My infatuation with bootleg Transformers Animated toys from China continues, and a shopping spree on Taobao has lead to a number of choice - and mostly utterly garbage- purchases, but what they all have is character, charm and comedy value. They were also all pretty damn cheap, well they were before internal postage, international shipping and agent fees. Then they were more than official figures. Great.
Starting small, literally and figuratively, was an irresistible little KO. I love the Animated Lockdown - all Lockdowns actually as it turns out, so getting one more version of him to add to the official Activator and repaint Bandit Activator was an easy decision. This KO is the same size with slightly remoulded parts like legs that peg into the central engine section instead of kinda clinging on. It is also a mix of the outer black and green of normal Lockdown, and the blue innards of the Bandit version. The cardback shows the other KO Activators available, but no info on the actual variations from official schemes. Quality is decent, nowhere near as bad as the following...
Your eyes do not deceive you, this is a deluxe sized RED Animated Prowl!! One can only guess what mad variants of the official figures exist of all the cross-sells advertised on the back of Red Prowl's card. This is one of the lowest quality KO's I've had the displeasure of owning, but it's one that could not be passed up. I mean, just look at it...
The arm covers do not retract, therefore the hands are never exposed and therefore mostly useless, the shurikens do come off the legs though so that's a plus! The shoulder joints are made of the cheapest, weakest and brittlest plastic you can imagine so they can't be properly positioned to line up in robot/motorcycle mode, depending on how it comes out of the package. You can see the resulting motorcycle mode misalignment above. You can almost forgive all of that for that utterly ridiculous face. He doesn't really have a Prowl face, even though the eyebar is kinda there. He looks like a baboon. Brilliant, stupid, awful, cheap. But brilliant. I won't be transforming it to bike mode again.
Not much to say here. Another repaint of the Activators Bumblebee mould (movie style), except this time he does actually have the full range of articulation, spring mechanism and moving panels. Compacts well, but does not spring open well at all. Why? Oh maybe it has something to do with him being...almost...completely...DIE CAST METAL! Honestly, I could not believe it. I saw listings on Yahoo Japan and translated them, didn't think it was possible that it could be metal, similarly articulated etc and Google translated something as "custom", and I figured they were fan-made. Then I saw them in China on Taobao, and here we are. This is a brilliant bootleg, I'll be aiming to get the whole range. There are orange, red and white ones too.
It just gets better, these CHMS repaints on blatantly ripped off and offensively-close-to-official Takara Tomy Animated Arcee cards are meant to be Chromia and Paradron Medic. They are awesome. Quality is not bad, you won't shatter them by transforming them, although some of the paint application is untidy and they don't feel as sturdy or likely to survive a lifetime of transformation as the official Arcee. They are just painted up differently enough from Arcee to not be a case of green instead of pink or blue instead of pink. Nice touches exist across them, like Chromia's head and silver highlights, and Paradron's forehead crest. Lovely KOs, exactly what a bootleg should be, different to the original and widening the universe. For those of us that cannot afford Minerva or Drag Strip, this is a great way to increase the Fembot ranks of TF Animated. Man, I hate the phrase "Fembot".
But, as we all know, most bootlegs are horrid and we should end on a pair of such awful bootlegs (of Animated Activators Megatron and Starscream) that they don't even deserve to be described. All I will say is the phrase "eraser" would be accurate if discussing their quality. Incidentally they came in the same "Toys Toys Toys" bags that the KO oversized Activators Bumblebee did. Enjoy!
All the bestMaz