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Thursday, 23 October 2014

TFC Phobus [Project Ares] - Pictorial Review

Finally, roughly 10 months after the release of TFC Nemean, Ares is now complete with the arrival of the last piece, Phobus (Not Divebomb). A little back story of Divebomb and the review of Phobus's MMC counterpart, Talon, can be found here.

So, let us begin.

In Package

Phobus's first surprised is the size of the box he came in. It was first hinted by RobotKingdom that Phobus will have the same shipping cost as TFC Nemean (Not-Razorclaw) and SR-71 Blackbird (Not-Silverbolt) however, having it in hand, was quite shocked with the size and the weight.

Back View
Not only does the box is bigger (and a bit more expensive than Ares's other limbs), the overall quality of the box seems to improve compared to the first 3 releases.

When I said that Phobus is the last piece, I meant that Ares will not have add on kit to be released after Phobus. Bear in mind, this is purely speculation, based on few factors.

The first one would be the fact that Phobus comes with not only his tech spec, but also Ares's. If I'm not mistaken, Uranos and Hercules's tech specs came with their add on kit, Rage of Hercules and Wings of Uranos.

Instruction Sheet

Small Poster

Not only that, in addition to Phobus's small poster, there's also Ares's small poster depicting Ares in combined and individual [alt] modes.

Phobus comes with 3 weapons, a blaster (same as the one that comes with Phlogeus), a melee weapon (am still strugling with the actual name of this weapon) and a big forearm cannon. Usually, the one piece weapon such as the forearm cannon doesn't come with any of the figure but instead as an add on, Just like Wings Of Uranos and Rage Of Hercules's guns. That's why I think there won't be any add on kit for Ares.

Just MMC's version of Divebomb, Phobus's wings are detachable, following G1 version of Predaking.

The 5 feathers on each wings can be detached and used as swords which is an interesting gimmick.

The tails can also be detached but not really sure for what reason exactly.

Early picture of Phobus shows that the feathers on the tail are spread out which looks kind of weird. In actuality, the feathers are on swivels and can be positioned quite freely.

Alt Mode


Now you're talking!
The quality of Phobus really is satisfying, glad to see that TFC at least tried to make their new releases better. Transformation from robot to alt mode is quite simple which is kind of expected for a TFC figure.

The detailing on Phobus are really well-done, easily the best out of the 5 members.

Back View

The feet were very well designed, making Phobus very stable in bird mode.

The bird's head is also well thought of, having a nice detailing especially on the beak. However, this make Phobus quite far off from Divebomb in alt mode.

The bird's head is on a hinge and a ball joint which allows it look upward and downward, also to the side. There are also 2 pieces of plastic covers the joints at the base of the head and the yellow beak can be opened.

There are few swivels on the wings, the first near Phobus's back (swivels and hinges), the second at the middle of the wings and the last on each individual feathers.

The hips are on ratcheting universal joints while the knees are on ratcheting hinges which allows movement both to the front and to the back and the feet are on ball joints. Unlike what I saw people complained, Phobus's robot hands can be pegged securely to the body.

The guns that comes with Phobus and Phlogeus can be attached to Phobus's wings.


Aside from Nemean, the first 3 Ares's limbs are significantly smaller than their MMC's counterparts. That isn't the case for Phobus as in alt mode, Phobus is roughly the same size as MMC Talon.

In alt mode, I prefer Phobus's design more as the proportion of the bird is considerably better compared to Talon.

Group Shots

Despite many people complaining about TFC design, I honestly think that it's as good as MMC, only on different way. While MMC version of Not-Predacons homages G1 Predacons, TFC version can be considered a Neo-G1 take of the same group.

With MMC Feralcons

The Primitives

Robot Mode

Without wings

Despite being delayed for quite some time, Phobus really doesn't disappoint! The robot mode was nicely designed with better quality control compared to the previous Ares team.

Of all TFC's Not-Predacons, Phobus has the best head sculpt compared to the rest. The gold paint on the face adds up personalities to the figure rather than plain yellow.

In addition, the bird's head can be configured to follow G1 Divebomb design, just like Aethon and Connabus. However, it doesn't really work at certain angle.

Side View

Back View
The detailing

Despite being back-heavy, Phobus can stand without any issue due to the design of the feet, even if the wings are fully spread out.

By default, Phobus weapons are the Axe [thingy] and the blaster however I don't prefer both.

That's better! The feathers on the wings can be detached and used as sword, which somehow seems fitting.

Or even better, a bow!

Phobus comes with a ball-jointed head, ratchet and ball joints on the shoulders, [ratcheting] double-jointed elbows, waist swivel, ratcheting univeral joints on the hips, hinges on the knees and also ball jointed feet.

Even with the joints above, there's quite a few limitation due to the design of the figure. For instance, the feet and the shoulders. However, these are small issues to me.

Even though Phobus's alt mode is the same size as Talon's, in robot mode, the difference is quite obvious with Phobus is half-a-head shorter than Talon, but bulkier.

The wingspan for both Talon and Phobus (normal mode) is roughly the same (Talon's wings should be straight in the picture above).

However, when Phobus's wings are extended (combiner mode configuration), the wingspan is larger than Talon which uses the same configuration in combiner mode.

Group Shots

With MMC Feralcons

The colors and paint schemes for both teams are almost the same, up to the shades of red, orange and yellow used.

TFC Decepticon Combiners

Combiner Mode

By default, Phobus transform in Ares's left hand, just like G1 Divebomb.

Overall, it is sturdier than Phlogues in combiner mode with the elbow joints tighter.

In my previous TFC review, I did say that TFC seemed a bit stagnant in terms of the quality control but luckily, Aethon and Phobus (also TFC Prometheus's Warning Line) significant improvement in terms of the quality of the end product. It's a shame that Ares's first 3 members standards are quite low..


  1. YEI!!! ARES!!! We will see the whole robot together? (I know the answer is "yes", but just in case jajaj).

    1. Haha, yes, am preparing the review as we speak

    2. YEIII!!! Cannot wait to see it :)

  2. One question: What about the "pegs" on the shoulder? Are they for Power Core Combiner's drones? Besides Phlogeus, who else have those pegs? (including Warning Line and Gumball, do they have them too?)


    1. Yup, the pegs are PCC (and MT Paladin/Chaos)-compatible. All Ares's team members has them aside from Neman. Also, there are also none on Warning Line and Gumball.

    2. I was thinking about the posibility of buy Iron Army after completing the colection (i do not like to have toys with functions that i cannot use, but have the 100% of the toy's usage). But they are only the 4 of them, I think is not worth enough. Thanks.

  3. Hi,

    One question: Phobo's box is the same size as Nemean and Blackbird's, or is bigger?

    1. Sorry for the late reply. Yup, exactly the same size