FansProject Combaticons: Crossfire 02 “Explorer” and “Munitioner”
2010 is looking to be a banner year for FansProject. Their next offering are two figures called Explorer and Munitioner. Hardcore G1 purists should instantly recognize them as Blastoff and Swindle, respectively.
Late in 2009, Hasbro released a Target exclusive Bruticus Maximus set under the ROTF line. This is a set of 5 Combaticon figures that will combine and form Bruticus Maximus. The toys are essentially a repaint of Energon Bruticus Maximus. Target retailed the set at $29.99. Some stores even sold them at clearance prices over the Holidays, I’ve seen with my own eyes the price dropped to either $24.99 or $19.99. Apparently they weren’t flying off the shelves if Target felt clearance was necessary. I did think about buying the set during that stretch, considering that the Combaticons are my favorite combiner group, something that I’ve mentioned repeated on this blog. However, being the G1 purist that I am, I decided against buying it because I felt the figure did not at all resemble the G1 Combaticons. And to make matters worse, not all molds in the set are distinct. Onslaught, the leader figure that forms the body, is a unique mold. However, Brawl and Blastoff are both tanks with identical molds, and Vortex and Swindle are of the same helicopter mold. This was a complete turnoff. There is also a similar set released under the Universe line (in slightly different colors). I’m not sure when it was released and if it was a store exclusive.
I should have known by now that whenever I complain about a certain aspect in TF figures, the people behind FansProject would have the same complaint. So right after Target sold out of the Bruticus Maximus set, FansProject announced the figures “Explorer” and “Munitioner”. Explorer is a space shuttle while Munitioner is a jeep. FansProject is not affiliated with Hasbro so it’s not like they can outright advertise what these figures are meant to be. But G1-ers immediately recognized them as Blastoff and Swindle, and the fact that only these 2 are produced is to properly give the ROTF Combaticons the right molds for these 2 characters. But yeah, right as I learned of this new development, I started to kick myself for not buying the ROTF Bruticus Maximus set.
FansProject have recently released more finalized pics of Explorer and Munitioner. The figures themselves look great and are obviously G1 inspired. But it also looks like the figures will come with accessories that will make Bruticus look more G1 as well. Words can’t even start to describe how kick-ass this set looks with the FansProject add-on. I’m posting a few select pics below. For all the pics check out this blog entry on the FansProject site.
You can bet your boron compressor that I will be buying Munitioner and Explorer when they are released. I would’ve done that anyway, but after I saw these pics, I knew I had to go track down the ROTF Bruticus Maximus set. Of course all dealers from every website I can think of would mark these up. Getting it at the clearance prices, or even at MSRP, was now extremely unlikely. And so last month I bit the bullet and bought the set from an ebay seller for about $50. This price was actually quite reasonable. I see many dealers ask for much more. I picked up the set at my local PO last weekend and below are some pics.
I won’t be opening this set until Explorer and Muntioner are released. Then I will give them all the proper review it deserves.
And since we’re on the subject of Combaticons, I want to take this opportunity to show off my G1 Combaticons. I still have them all to this day. Onslaught is getting loose in some of his joints, and there are obvious sticker wear to all 5 figures. But other than that they are all complete and in pretty good shape.
Sharp G1 observers will have noticed that Onslaught appears without his blue chest shield. I have the piece, I just forgot to put it on him when I took the pic.
I also have some repainted Combaticons from Robots in Disguise. Technically they’re not called Combaticons in RiD. They are called Commandos, and the names of all the characters have been changed. This is the Urban Camo set (I believe there is also a Desert Camo and a Snow Camo set). The combat trailer is Mega-Octane, the tank is Armorhide, the space shuttle is Movor, the jeep is Rollbar, the helicopter is Ro-Tor, and the combined form is Ruination. Pics appear below.
Let’s face it, all the combiners post G1 have been lame. Hasbro just doesn’t want to properly do one for some strange reason. So once again it’s FansProject to the rescue. I can’t wait for Explorer and Munitioner.
Combaticons… Transform and Roll Out!