Sunday, 1 June 2014

X2 Toys XT004 Interception Metroplex Gun Review

the box

I have taken more photo's of this, than almost anything else in the history of my life. You may be forgiven for thinking that that must mean there is a lot to this set, and it would make sense. However, owing to me still recovering from knee surgery, and so not able to get in positions to take photo's easily, and also due to the sheer size of Metroplex - well that's how I ended up with close to a hundred pictures of something that does not really do that much.

Don't worry, I am not going to post all those photo's here, but I hope it goes some way to explaining quite why the photo's are not as great as I would like.

This right here is X2 Toys extra gun for Metroplex. Hasbro's retail release of the venerable Metrotitan only comes with one gun, whilst Takara's and special editions come with two. Metroplex is quite famous for having two guns also.

So these guys caught wind of an exploitable gap in the market, and then went a step further by making it transform.

x2 toys metroplex gun in Metroplexs hand

Click the button below, to read the review, and see some more pictures after the jump.

Gun Mode

metroplex clutching both guns

Gun mode is the main draw for this set, as it rights a wrong on Hasbro's part. Finally, those of us who spent a fortune buying Metroplex from a store (or who's amazing girlfriend spent a fortune buying it for them for their you Em!), get a second gun for Metroplex.

From the picture above, you would be forgiven for not being able to tell them apart or that either was not an official release. Quite an amazing job really, so many of the details have been painstakingly recreated to very high level.

X2 Toys produced one of my favourite ever 3rd party items with their upgrade kit for Hoist and Trailcutter , and their ability to make their products blend in with the original figure, as if it came with it in the first place is in full effect here. It looks like it belongs in Metroplex's hands.

the x2 gun compared with the stock Metroplex rifle
                                                Top: Original Gun Bottom:X2 Toys Gun

Up close, they still look remarkably similar but you can start to spot a couple of clear differences. First, the circular section does not have a peg hole on the X2 gun, so you can't peg on any extra guns if you are so inclined to think Metroplex's guns need even more...guns. Then in front of the bridge of the gun you can see where the transformation hinge is.
Just on that, its killing me trying to figure out what Metroplex's gun is based off. I can see a bridge, and tiny cannons in front of that, as if its a star ship and it looks really familiar. Any idea's-please let me know!

Aside from the differences mentioned above, their is not a lot else besides some holes on the sides of the rear.

both weapons

From the front, you can pick out a few more obvious details, most notably the lack of a missile. X2 toys chose to skip the launching mechanism so its non firing. This is fine, and does not bother in the slightest, but they could have at least sculpted a missile tip, or had a removable one so it matches the stock gun.

Due to the lack of the of firing mechanism, the trigger is also missing from the gun. I don't think it would have taken too much to sculpt one of those on top, as unlike the missile - the trigger is always attached.

There are also 4 squares on the front of the original gun, which are missing from the 3rd party effort, but you don't really notice that.

side view

From the side, you can see one real change and that is the tank treads at the front. On the original, this is a sort of window section for Metroplex's city mode.

Its a nice extra bit of detail on the upgrade, with decent sculpting which blends well.

Something I have not mentioned yet is the plastic quality. Its very good, and not far off the gun Metroplex comes with. It does not feel quite as thick, but I have got no complaints about it at all.

in metroplexs massive hands

The most important thing about gun mode is what it looks like in Metroplex's hand and  in my opinion - it does an outstanding job. Metroplex looks much better dual wielding, as if having one cannon the size of the Empire State building is just not enough.

One thing I will point out, is that whilst the red is extremely close, I think the X2 toys gun is a very slight different shade to the original. Of course that could be my terrible eyesight, but that's how it appears to me.

Generation One Metroplex also used his guns in Space Cruiser (I have no idea what else to call it) mode. On the original, they pegged into holes on his deck, and this is the same as they appear in the comics right up to the current run by IDW.

battle station mode

However, inexplicably Hasbro decided to ignore that with Generations Metroplex. Having one gun, it pegs into his back and sits over his shoulder, and that's how the instructions tell you to do it. However, on the underside of the gun is a clip, that can attach to the ridges on the outside of his leg/deck.
I am not sure its an intentional piece of design, but it sort of works despite not ever really look right or being very secure.

The problem with the X2 toys gun is that this clip is ever so slightly wider than its official counterpart. I am talking by the slightest of fractions, but that's all it takes to cause a problem. Its just too wide, so when you put it in place, it tends to flop to one side. You can get it to balance, but any movement and it will rock to the side.

