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Saturday, 29 March 2014

Perfect Effect PE-DX03 Warden - Pictorial Review

March 2014 has been a killer month for me. Bought around 10 Henkei/United figures to complete my mold collection, few 3rd Party figures, and continuing my quest to complete Botcon 2007 Boxset, Bugbite, and Thundercracker. Now, only Dirge and Thrust to go!

On top of all that, an unexpected figure arrived at a local shop here where I almost cried due to the timing, LOL. Thus, I manage to burn a bigger hole in my wallet with Perfect Effect's PE-DX03 Warden, a homage to IDW Fortress Maximus.

Pic Credit : TFWiki

Fortress Maximus is no stranger in the Transformers universe. After his debut in G1's The Rebirth, Fortress Maximus became a regular in the franchise as himself, an iteration of himself or as characters having the same design as he does (Grand Maximus, Brave Maximus).

Fortress Maximus has a lot of backstories, depending on which continuity you're referring to. But for this review, I'll be taking IDW G1 continuity as my reference as Warden clearly homages that design.

Came to existence during the hard period of war, Fortress Maximus was portrayed differently in this continuity, well-known for his mass-killing of Decepticons, as opposed to a weary Autobots with pacifist nature that had seen too many battle.

Running a tight ship, Fortress Maximus is the warden (hence the name) that's in charge of Garrus-9, a penitentiary for both Autobots and Decepticons. And that itself make him a target by a lot of the inmates and the worst happened when the Decepticon forces lead by Overlord run down the prison and Fortress Maximus was almost rip to shred first by Overlord and then the angry prisoners. And it didn't end there, until Fortress Maximus was rescued by the Wreckers.

Pic Credit : TFWiki
Unlike in G1 cartoon where Fortress Maximus is a big robot in which Spike Witwicky form the head of Cerebros who in turn, becomes Fortress Maximus's head, IDW Fortress Maximus is a normal size robot that might just tower few others. This actually (if I'm not mistaken) roughly follows Marvel Comics G1 continuity where Fortress Maximus is a normal size robot (roughly the same as his other Headmasters group).

However, Fortress Maximus underwent a big reconstruction process to alter his size, making him twice the size of an average Transformers. With this increase in size, Fortress Maximus needed a new head to bridge the gap between his and Galen's (his Headmaster before Spike) size. And this is where Cerebros comes into the picture.

Pic Credit : TFWiki

1 - In Package

Front View

Warden comes in a white-themed box with his CGI-render at the front of the box. Roughly the box is almost as big and sturdy as Masterpiece boxes (MP-08 Grimlock and MP-11 Starscream). At the lower left of the box, it's stated that Warden has 7 Gimmicks/Modes in total (7 in 1).

Side View
In terms of the box, Perfect Effect has improved a lot compared to their previous offering.

Back View
At the back, there's extensive look of Warden with all of his gimmicks/modes, (1) Commander Mode, (2) Robot Mode, (3) the Core Robot, (4) Scout Tank, (5) Destruction Cannon, (6) Cannon Tank; and lastly (7) Super Robot Mode. However for this review, I won't be demonstrating the Commander Mode, the Back Pack, and the use of the Destruction canon on G1 Fortress Maximus.

Just like all Perfect Effect releases, Warden comes with a lot of accessories including a display stand and an instruction manual.

Instruction Manual

Warden's display stand is made out of  a sturdy piece of plastic that is able to hold Warden's weight in Super Robot Mode.

Size Comparison

2 - Core Robot

The core robot, a Headmaster figure homaging G1 Spike, is really well-made. There has been a few 3rd Party companies that have released Headmasters figures, namely Fansproject Function-X line and Toyworld TW-H line; but I must say, Warden's core robot is made out of sturdy plastic as Function-X's, and better articulations than both of them. He even has a nicely-done light-piping.

Side View

Back View
Warden face on the back of the core robot is partially sealed which is almost good enough. Would be better if they can also hide the mouth.

