Sunday, 31 May 2015

Perfect Effect Perfect Combiner PC-01 & PC-02 Review (Combiner Wars Upgrades)

Perfect Effect Perfect Combiner PC-01 & PC-02

With Combiner Wars fever pitch running wild, it was inevitable that a 3rd party company would take on the task of improving the two things that Hasbro did not get completely right.
The hands, and particularly the feet.

Perfect Effect have beaten everybody else to the punch, and created a set that is transforms into weapons, so you don't have to just move them off to the side, or break your brain wondering where these bits go in a fictional world.

At £25 a pop (that number rockets up when converted into dollars), the price is not cheap, especially if you plan on buying multiple sets for each combiner.

Do they do a good job? Hit the button below to read on.

perfect effect PC-01 upgrade set

The feet simply split in half to give you 4 large Gatling gun weapons. Okay, simply may be understating it a little, as you have to fold the side...sidewards, and a small flap into the back but it is a nice and easy job.

Transforming the hands is a touch more involved, and is the easily the most ingenious bit of engineering within the set.

You fold the hand in half, doing this you sort of have to unhook one side from the other. There is a small peg on a ball joint which you then flip out, otherwise the gun cannot form.

Fold the two fingers pointing backwards around, then spin the thumb to form a gun sight - job done.

For a 3rd party toy, I am amazed there is not something more convoluted going on and it really is this simple.

perfect effect combiner upgrades

The guns themselves are quite nice, and are of most benefit to the Stunticons in my opinion, as most of those come with melee weapons rather than guns.
Regular readers will know I am not a big fan of melee weapons with Transformers - I want laser guns that go pew pew.

The two sets have different numbers, but are identical with the exception of the colour. PC-01 is Black and designed for Superion or Defensor, and PC-02 is the Purple set specifically intended to go with Menasor.
It is a shame that Perfect Effect just used the same molds, rather than changing some of the details just to distinguish the sets from one and another.
It is not as cool having everybody using the same weapons, just in different colours.

The hand guns (see what I did there, bravo me) do look like laser rifles far more than humanised weapons which would fire bullets or whatever.

perfect effect PC-01 vehicle modes

The Gatling guns I am less keen on because they do not fit with Generation One Transformers. I cannot imagine them spitting out cartoony Red or Purple laser beams, they look too much like Humans would have manufactured them.

It is an incredibly petty nit pick on my part, I understand that, and the sculpt on them is perfectly reasonable. They look like mini guns,  you couldn't mistake them for anything else so they are doing a job.
They are certainly heavy duty,badass looking dealers of death. No denying that.

Whereas the rifles can only really be mounted in one fashion in Robot mode, the Gatling guns actually have a few pegs to off a variety of ways for the bots to hold them. Extra pegs flip out from the main body ready for if you want a bot to wield the weapon with both hands, for example.

perfect effect PC-01

It also helps give you options for attaching them in vehicle mode. As I gave my Black set to the Protectobots, I found the Gatling guns look fantastic on Rook. They fit in with the type of character his vehicle mode exudes, something designed for sheer brute force and violence.
Rescue comes in later.

They can also mount on the front of Hot Spot (or any figure with compatible ports) to give him super death powers, but the weight pulls the ladder down if you wanted to position it more dynamically.
I thought they would look better on the back, but due to that weight, they just cause the Defensor chest shield to flop outwards, as nothing is holding it in place.

The hand weapons look really good on Blades, or Alpha Bravo, as they almost homage Blades dual cannons (they would look swish in White).

Overall the weapon modes are okay, whilst being nothing special. They are not supposed to be anything special though, which is why they work. They are meant to look like weapons and fit in with the Combiner Wars aesthetic which they achieve admirably.

combiner wars upgrades

The whole point of this set is to give all of your combiners much better hands and feet, replacing the Hasbro versions which were great in theory but the compromises and need to be one size fits all caused some problems.

As hands, Hasbro got it right, but there is not much articulation if you are into that. But by far the biggest complaint, was that because they also had to form feet, they were then too small when stuck on the bottom of a leg.

