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Knightdramon's Review: MMC R16 Anarchus

Name: Anarchus
Function: Journalist
Subgroup: N/A
Size Class: N/A

Anarchus is yet another foray to a relatively lightly touched upon area of collecting - recent comic book characters. Everybody knows who Optimus Prime and Starscream are, as they have iterations in pretty much every medium of Transformers for quite some time. How about some characters that were only created in the past 3-5 years, are only in select comic books, and are relatively unlikely to receive a figure?

Anarchus is the second DJD [Decepticon Justice Division] figure to be released under MMC's banner. Much like his predecessor, Cynicus, Anarchus is faithfully based on his comic iteration with a few creative liberties here and there. Unlike Cynicus, who basically has some visual differences, Anarchus has received a nifty upgrade in the form of a creepy spider bot who can form part of a restraining harness for his electric chair, as well as a "scorpion" mode.

As with the other DJD characters, one or both of the character's modes or features offers an element of torture. Anarchus/Kaon reflects this his alt mode; the first transforming electric chair figure.

Anarchus came out in December 2015. Is he yet another case of MMC's magic, infusing sharp designs with frustrating engineering and unbreakable plastic, or is he something different?

Torture chair mode

Anarchus strikes an imposing and eerily creepy chair mode. This is the mode that he deviates a bit more from his comic design, but not to his detriment.

Anarchus's main colour is a dark crimson red, with a lot of beige/bone grey thrown in for good measure. All the red is cast in that colour [no paint chips for you] and a lot of the beige/bone gray comes from moulded plastic as well. The seat of the chair, sections of the foot and leg rest and the wrist cuffs on the arm rests are cast in bone gray. The optional spider arms and the headpiece [including the moveable arm] are also cast in that shade. The [non-rolling] treads are cast in grey and feature a wealth of silver paint to liven up their mechanical details. The support arms of the chair rest are also cast in the same shade of grey, with some paint on the red parts that matches nicely. There's more silver, red, beige and gold on the back of the chair but this is where you find his leftover robot bits, which aren't part of the visual appeal of this mode.

Sculpted details are plentiful without being too busy. Paint on the chair section goes a long way to add "character" to this alt mode, having the neat lines on parts of it mesh nicely with the creepier serrated lines higher up. The foot rest has got some very nifty mesh grating details going on for it. The treads are very nicely sculpted with a lot of individual wheel details and the protective armature picked out in silver. Of note is that he needs to be displayed either from the front of 3/4 of the sides, as turning his around further reveals the torso with folded away arms.

Much like Cynicus, he doesn't feature much playability in this mode unless you have other MMC small figures or mainline deluxes. To its credit, the seat is very adjustable, with the height of the backrest, the angle of the armrests, seat, leg and feet support all being able to move at various lengths to accommodate the size of the figure that's about to sit on the chair. Even the headpiece is on an armature with 4 joints [!]. The figure is routinely shown with the MMC fembots, Cynicus and Generations Trailbreaker all using the chair mode to varying degrees of success. A larger figure like Spartan/Seraph cannot use this without looking silly.

A small, fully articulated spiderbot can be used in this mode by manually splitting it in two and tabbing the pieces on the sides of the backrest, granting Anarchus some creepy restraint harness arms to keep unwilling victims close!

Anarchus stands (sits, surely? - ed)about 17cm tall in this mode, roughly 18 cm long [including the arms at the back] and just over 7cm in width.

Normally this would be it for alt mode, but the booklet tells me there's another configuration...

Scorpion mode

Yeah ok, this is an afterthought. Its basically a headless robot lying down, with the legs splayed out to the side and using some of the chair parts to hang around like claws, with the entire chair piece using a pegged on gun to pass as a tail.

This only becomes vaguely more scorpion-esque once you attach the spider legs to the side [harbor no illusions--they don't support anything, nor do they reach the ground. They are just for show].

I guess if you squint, the Tesla coils resemble mandibles, the legs do a passable job of looking like claws, the chair apparatus has the curves of a scorpion tail, but to me this feels more of an afterthought than a lot of RiD [2000] Megatron's fan modes.

Thankfully, it's just an extra configuration and with the exception of the heel spurs [which actually help with robot mode], it doesn't look like anything was sacrificed or engineered to absurd lengths to make this work. The overwhelming majority of fans will probably never use this configuration more than once, freeing our way to the long awaited robot mode...

Robot mode

Conversion between modes is thankfully bereft of MMC's traditional over-engineering. The only typically overthought of MMC moment comes from getting the legs/feet to just the right spot to lock the chair mode together, but coming from it is relatively simple. The treads pull off a very nice split and rotate and twist maneuver to form his shins, while the entire chair apparatus pulls a RID Vehicon and folds in on itself multiple times before forming the backpack. The only "boring", if you will, parts are the arms which just fold back and the head that simply flips out.

Anarchus stands an impressive 19 cm tall to the top of his head, standing firmly in the "voyager of old" category. There's one new colour introduced here; a very nice shade of gold. His kneecaps, waist flaps, chest turbine housing, forearms, shoulder detail and helmet crest detail are all painted gold. This is a very clean, crisp paint application, no blurriness or washing away on my copy. The red to bone gray analogy ratio changes a bit, with Anarchus showing a lot more of gray/beige on his upper legs, lower torso and upper arms. Since the chair apparatus is on the back now, he spots red on his feet, knee caps, waist and bits of his arms, torso and helmet. Silver is used beautifully with crisp applications on his Tesla coils on the shoulders, face, feet and lower legs. Last but not least, with his treads moving to his lower legs, that's where you get most of the gray on the legs, with bits on the upper body, elbows, fists and parts of the head.

