TFC Toys Trinity Force Wildhunter

Wildhunter, the final member of TFC Toys’ Trinity Force not-Road Caesar, has arrived at Junkion HQ.

Trinity Force Robot Mode(Autobot symbols sold separately)

The Box

Wildhunter Box

Like both previous releases, Wildhunter comes in the same fantastic retro box inspired by the original Road Caesar packaging.

Wildhunter Box ContentsThe fully pose-able hands can celebrate victory and wish you long life and prosperity. (Autobot symbol sold separately)

Wildhunter comes with all of the combiner parts required to assemble the team, including the hands and feet.

The Brain

Wildhunter Brainmaster

Just like the previous releases, the Brainmaster is still absurdly small. And, just like the previous releases, I immediately installed the spare head.

The Robot

Wildhunter Robot Mode(Autobot symbol sold separately)

It’s quite a relief to get a release in this team with no twisty pipes! Although the backpack can be tricky to get into place, there is nothing in this release that generates anywhere near the frustration level generated by the legs of the previous team members.

On that note, one thing this review reminded me of is how much I dislike the heels on Red Knight which, on mine at least, pop off whenever they’re touched or come in contact with any other surface.  Kind of an annoying feature for a foot.

The Dune Buggy

Wildhunter Dune Buggy (Autobot symbol sold separately)

Huge! That was my first impression when taking at this beast out of the box.

Trinity Force Alt ModeYes, this is a totally normal size for a dune buggy. (Autobot symbols sold separately)

The Combiner

Finally we can put together the Trinity Force combiner!

Trinity Force with SwordA properly located chest logo for Wildhunter ends up in an unfortunate position on the combiner. (Autobot symbols sold separately)

Although I’m not thrilled that they had to include separate parts-forming ankle pieces, I have to admit that they work well. However, the hip joints are the weak point of the combiner and are not strong enough for the robot to stand on one foot.

Trinity Force(Autobot symbols sold separately)

One issue that you’re going to run into with putting the combiner together is the clarity of the printed instructions. Someone at TFC must have realized that since there are QR codes that you can scan with your phone that will bring up videos of the process; Part 1 covers robot mode and Part 2 covers the combiner mode. Unfortunately, the video assumes that you’ve already transformed the other two members so you’ll still need the printed instructions for those.

The most difficult step is the connection between the leg bots which involves folding down an extremely stiff connector (as seen below). The video instructions show this piece already folded out which is reassuring since it really does not feel like it should move.

Raging Bull Leg Mode
Another thing to be aware of, there are two panels that snap into place on the bottom of the feet that appear to help lock the weapons from Raging Bull and Red Knight in place on the sides. I found that if I tried to remove the weapons with them in place they had a tendency to pop off dramatically and fly across the room.

Trinity Force Feet

The Free Gift

Display Stand

The first production run includes a stack-able rotating display with LED lighting. Unfortunately, it is a bit too small to use with the team combiner but should work well for smaller figures.

Display Stand with Posts

Here it is with the support posts in place. They’re extremely wobbly which makes me wonder how stable this would be with another stand on top.

TFC Toys Trinity Force Red Knight

Red Knight, the second member of TFC Toys’ Trinity Force not-Road Caesar has arrived at Junkion HQ.

Red Knight with Raging Bull

The Box

Red Knight box

Like Raging Bull, Red Knight comes in the same fantastic retro box inspired by the Road Caesar packaging.

Red Knight box contents

The box contents are much the same, except that the clear plastic parts in both the spare set of headlights and the vehicle mode tail lights come pre-installed instead of as separate pieces like with Raging Bull.

The Brain

Red Knight Brainmaster

No changes here, the Brainmaster is still absurdly small, I didn’t even try to install it and immediately installed the spare head.

The Bot

Red Knight bot mode

Since they share the same engineering, there are still parts mounted on poles that need to be awkwardly twisted and spun during transformation. However, there does seem to be some fine tuning done since the previous release. The sides of the hood now lock into place on the robot back so they don’t shift around like the ones on Raging Bull. Also, the toes have a new transformation that is far more intuitive than Raging Bull’s which have to be very precisely moved into place during transformation.

The Car

Red Knight car mode

Like Raging Bull, the car mode is pure Masterpiece with the single exception of the fact that Red Knight is #23 for some reason where Braver was #3. One word of warning; the side mirrors do not appear to lock into place and will probably require a spot of glue if you don’t want to loose them.

Red Knight with Raging Bull car mode

The Combiner

I am looking forward to the release of Wildhunter, the final member of this team, so that I can try out the full combined mode. Since, the foot components come with Wildhunter, I can’t even really try out the leg mode on these quite yet. For now, we’ll have to just live with the combined sword (BFS?).

