Sunday, 6 July 2014

Mastermind Creations MMC Reformatted R04 Leo Dux Review

Leo Dux is Masterminds Creations take on Razorclaw, and the main body for their Feral Rex combiner - or Predaking.

He was released earlier in the year, and when I got him I loved him. But I opened him, played with him for a brief time and stuck him back on the shelf, never to go back to him.
Until now.

With the next figure in the long running saga of MMC getting these guys released, Talon, now slowly appearing in peoples hands, I figured I'd rediscover Leo Dux.

The name Leo Dux reminds me of Frankie Dux, so I think of this version of Razorclaw of being Jean Claude Van Damme-esque. It's probably not what MMC intended...

If you want to read a review, and look at some photo's, then hit the button below to continue past the jump.

Lion Mode
leo dux lion mode

The first thing you will notice is Leo Dux is massive. In robot mode he is pretty large, but when transformed into a Lion he develops a lot more heft.

Its odd, because you actually collapse his robot legs, so clearly he is shorter, but he still feels huge.

leo in lion mode

Its a fantastic looking alt mode, and the size is great, and there is a lot of detail. Something regular readers will have noticed, is that I can't stand hyper detailing, and prefer simpler more G1 styling. So I am pleased to say MMC struck a perfect balance with Leo.

There is a lot of detail, but its not overwhelming, and it feels spot on for Razor Claw.

Razorclaw transformers

The Lion head looks fantastic, with it doing a good job of looking like a robot lion and most importantly G1 Razorclaw. After all, that's why we have all bought this figure.

He has an opening mouth which is neat, and cool pointy teeth for snacking I guess. I love that they resisted the urge to go over the top and add loads of detail or make it look more organic.

The orange mane parts are all on ball joints due to the nature of the transformation to robot mode, but the articulation is limited.Well sort of.

There is a red peg, which tabs into the back of the robot head to lock it all in place, but doing this means the Lion head is constantly looking downwards. Its also attached to a red ball joint assembly, which all combines to keep it locked into this position. However, if you unplug it from the ball joint, you get all of the articulation back, but its not ideal.

There is lots of articulation in the legs, so you are never short for poses, but there is not much in the body. You could probably fiddle with it and get some if you wanted, but it does not negatively impact the figure.

There are few things attached here that are mixed bag in how successful they are. First off you will notice the tail, its two separate pieces, which snap together and then plug in between the robot mode legs when they are pushed together. Its held on somewhat securely, but any messing can cause it to fall off the Lion mode. It does have a couple of joints, so you can adjust it to get a range of poses if you want.,

The tail is actually used to make the giant sword for Feral Rex, and there are two other parts that plug in under Leo's body to fill in the gaping hole. The problem with this is, in robot mode they have nowhere to store so you end up with extra bits. I think they are meant to go on Talon in robot mode, but its not a good solution.

Then you have the Feral Rex waist piece on Leo's back and that is held on by a hinge. The figure can be transformed without removing it which is a nice touch.

his guns!

2 giant cannons are also attached to his back, and these are pretty cool. They are massive, and have joints in them so that you can adjust them to look how you want. unplugging them means you can reattach them in a variety of peg holes in Lion or robot mode to give you even more options.

They have this nice shiny look to them, where it is almost like black chrome? It looks great, but no other part of the figure is like that, so it stands out a bit.

Its a wonderful figure in this mode, and its so big it will really wow you. It looks bang on for Razorclaw, and I really love it.

Robot Mode
Masterminds creations Razorclaw

Transforming Leo is surprisingly easy. Its all fairly intuitive and there are some cool bits, like the way the feet slide down from the shins, and the Lions hind legs snap into the legs to almost hide away.

There are a couple of tricky bits, and I am not a big fan of the awkwardness of the mane. Its a lot easier to just remove the head to move it all into place. MMC are a great company who make great figures, but sometimes they have a knack for making a things a little more awkward than maybe they need to be.
But its easy to say that as a blogger, with no knowledge of how a toy is designed.

a side shot

The bot mode is incredible, and lives up to the moniker of being the default Masterpiece Razorclaw. He is large, at almost the same size as MP Soundwave, but has a lot more heft than a lot of figures. Owing to the fact that he is the torso of Feral Rex, he has to be very strong, and this figure really stands up to that challenge.

The plastic is really strong, of excellent quality and probably feels better than a lot of the plastics Hasbro use now.

Some of the little touches are just lovely to see. You have so much detail lifted from the original G1 design, but updated in a way that stays really faithful to it, and there is even a flat area on the left shoulder designed for a Decepticon badge.

masterminds Razorclaw face

The face is just a good as you would expect, and they have used a really nice deep, shiny red paint for the visor.

Its a great head sculpt that does a perfect job of recreating Razorclaws head. The paint is applied very neatly too, with no blemishes or mishaps.

MMC attempt Razorclaw...and win

Articulation wise, Leo is no slouch. He has no end of swivel joints, so you can move almost every part of his body-even his heel spurs are on ball joints.

What makes Leo such a success in this department though, is how well balanced he is. As a big, heavy figure, you would not be crazy for thinking getting him to balance could be a struggle-but it isn't.

MMC have weighted Leo perfectly, and you can stand him almost anyway you want to.

look at that junk in his trunk!

 The back of the figure is quite interesting for a variety of reasons. First among them being as storage space.

Here, the guns are stored, and so is the Leo Dux waist plate. But you also split the cat tail in two, and peg it on the sides of the guns. This is something I don't like, as its not secure, and when you lift Leo, the tail parts will often just fall off.
MMC really could have done with designing a better solution for those parts, as it seems like they were an afterthought.

All of these pieces can be removed if you wish, and it gives the figure a nicer, slimmer profile. But then you have lots of extra parts to stick to the side somewhere.

You may have noticed the big hole in the back, and that is so you can attach Talon/Divebombs wings to Leo to make him fly!

Leo with blades

In terms of accessories, Leo comes with everything mentioned above-and two massive swords.

Credit to MMC, these are much easier to get into Leo's hands, than Fortis and Bovis's weapons were to get into their hands. Its a lot better, as they don't feel like they are going to snap, despite being really tightly held.

These swords are really nice, and they can disassemble to form even bigger swords if you wish. They do combine to form Feral Rex's enormous sword, so you have a couple of options of how you can build them with Leo.

They can peg onto the back, for storage, but it does look a bit ridiculous.

Combined Mode
with no arms

I am not going to go into much detail, as I will save it for when its complete, but that pic above is what he looks like at the moment.

I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am to see it completed. Rex is massive, genuinely enormous and you can even make him taller if you wish.

Transforming Leo into torso mode is very easy, and you essentially just fold the feet up, rotate the arms and rotate the heads and you are done.

Hurry up Talon and Tigris!

3 OF mmc's feral rex members

Leo Dux is a great figure, and is probably the best Razorclaw we are ever going to get. That's an epithet that's often thrown out regarding 3rd party figures, to justify why people should buy them in the face of any criticism.
But I am possibly doing a disservice to Leo Dux by saying it, as he is a brilliant figure in his own right, and easily worthy of being talked about in the same breathe as the Masterpiece line.

Yes, he really is that good.

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what a massive figure!

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