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HotShot81's Review: Metroplex

Name: Metroplex
Allegiance: Autobot
Class Size: Titan
Function: Mobile Battle Station
Accessories: Scamper, Scamper's Blaster, Gun, Missile, 2 Shoulder Cannons
First Appearance: Fall of Cybertron

Metroplex, historically speaking he's been a hidden Transformer in a sense. How do you hide a whole city? You focus on his smaller allies. Despite being the largest Transformers for season 3 of the original run of Transformers, he doesn't say much, he doesn't appear much, except for the odd throw down with Typicitcon. He has one of those names that might not be used much in Transformer's, but when you hear it, you imagine a living, breathing (well as much as bots breath) city. One that when the chips are down, he's not your ace in the hole; he's your royal flush, ace high kind of bot.

In some ways the build up to Metroplex was one of the best ever done. The game clip from E3 in 2012, that desperate battle where it looks like the Autobots will lose it all, only to have Metroplex appear at the last moment. The actual toy announced at the New York City 2012 toy fair. You could've announced he would cost $500; fans would want the new number #1, biggest Transformer ever.

The Generations series is loosely based on the game and book franchise, and honestly, Metroplex doesn't look remotely how he looks in Fall of Cybertron the game. He looks closer to what they wanted to do 30 years ago when they made the G1 Metroplex. I put him side by side by my G1 one, and it's not hard to see the family resemblance.

Right off the box here, "The most vast and mighty Autobot ever created, Metroplex is a member of a race long thought as nothing more than a legend. He is impossibly ancient, brought online in a time before the long memory of his Autobot comrades even began."

Given how he is connected to Fall of Cybertron, I feel conflicted. Anyone who plays the game knows how Metroplex appears, and it's not like this. I usually love character bios, they make sense with the series. This biography sounds like whoever wrote it had no idea about the Transformers franchise. Just like his G1 brother, he does come with another Transformer.

Scamper serves a variety of roles for Metroplex. Patrol car, gunner, and butler, well given how big Metroplex is, it does make sense that the big guy has his own little errand boy.

Scamper's alternative mode is a car, he doesn't have the best detail, but he does look better than his G1 counterpart. Part of this is thanks to the ball joints in his arms, shoulders, and legs. Besides the red removable gun on the roof of the car, he has two built into his arms, even if they are hidden in a sense, due to the lack of highlights.

Turn him from car to bot is easy, like rank #1 easy. In the back of the car where the wheels are you pull them out until it forms a cross. Flip the legs out to 180 degrees, give a light pull to get the chest out, fold the hood down towards the legs, and hey he’s now a robot. Feel free to pose him as you will.

As a note, there are two problems with Scamper. The one sticker he takes is small, and it has no outline where to place it. On a more critical note, because of the way the ball joints and his hands are set up. He really can’t form the “fighters” sense that a load of Transformers can. When you are trying to later put both his hands into the slots around Metroplex, expect to be cursing to get them both in.

Metroplex Robot Form
Right out of the box here, Metroplex looks impressive. No stickers, nothing on him yet, you can’t help but have your breath taken away by him. He must’ve broken a few molds out there to give the details you see in him. Given his size, this is to be expected. I will note, that just like Fortress Maximus, Metroplex requires some assembly before you can really do anything with him. His right arm comes detached, just push it in, and Metroplex’s assembly is done.

Metroplex has 33 joints in him from his feet to his head; one place where I’ve got to give Hasbro their dues is that he can actually move his eyes. I own a load of big Transformers, and that is a new trick, maybe not super impressive, but still a new one. If after 30 years of making them, if they can find a new trick, more power to them.

From his feet to his hips, he’s great, I see the detail work which before would’ve been deemed, “Not cost effective” in other Transformers. The front of the legs and knees are tricky to lock in two to the fact the legs are held in by a pressure tab, and the knees by two pegs they plug into. I’ve had 6-8 inch figures perched out on his knees for a while, and they do fine there. However, once you clear the knees are where the problems start.

He hips in him are too loose/weak to support his body unless it is perfectly standing up straight. I've tried to get him into several poses outside of standing up straight, and he falls over this way and that. Have him crushing Decepticons; he’s going to fall over. Have him in say a walking pose; he’s going to fall over. I even tried to get him in a classic soccer (or football) pose of one leg flat on the ground, one bent so it faces forward, he falls over. The waist joint is fine, and you don’t even really notice he has a wheel where is butt is.

Moving up, the button that trigger’s his sound effects are neatly hidden in his chest. His eyes and the red circle in the middle of his chest light up. The guns he has built into his left side are well hidden, and easy to pop out. The arms have several 5 MM holes where his guns can go, either being held in reserve on his shoulders, on his fore arms, or his hands.

Metroplex's shoulders can do complete 180 degree rotations, but wait he has a new trick in there. He can move them a bit laterally. Yes, in theory thanks to the movement of joint ability, Metroplex can do the funky chicken. I think sadly Metroplex is like a Prime and doesn't party.

Now the hands are a disappointment, the fingers are just one joint each. I’ve seen other Transformers who while smaller, have had a joint for each part of the finger. I can accept that on a Voyager class or smaller that it's not possible. At two feet, I expect better than what old Metroplex got for his hands. His wrists are nothing special to write home about. It is a disappointment give the sheer size of the bot.

Battle Station
We take Metroplex now from his standing fresh out of the box position to his battle station mode. Place him lying down on the wheels which line the back of his legs. Pretend for a second he's trying to touch his toes to give you an idea of the pose you want in him. You will notice tabs lining the inner side of both legs, time to link these legs together. Now give first layer of the legs a pull forward, one of the ways to identify them is they are play of gray plastic while the legs are really black. At this point you should see pairs of arrows going towards Metroplex, and the other away from him. The knees go an extra mile here by sliding down and locking near the feet of Metroplex.

