Cliffbee.com: Fast Action Battler Frenzy Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Frenzy
Series: Movie Tie-Ins
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Portable CD Player



CD PLAYER MODE
Height: 5.5cm Depth: 6.5cm Width: 12cm

   A small grey boombox style music player, similar to the one seen in the film. Frenzy has silver painted speaker grilles, black casing above the speakers and a collection of black buttons on the front. Above the buttons there's a metallic blue stripe with "FRENZY 97.7" printed in black, alluding to an FM band frequency, whilst below there's a raised Decepticon logo which is also painted black. At the top of the front there's a slot, which is designed to look like a slot-loading CD player opening, and to the left (as you look at it), he sports another Decepticon symbol - this time on its side (for robot mode. On the whole the colour scheme is realistic if not exciting. It does a good job of what it has to do, and the painted detailing is pretty good for the size of this stereo.

   It's a small stereo considering that Frenzy is essentially a deluxe, which is a result of the transformation - it unfolds into a robot. There are a series of seams running across the front, with the central panel and right speaker wearing obvious seams. The seams don't ruin the illusion since there aren't any gaps as such, but with four of them, they're hard to miss. There's an antenna which attaches to the top left corner and the grilles are well sculpted.

   The reason that this particular deck has a slot is because that slot is part of the gimmick. There's button sticking out the back maybe a centimetre, pressing it in will fire a single grey and teal disc from the slot. It fires quite well, I placed him on my hard floor and fired, it slid about five metres! It's a resistance mechanism - you press against the button until you overcome the block holding the disc inside. If you don't fancy the button sticking out the back, you can always leave the blade out, which means the button stays depressed. The only other play value here is the ball joint at the base of his antenna, allowing the antenna to lift maybe 40 and rotate in any direction. I'm happy to report that it doesn't pop off easily.

   A pretty good CD player mode, really. It lacks any real robot kibble and the gimmick is impressive despite its simplicity. The detailing is good and the folded up robot holds together well here. As a side note, it's ironic that a name such as Frenzy has been applied to a music player.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   I'm not going to go through it all, but the centre and right side unfolds into arms and legs, with the very top edge around the disc becoming his thin torso. The left speaker actually conceals the head. It's a fairly involved transformation, although it's not difficult.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15.5cm Width: 6.5cm

   A grey robot with red eyes, some teal highlights on his forehead and the sides of his torso, and metallic yellow highlights also on the sides of his torso. That stamped Decepticon logo is now on the top of his torso, which is basically the disc slot. He's quite spindly and narrow, which fits into the Frenzy we saw in the film. The colours are again fairly uninteresting, but the highlights ensure that Frenzy isn't completely grey without detracting from the fact that he is essentially a monochrome robot.

   The spindly limbs work quite well, even with the front panelling hanging off the back of his elbows. The legs are "dog legged", which is a little offputting, but is in keeping with the movie. The head is also fairly accurate, although the speaker end of the stereo surrounding it is very much not. Having said that, it's the only real kibble here, which is surprising when you consider how different the two modes actually are. The antenna hangs off this hood, but sits behind his right arm, so it doesn't get in the way. There's a panel which covers his head in stereo mode which is meant to sit flush with the top of his torso, but on mine at least it doesn't stay all the way down, resulting in a small gap. Considering how asymmetrical the transformation is, this robot mode is surprisingly balances. The antenna is the only notable uneven feature.

   The disc fires just as well here as it did in stereo mode, although now it comes out standing upright. The button is covered by the very right edge of the stereo, which basically collapses on itself, acting as a button. While the internal button stays in, the cover is on a spring, so it pushes back out. The shoulders swing and lift out to the sides while his elbows are hinged. The hands are claws, but are static. His hips are a strange half-ball joint rotator affair, they function as rotators with some pivot. His knees are actually rotators without hinges, which allows the dog-logged robot to stand without his knees giving way (unlike Beast Machine Cheetor). His feet are fixed with useful heelspurs. The poseability in his legs is quite limited, but his arms allow for some posing, and you can create his defining excited alien cheer on Air Force one thanks to the heelspurs and hips.

   Whilst Frenzy's robot mode isn't fantastic, considering the size of this toy and how good the CD player is, this is a pretty good robot mode. It's well sculpted, looks like the movie version and even with the hood around his head, it's still far more satisfying than the figurine that shipped with Barricade. The poseability isn't that good, but there's still some posing possible. The disc mechanism is again really effective, rounding out an impressive robot mode.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   Frenzy has two decent modes, which is in itself impressive considering just how different they are. The CD player is fairly simple, but all the important details are there and the disc shoots well. The transformation basically involves unfolding the robot, but in this context, the CD player stays together well. The robot mode has some flaws, most notably the chunk of kibble around his head, but it's not a _bad_ robot mode, which you'd realistically expect in the circumstances. The robot mode sculpt is impressive, and again the gimmick works well. The fact that the designer made this ambitious concept work is perhaps the most pleasing aspect here - 8/10

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