Thursday, August 18, 2011

WB001: Warbot Defender is not Springer or so you think!

08.18.2011 - Warbot Defender is not Springer. The appearance can be deceiving but he’s not, but for every TransFan has been craving for an official modern representation of the famed Triple Changer. They have to settle for the Fans Project exclusive known as “Warbot Defender” designated as WB001.

Released in early 2010 Warbot Defender is a third party product from the same group of collectors who founded Fans Project. Famous for their TFC EX-01: Cliff Conversion Kit that was released in 2008 which followed by the TFX-01 Parallax City Commander armor add-on for the Voyager Class Classics Ultra Magnus figure.
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They have been known also for the G3 Trailer for the Parallax series an add-on for the Classics/Henkei Voyager Class Optimus Prime that carries more weapons that is unheard of.

Lately Fans Project as upped the ante which also released the Universe Combaticons set for Bruticus upgrade in the form of Warcry and Flameblast. Not to forget the TFX-04 Protector add-on for the Classics/Henkei Deluxe Class Rodimus to beef up its appearance as “Rodimus Prime.”

Several interesting upgrades and add-on’s for the existing official product enticed a lot of Transformers Collectors to spend every penny for it. The rise of the third party manufacturer opened its doors to the term “quality upgrade” that other companies follow suit.

Most of the releases of Fans Project were add-ons and upgrades, but they pushed the envelope which made their own product in the form of Warbot Defender.

There was a lot of speculation if they are over stepping the bounds of the official manufacturer namely Hasbro and Takara Tomy. Rumors have it that Takara Tomy won’t allow anymore third party manufacturers to market their products in Japan. But that’s all up in the air regarding the news around.

For now let’s take a close look at the Warbot Defender that fans claimed to be the Triple Change Springer. For years everyone clamored for a G1 reissue of Springer or a modern representation of that particular character. There were several releases of Springer but most of them are repaints or retooled of an existing toy that was previously another character in a series.

Springer gained prominence in the 1986 Transformers Animated Film and his character got to be known in the third season of the US released Transformers TV series. He became a fan favorite that its been a long time since we last seen an actual triple changer like Springer.

So far Fans Project has provided that in the form of Warbot Defender. The quality made out of this figure is unlike the one you see in the official product though not perfect it has its own flaws. Mostly it had something to do with the flimsy joints in robot mode.

The Warbot Defender is easily spotted packaged in window box with all his accessories that includes the Comic Books/Manual and weapons that came with the figure. Fans Projects has really invested in bringing this figure to the high end Transfan Community.

The figure itself has a lot of notable plus like the articulations that you can do with this and rarely you’d be bothered having problem thinking he is a top heavy figure.

Fans Project had given this top notch engineering though as previously mentioned there’s no perfect transforming action figure. Even Hasbro or Takara Tomy is taking a flak for poor design flaws, but with the Warbot Defender only minor flimsy joints has given this inconsistency to its robot form.

Warbot carries a sword similar to the original Springer figure that turns into its chopper blades. Another plus on this figure is that the sword can be attached at the back. There’s a tab that holds the two blades which can be attached to the hole at the back. He also carries two pistols that can be put on both holsters residing on both his knees.

The figure has elbow, wrist, and arm movement while his legs have knees and ratchet joint feet for those balancing act. Not to forget that he has waste movement. The head is ball jointed can look up, down, left or right.

Comparison with the Springer (repaint of the TF Cyberton EVAC) figure from the Comic-Pack (War Within Series) that came with Ratbat. The Warbot Defender is possibly under the Deluxe Class assortment due to his diminutive size.

The vehicle modes look sturdy specially the chopper mode, but with the rocket car form the back wheels don’t stay flat to roll in a smooth surface. The other inconsistency of the figure is the tabs that should attach to its pelvis when transforming this to the rocket car.

There was a lot of interesting action poses you can do with the Warbot Defender and you’d be in envy if you don’t own one. This is not sold through local retail in the Philippines and you can only purchase one through specialty shops that imports these products.

You can acquire one through Great Toys just check for pricing surely owning one won’t be hard to come by. But for the other countries do check your contacts how to avail of this figure.

Overall Warbot Defender is a good alternative for a modern representation of Springer while we wait for Hasbro and Takara Tomy’s release of the official product. Fans Project really put quality over this figure not suited for kids under sixteen years old as noted in the box.

Right now getting a Warbot Defender will cost you a lot more with its demand for those who really enthusiastic about Springer. This toy is not necessarily only for the hard core fans but those who had the passion for collecting anything Transformers. Definitely Fans Project has catered to the fan that has been following this franchise for almost 30 years.

Special acknowledgements to Dash Bonagua for giving us a closer look at the Warbot Defender.

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