So I spent the day building Transformers. I really enjoyed it. Today was a busy mail day for me. I got my Kabaya DX Fort Max set today.http://www.shmax.com/view_collection/3146/2549
As well as the Arms Micron AMW-14 set.http://www.shmax.com/product_details/11562/arms_micron_gravity_planet_bowgun
The Kabaya Fort Max set is nice. I'll say now that the one of the only slightly negative things I can say about it so far is that you have to take Powerglide's wings off to transform him. Not so much as even seeing a model kit of any type for probably 25 years, I have to say I didn't know what to expect.
To my delight, the quality is actually really good. The red, white, blue and grey plastic it uses equals the quality of or is the plastic used in a fair amount of the Cybertron line. I've never physically seen any Galaxy Force figures but I imagine it's the same. Feel free to chime in on that. I do believe the Kabaya kits are designed to be close to scale with the Worlds Smallest line from Japan.
I didn't mess with it a whole lot but, it comes in a 3 playset series, each playset has at least 1 mode. A little base like the old micro masters back in the 90's. That is the mode they'll be in when you first assemble them. It has 3 modes combined. City, Battle Platform, Awsome. (My terms) It's very similar to the old school FM toy from what I remember.
One set has a ramp gimmick for Windcharger, who rolls really well considering what makes him up. You pull a lever in the back and it raises the ramp in the tunnel and launches WC. You do have to keep him closer to the short end of the ramp for it to work right but you can still tuck him all the way into the tunnel. It's prob 2.5"-3" deep. Another had a spring launcher gimmick to launch Powerglide off a ramp. It works too well so be careful not to loose the mini dudes. It was very easy to assemble. The other set came with Cerebros who becomes FM's head. Very Cool!
I immediately converted them and combined them into the city mode. I know it's not Metroplex but the little conversion of the bases that set them up to be combined, the way they shifted around, reminded me alot of Metroplex's transformation scene in the 86 movie. All I could hear in my head was the background music. "do do, do do, do do, do do, do do, do do, do do, do do, baum baum, baum baum baum, baum baum." Anyway, the city is just that. Like I said it's alot like the old toy. There are 2 guns and a sword that attach to and accent the towers. It doesn't look bad, I'll say that.
From there I took it to battle platform, which you pretty much have to do to get him to robot mode anyway. It's cool. All in all the figure is a "mini" version on the old Fort Max.
In robot mode stands about half a head (Cerebros in this case) taller than PRID Powerizer/Voyager Optimus Prime. He is armed to the teeth. Loaded with 1 blue hand held gun/tower accents, and a blue mini turret that becomes a small hand blaster. 2 long red cannons that extend out from the mostly medium grey abdomen or you can be a wuss and tuck them in on the 180 degree piviots. 2 red smaller dual cannons that sink flush into the grey lower legs if you're feeling sheepish. Another turret on his back that can swing out, because you wouldn't want to put a big yellow stripe down FM's back. And a red 5" Headmasters style Star Saber. It's impressive. Putting the labels on will put some black onto the saber as well.
I didn't put the labels on him yet. They look more paper as opposed to the more common foil labels. Paper labels tend to be cheap but I think I may put them on to add some color tomorrow though. I had alot of fun putting the stickers on AMW-14 so I think I'll go ahead and commit to FM.
I know I've been on an Arms Micron kick lately but, man! They are cool. I was just saying not too long ago how I missed Target and Head Masters and these guys remind me alot of the old TM's. Now most people consider them Microns which makes them Mini-Cons in the U.S. I think they deserve a little more credit than that. Maybe It's because I spent the past 3-4 hours building and labeling them that I feel stronger about them than I do plain old Mini-Cons.
On the topic of labeling real quick, these little guys really pop with their labels on. I did spend quite a bit of time trying to get them as perfect as possible. But that's just me. I've heard/read complaints about them being crappy but my set were perfect in my opinion. My application of them, although pretty darn good, was not. I'd give myself an 85-90% accuracy rateing. I found them pretty easy to work with and they stuck when they needed to. I've had issues with some re-issue labels in the past. Those were US toys though. This was my first set of Japanese labels so I don't know if they have a tendency to be superior or not.
So we already know I like microns so I'll cut to the core issues. The only issue I have with my set is that the barrel/muzzel of Noji B's gun comes off sometimes when combined in the full bowgun mode. It doesn't come off any other time, just with the extra weight. It's not a problem if supported.
There are some slight color differences from what I'd expected. First I was under the impressions I had of Gul B is that he was black. He looks black in all the pics, but mine is a very dark blue, maybe even more purple. It looks good with his purple crystal so I'm not crying about it.
Second, I believed Zori CS was to be Crystal Clear but it is ever so slightly frosted. I've seen Clear figures and Frosted figures and that's why I described it the way I did. Maybe it was to keep the labels from looking foriegn to the figure? It looks great, just different from anything I've seen and not the Clear I expected. Maybe it's a different kind of plastic?
Ida B is blue, almost the same dark blue that they use to ink Superman's hair highlights in comics. Noji B is blue, like a darker cornflower or periwinkle.
Now the 3rd and final issue. Gora II .... is awesome. It's translucent aqua but it also sparkly. Like a hybrid of translucent and metallic. Very very nice. Pictures just don't do it justice. I have a grey guitar with the same effect to the finish. In pics it just looks silve/grey but, when you see the way it looks in person. It's like the sparkle you see in a car that has that iridescent color changing paint. In any event, it's really pretty.
The Kabaya kits and Microns were my introduction to Japanese products and I'm impressed. I'm sad they are phasing the Microns out in the GO! line. I'd like to get some more Kabaya kits. I was really enjoyed assembling them. I feel just a little extra connected to them. I hope they do more more model type tings in the future. Or at least maybe Kabaya will continue to support the franchise.
I enjoyed getting the better understanding of the inner workings from building the Kabaya kits. So, I'll leave you all with a question. Does anyone know anything about any future Kabaya or similar model kits coming out. If it doesn't transform I've no interest but I'd like some more info.