vary. If you don't want to use the rifle, you can store its component pieces in Last Chance in arm mode's forearm and the trailer panels on the back or just store the whole thing on one side using the bottom shotgun. The sword stores exactly the same way it did in Diesel's intimidator mode, only it makes much more sense this time.



As a final feature, Multiplexer can do what no other third party combiner team can do so far, and that is swap the limbs around just like the old G1 toys could. It's not mentioned in the instructions at all, but it's wholly intentional. Down Force and Last Chance needn't do anything from car mode other than attach to the legs. Car Crash and T-Bone require their rear panel opened again, this time to accommodate their chests swinging open to get at the slots the connectors will plug into. The wrists do need to be rotated to point the same way they do when going back into the trailer in order to fit. This is actually pretty nifty, but there's some problems that arise by doing this, all stemming from Car Crash and T-Bone. Their heels don't play nicely with the sword's hand-guard, so he can't really wield the sword so well. The rifle isn't as bad, but still a little cumbersome. Also, due to the problems with how T-Bone's feet sit next to the front wheels tucked in his legs, it forces that hand to point up at the wrist very unnaturally. Finally, these two lack the waist tabs that the other two have, so the shoulder connectors don't have as solid a connection. They're not going to fall off of the connectors, mind you, but they can pop off of them when trying to turn. That said, Down Force and Last Chance are just as phenomenal as legs as they are arms.

So. Now we've finally built the giant robot. We've experienced the whole team as a whole. Are they worth it?

At $390, ($360 at the early bird price for Diesel) they are one of the most inexpensive combiner teams to date, and have the quality that has come to be expected from FansProject over the years. However...I still feel as though the cars are a bit too pricy for what they're worth. With them Diesel is certainly worth the full price of admission, so this is kind of a tough call. I'd recommend looking into them if you want modern combining Stunticons and don't care much for TFC Toys' style, as they'll no doubt tackle Menasor themselves eventually. But don't feel bad passing on them in favor of either TFC Toys Ares or MMC Reformatted Feral Rex. Especially the latter. Or even Warbotron, the new take on Bruticus.

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Re: FansProject Causality Multiplexer Part 5: Multiplexer

Post by Galvatron on Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:16 am

a bit on the pricey side but dam that guy looks wicked!!!

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Re: FansProject Causality Multiplexer Part 5: Multiplexer

Post by Ravage on Fri Feb 21, 2014 3:08 pm

very true galvy  :sweet:

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Re: FansProject Causality Multiplexer Part 5: Multiplexer

Post by SuperOmegaPrime on Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:27 pm

He is wicked in looks, which is why he is a NOT Decpticon!

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Re: FansProject Causality Multiplexer Part 5: Multiplexer

Post by Sixshot on Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:26 am

Excellent review as always, DB!  :job:  My only complaint is that you can't spin the shin cars around for a reverse look as the G1 toy implemented. I've always used Drag Strip and Breakdown as the arms for my G1 Menasor and will probably do the same once I merge M3. Good to know that I have the extra gun handle bits, they came bagged separately when I bought Diesel, now at least I know what the hell they are!
 hehehe

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Re: FansProject Causality Multiplexer Part 5: Multiplexer

Post by SuperOmegaPrime on Sun Feb 23, 2014 5:11 pm

In a sense you could but then he'll be walking backwards!

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Re: FansProject Causality Multiplexer Part 5: Multiplexer

Post by Ravage on Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:43 am

hmmm

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Re: FansProject Causality Multiplexer Part 5: Multiplexer

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