Red Knight BFS

TFC Toys Trinity Force Raging Bull

With Red Knight on it’s way to the HQ I thought it was a good time to take a look at Raging Bull, the first member of TFC Toys’ Trinity Force not-Road Caesar.

Raging Bull with Masterpieces

The non-US G1 releases have always had a special draw for me. They have that G1 feel but also the mystery of never having been available in the toy stores of my youth.

The Box

Raging Bull box

Raging Bull comes in a fantastic retro box based on the packaging design of the original Road Caesar set.

Raging Bull box contents
The package includes the Brainmaster, half a sword, two large pistols that can be combined into a BFG, an attachment piece for the combiner, an extra set of headlights, removable windshield wiper and a spare head.

The Brain

Raging Bull Brainmaster
Although I applaud TFC for including the original Brainmaster gimmick, the execution is somewhat lacking. As you can see from the photo above, the Brainmaster is absurdly small. When installed the gimmick prevents the head from moving, much like the G1 version. I also found that it had to be very carefully aligned in the lift inside the chest or it would get stuck. The spare head does not rely on the Brainmaster and is fully articulated.

The Bot

Raging Bull bot mode

My biggest issue with this mold is the abundance of parts mounted on poles that make for an extremely fiddly transformation. They have to be twisted and spun into exactly the correct position or it doesn’t work. You get used to it after a few transformations but it just feels awkward. These posts connect the sides of the front end as well as part of his lower legs and feet.

The Car

Raging Bull car

The Lamborghini mode certainly holds its own along with the official Masterpiece line. The second set of open headlights can be inserted into the hood so, I presume, that the alt mode can be used at night. I have no plans on using these but they may come in handy for someone who wants to display this primarily in vehicle mode.

Raging Bull with Masterpiece cars

Masterpiece Cassettes

With MP-15E/16E Cassettebot vs. Cassettron due out by the end of the year I wanted to spend some time with the previous Masterpiece cassettes.

Cassettrons cassette mode

The cassettes have been available as part of Takara’s Masterpiece line releases; MP-13 Soundwave with Condor, MP-15 Rumble & Jaguar, MP-16 Frenzy & Buzzsaw and MP-13B Soundblaster with Ratbat. In the US Hasbro released Laserbeak, Buzzsaw, Ravage, Rumble and Frenzy with their Masterpiece Soundwave set then again with their Year of the Goat Soundwave repaint. The Transformers Collectors Club brought the Ratbat mold to the US as part of their G.I. Joe and the Transformers box set (still available as of this writing as part of their going out of business sale).

Cassettrons group

I did not pick up the original US version of Soundwave since I had already imported the Takara releases.

Let’s go through them mold by mold:

The Cats

Ravage has always been my favorite cassette – the original G1 set with Rumble were the only cassettes in my collection the first time around.

Jaguar cassette mode

Jaguar is a great mold and I love the way that they managed to integrate the rockets into the cassette.

Jaguar

The Year of the Goat release (and all of the “year of the…” releases as far as I’m concerned) is an odd duck. The clear and grey plastic is certainly distinctive but also quite “love it or hate it”.

Ghost Ravage cassette mode

I tend to think of it these as “ghost” versions.

Ghost Ravage

The Robots

The robot cassettes are the only ones that have external accessories with their separate wing blasters and pile drivers.

Robots cassette mode

Ok, let’s just get this out in the open – I’m a “Rumble is red” guy. As I mentioned above, Rumble was one of the only two cassettes that I owned as a kid so the red toy color scheme made a stronger impression on me than the blue cartoon color scheme.

Robots

The Birds

This has to be my favorite of the Masterpiece cassette molds

Birds cassette mode

Like Ravage, the designers found a way to integrate the booster backpack into the cassette mode without sacrificing the look of the figure.

Birds

The Bats

For collectors in the US, this is the most difficult to acquire of the Masterpiece cassette molds since it wasn’t included in the US version of Soundwave. (I’m aware of the KOs but am specifically referring to official releases here)

Bats cassette mode

Like the other non-robot cassettes, Ratbat’s backpack is fully integrated into the transformation. Ratbat also holds the honor of being the only Masterpiece figure released in comic book colors.

Bats

Unofficial Bonus: Autoscout

Autoscouts cassette

Many years ago two versions of the one-hit-wonder Autoscout from the G1 episode A Prime Problem were released. I still include the TFC Toys version (on the left in the photos) from their Gears of War set in my Masterpiece display. I much prefer the transformation on this one over iGear’s version although iGear’s cassette mode has the better deco.

Autoscouts angle

Coming up…

When MP-15E/16E is released we’ll have another four members of the cassette army. I’m waiting…