So each of the combiners has tiny, ickle, feet.

In response to this, many of us just accepted right out of the gate that we would be spending money on third party upgrades and as the first set to be released so far Perfect Effect have managed to capture peoples fever for Combiner Wars.

Both the hands and feet sport the same size pegs as the originals, so fit in all of the same ports in much the same way.

perfect effect menasor upgrade

The hands have lost the knuckle guns, so right away look less bulky. That is a blessing a curse as it makes for more regular looking hands, but you also miss out on that chunky, bruiser aesthetic that Hasbro went with.

You will benefit from much better articulation, with each finger having multiple, individual, joints to pose however you wish.
I go right to Devil horns (Pantera forever!), some will no doubt flip the bird (that means swearing kids - look up Stone Cold Steve Austin).
But, as is the case with most toy companies when they do articulated hands - you do not get proper range. So the hands can't splay out for example, and crushingly the hinge on the hand only goes one way, instead of being a ball joint, so you cannot have them hold their palms up catching another combiner flying fist.

Natural looking hand movement is largely out the window then, but overall they are good as hands.

Yes, they can hold weapons too, as there is a small groove cut into them for weapon pegs. The groove is slightly shallow however, which means the grip is not always great,

perfect effect superion upgrade

New feet would be why most people bought into these sets, and Perfect Effect did not cut back on plastic.

I'll get to that in a mo, but we'll start with articulation and get you a great range out of them. The peg is on a ball joint, and it can be a touch annoying to attach as a result. On mine, when I go to insert them, the peg will push down into the gap in the middle of the foot and not attach.
So I have found the best way to connect them, is to split them in half,as if you were transforming them into gun mode, then hold the peg as you push it in.

Once in they are super secure so you don't have to worry about that.

You can get some wonderful poses out of them too, it suddenly opens up the combiners to much more dynamic posing which was not previously possible owing to their baby sized feet, and lack of articulation with them. The Gatling guns form heel spurs to keep him upright, which is a nice, functional touch.

With mine, the combiners have habit of leaning both ways on their own, but the actual ball joint is not loose. I considered using clear nail polish to tighten it, but then I'd be worried about it snapping.
I am not entirely sure what to do.

combiner wars foot upgrade

The feet are massive, and in my opinion over-sized to a degree where it is almost comical. If they were maybe 25% smaller, they would look much more in proportion but as it is they look way too big. It is a clash of aesthetics.

They work well with Menasor IF you have him in an alternate configuration to give him longer legs. Defensor does okay because he is quite chunky, but still they look oversized.
Superion looks flat out ridiculous with the feet, so I will be waiting for another company to take a crack and then think of replacing them.

When you take the 3 combiners released far, the hands work best with Superion. They fit with his sleek, lean design and look great. They are less successful on Menasor and Defensor especially, as both of those are designed to look brutes (Defensor looks like a wall) so the Hasbro hands work better in my opinion.
In fact, I have split the sets like that, with Superion getting the hands and Defensor getting the feet.

Most of this review has been me in my critical hat reeling off a long list of complaints and you may really like them. Perfect Effect have a reputation for great quality toys, but to me this set feels slightly off the mark and maybe a bit rushed to be the first one out and hoover up as much money as possible.

It does some cool things, and does improve the combiners but the cost is high for what you are getting and the aesthetics in combined mode, what they were created for, don't mesh all that well.

Imagine if you took an awesome Andrew Griffiths piece of art, but then let Pat Lee draw the hands and feet - that is what you get with this.

I will not be buying the White set, and am considering selling these, cutting my losses and seeing what else comes along. Mixed feelings is perhaps the best way of describing my opinion on this.

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  1. I use the hands on Superion and Galvatronus while Defensor and Menasor got the feet.


    1. I actually tested this out whilst doing my Cyclonus review. The hands go well on that :)

  2. I now want to buy these sets. They look awesome

    1. They are decent, and improve a lot of things on the combiners. Could just have been a bit better if they weren't trying to do quite so much