Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Warbotron WB-03-A Turbo Ejector (Afterburner) Review

warbotron wb-03 turbo ejector

Hasbro may be knocking it out of the park with Combiner Wars, but that has not slowed the 3rd party combiner onslaught down even slightly.

Turbo Ejector then, it is Warbotrons take on a Masterpiece scaled Technobot Afterburner, and is the first release from what will eventually form their Computron.

I will admit now that I had no plans to buy this until it showed in Masterforces sale, but the price they had it on offer for was far too tempting.

Hit the button below to read the review, unless I have died under an avalanche of combiner themed toys.

(I haven't, so please hit the button)

Alt Mode

transformers masterpiece afterburner

Turbo Ejector takes the form of G1 Afterburners futuristic motorcycle. It is not based on any real world bike, but is very reminiscent of the Bat Pod from the Dark Knight Rises or even a Tron light cycle.

Only this design is 2 and half decades older.

The G1 style cockpit is there, the front wheel jutting out, and the robot arms form boosters just like the original. The colours are slightly hit and miss, as yes Afterburners main colour is Orange and that is correct though the shade feels a bit dustier if that makes a lick of sense.
But, where G1 Afterburner had quite a bit creamy White, Turbo Ejector replaces it with Black and Silver. Most prominently this is evident on the cockpit window and front wheel assembly.

It still looks good, but this is an issue I have Warbotron in that they go for the G1 accuracy approach, trying to fit in with your Masterpiece collection but then change strange things like this.

For the toy itself, it looks good and really suits the plastic it is grafted on to. But it is that curious thing where it does not look quite right, for what it is trying to be as a result.

I am not complaining, it looks great but it feels confused. Like it is trying to be something, but then is trying to also fit in somewhere else to appease as many folks as possible,

There is an air of a committee feel to it, because certain things like the clear Red plastic front and back just seem at odds with the rest of the figures design.

Warbotron turbo ejector bike

Warbotron have not attempted a huge redesign in terms of the bikes design, but they have added a few flourishes of their own. The front and back have clear Red plastic, and I am not sure what the relevance is?

The back part is quite subtle, but the front is a bit distracting and would actually block anyone sat inside the cockpit from seeing anything.
Unless they were lying down, pointing forwards maybe?

Guns are included, and whilst they are not based on the G1 toys guns, they do make for some pretty cool rifles. Instead of being a mix of different weapons, and Orange, they are instead two identical rifles molded in Black plastic, with some Gold and Silver paint.
There are 3 sets of peg holes to mount them in, for whatever look you fancy, but if you attach them to the front wheel, it further homages the Bat Pod from the Dark Knight Rises.

Warbotron WB-03-A turbo ejector back

Going against my usual tastes, wanting clean colours and paint, I find I really like the dirty, dusty looking exhausts on the back of the toy.

It is a small touch, but goes quite a way to making the colours shine. Maybe it works, because it fits in with the use of Black and Grey all over the figure so it looks more subtle than it would if it was the only source of those colours.

There are also painted rear lights, which you expect from a third party toy, but they are a really nice subtle detail. The Red lights have lines going down them which appear to have been painted in Red.

It is a very subtle touch on a figure, that makes some very unsubtle departures.

transformers masterpiece warbotron

If you are into scale, then you may have some issues with this toy as Ejectors alt mode is huge compared to almost any other toys. Being as it is supposed to be a Motorcycle, it only emphasises how massive it is, and the line that goes down the middle of the alt mode highlights it even more, as it feels like it should be half the size.

Myself, scale does not bother me so its chunkiness feels great. It is a very substantive toy,

Robot Mode

Warbotron WB-03-A review

3rd party toys have a knack for coming with a convoluted transformation, but Turbo Ejector is really intuitive and clever.
It is not Combiner Wars levels of simple, but this is the right balance and in an ideal world all figures would have a transformation that worked so well.

The only annoyance is the mild partsforming with the rear end of the bike splitting off to form two separate pieces that don't have a specific place to go.
Peg holes all over TE (that his gangsta name) can hold them, but none of them feel like they are where these pieces are specifically intended to go.

Pictures tend to place them on the forearms, but there are pieces of plastic that bend a little and don't feel like they sit quite right. They do hold there, but something about it just does not feel 100% correct.
The clear plastic sections can slide forward to further the impression they are supposed to be arm cannons but they do make his arms look wide and bulky.

Alternatively you can whack them onto his shoulders, creating glorious 80's style shoulder pads if you so desire.

Or just throw them to one side, as I do.

