Fansproject is notorious for putting out some of the best 3rd party Transformers stuff out there, and when Assaulter was up for preorder on Fansproject Core earlier in October, I immediately threw down money on it. Why? Because Fansproject consistently puts out one masterpiece after another, the most recent being Steel Core and now Assaulter gets to take that reign. Does Fansproject’s latest release hold up to the infamous name? (As always, click the pictures for larger versions)
The first thing I noticed about Assaulter was the weight. I knew there was some diecast, but this thing is freaking heavy. It’s hard to tell where exactly the diecast is at, but I’m fairly certain it’s all in the legs and feet, which isn’t a bad thing as it definitely helps with balancing of the figure.
Assaulter’s headsculpt is a double-whammy as there’s the normal, exposed-red face (which is my favorite), and then the white-helmeted “blast shield”. Thankfully Fansproject made it extremely easy to switch between the two, as you simply flip the front of the “blast shield face” on top of the head to reveal the exposed-red face. Articulation here is on a ball-joint, so there shouldn’t be any issues there.
Something that really surprised me with Assaulter’s shoulders (and really the whole figure) was the amount of articulation in them. While they look blocky and bulky, they’ve actually got just as much articulation in them as Steel Core. Hinges for lateral movement up and down, and a swivel for rotation. There’s also a bicep swivel and a standard single-jointed elbow. Thankfully with Assaulter Fansproject included some hand articulation with the hands/wrists attaching to the arms with a ball-joint, something that a lot of people were complaining about Steel Core not having.
As far as the lower body, Assaulter’s thankfully got a waist swivel, and the hips/legs are attached to the torso via a ratcheted joint that allows for rotation and hinge movement. The easiest way to describe this is to just think of it as a “ratcheted ball-joint” although that’s technically not what it is. Assaulter’s also got ratcheted thigh swivels, and I’m not sure why they’re ratcheted. Normal ones would’ve been fine. That’s probably one of my few complains about this figure is that all of the ratcheted joints in the hips and thighs feel extremely tight and “clicky”. I was honestly a bit worried I might break something with how much resistance these things were giving me. But I guess your mileage may vary.
The knees are surprisingly not ratcheted, but still do a decent job of giving Assaulter some dynamic poses. While the articulation here isn’t the greatest, it’s enough to make him dangerous. The feet are very good at balancing and keeping Assaulter upright (again, this is partly due to the diecast around here), and are also able to be rocked side to side if you choose to live dangerous.
There’s also a secondary “secret” robot mode. Nothing really shocking here, as you just rotate the legs around backwards and spin the blue cockpit around to a white one. Even though it seems really gimmicky, it is nice to know that there are some different ways you can mix and match how you wan’t to display your Assaulter.
Now as I’m sure all of you are aware, as a triple changer Assaulter’s got two different alt modes included. I’m going to start with my least favorite of the two: the carrier mode.
This is really the mode that left a sour taste in some people’s mouths. The “official” way to have Assaulter shown in this mode is to have two separate runways in the front instead of the orthodox single one that we see on today’s aircraft carriers.
My main gripe with this particular mode is that you never feel like you complete the transformation. You just kind of shift and move things around until you get what resembles a “space carrier”. You just don’t get that satisfaction of snapping that last peg together that lets you know you’re done. That’s not to say that it doesn’t look good, because I think it does, just not like an aircraft carrier.
The “fan mode” is basically just something that’s supposed to resemble a more modern aircraft carrier. The most obvious difference being a more flat look overall with one runway instead of two. Take it as you will. I’m not a fan of it at all, but I decided to include it in the review for those who wish to see/compare it to the normal mode.
The alt mode I’m more fond of personally is the jet mode. This thing is pretty damn awesome. While I found it to be a bit of a pain in the ass to get everything as flush as possible as far as doing the transformation, I was really pleased with the outcome and final product. I feel as though this is the true alt mode for Assaulter.
The weapons make nice use as parts of the wings as well, which is something I was glad to see, as Assaulter leaves no accessory behind (sans the minibots!) Landing gear is also able to be flicked out so that Assaulter may be displayed on the ground in an appropriate way.
There really isn’t much to speak of in terms of this mode. It is what it is. A nice, solid looking jet with a lot of weight to it (I had to improvise with stands due to the weight!)
While Assaulter’s accessories might not be that flashy or plentiful, they’re definitely a huge asset to the figure. Included are two weapons, which can be displayed as guns or plasma axes, as well as 7 miniature bots for display on Assaulter’s carrier mode. I found myself marveling at the minibots the most, as they’re pretty badass.
Overall I think Assaulter is definitely something that’s unique and a huge step forward in terms of quality for 3rd party products. Fansproject is infamous for their high quality, and they sure as hell didn’t disappoint this time. While Assaulter may not be the most dynamic or fluid of toys, he’s definitely got his own brand and personality, which is something that is really crucial for a 3rd party toy. If you’re on the fence or have any doubts about Assaulter, make sure you pick him up, it’s well worth it. With the 3 modes and diecast, he’s already the most unique toy on my 3rd party shelf, and I think he will be for a long, long time.