Despite the small size, Core Robot's articulation fairly surprised me. He has a decent hinge on his shoulders, elbows, knees and waist with ball joints on his thigh.

The joints are really solid and tight, giving Core Robot great play ability as the figure is really stable and easy to pose.

The paint job on the core robot is almost perfect with sufficient detailing; considering his size.

I only have Toyworld version of Headmasters, sorry for that. Warden's core robot is basically a head taller than that of Toyworld.

3 - Scout Tank

The Scout Tank is a basic alt mode, used by Warden's core robot. There are only a few parts used which are not needed for Warden's basic robot mode (also, the big gun).

I was surprised to find out that the treads are made out of rubber, thicker than the one from ROTF Bludgeon. There's also a mechanism where the treads returns to their normal position whenever they're moved forward.

I love the design of the Scout Tank. Simple yet effective. As this isn't a must, I consider it to be a thoughtful addition to the set.

All four missile launchers can be configured freely as there are quite a few numbers of the peg available.

Core Robot's Day Out

4 - Cannon Tank

This is perhaps one of the coolest alt mode ever! In Cannon Tank mode, all of Warden's accessories are used except for the display stand. Transformation to this mode is really fun (with a couple of shouting and cursing in between).

Being a part-former is nothing new for Perfect Effect releases, but they nailed the execution. Warden's Cannon Tank is really solid and everything holds together nicely.

I really admire the detailing...great job!

The Core Robot's seat is at the front of the Cannon Tank, made out of Warden's chest armor and small gun. 

Size Comparison With Henkei Convoy

He's huge! Not what I initially expected. Aside from being 2 times bigger than Henkei Convoy, Warden is also way heavier than Henkei Convoy.

Even compared to Toyworld's Headmasters, Warden is obviously bigger than both. This scale however made me glad that I took Toyworld version instead of Fansproject version.

We're seriously in need of Chromedome and Highbrow!

5 - Robot Mode

Transforming Warden from Cannon Tank mode (or Commander Mode) is fairly intuitive, once you've fiddled around 2-3 times, you'll get the hang of it.

Warden comes with an independent neck part which connects to the body via a ball joint. This allows wider range of articulation compared to Toyworld's Headmaster.

Presenting, Perfect Effect's PE-DX03 Warden!

Honestly, I still can't believe how great the quality of this release is. I did regret when buying him due to the tight budget but once I opened him up, I'm really glad that I did! He's an awesome piece.

Side View
Back View
In this mode, Warden is kibble free. You may notice that his lower leg is hollow (which is due to the transformation) but worry not, they feel solid and really sturdy.

I applaud Perfect Effect for this amazing head sculpt and detailing. Not only the face design is well-done,the resemblance to IDW Fortress Maximus is uncanny. Now let's look at other detailing.

Despite his mass, Warden's weight is also contributed by 4 die cast parts, his knee guards, as well as the blue panel at the side of his legs, making Warden a much stable figure.

There's huge amount of detailing all over the figure, showing how much effort Perfect Effect had put in releasing this.

Warden stands a head taller than Henkei Convoy which for me, is roughly the right size. Any smaller than this, then Warden will be overshadowed by Prime; and taller than this will make Warden falls into the not-average sized robot category (well, that wasn't easy to explain!).

This is it, how the Headmasters should be. Kind of glad I choose the Toyworld version, making them roughly almost the same size as Not-Fortress Maximuss.

Toyworld need to release their Not-Chromedome and Not-Highbrow fast!

Honestly, Warden is a lot of fun to play with, surpassing any of my expectations. Warden is able to do a wide range of poses due the the effective design and articulations.

Not only that, the stability of this figure is awesome, due to the extra weight of the die cast parts.

Did I said he's stable? Yeah he is. The joints are also well made that they can withstand the weight of the figures, making it easier to pose; like the joints on his thigh which are able to withstand the weight of the die cast parts.