Also, one of the hands refused to fold out as it was in so tight and the only way to get it out without causing damage was to loosen a screw. It is a very simple fix that took 2 seconds, but just be wary of it if you are thinking of investing in Agent Orange over here.

The head sculpt is great, but it is where I find my first and only real quality control issue - there is some rogue Silver paint on the visor.

It is not much of a problem in person, as it is so small you can barely see it, but photo's really pick it up and now I have seen it, I can't stop seeing it. Kinda like Turbo Ejector I guess, forever seeing a Silver shimmer to the left.

It is the only blemish on an otherwise flawless figure, so I cannot grumble about it and it does not bother me to a great extent. The visor is clear Red plastic, which light piped so will glow.

Otherwise the head has that blocky look of a Scramble City connector, even though it is not one, masked with a deadpan expression.
If you were talking to Ejector, he would be totally no selling your attempts at wit.

warbotron wb-03 turbo ejector

Warbotron have designed Turbo Ejector to as strongly evoke Afterburner as possible, and many of his Generation details have been applied and updated to this figure. There is a suddenly an explosion of Grey, with the chest and knees that add to the colour palette and serve to make this mode stand out as distinct from his alt mode.
He does not look like the bike has just been folded up, far from it, it is more a case of a robot that was hidden somewhere within a motorcycle.

One of my complaints with Warbotrons work is that they go so far into G1, but then change ridiculous things - but Turbo Ejector does not suffer much from that in robot mode. His design looks cohesive, and everything fits beautifully. The extra detailing only adds to the figure rather than detracting from it and the only complaint I can level is still that those extra arm pieces are daft.

Warbotron turbo ejector back

You do have some wiggle room with how Turbos back kibble hangs. You can either go full G1 and have the wheel fold up and hang behind his head, or you can split the wheel in half, fold the pieces round and flip the exhausts to turn them into forward facing cannons.
In case his giant rifles were not enough.
More clear Red plastic becomes visible as extra wheels live on the inside of the bike wheels....and I have no idea why they are there.

The front wheel can also split, but it is not a useful feature as there are no hinges to fold it out. So it seems they simply do that because they constructed from the same pieces as the back wheel.

warbotron turbo ejector review

Articulation is very good, with tons of joints, swivels and all that good stuff to get a wide range of cool looking "I am going to blow up some cons!" poses. Like all Warbotron figures though, his shoulders are hampered by them being giant blocks, and the articulation not allowing them to fold up enough to go straight.
This bugs me a little, as I am a big fan of dynamic posing (I take a lot of photos for this blog, and it is boring if you just stand all the figures straight)

His feet are on nice tight ball joints, and with his heel spurs his balance is rock solid. There is something weird going on though, as there is a large grey piece on the back of his leg that the heel is attached too, which can fold out.
At first I thought it was to aid balance, but he balances so well it is not necessary, and the piece is not angled so can only be extended during poses which require the foot to be flat on the floor.
So it seems redundant - unless someone knows what it does? It can't pay you with anything but gratitude.

His hands  do open, but seem to have something of a loose grip on the weapons. Speaking of which, he comes with two large Black rifles, as mentioned previously. They have pegs which fold out for him to grip, just not very strongly.

The tips of the barrels also have convenient holes that can attach to any standard peg, so theoretically you could extend the gun by pegging in compatible weapons. In bike mode, you could point it upwards, plug in something that looks like a camera (oh man, the little Reflector that comes with legends Shrapnel!) and he could be a Google style vehicle.

I can't really cover the combined mode, as he does not come with a hand, so he would just look like a dead motorbike fish or something equally random.

As I said earlier, this is a near flawless figure. The joints are all smooth, but tight, the plastic strong and the transformation fun. It does not feel like a usual third party toy, in that the quality is so high. That is not a knock on third party groups, they put out some brilliant products but this one just seems to have an extra level of quality that I didn't anticipate from Warbotron based on their previous output and the mass outpouring of rage which has followed each release.

I am not sure whether I will continue picking these guys up, as I feel like there has to be some countdown meter that has been started, which is ticking down until I encounter some massive problem with one of their figures.
In all likelihood, I will probably wait until each figure drops through the trap door into the bargain basement. If they go £50 or below, I will jump, other than that it is tough to justify going after them.

It feels bad to end on that note, as it puts a downer on what is otherwise a glowing review of a wonderful figure.
There just will always be that question over Warbotrons quality control skills, and whether it is worth the risk to keep buying.

This is great as a standalone Masterpiece Afterburner though, and he will not look out of place in your Masterpiece collection.

Hey, and I got all the way to the end with making a Ron/Rum joke. Maybe it is time to switch to gin.

Turbo Ejector is available from Masterforce and Kapow Toys

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