Iron Factory: IF EX-12 Armored Tactical Staff (Smokescreen, Prowl, Bluestreak) REVIEW
"Autobots,transform and Roll out!" - Optimus Prime
The Transformers are a species of sentient, living robotic beings who come from the machine planet of Cybertron. The tales of their lives and world have mostly been fraught with war and violence, namely between two opposing sides- the Autobots and the Decepticons.
In most story arcs, the Autobots are led by their commander-in-chief Optimus Prime while the Decepticons are led by Megatron, a lowly working class peasant who once rose to rid his world of oppression and tyranny, but his thirst for power and control ultimately set him on a path towards destruction.
The term "Transformer" is due to the fact that these beings have the ability to change the shape and physical structure of their bodies at will, to rearrange their component parts from a robotic mode in an alternate form- vehicles, weapons, machinery or even animals. Some Transformers even have the ability to take on more than one alternate mode!
Personally, I enjoyed the first two Transformers movies, and after that it just wasn't working for me. There are so many story arcs to choose from, so many epic tales like Dreamwave's Generation One continuity or even the Beast Wars saga. But either way, there is no disputing that toy companies like Hasbro have made a sinful load of money from the Transformers movie franchise. AND we have the fifth movie coming soon! (Just saw the trailer, SIGH...)
What I particularly like about collecting Transformers is that there are always many third-party (unlicensed?) companies willing to take on the challenge of coming up with great homages to figures that official licensed companies might have overlooked.
Case in point: Iron Factory. They've quietly over the past two years or so been teasing us with so many legends (3 3/4 inch scale) figures with great quality and excellent articulation. And their homage to Prowl, Smokescreen and Bluestreak is no different.
Iron Factory's Armored Tactical Staff comes in a simple box packaging, where the three figures are clearly visible in the front. Inside, there is a plastic tray which stores the accessories fairly well.
For a figure this scale, its amazing just how much detail and work Iron Factory put in. From the paint job to the finishing effects, you can really tell the three figures from one another even though they're essentially the same figures with different colours.
Alternate vehicle mode
These dudes are as articulated as they come. You can bend them, twist them to get those poses you want without fear of damaging the figure as they come with detachable ball-joints.
Iron Factory spares no expense when it comes to arming its Tactical Staff with a smorgasbord of weapons and accessories. Each figure gets three guns and shoulder plates; they even throw in rocket launchers and a shield for good measure. AND you can take these parts off and use them among the three figures interchangeably, and they fit in well with them even in vehicle mode.
Transforming the figures is pretty standard and simple and can be done within minutes without the need to exert much pressure or force to get them to stay in their vehicle modes.
You'll definitely have quite a lot of fun playing around with them and getting them to do some nice poses, the only limitations would be their scale and weight which might hinder them from staying still in some positions.
Iron Factory's Armored Tactical Staff is definitely worth a buy if you don't mind the legends-sized scale. TFsource has them for US$69.99 (RM311.25). Ebay has them going from US$44.96 (RM200) onwards.
OVERALL SCORE- 7.8/10