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Thursday, 10 July 2014

Fans Toys FT-04 Scoria - Pictorial Review

This review is sponsored by X2OToys

It seems that almost every year, there are mutual agreements between Hasbro/Takara and 3rd Party companies in terms of what to present the fans with. Through Age of Extinction, Bay manages to bring the Dinobots to the mainstream viewers and fans.

At the same time, a lot of unofficial releases centered in the Dinobots, Planet-X Not-FOC Dinobots for instance. The latest are a new teaser of Not-Dinobots by Fansproject. However, before that, Fan Toys and Gigapower (not to mention Bullsfire) offered the fans Masterpiece rendition of the Dinobots to accompany official Masterpiece Grimlock. And the first to see the light of day is Fan Toys FT-04 Scoria, Not-Slag.

Pic Credit : TFWiki

One of the nastiest Dinobots out of the 5, Slag can easily be the source of stereotype surrounding the team, labeling them as disturbingly violent, mean-spirited and just a push away to become a Decepticon. Pure killing machine, Slag will engage in any battle in a blink of an eye, without caring what the outcome would be.

Pic Credit : TFWiki

In Package

The box is huge! Even bigger than MMC Hexatron. First thing I notice is that there's significant improvement from FT Quakewave's box to FT Scoria's. The box is black just like official Takara Masterpiece boxes with an artwork of Scoria at the front.

The back of the box shows Scoria in both modes and the accessories he comes with.

Scoria's Bio

There's a window on the front side of the box that shows Scoria in packaging.

Scoria's Tech Spec

Instruction Booklet

Scoria comes with a sword (chrome-red handle) and a gun (chrome-silver), both with LED inside.

Also an alternate head (open mouth) and 2 alternate red mouth pieces homage cartoon version of G1 Slag.

Scoria also comes with an add on for Masterpiece Grimlock, serving as cannons for his alt mode and feet/platform for robot mode.

Robot Mode

Before I proceed with Scoria, let see how Grimlock's add on works.

The cannons can be attached to Grimlock by sliding a small part on his back through a groove under the cannons.

Side View

The cannon color is slightly different from the color of Grimlock's body. Even so, in normal lighting, it isn't that obvious.

Now, Scoria!

Just like G1 Slag, Scoria transforms into a triceratops and when I say "Just like G1 Slag", I really meant LIKE G1 Slag. Scoria is what Slag would be if Transformers franchise starts in the present time. But the most impressive thing upon taking him out of the packaging was the sheer weight itself. Scoria is roughly 2-2.5 times heavier than Masterpiece Grimlock.

Side View
My first [small, minor] complaint would be the shape of his body. From the side, Scoria looks like a potato with head and tail. However, I'm not really familiar with Dinosours in general nor I remember exactly what G1 Slag looks like, so this might not even be a valid complaint to begin with.

The detailing on the alt mode is awesome! Really impress to see how much effort FT puts into Scoria. The head is gold-chromed while the neck frill and the horns are silver-chromed.

Scoria have a clean paint application throughout his body with great detailing. However, the chrome parts are dust and fingerprint magnet as you can see above.

The mouth can be open revealing what looks like a blaster/small cannon inside it.

Articulation wise, Scoria head is on a swivel joint with jaw on hinges. The shoulder of the front legs are on swivel and ratchet joints. There's a swivel joint below each shoulders and the elbows are on ratcheting hinges. The feet can be pushed downward but just a bit.

The hind legs are on swivel joints and hinges while the middle segment of the tail is on a hinge

Size Comparison

As I said before I'm not really familiar with Dinosaurs but did some research and I think Scoria is basically at the right scale with Grimlock in alt mode.

It surprises me to see how great Scoria looks side by side with Grimlock. Despite being a 3rd Party release, the design was well done and blend in well with Grimlock.

Robot Mode

First of all, transforming Scoria is satisfying! The design is ingenious while having an 'official' feel it. The transformation of the lower half is roughly the same as Grimlock.

Very well done robot mode. Scoria have all the right feels with aesthetic fitting the Masterpiece line and even better, a Masterpiece Dinobot.

In the official configuration, the neck frill seats at the back giving him a cleaner look, following G1 Slag design.

Back View

However for me, I prefer to have the neck frill sits behind the robot head so that the upper part of the body doesn't look too empty.

Side View
Scoria is kibble free where the tail is folded inward and stored at the back of his body.

Back View
However, without the neck frill, Scoria's back is a bit exposed and you can see the tail that is folded inside.

Now, let's look at the detailing

Scoria comes with a substantial amount of diecast parts on his lower leg which give him the weight that reminded me of the old Masterpiece figures.

Also, the left and right side of the body are also diecast making him feels really solid. However the chrome part on the chest kind of bothers me as it really is a fingerprint magnet.

Metallic-blue eyes

The design of the hands kind of resembles Masterpiece Grimlock and G1 Slag design which is a nice touch. The Triceratops' toes/feet are diecast.

The detailing on the wings are nicely done and the quality control is great.

There are 2 panels on his chest with the outer one covering some sort of a circuit (black piece) that can be open to store his head in alt mode.

Equipped with a sword and blaster

Due to the shape of the sword (and the hand), the fist needs to be tilted backwards a little in order for Scoria to hold the sword. The fist comes with a ball jointed thumb and individual joints for the other 4 fingers.

Scoria comes with a ball-jointed head (limited range of movement due to the shape of the head), swivel and ratchet joints on the shoulders, swivels above the elbows and wrists and hinge on the elbows.

There are complaints that Scoria's left shoulder is a bit loose and unable to support the weight of the diecast parts and his hand-held weapons. I found out that it is due to his swivel joints (that can be easily fixed) rather than the ratchet joints.

Scoria comes with a waist swivel, double-jointed thighs, hinge and swivel joints on the knees and a small degree of ankle tilt. Due to the transformation and the weight of the lower legs, Scoria's thigh can sometime collapse when you try to pose his legs. FT should have given him a stronger joints there in order for him to be able to support all the diecast parts.

Size Comparison

Compared to Grimlock, Scoria is significantly taller and bulkier making Grimlock looks underwhelming

So, let see how the add on can remedy this

With the add on, Grimlock is now roughly the same height as Scoria. However, I still think that FT should've made him in scale with Grimlock as opposed to giving Grimlock add on parts just to be taller.

If you look closely, you can see that even with the add on parts, Scoria is still taller than Grimlock. Aesthetic wise, it's hard to believe that Scoria is not an official Masterpiece figure.

Side View

2 Down, 3 To Go

Like I've mentioned before, I'm not a Masterpiece collector. However, I must say, I'm tempted to get Scoria (and Grimlock) as the design really-really impressed me. Fans Toys goes a long way since the release of Quakewave. Even though we have yet to see the finished product of other 3rd Party Dinobots, I feel like [IF I COLLECT THEM] I won't have any trouble choosing Fans Toys version of Dinobots. Not to mention that they plan to release their own version of Grimlock, maybe the one that's in scale with Scoria