The rest of the transformation is almost cosmetic. You fold the hands so they blend into the rest of the arm they are attached to. You rotate the shoulders so the turrets on top of them are facing forward. You flip the head so its targeting array is up, as is its own two guns. You are suppose to also flip the guns on his left shoulder to the ready position. Raise the crane in his upper left leg to the ready to help with repairs, and slid the ramp in his right chest part down.

I will admit in a heartbeat the sticker job for the legs is a pain, given how there are 60 of them. It does look great when it's done. You can almost imagine Metroplex rolling along the surface of Cybertron, with Decepticons coming at him, his guns firing off as Autobots landing and heading for repairs under gun fire while fresh ones roll out of his chest to help offer cover fire. Given how all the guns here are scaled for Scamper, you've got to feel sorry for the little guy. He's got to repair Metroplex, fire off all these guns. I hope they pay him well for all the work he does.

Metroplex does have some great design features in this position. His chest can hold a Voyager sized action figure, so for those of you who like to pose him. He offers a lot of space to display 2-4 of them per leg. Remember his head gun? Great thing about it, when you "fire" the gun, it hits the chest button so you will trigger the sound effects. As a warning here, the top of the head does tend to be easy to break off. I think like a load of people I will wonder if I got it right when I slip things back into place.

City Mode
Time for all Autobots to evacuate Metroplex, warning, warning this is not a drill. Close the crane up, roll up the ramp, and lock in the left shoulder guns. Now flip those legs so the former runway is now facing the ground. Turn the torso so it now faces the legs again.

At this stage you can feel free to rotate his right arm so the hand is close to the legs. Once you fallen is out so its palm open you can flip a gun out from his arm. I would be forgetful if I didn't mention that this gun is hard to work with for two reasons. The tabs that lock it in aren't easy to work with, and the screw that controls the guns movement I found was screwed in very tightly.

The other arm you want to position so the hand is facing downwards. You can use the built in pivot to slide it to the back, this will give you the space to flip the left chest over. This will give you a small helipad and two arm braces for Scamper. As a quick note from this position some of the sticker work on him will be easier to do that if you do it by the numbers.

Now it's time for old Metroplex to do the splits here, and open those legs of his up in every meaning of the word. His legs do open to the side to double the space they offer. You flatten the soles of his feet up to the inner legs, and raise the tops of his feet so they semi-mate with his knees to form an archway. At this point feel free to lower the ramp down again.

I hate to be blunt like this, but he looks horrible like this. When he is in city mode, I don't expect him to service say Voyager sized figures, but even Deluxe sized ones can't fit past the legs/feet archway. Mini sized Transformers work great in the city, but then we hit the next problem. The ramp can't touch the bottom of the legs or the ground, it just hangs there. Guess it's time to send Optimus a repair bill for front end damage when you roll out of him in city mode.

The two arm braces for Scamper serve no real function, except to be there, and they can only be pulled out via Scampers gun. He has a helipad when it's too small to service the only known Generations era helicopter, Sandstorm. I mean look he has a "missile" rack that not once during his transformation was opened, and when you do they are not chromed, just white plastic.

Final Call

Durability 10/10 With his size, Metroplex doesn't have a lot of small parts to break off. I've seen him fall over a load of times, and I suspect like the bot he replaced on the "biggest Transformer ever" list. That he can take several lickings and keep on ticking.

Fun 6/10 Metroplex had a lot of potential for fun, the big problems. 1/3 of his transformations is at best poor. When he is in robot form he can't really do much in the way of poses, so it's hard to see him having a throw down with Megatron and his minions. His only great way to be played with is as a mobile battle station.

Transformation 7/10 Hasbro rates him as an Intermediate difficulty level Transformer. I don't agree with this rating, but maybe this is because of my experience with his little brother. As I stated earlier in review, Metroplex - Generations looks a lot like Metroplex G1, except doubled in size. All the differences between the two are at best minimal for how they transform. If you loved him as a G1, then he's double the fun via Generations! Is he fun? Yup, the size even solved some problems in the G1 version. Is he complex? Nope.

Price 3/10 Metroplex is currently priced between $125-$150; with that kind of money on the table one expects a Transformer of exceptional quality. Maybe if he didn't have all the flaws I noted in my review, I'd say great price. Problem is that with all the flaws he's got, you are being ripped off more than when dealing with Swindle at a swap meet.

Overall 1/10 I know a load of people are seeing this score and it doesn't add up mathematically. Metroplex had a load of hype, he's the biggest Transformer ever, we are making 2-4 versions of him in the first year, and so forth. I don't have a problem with hype, I buy it like everyone else, the problem is besides the size he doesn't live up to the hype.

You have to place over 100 stickers on him, and not all the locations are easy to find, easy to place, or properly labeled as to where they do. His sound system is a joke, he doesn't say one word. While Fort Max can handle Voyager class figures of all eras in any mode, Metroplex can only handle Legend class ones in City mode. As of now there are only 12 of them, and none of them are Helicopters, why have a pad if you don't have a Transformer to land on them? His fingers lack the articulation to really hold things, and sorry Metroplex that rag doll effect is killing the idea you are top bot.

As a collector, as someone who sees him standing up, he looks great, I love it. The problem is that given all his defects, it just kills him. I would've gladly waited another 6 months to a year, if it meant receiving a Titan sized Transformer who was perfect. I hate giving a "Do NOT BUY" rating to Metroplex, but my gut says to give it because of all the flaws.
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