Warden comes with an impressive amount of articulations. The base of the neck is on a ball joint, double jointed shoulders, swivel above the elbows, almost 180° on the elbows' hinge, wrists swivel, and articulated fists (molded four fingers).

The thighs are on a double joint, swivel above the knees, more than 90° bends for the knees, and also, ankle tilts. However, the most unexpected joint might be the ratchet joint on Warden's waist, allowing him to tilt his body forward and backward.

Overall the joints seems to be sturdy especially the ratchet joints. However, the ratchet joint on the waist is frequently used either when playing or transforming; so be careful with it.

6 - Super Robot Mode

First of all, let's see the character behind Warden's design.

IDW Fortress Maximus
Pic Credit : Web

Following the IDW design, Warden can mount all of his accessories (except for the display stand) to form his Super Robot Mode. The aesthetic includes especially the four big treads on his back.

Despite being top and back heavy, Warden can still maintain his stability and is able to stand/pose easily.

Back View

All the parts are attached securely on Warden where you won't have to worry about parts falling off.

In this mode, the articulations are a bit limited to the normal robot mode due to the size/weight, and also, the chest armor pegs into his shoulder joints which only left him with forward and backward (limit by the treads) motions.

The big gun to be used by G1 Fortress Maximus can act as Warden's giant handheld cannon or blaster.

Warden can use the stand by attaching the connector to his back. But unlike most Gundam bases, this stand can only be use for standing pose as the connector can't be rotated or moved.

6 - Commander Mode

Now, for the last mode.

The alt mode that left the fans (at least me) baffled, not due to the practicality but impressive feat of engineering.

In Commander Mode, there are 2 components not included for Fortress Maximus's head. One is the big gun and the other is the scout tank (that transform into Fortress Maximus's back pack).

Transformation to this mode is ingenious, Perfect Effect really did a good job on him. The head is nicely pegged together with no loose part, forming a solid head.

Top View

Again, the head sculpt of the head is nicely done. I sincerely hope that one that Perfect Effect (or any other companies) will release a Fortress Maximus body that will go with this head, as a new CHURGs Fortress Maximus.

Size Comparison

Personally, Warden is one of the best 3rd Party figure that I have ever owned (and probably one of the best ever released), in terms of quality and design. Guess buying him is one of the risk worth taken, no regrets at all on my part. Making Warden compatible with G1 Fortress Maximus is a bonus gimmick which shows how much thought Perfect Effect puts in making Warden the definitive Fortress Maximus figure.


  1. Sadly I don't have enough money to buy him.

    1. To bad. Would highly recommend him, awesome piece

    2. Yup, really burn your wallet if it is not in your initial budget...been there..but..what the fuss.. If you really enjoy playing with them...

    3. I've got Orion, Chaos and Revolver Core this year that economy in Thailand is very suck (and I am a merchant). Don't mention ton of official TFs ,anyway I have to accept that I miss this guy and will find money to got him.

    4. well, sometime, like it or not, budget IS an issue. if i hadn't had some extra funds during Warden's arrival, I'll surely be one of the people who miss him.

  2. Did u bought the 3-Pack Asia exclusive?

    1. Not yet but intend too. haha. However am trying to outsource them for reviews and comparison

    2. Almost bought the autobot specialist.. Cause, my mirage henkei broken into pieces..(TT)..but not fond on hound color scheme..

    3. i think they're not bad, haha. still, that's the easier way get mirage

  3. Finally I got him a year later, sorry for Thai language.

    Thank you for your review.

    1. Better late than never, I hope you like it and I hope my review helped

  4. A really tempting review, to say the least! Thank you!
    PS. Any plans on updating the blog with the upgrade set for this superb character?

    1. thanks. he's one of the best 3rd party figures i've ever handled.
      however, sad to say I won't be reviewing the upgrade set as I've already sold off my Warden