Allspark Review – KFC Overslay, Haymaker
If you’re a mini-cassette fan like, oh say, 85% of the Transformers fandom, you’ve probably checked out KFC’s line of mini-cassettes at least once. They’ve released quite a few products in the line ranging from a familiar-looking yellow lion to that gorilla and eagle combiner that may have you squawking, and just recently they’ve started to ship Overslay and Haymaker. Acquired through online shop Captured Prey, the Allspark.com now has a pair of these dinosaurs in hand and ready to review!
Starting with Haymaker, the stegosaurus, packaging is similar to all of KFC’s release – black box, CG rendered art, stat card, and the figure and cassette case in a plastic tray. You might notice that Haymaker goes a little bit against KFC’s usual design efforts to integrate the weaponry into the robot/cassette mode. This is a little disappointing at first but take Haymaker out of the box and… Yeah the decision to leave the weapons as individual items was well worth it. Look at that cassette mode! Most attempts to modernize the articulation of these cassettes (like the KFC cassette combiners) usually leaves the cassette mode full of gaps, uneven surfaces, and with half-hearted cassette detailing. But Haymaker is completely free from this, and actually manages to have cassette detailing on BOTH sides of the alternate mode!
Transformation is clever, involving rotating the green sides of the cassette around the center pink torso piece. Hinge down the legs and fold out the head and tail and it’s done. Very clever, very effective.
Dinosaur mode is a little lanky, but not bad. Articulation includes the world’s smallest ball joint on the neck (which may want to pop out of place because of its tiny size), a hinge at the base of the ball joint, rotating shoulders/hips, rotating ankles, and the hinge on the tail from transformation. He’s not terribly poseable, but you can still get some fun stances out of him. Especially from cocking the head to the side and making him stare curiously at something.
Surprised by the very cohesive cassette mode, no complaints about the dinosaur mode, the individual weapons are a little disappointing, but easily forgivable. Overall, A- for a solid figure that will look great with other modern-era cassettes.
Moving on to Overslay. Once again, the packaging is the same as the other KFC releases so not really much to comment on there. Taking him out of the plastic tray and…Ee-yup, this is exactly the type of cassette that can usually be expected from KFC. It’s basically a Ceratosaurus that has been run over with a steamroller while doing some strenuous yoga poses…and not really a cassette at all. The thickness isn’t even consistent for cassette mode, leaving one side noticeably thicker than the other.
Alright, alright, let’s get him out of this let-down of a cassette mode. Hinge the legs down, snap the waist together, hinge out the tail, hinge down the shoulders, hinge them back, rotate the guns and…
Wow. That is a pretty cool little dinosaur that you’ve just made! It feels fully 3-dimensional, and not at all flat. And look at all of that crazy articulation! Running, walking, standing, sniffing, roaring… This toy can do it all. How great is that for a mini-cassette? Seriously, how have I managed to set this guy down long enough to type this? This dinosaur mode is quite simply amazing!
Okay so in summary, Overslay’s cassette mode is pretty darn BAD. I know I’m a little hyper-critical about cassette modes though, so maybe this isn’t so bad to some other fans. For me though, he’s going to rarely transform out of dinosaur mode. Although honestly, that’s perfectly fine by me! That dinosaur mode…just…That dinosaur mode! I love everything about it! So I have to rate the two modes separately and let you average them together… But keep in mind just how awesome the dinosaur mode is while doing your maths! Cassette mode D+, Dinosaur mode A+
One last thing to say about these is that KFC seem to have mastered the art of material selection. Early KFC cassettes used primarily ABS plastic, and if you’ve ever handled one you know what that meant for all those teeny tiny parts. Basically, it felt like you would snap them in half every time that you moved them. Overslay and Haymaker though use nylon (or a similar plastic) for their small parts. This means that you can transform them, pose them, and handle them like a regular toy without having to worry about that fragile feeling that might have turned you off before. So in short, KFC have come a long way in toy design and Overslay and Haymaker are definitely worth a look if you’re interested in expanding your cassette armies!