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Transformers Robot Replicas Frenzy

 

"The following is a guest review.  The review and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the guest author."

Jin Saotome checks in with a guest review of Frenzy.  I finally saw Transformers (in IMAX no less!) and enjoyed it quite a bit, despite Bay's attempts to ruin it with some seriously lame, drug out humor.  Take it away, Jin! 

The Transformers Movie has become something of an international blockbuster topping the #1 spot in every country it’s released at. And no wonder, it appeals to all sorts of age groups. Be it kids who remember the newer Cybertron and Armada cartoons or older collectors who use to watch the original, Transformers welcomes them with open arms. Erm mandibles in some cases. There’s one character you either loved or hated in the movie and that’s Frenzy, the transforming silver CD playing stereo. A lot of people thought he was Soundwave because in the original cartoon Soundwave turned into a cassette player. This lead to some disgruntled fans saying, “That should have been Soundwave.” and biased opinions were already formed against his character before the movie even debuted. But in my opinion the designers did a great job giving nods to the original G1 theme. Cartoon Soundwave launched Frenzy from his chest (Frenzy was one of his cassette tapes) and Movie-Frenzy here launches bladed CD’s from his chest. Soundwave turned into a cassette player, Movie-Frenzy turns into a CD player. So I rolled with it and laughed along with the robot’s ‘frenzied’ antics on screen. So how does the Robot Replicas Frenzy compare to his onscreen counterpart? Let’s see…






Packaging - ***1/2
The Robot Replica’s (RR for short) blister card packaging is fairly nice with a large, personalized CG shot of the character in the background and neat white-embossed lettering on the side. It shows off the figure and stands up/hangs well for MOC collectors. It’s almost collector friendly with a side flap taped to the back. Unfortunately the rest are glued down and you’ll still have to destroy the package to get him out. Attentive fans will instantly chuckle upon seeing the package as it features a city battleground with burning cars, a ducking civilian, and a 100 foot Frenzy stomping his way across the image. Yes, according to this Frenzy is the size of Megatron and could possibly have a chance at the title. Yell, “Look out, Frenzilla!” with a Japanese accent for effect here, heh.

Sculpting - ***1/2
The earlier RR sculpts were way too soft especially with Megatron and Bumblebee. I’m happy to report that Frenzy is full of detail and surpasses Barricade in ‘sharp points’ that aren’t really sharp due to his soft plastic construction. Soft plastic doesn’t bug me unless it looks soft. Fortunately that’s not the case here. The finger joints look as tho they could actually move (but they don’t, grrr, more on that later) and you can make out the multi-eyes and all the tiny teeth on his mandibles. Even from the back Frenzy has all sorts of little prongs and antenna everywhere that make him look like one of those robot-city-creatures from the last Matrix movie. The torso sculpt is a bit soft, especially the neck, but fortunately you can’t really tell unless you look for it. But with just a few minor flaws it’s worlds better than the FAB Frenzy or accessory Frenzy that came with deluxe Barricade.

Paint - **
Meh… I don’t know what it is about Hasbro but they still haven’t figured out that paint is an important part of an action figure. Frenzy is primarily silver plastic with touches of darker silver, greenish gold, with some black shading on his fingers and toes. They did however finally decide to paint his eyes blue, where as every other Frenzy like the Fast-Action-Battlers and the Barricade accessory had red eyes. Yay! But in the end Frenzy is suppose to be a shiny silver robot. You just don’t get that feeling here and with the soft metal-colored plastic he almost, almost mind you, resembles a happy meal toy.

Articulation - **1/2
I was really hoping I could give this figure a better score in articulation but the lack of proper arm joints really bugs me. You see, all the RR figures have one major problem, no bicep swivels. This means each one can imitate King Kong pounding at its chest or hands-on-hips stance, but they can’t be made to do a proper curl. Frenzy is no different with cut shoulders and pinned elbows that only let his arms move up/down and in/out. The left arm rotates like a wrist would because of the removable-feature but that doesn’t help much. On the brighter side Frenzy has an excellent ball jointed neck, hips, pined knees and ankles. The fingers look as if their joints would work but sadly no. He doesn’t have any of the ‘Revoltech’ joints the other RR figures have, mostly because he’s just too skinny. Ball jointed shoulders would of helped this figure immensely!

Accessories - ***
Frenzy comes with two accessories, a removable gun-arm and a small, well-sculpted CD-ninja-star that fits in his chest. The gun arm looks fairly neat with the three fingers folded back to produce a tri-cut barrel and bullet chain linking the arm. The fingers however are much larger and aren’t in scale with the regular figure’s fingers which is noticeable right away. Frenzy’s ninja star looks nice with little carved details and sleek curves. It’s made of hard plastic so no need to worry about it sticking or warping when stored in his chest.

Action Feature - ***
There’s something new… RR figures don’t usually come with action features and Frenzy does. Usually I despise action features because they get in the way of detail or articulation. In this case it’s fairly unobtrusive and mimics the character’s onscreen ability, to shoot deadly CD-ninja stars from his chest. Insert the star and a small button pops out of his back. Depress the button, star flies about a foot and gets promptly lost in the carpet. Excellent! The button collapses flat against his back without the star inside and doesn’t really stick out that far when it’s inserted. I can live with that.

Fun Factor - ***
Blah, he’s fun to play with even with all the faults. Kids who loved his neurotic antics onscreen will probably have him hopping around the house and right now I have him peering over my monitor screen inquisitively. I like launching the star from his chest too and seeing if I’ll completely loose it at the next launch. I should start up a betting pool. 

Value - **
I paid $12 for this? Eh…. ouch. If you find him at Wal Mart for $9.99, tack on a half star. Frenzy in my opinion a $6 at most. But on the other hand it’s the closest and most articulated movie Frenzy we have so far. If you’re a fan of the character chances are you’ll probably want to grab him because he’s being snatched up off the pegs. 

Things to Watch Out For - 
Hmmm… You’ll lose the ninja star easy and Frenzy will probably wilt if you put him in the window sil from any heat since he’s made of soft plastic. Keep him cool.

Overall - ***
He’s Frenzy, he’s crazy, and he’s coming to a store near you with the Robot Replicas wave 2. If you can get past the soft plastic, ‘eh’ paint apps, and low arm articulation; he does make for a cool toy. If you can paint or customize like me, buy him and start replacing joints, giving him a proper shiny paintjob! I plan on doing that so I can really enjoy him. Otherwise you may want to wait until a better version comes along. Maybe. I could defiantly see someone like Sideshow or Hot Toys making a fully-jointed version…. hint hint guys!

This is Jin Saotome saying thanks for checking out the review and look forward to more! 

Score Recap:
Packaging – ***1/2
Sculpt – ***1/2
Paint – **
Articulation – **1/2
Accessories – ***
Action Feature - ***
Fun Factor - ***
Value – **
Overall – ***


Figure from the collection of Jin Saotome.

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