TOY REVIEW ARCHIVE    LIVING WITH LATE FEES    FEATURES    LINKS    BIO    MISSION    EMAIL    MAIN PAGE >


Matrix series 2 Deluxe APU

Derek Simon stops by tonight with a great guest review of the quite impressive APU from Mcfarlane.  Take it away, DS!

Hey, DS here with a review of the new McFarlane APU boxed set from their Revolutions line. As most of you probably know, this is the second of two Matrix deluxe sets for the second series, the first being the Sentinel, and last seriesí being the deluxe ch‚teau set from Reloaded. These should be released in stores any day now, but Iíd begin looking for them at comic shops, seeing as how I got both the Sentinel and APU at comic retailers, and have not seen them on mass retailer shelves. Iíd say, besides sculpt, robots are McFarlaneís strong point. With the T-850, T-X, Sentinel, and now APU out there, McFarlane delivers almost perfectly.

Packaging - **
Let me just say that I love the design of this package. I think the shape is great, I like how you can look into it from a window both on the front and top, I love the artwork, I love the matrix coding running down the sides, the way the words are written sideways in the matrix font. I especially like how you get a full view of the figure, so you can examine it pretty thoroughly, although itís such a complicated item itíll be impossible to see broken or damaged parts. So then why did it only get 2 stars?

The reason it only got 2 stars is because it has twisties. A lot of twisties. Think like as many twisties youíve ever seen on a fully assembled toy before, and multiply that by a bajillion. Then add to the fact that these twisties are the most complicated little bastards on the face of the planet. They run up and down the APU lengthwise, they run widthwise, they cover the arms, legs, waist, torso. They go between the little rods, wrap around a joint, then back the way they came. 

They run from the back of the box, holding the APU to it, or they run from the back of the APU, holding some item in place, but not attaching it to the box. You will have a difficult time opening this. Be VERY careful removing this from the box. Let me repeat: be VERY careful removing this from the box. There are twisties literally everywhere, and they will do their best to hide from you and snap off a joint theyíre holding in place just when you least suspect it. I already lost the entire right arm and little control panel to twisties, but only partly due to the twist ties (see QUALITY, a few segments down). This just drops the score tremendously, no matter how it hurts me.

Sculpting - APU ****; Mifune ***
I felt I had to differentiate these two into different categories, although Mifune is sculpted onto the APU and is not removable. 

Lets start with the APU. Wowza. This thing is just great. Go right now to Whatisthematrix.com, take a look at an APU, then look at the toy version. You wonít be able to tell any difference at all. McFarlane went crazy here. Iíve never seen anything like it before on any toy I own, not even the Sentinel. McFarlaneís anal-retentive attention to detail has definitely paid off. Every single bolt, every knob, every screen, every hole is where it should be. Nothing is left out, some might even be added. Every screwís little indentation for a screw driverís head is there, every panel is located. Every wire runs up and down the APU, sometimes sculpted on suddenly to emerge to pop out as a rubbery string and then right back down again sculpted. Even the vents and foot pedals are there. The high point of it has to be the guns. Every indentation, mark, and bolt is there, and the way they make the barrel extend over the nose end is great. The ONLY problem I have with it at all is the larger, blackish rubbery wires running throughout. They look good, but they donít seem to fit well with the rest of the APU, but thatís more of a color issue, and a minor one at that.

Now Mifune. Poor, poor Mifune. When a battle hardened general in the last human army seems to resemble a mix of that kid who used to beat up you up in 5th grade (but very, very wrinkly) and your grandfather, youíre in for some disappointment. There is some resemblance to the actor, but they gave him waaaay too many wrinkles. Way too many. But his face is passable, especially from afar, and thatís not what really bothers me. What bothers me is that heís small. As in that kid who used to beat you up when you were in 5th grade (see above). In the Matrix toy universe, Mifune is our Mini Me. I understand that if Mifune was any bigger, the APU would be bigger and then it would be HUGE, but itís just wrong what theyíve done to poor old Mifune. And you know youíre not doing too great when Neo stands nearly head-to-head with you, and youíre in a huge robotic machine.

Paint - ****
Thereís not much to write here other than itís utterly perfect in every way. Every nozzle and hook (Iím running out of items located on the APU, so from now on Iíll just say screw) is painted its own color and thereís no slop at all. Everything is perfect, and the dull wash makes it seem old and rusted over. The only little problem is some overspray on Mifuneís shirt onto his neck, but itís passable. My only request would be to see Mifune a bit bloodied up, like we see Trinity.

Articulation - ****
Holy mother of God. Brace yourselves people. Think Marvel Legends articulation, just about a foot taller and 6 inches wider. I counted about 40 on the APU itself, which is needless to say, insane. Then, just to make us articulation freaks happy, they gave Mifune seven points. Seven. OK, so that isnít so much articulation, but for a mini figure attached to a robot I think thatís above and beyond what could have been asked for. Now if only they gave all the other matrix figures some articulationÖ

Quality - *1/2
It came with no accessories, so this is the perfect time to get into where the APUís real problems lie. And when it comes to quality, the APU falls apart. Literally. As I had mentioned above earlier, I lost an entire arm to twisties. But that remains to be seen. It was a clean snap off at the turning shoulder joint, and seems like it had come that way. This thing is fragile, and is not a toy to be taken lightly. This toy is suicidal. First chance it gets, itís gonna jump off a shelf and break a joint. Itís as if this toy just wants to break. It feels hollow almost, is fairly light for its size, and just like the T-850 from T2 by McFarlane, this thing will break at the slightest wrong move. You have to be really careful, because it looks like there are joints everywhere, and if you think somethingís there and its not, youíre screwed, because it will break. This is definitely not a toy for little kids, not because itís violent, but because it breaks so easily. Itís really, really disappointing and depressing to open up an extremely anticipated toy straight from the box and find one full arm and shoulder disconnected, handle to the steering thingy snapped, back support bar snapped, and entire front control panel hanging by a single rubber wire. This toy will hate you and destroy itself just to see you suffer. Itís like the anti-toy.

Value - ***
Although the quality is awful, you still have to consider youíre getting a fairly large robot vehicle with a human attached with crazy, unimaginable articulation for 30 bucks. And I paid 30 at a comic shop, if you can get this for any less, it deserves 4 stars.

Overall - ***1/2
If you look past the fragileness of it, and just pretend for a second that you could throw this thing from a 3rd story window and watch it land safely without a scratch, then you have possibly the best toy in your collection, almost definitely of the year. It moves every-which-way, itís got metal springs, wires, extremely detailed paint application and sculpt, an articulated human attached, and over 2 feetís worth of bullet straps. And every time you move a joint, the little knobs and rods retract and extend, looking like a working machine. Itís extremely complicated and amazingly cool. This is definitely the basis of comparison for any deluxe sets and vehicles from here on.

Where To Buy:
I got mine at the local comic shop, and I wouldnít be surprised if you find this at mass retailers by Christmas time. Also, I think you can find it online.


Figures from the collection of Sean Teeter.

This page copyright 2003, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour Hosting.com