The detailing is top notch on this figure, avoiding excessive use of panel lines and instead focusing more on the sculpt, paint applications and different colours of plastic. He makes good use of the tank treads on his legs as a distinctive feature alongside the Tesla coils on his shoulders. Due to the transformation, the entirety of the electric chair is folded away in a very tidy backpack with some gorgeous technical detailing to boot. The chest turbine generator is sculpted very well and his fists are moulded in a semi-open spread, making them perfect for dynamic "shock" poses. His head is impeccably sculpted sporting the characteristic blank eyes, some very nice "wrinkles" on his eye sockets and a kind of unfitting smile. The sculpt is there but that sort of smile does not really do him any favours; he's more of a sinister smirk rather than cheery smile kind of bot.

Articulation is about average, as he has more upper body articulation than the usual mid-size tier MMC bot, but his legs suffer just enough to drop it down a notch. His head is on a rotating platform at the base and has a ball jointed neck so he's golden in that aspect, very expressive and the ball joint has a great range of movement. His shoulders have got uninterrupted up and down rotation and can swivel outwards [the Tesla coils are on an individual runner so they can move out of the way accordingly] more than 90 degrees. Due to a combination of paint and moulded parts the sculpt breaks at different places than you'd expect below that---the bicep swivel is actually a full on elbow swivel and the lower arm once again bends at the start of the white part to do a cheating but fully functional double elbow bend. The hands are on ball joints at the wrist with a decent range of motion.

He has enough articulation to cross his arms across his chest to hold a gun with both hands, and if that wasn't enough, you can untab his chest/shoulder pieces for even more inwards movement, although that will break the sculpt. He has a ball jointed point of articulation on his abs, which enables him to crunch forward or lean back and around a bit and also acts as his [a bit out of place] waist joint. It only goes a little bit to either side as the white torso bits are moulded in such a shape that they block much movement. His thighs can move out 90 degrees to the sides and roughly 90 degrees forward or back [you need to move his skirt flap]. His knees can bend 90 degrees and there is an uninterrupted swivel just below the knee. His feet have got a very generous inward ankle tilt and as part of the transformation he can move his toe up or down considerably while having a separate uninterrupted toe swivel. Lastly, you can cheat and open up his scorpion claws to act as a heel spur/support.

Overall he is decently poseable but he suffers from no upper leg swivel. This is due to the fact that his upper leg splits and bends separately for chair mode, but it means that from certain angles any comic-style action posing that has a lot of play cam be awkward to set up. He is also all toe and no heel, meaning that he needs to be balanced just right as his heel is more or less even with his calf but his toe extends far, far more and makes it an uneven stand. His waist rotation is sadly very limited due to the sculpt. The official transformation has the footrest of the chair end up as some sort of collar against his head, which restricts movement, but you can fold that neatly against his backpack and get the full articulation benefits from his ball jointed neck.

The scorpion feet/chair snare joints together to become a mini spider drone with six ball jointed legs that also have a knee swivel. The drone has painted on red eyes and you can also mount his gun on top via the revolving handle, making this a deadly armed drone. You can also mount the drone on either forearm as a rough shield, folding in all the spider legs. The gun can also be held on either hand but is very loose; something is off with the fit and tolerances. It will stay on but can be knocked off very easily. Furthermore, he can hold Cynicus in gun mode although bear in mind that the sniper rifle is almost longer than he is, so you need to pose and balance him just right for that. All of Anarchus's joints are stiff enough to support that.

All in all, Anarchus is a good figure that goes against the norm of MMC; there is no over-engineered transformation that will scare a lot of folks away. His articulation is a bit limited, disappointingly so, but you can still strike some good poses with him. His price to size ratio is very decent but do note that you'll need at least one smaller figure to take advantage of his alt mode. The scorpion mode is an afterthought but as an added bonus the spider drone is pretty nifty with twelve points of articulation just by itself.

At the time of this review, Cynicus and Anarchus are already released with Kultur [Tarn] pretty due out for preorders. This means that you'll have 3/5ths of the main DJD squad confirmed and on your shelves, but it's still unknown if MMC will do the bigger guys. This is definitely a figure that people will buy for the set; I doubt many fans bought Anarchus [or Cynicus for that matter] just for their individual merits. Definitely recommended for the MTMTE fan.

Transformation design: 6 His backpack is designed for the chair mode and the rest of the robot mode just folds away. Kudos for compressing so many panels of the chair on a very tidy backpack. The scorpion mode is not worth mentioning.
Durability: 9 No parts that can break easily, although I would exercise caution in tabbing his feet all the way in for chair mode as the plastic is too stiff. I would also be careful of his arm rest panels as mine were cracked at the hinges on my first copy.
Fun: 6 As a standalone figure, he is a semi-articulated robot that has a spider drone and a gun he can't hold very well. He needs at least another figure for chair mode to be utilized to the full extent so this is definitely a bot that's better used with other figures.
Aesthetics: 9 The paint and the sculpt conspire to bring us one striking looking bot.
Articulation: 6 or 7 if you want to be generous. The lack of thigh swivel and a proper waist swivel really hurt him where he's otherwise pretty decent.
Price/Value: 7 He is at the same price and size point as Spartan but isn't as playable and needs a smaller bot to be around as well.
Overall: 7. A good figure with great aesthetics that is hampered by tiny limitations here and there, a very half-done "third" mode and a great torture chair mode. Recommended as part of a wider collection with at least Cynicus around but not on his own.
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