Review - FansToys FT-16 Sovereign
FansToys is easily one of, if not the biggest name in the third party masterpiece market. They’ve contributed a number of unofficial offerings to help fill gaps in our Transformers G1 Masterpiece collections and Sovereign is the latest in the line.
"Aww that's cute. I'm keeping this."
An homage to G1 Galvatron, this figure is full of premium materials with a fantastic paint finish and overall killer aesthetic. The die cast content in this figure alone is worth the price of admission and your jaw will hit the floor when you pick him up and feel how heavy he is. Sovereign’s head sculpt in particular is an incredible achievement especially for FansToys who have a track record of hit or miss head/face sculpts and in this case both are absolute winners. Some paint fill in the mouth of the angry face would have been appreciated.
"What did he say his name was again?"
Unlike the aesthetics of Sovereign, when it comes to transformation I don’t have a lot to gush about. I am not a fan of certain elements of Sovereign’s transformation. The payoff is not worth it for me but then again I’ve never really been a fan of Galvatron’s G1 alt mode anyways. The clearance for his head when converting to cannon mode is quite tight, and the screw hole covers on the back of his shoulders pop off at the slightest touch. My main point of contention is with the shoulders and how much force is required to unclip them for transformation into cannon mode. I was terrified performing this portion of the transformation as the force required goes well beyond my level of comfort. I even know a few collectors who have had the arm rip right off of the shoulder while trying to transform this figure. The rest of the transformation is fairly fun and relatively intuitive, if something could be done to smooth the shoulder transition this would be a transformation I could at least recommend. Unfortunately my copy of Sovereign will not be transforming back into a cannon any time soon, if ever again.
Nipple gun. It was fun once but I'm not going back.
Articulation is incredible with the only real limitations being that his head can’t look down very far. I’m not a fan of how large his hands are, and the lack of ball joints at the base knuckles for spread but these are small gripes in the grand scheme of things. Everything pegs in tight and secure, including his arm cannon and his joint tolerances on my copy are all very tight. Larger ankle spurs/heels would be nice as he does have a slight tendency to lean back depending on how you pose him. Sovereign is able to achieve all the iconic Galvatron poses you could possibly want. When it comes to articulation very little is out of his reach. Maybe an outward ankle tilt and upward toe tilt would have been nice but they aren’t something I find myself pining for.
To paraphrase Bobby Skullface, he's comin' to lay the big hands on ya.
Sovereign’s accessory load out is fairly robust, with 2 different cannons in cartoon and toy colors. He also includes a die-cast matrix of leadership on a chain. At first glance the chain appears too short for him to wear around his neck however once equipped it sits at just the right position. His hands are much too large to hold the relic in any meaningful manner however.
"CURSE MY GIANT HANDS! OPEN UP YOU DUMB AUTOBOT BAUBLE!"
A multi part blast effect piece is included in the box. While I appreciate the thought put into this piece it is poorly executed and does not meet the quality standards set by the rest of the package. It pegs in securely and works well enough for a freebie but I hope this piece did not increase Sovereign's shelf price as it truly isn't worth the additional cost. Sovereign includes 1 replacement face, with an angry expression and also a replacement face and eye piece for FansToys Tesla, their Masterpiece Perceptor figure. Lastly there is a large stand included with Sovereign to help replicate flying or leaping poses. From what I have seen online this appears to be the exact same stand that was included with FansToys Soar. The stand is sturdy and well built, with good plastic. Unlike the blast effect I really enjoyed the inclusion of this stand and found it worth while. In fact it even added some value to the blast effect for me as I really like having him posed on the stand flying by the force of his cannon blast.
FansToys FT-16 Sovereign is absolutely a Masterpiece in everything but the official name. This figure goes above and beyond delivering a final product the likes of which I don’t think I’ve ever seen in a transforming robot collectible. The sheer heft and level of finish on this piece puts everything else, official or third party, in my Masterpiece collection to shame.
"Here's a hint!" //"I didn't even ask a question yet!!!"
If the transformation had been a bit more fluid and hadn’t contained steps that risk breaking the figure I think we would have a nearly flawless figure on our hands here. As is, I would avoid this figure if you are someone who likes to transform their figures regularly but otherwise I absolutely recommend this figure to anyone who wants a Masterpiece representation of Galvatron in their collection as I don’t see anyone releasing a figure to top this one, official or otherwise.
"Long live Galvatron!"
FansToys has set a new benchmark and I’m excited to see what ripples this causes in the third party marketplace. I want to give a shout out to Blast Off Toys for getting me a great local deal on this figure, and please be sure to check us out on Facebook! Let me know down in the comments what you think of the review, what you think of FT-16 Sovereign, any comments, concerns, critiques or requests. Let me know what you would like to see reviewed next! You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.