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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Fansproject LER-01 Columpio w/ Drepan - Pictorial Review

Last time it was about combiners but 2014, the attention turns to another nostalgic and group, the Dinobots. Despite the hype of Age Of Extinction version of the Dinobots seems to end a bit prematurely, 3rd Party companies are now on a race. I've discussed about the Masterpiece-scale Dinobots here,now is the time for CHURG-size Dinobots.

The first 3rd Party CHURG-sized Dinobots released was Planet X Caelus, to compliment War For Cybertron/Fall Of Cybertron line. Now, it's time for an offering by Fansproject, the first of their Lost Exo Realm (LER) line, Columpio (Not-Sludge) w/ Drepan

Pic Credit : TFWiki

Sludge, one of the first 3 Dinobots to be created alongside Grimlock and Slag on the G1 episode, S.O.S Dinobots. Despite being a powerful adversary, Sludge level of stupidity is his biggest weakness. Easily manipulated, Megatron managed to turn him against Optimus Prime in the episode War of the Dinobots.

G1 Sludge
Pic Credit : TFWiki

In Package

Columpio comes in a different type of packaging design compared to Fansproject previous releases. Aside from the notable artwork of Columpio, there's a hand visible near the top-right side of the box, which might indicate that the box art of LER releases can be combined together.

The box also comes with a window where you can see Columpio, Drepan and all the accessories on the inside and also pictures of Columpio on the other side of the window cover.

Back View

Inside the box
The packaging is quite spacious where the toys are not cramped together.

Unlike most releases nowadays, Columpio only comes with instruction sheets, without any tech specs or bio card.

And when I said 'sheets', they are literally sheets, numbered sheets which seems kind of surprising. I don't have Fansproject newer releases but during their Commander-era, the instruction is part of a booklet, together with short comic book.

Robot Mode [Drepan]

Before I go further, Fansproject releases 2 version of Columpio, one is the mass release version while the other is an Exclusive, sold during TFCon 2014 (Toronto). 

Pic Credit : Toyzoney

The exclusive version of Columpio doesn't come with a Target Master but instead a small figure homaging the pilot of Diaclone version of Sludge, Dinosaur Robo: Brontosaurus.

Pic Credit : Transformerland

Drepan is a small Target Master which is made out of gray plastic with just a few red and black, each on his chest and legs.

Despite being small, the sculpt is quite impressing especially the face. However I'm not sure whether there's any resemblance between him and the Diaclone pilot. The plastic feels quite solid and durable.

This is a big turn off! Honestly, I never would have thought Fansproject would do this sort of design. Personally, I would've been happy if the handle can be folded down completely.

Drepan comes with a small axe and a shield which has quite a lot of detailing despite being small.

He is really fun to play with, which also surprises me. If you can somehow look past the handle on his back, he's a great figure. Drepan's head is on a swivel joint, ball joint and hinge on the shoulders, double jointed elbows, ball jointed hips and knees.

Oh yeah he can!

Alt Mode [Drepan]

Drepan transform into a labrys, a symmetric doubleheaded axe with his own axe and shield attach to the middle of the labrys.

The transformation is nicely done with almost all robot parts concealed. The alt mode is solid with everything tightly pegged together.

Alt Mode [Columpio]

Now, moving on to the main show. Columpio transform into a robotic Brontosaurus, similar to G1 Sludge with mainly grey, bronze and and red with a bit of black and silver chrome. And this might just be me but I feel that Columpio's aesthetic resembles a lot that of War For Cybertron and Fall Of Cybertron.

Columpio comes with an Electroshock Energy Sword and a High Power Mega Blaster w/ Vibroknife.

Both weapons can be stored at both sides of the Dino which personally not really my cup of tea. With that bulky body, both weapons could've been folded and attached somewhere inside the Dino mode.

The dino head sculpt is quite impressive with top notch finishing.

The jaw can be opened but beware, the teeth are quite sharp.

I'm on the fence about the neck though. It's made out of few segments connected via ball joints that made it look like a spine. However, by doing this, the dino head has quite a wide range of motion.

The shoulders of the front legs are on ball joints while the knees and the feet are on hinges.

The same are also for the hind legs.

Sit Boo Boo, Sit!

2 things that I noticed, one is there's quite a lot of flow marks all over the gray parts and second, the chrome silver part that kind of look cheap.

For the glory of the Dino-Riders!

The 2 bronze parts on top of Columpio can be rotated backward revealing an empty compartment.

By rotating the blades to the back, half of Drepan's legs can fit into the empty compartment on top of Columpio.

Columpio is quite small in Dino mode compared to Classics Optimus Prime but I don't think there's any way that we can have a Dinobot that is at the right scale for both his alt mode and robot mode. 

Robot Mode [Columpio]

Transformation from dino mode to robot mode is quite straightforward and homage to G1 Sludge. However, I feel the plastic is quite thin and really light, compared to Fansproject earlier releases.

The metallic blue highlights really improve Columpio overall looks and aesthetics, giving him a really futuristic feel.

Side View
The dino legs on the side of the robot legs are most probably for the sake of homaging G1 Sludge's design but maybe it'll be a lot better if they can be hidden, just like Fantoys Scoria.

Back View
The same goes with the Dino head. Maybe homage should just be an alternate configuration rather than the only configuration.

Finishing wise, Columpio is a clean figure with literally no smudges anywhere from top to bottom.

Armed and ready!

Perhaps my biggest complaint is the fact that he can't hold his blasters, HIS OWN! It's very loose and will fall off easily.

A better alternative? Drepan!

I understand the homage the exclusive version of Columpio have but it's weird for normal release Columpio to include a Target Master. However, as a weapon, it's a nice upgrade for the figure where Drepan really fit Columpio overall theme and aesthetics.

Columpio comes with a ball-jointed head and shoulders, swivels on the the biceps, hinges on the knees, articulated fingers (molded four fingers), waist swivel and hinge (allowing the upper body to tilt forward and backward), ball jointed thighs, double jointed knees and also the feet are on ball joints.

Despite the long list of articulations, there are quite a few issues. The range for the shoulders are fairly limited, the hinge on the waist is without any ratchet joint and is very loose. The same goes with his hips where both sides are quite loose.

Columpio is taller than Voyager Optimus Prime, roughly the same size as Universe 2.0 Ultra Class Powerglide, Silverbolt and Onslaught (and their variants). This to me is the right scale for the Dinobots.

I used to own almost all of Fanproject, the last was Warbot Assaulter if I'm not mistaken. But I was really surprised with how poor the quality is compared to Columpio's predecessors. Did they rushed Columpio into productions? Factory issues? I'm not sure, hope they'll sort this out with their future releases as this is quite disappointing for a figure with that price tag and brand. However, the design is really fresh and original, a great homage to G1 Sludge with a few modernization.


  1. I'm on the fence for getting this. I like FP works but there seems to be a number of issues with this guy concerning loose joints. Perhaps i'll wait and see the rest of the Lost Exo Realm before considering jumping into this bandwagon.

    1. Maybe you can also ask around/check online on whether the issue is common or just by chance. And we'll see on the next LER releases, will the same issue arise

  2. Amazing review- I hope you do not mind that I linked to it on my blog

  3. On the contrary, I appreciate it :)