TakaraTomy Prime Arms Microns, Finally in-hand
TakaraTomy Prime Arms Microns, Finally in-hand
Apr 19 2012, 06:34 AM
Joined: 26-June 02
Member No.: 1,143
So yeah, I actually splurged and got the Japanese Prime toys instead of the Hasbro versions. Nearly-naked Ratchet is almost a shame to cover up with paint, honestly. But this isn't not about the big toys... I'm here to talk about the pack-in Arms Microns, since I haven't seen much discussion on them as toys.
No pics yet.
Honestly, assembling them was fun. Even though they're on sprues like a model kit, they don't FEEL like model kits. The plastic is satisfyingly solid, definitely up to "toy to be played with" levels of the regular TF toys. Their joints are largely on that limited-friction ratchet assembly, so they kind of "bump" into position. Being designed as weapons first THEN into robot-things also makes them feel much more solid than their forebears, the PCC Mini-Cons, and leads to more interesting robot modes, I think. Having the Autobot Minis with Armada-cartoon-style eyes and such, and the mono-optic Decepticon beasts (kinda recalling the movie aesthetic) is a super-nice touch. Plus, several have some rather clever interactivity features with their larger partners, which I'll get into on a case-by-case. They're just on the whole pretty cleverly designed. There are some minor issues with a few of them as to their Energon Crystal sockets being juuuuuust a hair too small for the stickers and crystal, but nothing crippling.
M01 - O.P.
In person, he looks WAY less like Shockwave. Of course, having a face with two eyes helps. "Opie" however is kind of weak as a robot. Nearly half his mass is the cannon barrel backpack, which acts as a tripod and is the only thing keeping him upright. Both of his legs are a single piece too, making his arms the only meaningful articulation. In cannon mode, plugging him into Optimus's forearm socket does kinda simulate his show-blaster better than having it be handheld, but considering the color, accuracy is not a huge concern anyway. I actually rather like plugging him into the post-holes on the top of Prime's torso near his shoulders.... it's an interesting sniper-cannon kinda setup.
Overall though, I can't help but think he's the weakest of this batch.
M02 - B.2
I'm pretty enamored with this little guy, since he's such a squat little doofus. Unfortunately, his legs are pretty much locked in place (why I'm not sure, I'd think they could have made the thighs separate pieces), and he can't quite get his arm-cannons up high enough to be even parallel to the ground, since only his elbows are articulated in a way anyone would actually move a limb. Still, his gold coloring complements Bumblebee nicely. Plus his barrel sockets allow him to combine REALLY well with Prime Firebolt to make a vicious-looking gun.
M03 - C.L.
There's just something very satisfying about this guy. Maybe it's because he folds up so nice and compact in gun mode. Maybe because he just looks like a little bruiser, a perfect partner for Cliffjumper. Maybe it's also because he's got six points of good articulation, with swivel shoulders, upper legs and knees. Unfortunately, there's not really any way to make him look like Cliffjumper's show-guns, coming directly out of his wrists. Hand-held is... vaguely close, but Cliff's forearm armor kind of gets in the way. But aside from that he's pretty sweet. He also works really well with Prime Pinpointer, whose red plastic is very close to C.L.'s.
M04 - R.A.
I love, love that this guy's face is a surgical mask and he has that doctor's mirror-thing on his forehead. In blade mode, R.A. is designed in the same way as the Hasbro Ratchet's blades, perfectly replicating the "popped from his wrist" design. But HOLY FREAKIN SCHNIKIES is that one bigass blade! Seriously, R.A.'s weapon mode is a monster. He's like O.P. in that he's got a massive backpack, but since it's a comparatively-thin blade, it doesn't force him to use it as a tripod. I also like his little clamp-hands. By the way, the official photography has his groin mis-transformed.
M05 - Gora
Gora comes on a pretty big sprue set with a fair number of parts. He's probably the most complicated construction of the first round of Arms Microns, that's for sure. his gorilla mode is... well... his back end is pretty lame, though his massive arms block most vies of them. Those arms also lack any kind of handlike manipulator, but since he likely just continues to fire killbolts in this mode, ehn. However, he's got so much weight that if you raise one of his arms, he'll just topple right over. His cannon mode is compact and has flip-out blade-halves... which unfortunately stick out quite a bit when they're not deployed in snapped-together blade mode. In cannon mode, he's actually roughly the right size to work with the Voyager Megatron figure, according to stills on TFWIKI. I was surprised. You can get a longer cannon mode out of him (shown on the boxback combined with Bulo), but the compact one is pretty screen-scale-accurate. He's a neat concept, but his gorilla mode suffers.
M06 - Bulo
Easily my favorite one of the group on several levels. We don't get many bovine Transformers, really. But his weapon modes are really well done. His drill mode, which is bizarrely undocumented in his instructions (but shown on Megatron's box-back combined with Gora's extended cannon mode) can actually be "held" by Skywarp in robot mode thanks to some clever positioning of legs and swiveling parts, attaching to the 5mm hole on the inside of Skywarp's forearm. A small tab on his "tail" lets you plug him onto Skywarp's back for very simple and non-obstructive storage in "shuriken" mode. Uuuuunfortunately, there's no good place to put him when Skywarp's in jet mode.
So. Is the line worth importing for the Arms Microns? Well... if that's all you're after... no. Probably not. The paint loss is significant and the decals don't do so much to make up for it. But then again, I LIKE painting figures (I don't do it as often as I used to), so I'm keen on the challenge of customizing this stuff to beyond what we could have expected to see on toy shelves. (I'll sticker everything for Wiki picture purposes, then peel em off and get to painting.) And I do have an inordinate fondness for the extra 5mm holes on the figures so I can lead them up with Mini-Cons and other weapons. If you JUST want the Mini-Cons, wait and see if TakaraTomy pulls a Micron Booster or something, or wait and see if Hasbro's doing something with 'em in the future. They're cool, but not essential.
I got no regrets... well, specific to these. I do wish I hadn't gotten the Hasbro Voyager Megatron now that I see Takra's doing it with a freaky-ass bat-scythe partner.
M "Now... To Buy Some Paints" Sipher
This post has been edited by M Sipher: Apr 19 2012, 09:39 AM
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