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Fans Toys FT-04 Scoria (Iron Dibots No.1)

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Fans Toys FT-04 Scoria (Iron Dibots No.1)

Post by Detective Barricade on Fri Sep 26, 2014 3:24 am

Once upon a time, Hasbro and TakaraTomy released a Masterpiece Grimlock. He wasn't in scale with anything else in the line, but he was awesome. The fans eagerly anticipated the release of the other Dinobots... only for their hopes to be snuffed as Rodimus Prime/Hot Rod got released after followed by a new version of Optimus Prime. The line effectively reset with Optimus, and every figure released after has been in scale with him in robot mode according to the old scale reference charts from the original cartoon. (with the boatload of Autobot cars having the added requirement of fitting within Prime's trailer, minus Roller) And while Soundwave and his most well known micro-cassettes (plus Ratbat released with the Soundblaster repaint) managed to sneak out in between a flood of cars, Masterpiece Grimlock was still not quite to scale here either, and the fans want an in scale version. Yet there has yet to be any sign of this happening, nor of a new version of Megatron, nor any of the Dinobots. 2014 rolls around, and everyone and their mother is nuts for Dinobots... including several third-party toy companies seeing an opportunity to satiate the fans desires for non-movie based Dinobots. One of these is Fans Toys, who previously brought forth Quakewave, the logical stand in for a Masterpiece Shockwave. They bring forth their forth numbered figure (even though FT-02 at least got dropped when the real Soundwave's arrival was announced) and the first in their 'Iron Dibots' series, Scoria.

Scoria is another term for slag, the byproduct of melting ore to remove the impurities. How appropriate it is, then, that Fans Toys Scoria is meant to represent the Dinobot Slag! That's clever. But we shall see if he's worth it, or full of Beryllium baloney... or was it Cesium salami?



Now, usually I start with the figure I'm reviewing, but the first run of Fans Toys Scoria includes an extra accessory not meant for him. A pair of grey platforms with black at the tips in the front! If you have Masterpiece Grimlock, no matter the version, little black pieces flip out from underneath the platforms to form a big black rectangular block when they're put together. The tips extend, and the black block fits into his dinosaur mode back between the big hinges for the body panels to serve as back cannons! ...Okay, it looks very silly, but at least it's something to do with them in this mode. It's more than what his energo sword and twin 'stunner' lasers rifle do, which is nothing.



The platform's purpose becomes quite clear in robot mode. Sliding sideways into his robot mode feet, the platforms give Grimlock a much needed height boost. With these on, he stands about even with Scoria in robot mode at the head. However... it kind of solves one problem and creates another, as now his legs appear a bit too long proportionately. The details also don't quite line up with those on the side of his feet, and they're a slightly darker grey than my own Grimlock's grey. (and most definitely the brilliant silver on King Grimlock. Not sure about the previous Hasbro Masterpiece Grimlock) It's not a huge problem, as you'd hardly notice from a distance, but I point them out anyway.



And now, for the main event. Scoria turns into a grey robotic triceratops with a bit of red and black exposed. Nearly all of his red plastic is painted over in red to make it pop later, but this mode is pretty sparse elsewhere aside from the nice circuitry detail along his sides. Instead, they opted to chrome about a third of the figure. Silver for the panels on his sides and frill, gold for his head, a bit of his back, and tail, and blue for his eyes. Surprisingly though, it manages to not be a total fingerprint magnet, and so far seems pretty sturdy. The other shiny stuff on him is die-cast metal. The feet of both modes, his horns, and a few bars around his triceratops head. This makes him very heavy.

Scoria has little in the way of gimmicks, but does feature a bit of articulation in this mode. Limited, but there. Unfortunately, the hinges that hold the bar pieces that hold his jaw and flamethrower tongue on are very loose. At least on my copy anyway. The jaw will stay if it's pushed up and in a bit like it does for transformation, but it makes posing the jaw difficult because it'll otherwise flop down like it's broken. That's really not good... Then again, it could just be mine.



Transformation is very similar to both G1 Slag and Masterpiece Grimlock, but does carry its own twists. Like how the back and tail swing up then compact into a backpack. The hind legs split and fold against themselves to compact it, and is sort of toy accurate. But for those smooth, sexy kibble-free legs of the animation model, the front and back parts of his robot leg open to let the hind leg flip inside, which also fills the inside to make it look solid, leaving only a small hole as any evidence that something was there at all. The robot mode leaves little question as to who this is meant to represent, and looks incredible. And there's a little variety in how you can display him. Don't like the frill sitting there? No problem, it folds onto his back. Don't want to see the horns? Then don't swing them out, or swing them all the way around to lie against the back. Want him screaming at something? He includes an extra head with a screaming mouth piece, and red painted versions of both faces if you want him to be more cartoon accurate. You have to disassemble the head to swap the faces, though, and would be a good idea to do this if you want to swap the heads instead of popping it off the ball joint. Lots of red revealed, and some silver on his thighs. The blue chrome appears for his eyes, and his chest features a convenient little spot to stick an Autobot symbol if you happen to have one lying around from a Reprolabels set or something.

Scoria features 42 points of articulation, with nearly half of that being concentrated in his hands. And once again here is where I need to point out a bit of a problem on mine. The forward/back shoulder joint is a simple swivel, and mine is not very tight at all. It usually is strong enough to hold the arm and weapon up, but will falter the moment it's disturbed. A ratchet joint here like the one for the outward movement would have been preferable. The elbows could have used them as well, but they're not quite as bad, I find. Again, it could just be mine, but I gotta point this stuff out. His gun and sword both feature LED gimmicks, powered by a pair of LR66 batteries each and the press of a button. The compartment door on the gun pops off on mine, and... I'm not sure if it's supposed to or if I broke it when trying to open it as far as the instructions seemed to imply it could. It fits back into place and stays there just fine, so it's not a huge deal...

And then there's that sword. The instructions show the side completely coming away once unscrewed to get at the battery compartment, but the switch/button is attached to it and wired to the terminals and LED within the blade. Still, it opens up more than enough to put batteries into it. For both it and the gun, the LED will blink on and off slowly (on for a couple seconds and off for a couple seconds in a loop) while turned on. He holds the gun fine in his hand via a very similar tab and slot into the side of the hand most modern Masterpiece figures employ, but while the sword uses the same system... the hand-guard completely gets in the way unless you tilt the hand down about halfway on its transformation joint which then looks awkward. I really don't get why it's there or why it has to be so big. I'd try to do something to remove them, but the red chrome would look awful right where I'd try to get rid of the pieces and it would still need to be able to open.

Oh yeah, and your size comparison for this review is Soundwave standing next to him. That's about right going by the reference charts. And is freaking huge.

So, conclusion time. Fans Toys Scoria is really cool. I want to utterly love him. but there's some surprising little flaws that come together like a group of green and purple construction robots that bring him down considerably. He doesn't scale well with Masterpiece Grimlock without those platforms, but Grimlock looks better without them. In the end this matters little, for Fans Toys will probably do their own after Sludge. But not being able to hold his sword without looking awkward doing it and his somewhat loose shoulders and very loose upper jaw hinges are flaws that combined become hard to ignore. He's worth the asking price... but maybe wait for the second run where hopefully some of these issues may be addressed. Who knows? I might have gotten a slightly bum figure. But my faith in Fans Toys has been shaken slightly, and I'm hoping Soar, their take on Swoop, will renew my faith in them and the rest of the Iron Dibots.

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Re: Fans Toys FT-04 Scoria (Iron Dibots No.1)

Post by Galvatron on Fri Oct 03, 2014 12:44 am

one day I will have a Scoria. But right now, he's out of my price range.

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