In the last couple of years, The Loyal Subjects have created vinyl toys based on a few 1980s properties, including G.I. Joe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the subject of today’s review, TRANSFORMERS!
The Loyal Subjects have now released two series of blind-boxed Transformers, all of them styled with a super-deformed, chibi-esque experience. As is pretty much always the case with these things, it’s yielded mixed results – some of the characters look awesome rendered in this style, while others just look a bit rubbish.
Prowl is somewhere in-between. I don’t have any great love for the character (being more of a Decepticons guy) and generally tend to prefer TFs with faceplates or inhuman heads. So Shockwave or one of the planes would have been great; Prowl is certainly not the worst in the series, but he wouldn’t have been in my top 3 choices.
When it comes to vinyl toys, my paint expectations tend to be quite low – I mostly buy Funko stuff – but after buying the Kidrobot Raphael, I’ve come to have substantially higher expectations. Unfortunately, they weren't quite met in this case. The tampographs are pretty cleanly executed, but there’s some sloppy paint work that detracts from the overall look – it’s not clean and clearly defined, the way (I think) it should be. One of the red prongs on his head was also slightly bent out of the box, but it seems to have straightened out since.
Prowl is surprisingly articulated. I knew he moved at the arms and the neck, but there’s actually a bit more – his wrists and shoulders are balljointed, as are his legs. His neck technically moves too, but his chin restricts it from moving much.
NB: When you open one of these guys, they’re split in half at the waist. You need to screw the lower half of the body into the torso – though it looks like a balljoint, it won’t actually pop in.
The articulation is nice in theory, but to be quite honest, articulation is not my main concern when it comes to these designer toys. For me, they need to look cool first and foremost, and be functional as a secondary concern. If they can do both, that’s great! But on this occasion I think they would have been better off cutting out a few joints and doing it Funko Pop or Kidrobot style – one, or just a couple of points of articulation, but not so much that it would make the end result kind of on the fragile side.
Prowl comes with one accessory – his gun. It’s kind of nice, and in theory I would pass it to one of my “regular” Transformers, if the peg fit their hands (it's too thin).
Overall, I’m disappointed with the figure. He’s far from horrible, but I think the articulation could be better incorporated. Couple this with the fact that I think $15-20AUD for one of these is far too much to be paying for a blind packaged figure, and I don’t think I’ll be buying from this particular line in the foreseeable future.