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Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Fans Toys FT-05 Soar - Pictorial Review

I think this is one of the releases fans been waiting for quite so far, with the success of his predecessor, he becomes one of fans' favorite even before he was release, especially to Masterpiece collectors. I give you, Fans Toys FT-05 Soar (Not-Swoop).

Detail about the character and a review of Planet X's version of Swoop (Fall Of Cybertron version) can be found here.

Review of FT-04 Scoria can be found here.

You can pre-order yours at 1 Toy.

In Package



In general, Soar still maintained the same box design as Scoria but if you look closely, the name of the line has been changed from Iron Dibots to Iron Dinobots. I'm not sure whether the former was a mistake or Fans Toys changed it on purpose.


The style of the artwork also has changed since Scoria, might be due to different artist used. Scoria artwork reminisce G1 toy artwork while Soar's more like what you'll see in comic book.


Back View

Character's Bio


Another major change is the use of styrofoam, much like what been used by G1 toys and also Toyworld Roar.



Like most releases, Soar comes with a tech spec and an instruction booklet. I know some people prefer to skip the manual and went straight to the toy, I highly recommend that you browse it first since there's a lot of warning by Fans Toys on how to handle/transform Soar.

Taking care of the chrome

Unlocking the chrome part on the thighs

Handling the chrome wings


One gimmick that I wished was included with Scoria is the face-change, a gimmick that was also popular with early Masterpiece figures.


Due to the number of accessories, the styrofoam is divided into 2 compartments.


Soar comes with a lot of extra stuff, including replacement silver-painted wings and translucent dino beak (homaging G1 Swoop's toy).


Soar also comes with a sword and 2 missile launchers (double up becoming his blasters), following G1 Swoop.





As a bonus, Soar also comes with a stand that can be used for both robot mode and alt mode. Very well thought of as without the stand, you'll lost the fun of displaying Soar properly.

Alt Mode



Personally, Swoop is the most difficult of all the Dinobots to receive proper toy design even in today's technology. A lot of attempt has been done for the character in various line but most of them I consider to be a failure where Swoop always end up being a bird with large-but-shorter, robot legs.


People might argue that Bullsfire DB-01 Air Strike has better alt mode but Soar comes the closes with G1 Swoop without looking ridiculous. Even the visible robot mode hands is a homage to the original series.

Back View
The wings are in 3 segments each allowing you to pose them pretty much however you like. But it's advisable to use the silver-painted wings as opposed to the chrome ones as the they can easily chip.



I was really surprised to find out how small the legs are but even MORE surprised that they can withstand Soar's weight without any problem. Mine however, the left leg was a bit loose but tightening the screw fix it.


The dino's head sculpt is nicely done with great detailing especially the eyes. The problem with chrome finishing however, the beak is a big fingerprint magnet.



Aside for that, the lower mandible is on a tight ratchet joint.



A friend of mine said he doesn't prefer how the Soar's neck design in alt mode. Having him in hand made me understand why it was design as such. The way it is, Soar's head can be tilted upward and downward plus 90o turn to the side.




Attaching Soar to the stand is easy but the connection is sturdy. The material and the joint of the stand itself are solid and able to withstand Soar's weight without any issue.


Comparison



I'm not sure how small should a pterodactyl be in real life but Soar with Grimlock and Scoria is roughly the same size as G1 Swoop with the rest of the Dinobots.


I said it before when I was reviewing Scoria and I'll say it again. Soar, much like Scoria, look and feels a lot like original Masterpiece figures!

Roar my Dinos!

Robot Mode


Before we proceed, you should know that Soar comes with 1 major issue (other than the ones addressed in the manual above) and should be resolve before you start playing with him. Or else, you'll end up hating him.

Unlike Scoria that comes with loose shoulders, FT perfected Soar and give him a really tight shoulders...TOO TIGHT. Just trying to rotate them requires a lot of force and when they do, you'll hear the loudest squeaky noise coming from a Transformers figure ever. How loud? My daughter woke up a few time when I tried to pose him outside of our bedroom.

You can find out how to fix them online (here's an example by Mattbooker.



Transforming Soar is quite easy if you set aside the shoulder issue and follow the guideline in the instruction booklet. Most of the transformation happens at the legs and that's the part where you really should be careful with. Most of the joints are tight while some are really tight. In my case, it's hard flip out his left fist.


For G1-accurate version of Swoop, the missile launchers can be attached to the wings. After few try, the chrome on the wings still aren't affected which is a good sign.

Side View
Whether you believe it or not, Soar is as heavy as Scoria, due to the amount of die cast parts especially on his upper legs, shoulders and body.


Soar is basically kibble free without any fake part. The sword can be attached on his back for storage.



The head sculpt is really well done...up to Swoop's grim and depressing expression.


To change the face, just lift the face upward and rotate it. If it feels too tight, it means that you should lift it a little bit further.


So there you have it. You can choose to display your Soar extra grim or extra happy. Your pick! LOL


Just like Scoria, FT maintained the high quality finishing on Soar where the detailing and sculpt is well done and the paint apps are as clean as they get.


Looking closely, there are 2 different finishing can be seen on his arms, body and legs. The glossy parts are actually die-cast while the rest normal plastic.



There are four hooks that are used to lock the upper leg to the knees in robot mode. This method might seems untraditional (or perhaps too traditional?) but it works and not really noticeble in robot mode.


Soar is a stable and easy to pose figure, despite the weight of the upper body and the wings. This might be due to the amount of diecast parts on his lower leg.


Soar comes with a ball-jointed head, swivel and hinge on the shoulders, double jointed elbows, wrist swivels and individual fingers. The hips are on universal joint while the knees are on ratchet joint and swivel joints above it. And lastly, the feet are on ball joint.



Soar also comes with a waist swivel but do the beak pegged onto the front of his body (following the G1 design), the body can't be rotated without unpegging the beak. To me, it's better if the tip of the beak folded inside and there's a fake beak below the swivel line allowing the waist to be rotated.


It's important to know that despite the weight of the diecast parts, the joints are strong enough to hold them.


The sword that comes with Soar doesn't have a battery in it due to shipping regulation.




The stand is really good to pose Soar mid-air but due to the weight of the figure and the size of the stand's base, you can only position the arm connected to the figure to a certain degree before the stand falls down.





Comparison Shots


Unlike G1 Swoop, Soar is not that much smaller compared to [extended] Grimlock and Scoria. It's all up to fan's preference but wonder how it would if Soar is just as tall as Grimlock and Scoria's chest?








The Seekers have met their match
It might be still early to say this but I think FT Soar will be one of the best 3rd party figures in 2015, especially in Masterpiece lineup. Still the problem is quite annoying and hope the next releases won't be having the same problem.

9 comments:

  1. Thanks for the shoutout. And this is a really good review! :)

    ~Matt Booker

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    Replies
    1. thanks! and thank you for the fix

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  2. Nice review, and good photo shoots as well

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  3. Interesting about the DIBOTS/DINOBOTS.... your pics show box one way, inserts the other....

    I just got Red Soar today, Everything is DIBOTS

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  4. I got mine from TFSource and somewhere along the line somoen had placed stickers on the box that said DIBOTS.

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  5. An encouraging review worthy of a solid figurine!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! Hope you enjoy the review

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  6. I just got this and i must say i am truly impressed by the quality. It is the first transformers i buy that would be a candidate for an AFA 100 grade. No scratch at all nowehere, even on the chrome. Paint is perfect everywhere. Every joint are super tight. He is heavy and stable, even on the stand. He is really worth the price.

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    Replies
    1. Agree. He (and Scoria) reminded me of the quality of early MP figures

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