Turn away now, least your poor wallets be overflowing. You have been warned.
Today we’re gonna take a look at some offerings from 3rd Party Transforming Robots company iGear, namely Spray, Hench, and UFO from the Mini Warriors line. iGear has been around for a number of years dealing mostly with high quality retoolings of existing items or accessories for other toys, but with their mini warriors line delve into fully new transforming robots. Based on the old G1 Mini Spies, this new line seeks to bring the classic designs more into modern stylings that will fit alongside your Classics/Generations collection.
We’ll start with some generalizations of the line and then delve into a closer look at the individual bots. Packaging is pretty simple. Cardboard boxes with plastic tray inserts. Not the highest quality packaging I’ve seen, but more than serviceable. Attractive enough graphics, sturdy cardboard, the plastic trays are just a tad flimsy, but hold the figures very well. Of note is that wonderful Japanese habit of making the packaging collector friendly by allowing you to open and replace the figures without destroying the packaging. Inside you’ll find a baseball card size, um, card with some stats on the back that is reminiscent of the old Tech Specs.
Plastic is good quality. Joints are pretty much ball joints at shoulders, elbows, ankles, knees, and hips with hinge joints most other spots. Joints are snug without being too tight or loose. Paint aps are minimal, but as with most 3rd party items, the deco is mainly achieved by the use of different colored plastic. Molding is crisp and clear.
Spray is an update to the classic Seaspray. One of iGear’s earlier offerings, Spray is in a smaller scale. A bit bigger than a legends, right about Scout scale. Definately harkens back to the original design. Feet are huge, but kinda flipper like, and adds a ton of stability. He comes with a nifty little spear-gun, that unfortunately does not store on him in vehicle mode. Vehicle mode is kinda just pieces that fit together. Colors are a tad on the brighter side compared to the original. Weakest of these three, but certainly cool, especially if you have a soft spot of the little hovercraft of old.
Hench is the not-Brawn of the group. Just a hair taller than Classics Bumblebee, his size seems spot on. Deco wise he’s a great representation of the G1 toon look of Brawn and even features a toy accurate head on the opposite side of his head. He comes with a nifty shotgun looking blaster that can fit on his roof tire. Vehicle mode is rock solid and looks like an upscaled version of the original. Robot mode is where he really shines though. Transformation is pretty straight forward with a bit of cleverness with the legs. Full range of motion in arms and legs. This is everything fans want from the Classics line. Taking the classic design and giving it modern engineering.
I love me some Cosmos. One of my favorite toys as a kid, UFO provides a nifty update taking a number of cues from the recent legends fig. One of the neat things about UFO is that it is a little bit of a reimagining as opposed to the more straight up modernization of Hench. We get some new details sculpted into the fig like forward “windows” and “tail” that the recent legends fig had. The coolest addition has to be the space helmet over the head. Such a fun addition to this already weirdly funny character. And we can’t over look his red “pew-pew” ray-gun. Simply awesome. Transformation is almost identical to the recent legends fig with a little bit of added articulation at the elbows, and the addition of feet. Like with Spray, the colors skew bright on UFO. Much more day-glo green and yellow than the original. Also of note is the nifty flight stand that he comes with that can work with either vehicle or robot mode. Articulation is a bit hampered by the bulkiness of his limbs, but you can still get some great poses out of him. I love this guy. One of the funnest toys you can add to a collection. Ray gun and bubble helmet, I mean come on, if you don’t find that cool, you need to stop collecting toys and go try stamps or something.
On the whole these guys look like they could be Hasbro product. Truth be told, they come off better than modern Hasbro offerings. No cheap plastic feel. Solid toys that look great. Cost is, of course, a premium. Spray clocked in at around $20 and the other 2 at $35 a piece. Already announced are 4 more based on Gears, Swerve, Outback, and Beachcomber and those look to be even more expensive ($40-$50). I’m not sure I can say they are worth the price, but I can say I have no regrets purchasing them. They are fun, well built, good looking toys. If you can justify the expense, these are well worth your time.