Looking at this pick, you can see it also ends up pointing ever so slightly upwards and that is because of the wheels on the bottom.

Still, having two guns makes the carrier mode (maybe that is a more apt name for it) look far better.

as a tower

In city mode, the gun acts just like the other and becomes a tower. It can go in exactly the same position as the other one, as the same sized peg is in exactly the same position on the handle.

how it looks in city mode

However, one of the perks of having two is you can make Metroplex look a bit more like a city or base and give him an extra tower.

There is actually a specific slot of this, that is on the underside of the grey hinge piece connected to his left arm. It was purposefully designed this way, as I believe the original plan was to give Metroplex two guns, before Hasbro dumped that. So you can finally mimic all of your Takara version owning friends and utilise this feature.

If you want to give him more fire power, you can transform it and make it into another cannon.

city mode

Or a type of communications tower, just to make it look a little different. There's a few options, and they are not really official, you just make it look how you want it too.

It's nice to have these options, as Metroplex did look like he was missing some towery bits.

The gun mode is always going to be by far the most important for this toy, as it has so many uses despite just being the one mode. Its a hand gun, a space cruisers cannon, and can form towers and cannons for the city mode.
At all these things, it does a very good job.

Tank Mode

a red slammer?

What makes this stand out from the stock gun, is that it transforms into Metroplex's companion Slammer. Whilst clearly he is not white, like the original Slammer, this toy was also released in white just in case the message was not clear enough.

Transformation is really simple, and in a really good way. You split the sides, pull the gun barrel up (it can also rotate if you want to make it look even more different), fold the sides in and tab them into the hooks, and pull wheels out on the back.
It is a really easy transformation, and fairly successful in what it creates.

The wheels roll pretty well, provided you are on a smooth flat surface, but there are not many new details that become apparent that need mentioning. The barrel is on a ball joint, so can be positioned however you want, but there is also a tab to lock the barrel in place, so again plenty of options.

It does not end up looking much like any tank we have ever seen, but its clearly a futuristic space tank...or just the result of a couple of pieces folding to try and make a vague tank shape.

It holds together securely, and does a decent job of being....well a space tank.

It looks nice with Metroplex in city mode, if not quite massive when taking into account scale.

Gun Platform Mode

The final mode is that of an artillery cannon, or a kind of Gun Platform. This is formed in much the same was the tank, expect you spin the gun barrel around, and leave the sides spread instead of pegging them together.

That's what you end up with.

I know most people don't care about this mode, and only want it as an extra gun for Metroplex (myself included) and possibly as a fill in for Slammer - but actually this works really well in terms of the play pattern.

With Metroplex in city mode, this becomes an extra weapon for Legends class figures, and adds a nice extra to the whole set up. There are even two tiny handles sculpted to look like controls.

In this sense this mode is a master stroke, as stick a couple of Legends sized figures, or Kreons around it and it looks amazing and crucially - like it belongs with Metroplex.

That's really what you want from an upgrade product like this.

Once again its a great credit to X2 Toys, that even the mode that most people will disregard still blends in perfectly with the official figure - it looks like it belongs with it.

For me that is this toys ultimate victory, it makes you believe it should have come with the original figure in the first place. It does not have lots of extra detailing or paint apps to make you think its a collectors piece only, nor does it have an over the top transformation.

At the end of the day it feels like a genuine toy, that is a legitimate part of the Metroplex figure.

There have been a couple of 3rd party Six Gun figures either released or announced, and in the end I decided to go for this, and the smaller Six Gun and Slammer by Iron Factory (I think) that is being released at some point in the future. That option worked best for me, and I am really pleased with my choices as the others were just too big or did not really work for me in their gun modes.

If you are like me, and have been struggling to decide which Metroplex upgrade maker deserves your money, then I can tell you that this is an excellent option. If you want a proper Six Gun, then this is not it, but if you want a cheap alternative, that has a couple of interesting extra options - then this is worth a look.

Metroplex definitely can do with more upgrades, as his city mode feels very bare bones so I hope more 3rd party companies step up with interesting ideas. I do have Unique Toys head upgrade, that also comes with a couple of extra radars and cannons, which should seriously improve on the current face.

Oh, before I forget, this actually comes with a bonus item. A gun for Masterpiece Rumble and Frenzy, which also acts as a piece to combine them with the other cassettes. That is crazy weird in an awesome way, but I left it in the box as I didn't really feel like I needed it. Nice of them to chuck it in as a free bonus though, if combining random figures is your thing.

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  3. Great review with illuminating guidelines! Thank you.

    PS. Hope you have recovered nicely from your knee surgery.