Toy Review: FansProject TFX-04 “Protector”
In this review, I’ll be going over the third party add on, TFX-04 “Protector” by FansProject. This particular add on is meant to be used with Rodimus from the Classics line by Hasbro (released in 2006), or the Henkei! Henkei! Rodimus by TakaraTomy (Japanese TF line released in 2008).
For those not in the know, FansProject has become a household name in the last few years to Transformers collectors. They are a small group of customizers who came together to provide high quality accessories to the toy line. Their motto is “For Fans, By Fans.”
Read on to get a glimpse of the awesome that is FansProject.
I’ll be showing you Classics Rodimus as well as a redeco Rodimus in the “Reveal the Shield: Battle in Space” line currently in stores. I wanted to show off both figures because the Classics line is difficult to obtain without paying a pretty penny. The RtS Rodimus is an exact mold of Classics, but with a modified color palette. I do not have a Henkei! Henkei! Rodimus mentioned earlier, but it’s similar to Classics, only differing in flame pattern and metallic paint used in certain areas.
Reveal the Shield
Side by side
Now, here is Rodimus outfitted with the trailer, “Guardian,” added on. The thruster and flames simply peg off of original toy and plug into the rear. My particular ClassicsRodimus had a slightly larger peg, so I had to bore out my trailer to make it fit. However, existing video reviews of the trailer never mentioned a tight fit. It must have just been my mold.
Classics w/Guardian trailer
Reveal the Shield w/Guardian trailer
The car itself slips in snugly into Guardian when the trailer sides are wrapped around the vehicle. A very minor problem with the mold (and not just mine) is that the center wheels tend to sit off the ground; only the front and rear wheels make contact and roll. Again, very minor considering I won’t be rolling the set around.
As you can see, the trailer matches near perfect to ClassicsRodimus, save the less glossy finish. With RtS Rodimus, there is a clear contrast with the differing reds and gray vs. silver/chrome wheels.
In vehicle mode, the trailer looks awesome. He’s lookin’ mighty fine as Rodimus Prime. I love the stylized flames coming out the side exhausts. It’s not as bulky in person and altogether, it looks like one whole vehicle.
Moving on to the fun part. Remove the trailer and pop off nine pieces to make armor for Rodimus, finally giving him some well needed bulk.
Now we’re talkin’. Of course, some transforming is involved. The top-front of the trailer produce new arms, chest and crotch plate, head, and spoiler/wings. Part of the rear end of the trailer create the remaining pieces— extended legs and feet. The gun extension is held within the trailer.
FansProject does an amazing job by making these pieces clip on so easily. The motions to do so are simple yet very secure. With the add on, Rodimus is a lot more articulate, especially in the arms— though there is some obstruction caused by the back of his new arms and the spoiler.
I actually really like the head sculpt. Unlike some collectors, it’s not a problem for me that his “old” head peeks out from underneath. As you can see in the photos, it’s hardly revealed. Even displayed, the old head is hard to discern. I also really like the flame relief on his chest. It pops out very nicely. I think the wing/spoiler extensions look wicked cool and aggressive.
The difference between Classics and RtSRodimus is harder to notice now with the new pieces added on. It’s not perfect, but RtSRodimus still looks pretty good— something I could gladly display if I didn’t already have the Classics version. For those that want to pick up the TFX-04 with RtSRodimus, it would be your cheapest option.
Well, there’s still more left over of Guardian. Let’s take a look.
This is the “Tank mode” of the trailer piloted by Sidearm. Sidearm (optional figure not included with TFX-04) is a FansProject original Targetmaster-style figure— a “sidekick” that turns into a weapon.
Rodimus geared up with Sidearm in Guardian Tank mode
But wait, there’s more!!!
You can transform the “Tank mode” once more. The bottom platform extends up and outer panels fold out. Handles rotate out and Rodimus now has his very own “Battle Station.” A great homage to the eighties’ G1 Rodimus Prime toy. I was way too giddy when I saw this. The original G1 Rodimus Prime is a toy I was never able to get my hands on as a kid. So, this was a great sight.
The bottom wheels of the trailer/tank pops out and Rodimus gets his own “Roller.” Nicknamed “Carrier,” you can plug in the flames to his back end and weapons can be held up top. Above-right, you see Sidearm transformed into a double barreled, blaster pistol. Carrier is a great mini droid vehicle and nice bonus to an already great add on.
Keep in mind that this is made by a third party— it is custom and cannot be found in walk-in retail stores. If you wish to purchase “Protector,” I know for US & Canada, there is TFSource, BigBadToyStore, and ToyArena. For the UK, and possibly the rest of Europe, check out KapowToys. If you’re so inclined, don’t hesitate to ask these online retailers about international shipping. Some of these stores might have the Reveal the Shield: Battle in Spacetwo-pack with Cyclonus, or a similar Asian-market exclusive, Challenge at Cybertronthree-pack (including Cyclonus and Galvatron) if you have yet to get your hands on a Rodimus figure.
GO Rating: 5/5
The FansProject TFX-04 Protector add on, in my opinion, is a great addition to any fan of Transformers and respective collectors. The ease of transformation of the trailer and clip on parts is excellent— it’s not fragile and you don’t have to worry about damaging points on the figure. The attention to detail and high quality of materials used, possibly better than Hasbro/TakaraTomy, is what makes it so awesome.
Click on through to our Flickr page to view enlarged and additional pictures.
“It’s about time you got an upgrade, Rodimus. Bump it!”
(“Protector” w/Classics Ultra Magnus with FansProject TFX-01 “City Commander”)