Dust Up - Combiner Wars Victorion Boxset - Deluxe Figure

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We're around the halfway point with the Victorion set, so let's start hitting the cars. Unfortunately I had to end up choosing Dust Up first because between her and Jumpstream, this is the toy that is the more troubled. But before we get to the bad parts, let's talk about the things that are fine.

Dust Up's head sculpt has commonly, frequently been compared to Nightbird. And I think that's a bit racist. Just because this is a female robot with a ninja mask, it must be a Nightbird? I'm sorry, but you better check your robot ninja mask privilege. For being so square on the bottom, the head has a surprising range of non-swivel motion. And for having so much paint happening not only does it achieve a very nice look, but the quality of the paint applications is quite good too.

Dust Up does not get new forearms like... almost everyone else in the set, actually. But she does get newly made hands. These do not ratchet nearly as stiffly as most every other instance of this mold, so that's a plus. And they have a fairly decent sculpt. Judging by the color that doesn't appear elsewhere on the toy and that they're unpaintable plastic, I'm going to guess these were put on the same mold as the unpaintable plastic accessories for the set. Not a bad choice since these hands would probably have ended up red otherwise.

Dust Up also has a new chest piece, and here we hit problems. The design and sculpt of the piece is very nice. The overall shape makes me think of some Gundam designs. But this does more readily present the idea of a female body shape than any of the torso remolds we've looked at so far.

But you've probably seen the problem by now: The chest panel doesn't tab down. Going under the hood, so to speak, there's no mold flash or other obstructions. But the panel is fully painted over. I don't know if that is specifically the problem, but it's a leading suspect. It's possible too that the measurements for this new part were just a tiny bit off, but either way the tabs seem decidedly just too big enough that the chest plate cannot tab in to the torso. Functionally it's not a huge hit to the toy, since everything stays well enough put. But it's not doing the aesthetics any favors.

Mostly good joint strength over all, especially in the arms, and the legs are good save for one point: The thigh swivels are really loose, at least on this copy. There's worse flaws to have, but this could make posing a little more difficult than it needs to be.

These are packaged in vehicle mode, and so my first try at transforming Dust Up was going to robot mode. If you've handled any version of this mold you know an important early step is lifting the windshield panel. I advise caution. Mine had the hinge that piece moves on a little malformed. As a result the windshield was incredibly difficult to move, and I got major scary stress marks going deep in the plastic. Basically what I'm saying is that if you have any resistance trying to lift that windshield the first time, go underneath, move the combiner plug out of the way, and use the blunt end of a pen or something to push up on the underside of the roof. It'll safely pop the panel off so you can examine the hinge for obstructions. Just keep it in mind to save yourself some possible troubles.

Okay then, vehicle mode. Let's talk about some problems. Mostly just one: This is as much as the back end will stay together. It's disappointing moreso because everything else fits together pretty nicely.

If you go under the car, the new chest piece sticks down just a bit farther than the original. It's not a lot, but it's enough that it seems like the tabs drag if you try to roll the car even on a smooth surface. There's not much else to say about the vehicle mode, so we're gonna look at the Cybertronix on the quarter panels and then roll straight in to the deco.

There's an absurd amount of paint on this car. Aside from two ...well, three little spots, all the red you see is painted. The non-paint red is actually unpaintable plastic, which I'm trying to decide whether that qualifies as irony or not. Almost all the car body surfaces are green plastic, but since only the roof and middle of the hood are that color, you can understand how comprehensive this paint job is. And I feel like it's a waste.

Look at the robot mode. The entire core of the body is red plastic that doesn't have to show in vehicle mode. If they'd made the car be green with red side panels to hide the unpaintable plastic and reallocated some of that massive paint dump in to the robot mode's deco, it would have been fairly easy to have a color change deco. Green car becomes red robot. Instead we have red car with some green become red robot with some green. I just look at it and see such an obvious and seemingly easy deco choice that would greatly improve the figure and wonder how this is what was settled on.

This is Dust Up's accessory. Since everybody else has melee weaponry, I figure the intent must be for this to be a goofy kind of blade weapon. But that's just not how I read it.

The shape, and placement of these pegs really lends to something a bit different. Dust Up is an archer.

Seriously, she can hold it the right way to represent decent form with a bow. And the toy is easily able to pose with it to convincingly be able to draw back the imaginary string.

So I dig this accessory on that score. But storage is less good. In robot mode the shoulder ports are the only option, but there's almost no grip. In vehicle mode there's still very little grip, but you can fake it better and get a goofy spoiler for the car.

I wish it had a more solid hold, since that would relieve any complaint I have.

Dust Up is a tiny bit unfortunate. That chest piece not really interacting well with the rest of the toy is a shame, the deco going out of its way to be complicated - not to mention making the vehicle potentially really easy to damage - and reverting to older instances of the mold having awful storage support for the accessory. Visually the outcome is a lot stronger than the helicopters, and the toy is built quite solid in all the places it matters most. But this could have been the next winner in the set after Pyra Magna, and instead it's pretty much turned in to another also-ran. Next time we'll be going after the other car. Maybe that will turn out a little better. Come back and find out!

DateMay 11th 2016  
Score 7 stars (7 out of 10)  
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