Sep 4, 2013

[Transformers] Generations Metroplex (ACG Hong Kong Exclusive Edition)

Here in the Philippines, there's an increasing concern that the core Hasbro Transformers Generations Metroplex won't see an official retail release. Various hobby stores and specialty toy shops have capitalized on this by importing the figure in significant quantities and selling them well above the estimated retail price. And of course, people have been buying.

I had been on the fence about going this route and was hoping against hope for a retail release. But one thing led to another and I finally gave in to the reality - I needed to secure my own Metroplex. I definitely wasn't going to let this figure go by given it now promises to outclass my long time favorite biggie, Fortress Maximus.

One thing led to another and I ended up finding a good deal for the ACG-Con Hong Kong edition of the toy, which is pretty much the same as the SDCC 2013 edition with different colors for the decoy figures. Given the price was pretty favorable, I bit the bullet, dipped into my savings and brought this bad boy home.

Transformers Generations Metroplex is the first of the new Titan-class range of toys - and I know I'm being optimistic by saying he's the first without knowledge of any other Titan-class figures on the horizon. It stands over 2 feet tall and it is indeed taller than Fortress Maximus. His styling is done in a manner to match his appearance in the Fall of Cybertron game.

In terms of the core toy, the ACG Hong Kong edition is pretty much the same as the SDCC release in all aspects. Heck, even the manual still states it's from the San Diego Comic-Con. The box art is also the same with the minor change of the ACG logo on the top of the box. Since this Metroplex comes fully assembled, the box is pretty huge.

As mentioned before, one of the key differences (or perhaps the only difference) between the SDCC and Hong Kong versions involves the decoy figures - little rubbery versions of the recent Transformers Generations toys that came with IDW comics. The SDCC edition had the same figures but in red and purple. This one has them in gold and silver - we just have no idea why. Then again, we see a lot of crazy gold edition Transformers being released in the market so I suppose this makes sense somehow.

So let's review what is notably different between the Hasbro retail release and the Hong Kong / SDCC versions:

  • Chrome details for the face and thighs
  • 2 Rifles (red) instead of 1
  • 2 Projectiles (gray) instead of 1
And that's about it - the changes are seemingly minor for the price tag but those who had the original Metroplex will appreciate the homage represented by the chrome details and the pair of guns. It just makes your Metroplex feel better.

Metroplex still has over 100 stickers to apply and the maddening decal guide is only decently helpful. Things to remember include (1) some production error has accidentally swapped stickers 31 and 77 - be guided accordingly. (2) The gray stickers that go on his shoulders will inevitably overlap with the rotation disc for his head - you'll need some tools to either trim the sticker or find a way to squeeze it in between the disc and his shoulder. (3) The stickers that are to be applied in his base mode are hard to understand based on the guide - study the insides of his leg units to figure out where they go.

But once you do get all the stickers applied, they certainly add a lot to the overall figure Many of the details are subtle, but they make him feel a lot more fleshed out ranging from the dark gray decals that add shadows to some of his ports and the booster stickers that make his rear thruster ports look ready to take off.

Metroplex still comes with his buddy Scamper, who is about a head or so taller than the original Scamper. However his other companions Sixgun and Slammer are nowhere to be found. Scamper has a lot more to do now than simply roll off of Metroplex's chest ramp - he has various turrets built-into Metroplex's body that he can sit in and be all cool-looking. We've come a long way from Headmaster Spike sitting in his little control tower in Fortress Maximus.

As a longtime Transformers fan, this new edition of Metroplex remains to be a Generations figure at its core. And what I mean by this is the fact that he still triggers that nostalgia factor in fans when you have him. He make have a more updated design, but there is no denying that he is still Metroplex in terms of overall look and feel. And even better, his transformation sequences are also largely the same as the original Metroplex, as crazy as it seems. Then again, they did tag this figure as only being level 2 difficulty in terms of transformation. Go figure.

In his various base modes, he is perfect for your minibots, and their modern equivalents as Legends-class or Legion-class figures. We all know that's why Hasbro has been releasing new Legends-class two-packs of classic characters in order to figure you more fodder for Metroplex.

And yes, he is big enough to hold the original Metroplex while in this mobile fortress mode.

His city mode is a great update to the original design. In the original Metroplex, we had all these weird parts of the base that were either non-functional or provided no way for a car to drive into. This time around Metroplex has ramps a-plently and the little hoods can be repositioned to provide cover as needed. And yes, he still has the little helipad that is opened up once you tuck his left arm behind his back. Yay for nostalgia!

I think my only issues with the figure are how it seems to share a lot of the weaknesses of the original Metroplex. He has a rather narrow waist that his upper body will rotate on, that just triggers childhood trauma of my original Metroplex breaking right at that joint. His knees bend in either direction, so it's easy to have his legs getting pulled by gravity as you are transforming it since the joint doesn't provide much resistance. And the manual does not clearly indicate the fact that he has a little red visor built into his helmet nor how the missile pod on his left chest panel still sort of exists if you pry it open.

This new Generations Metroplex is certainly a must-have Transformer for any collector to have. I'm a big fan of this version since it nicely balances the look of Metroplex in the game with the campy addition of chrome bits to remind you of the original toy. I know the Takara version will have a lot more white instead of gray, which will make it more G1 toy accurate I suppose.

I'm not quite sure what to do with his decoy figures. For now they're hidden in his legs.

On the whole, an awesome figure and a definite 5 out of 5 for me. You can find my full unboxing album here.

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1 comment:

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