Review - Iron Factory IF-EX22 War Giant Set-A (Attackers)
There's something to be said about the appeal of a mini combiner set. I'm not sure what it is that appeals to me so much but from the first time I heard that Iron Factory was doing a team of mini Combaticons I was absolutely hooked on the idea. Now, admittedly some of that probably has to do with my already quite high opinion of Iron Factory and their fantastic mini Transformers. The aesthetic is right up my alley with a halfway IDW, halfway G1 feel mixed with a little bit of Iron Factory flair.
The first release of this team comes in the form of a 2 pack, entitled the War Giant Attackers. Bazooka-Hound and Armor-Boar are Iron Factory's mini versions of Swindle and Brawl respectively. Both figures come packed in bot mode in a lovely window box covered in photography of the two bots in various poses. Multiple firearms are included, a small pistol and a larger launcher of some type for Bazooka-Hound and matching blasters for Armor-Boar. There is also a roof mount for Bazooka-Hound and two combiner feet included in the package.
Bazooka-Hound's alt mode steers away from the open top Jeep design of the G1 character, preferring instead a more modern Humvee styled armored transport. The roof rack plugs into peg holes on the roof and allows you to mount the smaller pistol as well as the bazooka weapon on the top of the vehicle. All 4 wheels roll and that's about it for features in vehicle mode.
Armor-Boar is a green tank. Genius observation I know. It's exactly what I would expect, pretty much works for any sort of aesthetic, G1, IDW, Video Game, whatever you like. There are two 5mm ports on either side of the body, and two ports on top of the tank turret as well. The turret can rotate 360º and the barrel can move up and down. The fold out treads are clever and create a convincing facade when viewing the vehicle from the front or side.
In conjunction with the alt modes also come the leg modes. There's really not a ton going on here. You fold the front third of Bazooka-Hound the same way you would for robot transformation and flip out his combiner connector. Armor-Boar requires even less work as you merely adjust the position of the turret and again, flip out the combiner connector. The included feet are matched to the figures so make sure that you install them on the correct figure to prevent damage. The feet themselves boast incredible inward ankle tilt as well as a very good toe bend. There shouldn't be any issues keeping War Giant planted once he's all combined. Strangely I couldn't get the toes to sit flat on the ground. I'm not sure if that's intended or if I was doing something wrong.
Now... There is one very troublesome issue with this set and that is the transformations. Not the complexity per se, but the overall clearance or lack thereof. The actual transformation schemes for both bots are quite intuitive, however, I found myself sweating bullets worrying that I was going to break off Armor-Boar's legs while transforming him into bot mode. Very similarly I had a lot of trouble with Bazooka-Hound's lower legs when converting him to vehicle mode. There just isn't a lot of clearance due to the smaller scale of these figures, and the plastic used is incredibly firm so there isn't a lot of flex that can be used to your advantage. Despite all these issue I did not see any signs of fatigue or damage after several transformations so hopefully it won't become an issue in the future.
"Swindle, where are my guns! I swear if you sold my kit again I'm gonna knock you into the next cycle!"
I don't want to scare anybody off but when I say I had trouble with Armor-Boar's legs I am not exaggerating. I mean I literally got to the point where I had to put the toy down and walk away so that I didn't accidentally break it in frustration. It left me feeling incredibly sour on Armor-Boar for a good day or two and I actually had to spread his photos out over two nights because of how frustrated it made me. I don't intend to transform these figures very often but if you're someone who wants to switch their bots back and forth often I would recommend investing in a few nylon spudger tools to aid in transformation. If anyone has any tricks on easing the transformation of the legs I am all ears and would love to hear about it. The last thing I want is to break off a ball joint down the road.
"Heh. Things go missing all the time Brawl. Why do you think I had anything to do with it?"
Bot modes for both figures are visually incredible. Bazooka-Hound takes cues from his G1 toy design with the square chest and vent details on either side. He's quite blocky with a fair amount of kibble but nothing that really detracts from the overall look other than perhaps the massive backpack. His head sculpt is brilliant, with bright purple optics, silver paint, and a perfectly cheeky grin like he just sold Starscream's landing gear out from under him. He can hold both his smaller blaster and his larger launcher weapon without any trouble however the larger weapon does prevent him from utilizing his elbow joint. Regrettably there does not appear to be anywhere to store the roof rack in this mode.
Armor-Boar is incredibly chunky and has just an absolutely astounding presence considering his size. One thing that absolutely stunned me is that Iron Factory was able to engineer Armor-Boar to be quite a bit taller than Bazooka-Hound! In comparison he's massive and really looks the part of the front-line shock-trooper/demolitions expert. Similarly to Bazooka-Hound he's got an astounding head sculpt with brilliant crimson optics and silver paint on his mouth plate. Armed with his double blasters this has got to be my absolute favorite Brawl design that I have ever seen. This is everything that Combiner Wars Brawl should have been, at half the size. He's got 5mm ports on his forearms if you want to mount his blasters there, or you can add additional firepower to his already impressive arsenal.
Ball jointed head with a great amount of range.
Ball jointed shoulders – Quite limited due to shoulder kibble/backpack.
Double jointed elbows. - 1 ball joint and 1 single axis swivel.
360º Wrist swivel.
360º Waist swivel.
Ball jointed hips - Incredible range.
Single jointed knee - Well beyond 90º.
Multi-jointed feet - Inward ankle tilt, toe tilt, and a fold out heel.
Ball jointed head - Very limited and hard to access.
Ball jointed shoulders – Limited due to shoulder kibble.
Single hinge elbow – Goes just past 90º
360º Wrist swivel.
360º Waist swivel.
Ball jointed hips – Incredible range.
Double jointed knees. - Almost 180º.
Ball jointed ankles – Fairly limited.
I'm impressed with this set and looking forward to checking out the rest of the team. Iron Factory has consistently impressed me and they've kept the streak going with Bazooka-Hound and Armor-Boar. The robot mode designs are perfectly to my aesthetic tastes, the alt modes are clean and compact, and the combiner feet are some of the best I've ever seen. There are some limitations in bot mode on both figures, but given the small size class I feel a bit more forgiving than I would if these designs were deluxe or voyager size.
"When it comes to firepower, you 'Bots can't compete!"
I actually expect that these 2 are going to be the least interesting toys in the set as photos I've seen of the additional figures seem to show the same sort of engineering and more. The arm bots have ab crunch on a legends class figure for crying out loud!!! I'm impatient to complete the team and have an awesome desk size Bruticus to keep me company on my desk while I write reviews and take more photos for you guys! Hopefully you guys are as excited to see the rest of the team as I am!
"If an enforcer asks you where you got this stuff, you're gonna keep your vocal processor offline... Got it?"
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