It seems like an eternity since I posted the FansToys FT-05 Soar (Not Swoop) pictorials and the TFSource article/review. Finally FT have shipped final production versions, and mine has arrived. I wasn't expecting it at all, so when I opened the parcel and this was staring back, my heart raced. This is a huge deal, Scoria has been my favourite release of the year so far and Soar seemed an improvement - plus it's Swoop vs Slag and that's no contest at all. FT were kind enough to let me use a Hi-res version of their packaging mock-up images for the Source Blog, but here's the in hand item.
Yes, the artwork is sublime and FT-05 looks the part in terms of packaging (whose images have had to be removed for reasons that will become clear shortly). Yes, the box is a more straightforward outer shell with no revealing flap to show off the contents.
No clear plastic clam shell insert packaging this time, instead there are three layers of styrofoam encasing Swo...Soar and his accessories inside. Once you cut the FansToys branded tape, the sharp intakes of breath can begin.
This gorgeous multi-layer storage, inexplicably, makes me happy. The top layer is just the lid, central layer is where Soar and his matte wing extras sit, and the bottom layer is the huge display stand as well as the sword and the clear top beak half. The paperwork consists of an instruction booklet and a collector's card.
First impressions are that everything - and I mean everything - has been tightened to the nth degree. I'm serious, I've torn my nails to shreds trying to pry the fists out of the forearms, or trying to fully fold out the robot heel spurs, or worse, the dino feet heel spurs. You can't say that anything is loose on the figure, absolutely not. It is worrying, and I wonder if my experience with the mould has helped me not damage anything, but do be careful first time out. Force is required, just be mindful of where the rest of your hand/fingers are applying pressure when you are forcing a part open/closed etc.
Here's Soar with the clear plastic beak half attached (thanks to the removal of 3 screws and the transfer of the blue eye section). For me, this really doesn't work at all. I can see why they included it, the original Diaclone blue Pteranodon and G1 Transformers red Swoop had a clear beak half, but as Soar has the red plastic underneath, the effect is somewhat ruined. I went back to the gold beak half on top immediately. It may well work better with the red release, but not as many would have hoped. The inner beak half on top really needed to be clear too in my opinion.
Good things are that he stands even better now than the test shot I handled. Solid as a rock, massively tight and utterly beautiful. They have not altered the richer deeper gold chrome for release to match Scoria, sorry to those who were hoping for that. I prefer this myself. The gold thigh clips seem a little less bendy than before, but as some were thinking FT would re-design this section leading to a delay, that is not what has happened. Weapon grip is excellent, presentation is exquisite. Time to build excitement folks, Soar is coming.
Read also: TFSource Blog Article/Review
All the best