Laserwave13's review of Fansproject Protector Crystal Edition
Posted 19 January 2012 - 11:03 AM
For more pics, click on the image above
Review by my buddy Laserwave13:
Prelude: First, the legal stuff: this is not a Hasbro or Takara Product. It is an Accessory made from FansProject. And since this is a second or limited release and Phil has already done a perfect review on the first edition, we will focus on the differences, if any. So for the full review on Protector go for Phils full review. Also for the TFX-05 Sidearm set, which is not necessary here and therefore left out.
This set is mostly sold as a limited edition, but I find it neither harder to find nor more expensive than the usual standard set. At least that is my impression on it. Might be more about the actual figure that set was made for, the Henkei Sons of Cybertron Crystal Rodimus, which is, or was, only available in a 2-pack with a clear Optimus Prime and is now a little more hard to find and expensive than it was back in 2010 when it was released under Takaras ?Welcome to TF 2010? promotion. But in case you missed out on clear Rodimus, do not despair, just take a different one because the clear Protector set, like the first one, does fit all his incarnations, no matter from which series or toy line. So let?s try and keep this short.
Note: Biggest difference lies not between the two releases of the Protector himself, but rather between the variants of clear plastic used for Protector and Rodimus. The Henkei toy is made of real clear translucent (but coloured) plastic, whereas Protector is made of a more ?milky? or ?semi-translucent? material. They probably did this to make the whole set and the parts used more resistant to stress marks and breaks. And I think it worked, I cannot see something breaking any time soon when handled right. The downside is that all the transparency is hard to capture on camera. Some of the above pictures were made using flash and some without using it but still, it is hard to see everything. Besides, some of it is hidden with paint applications. I apologize if the pictures do not show everything as good as they should and I would be happy to supply additional ones on demand.
Packaging: The box itself appears to be the exact same one as the original. Only one small difference here, the box itself is also entirely translucent. Both the outer part - similar to what we know from the Alternity toy line for example - and a different cardboard inside that is cut out accordingly for a completely see-through box. More differences on the inside in terms of accessories. The instructions are smaller and forego the comic section. But on the plus side you will get the chromed golden wing parts that you had to buy extra with the Sidearm set if you wanted it for the normal Protector. Obviously for a good reason, since the Henkei Rodimus, clear or not, also has golden wings, so the normal orange ones would look a bit dull. Ah yes, and the little ?hand-shake? accessory for Protector and Prime is also included here.
Trailer Mode: The first thing you have when you take him out of the box is the trailer. Of course it?s useless if you do not have a Rodimus of any kind to attach it to (or put inside, rather). Which Rodimus you take is entirely your choice, they all fit and look good in some way, but for now we stick with the one this trailer was made for. First thing you notice is that the colors are almost the same as they were before. Only the yellow and orange around the bottom and the red itself are a little darker. But there are no extra paint applications of any kind.
Trailer Battle Mode: Again, as with the normal version, just open the trailer topside to expose the gun turret. The gun will only move up and down, no rotation, but that is just the nature of how the trailer and all the parts are put together. Not a downside, it needs to be that way. To give all the parts a point of storage in this mode, just attach the gun from Rodimus under the trailer, with or without the flame shaped rocket.
Transformation: As before, less a transformation and more a disassembling of the parts you need for Rodimus. Works exactly like it did before, nothing new here. The more parts you take off, the more you will see how translucent they really are.
Tank Mode: The first thing left after disassembling and transforming him a little is the Tank Mode. So it is kind of staying in between the Trailer Mode and the full Battle Station Mode. The profile of this is lower and more compact and the drone / scout vehicle stays attached for now, in order to provide at least some wheels for it because there are no tank treads. If you want, you can also leave the gun extension for Rodimus? gun attached for now to give your tank more fire power out of three barrels instead of two.
Battle Station Mode: When going for the full transformation, you will have what you want. The full Battle Station that Rodimus always had since his G1 (toy) appearance. Today of course it?s not only an opened-up trailer, but a full Battle Station, without wheels and not meant to drive around. This thing is meant to be stationary. In my mind, the better-looking and more pleasing mode next to the full trailer mode. But again, nothing has changed here, not even on the drone / scout vehicle that has now detached to drive around.
Protector Mode: This is what we really want and what compels us to buy this. First I like to apologize that the normal Protector in the pictures does not wear his wing extensions. I usually do him with the recently released Reveal the Shield Rodimus, who has yellow paint on his spoiler, which I do not want to scratch. Also the chromed wings on the Henkei or crystal Protector are just ?resting? where they belong. They are not pegged in for the same reason, fear of scratching the paint.
Both figures are essentially the same and I cannot see any real differences in or on them. But in this mode you will get what you paid for when it comes to crystal clear figures. All the parts are a perfect fit as usual and even with Protector not being as ?see through? as Henkei Rodimus, all the colors are a perfect match as well. The combination of just using some parts for the actual figure and leaving the rest to build a Battle Station is just so awesome, I cannot emphasize that enough. The work of FansProject and what they have done here is just amazing. A few parts and you have a completely new figure that is not only bigger but also far more pose able than Rodimus alone ever was. I just love this set!
There is always a little risk and danger when it comes to clear plastic, but this set and the whole combination feels really solid. There is nothing to worry about even though - as far as I can see - every little part of Protector and Rodimus is really cast in clear plastic. Just handle it a little more carefully than you would others and this will last forever. The pictures do not do it justice, but even though there are no differences in the mold, the clear plastic gives him a very cool look. Especially around the chest which now looks like a real glowing flame.
Conclusion: If you have any Rodimus figure from Classics, Henkei or Reveal the Shield or if you at least plan on buying one, maybe the upcoming United Rodimus (not the ehobby), then do it and yourself a favour and get one of the Protector sets. Which one you get for which Rodimus is entirely your choice. This is a one size fits all and I think almost every combination will look good in some way.
There is no point on resisting or denying that FansProject has overdone themselves both in design and quality. Personally I just love this set and all its possibilities for display. To close with a quote from Phil himself:
?If you are in any way a fan of Rodimus / Hot Rod, you need this upgrade!?