Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Review: Transformers GT GT-R Saber

Figure Information
Manufacturer: Takara Tomy
Origin Series: Transformers Victory (Character)
Transformers GT (Model)
Scale: Non-scale
Height: Approximately 14.5cm tall
Original Price: 10,000 yen


The TF GT line presents a very appealing box, I really love it, showing off an art of the Robot mode of the Saber as well as his blueprint-ish frame (which was seen on the manual of the previous alternity line)  on the sides along with a window to let you view the vehicle mode and the human partner.

The sides of the box comes with an art of the human race queen partner, Anna on Saber's case, on one side and then some of the features of the set on the other. The back of the box would be your usual product shots as well as the main features and also a pic of the real life GT-R the figure was based on. The box also boasts that he is the Star Saber we know from Victory as it is mentioned that he is the main character from Victory as well as having the title of  "Autobot 5th Commander".

The figures themselves come on a clamshell to help protect them from external damage.

But as usual, box ain't important soooo, let's go ahead and open up the set! (I also broke my Hachune's elbow joint during this shoot T_T)

Details - Vehicle Mode:

To those of you who do not know, the Super GT line are all using the Alternity GT-R Convoy as the base mold. The new catch is that the vehicle mode is the new selling point as the casual GT-R has been retooled to a racing customized one; the Racing GT-R now features a new spoiler at the back, the side mirrors have been changed, the tire, bumper, hood, windshield wiper and the entire back section of the car  have been reworked to be fit for a racing circuit environment. Altogether coming out as a solid "new" car along with a ton of sponsor logos all over the car, making it very unique, so, I guess it really can't be called a simple retool of the original Alternity GT-R. 

One of the best changes I particularly liked is that the GTR logo at the back of the car is now molded while the original GT-R only had a decal stamped on its back. I definitely love the car and even with the changes to the mold. GT-R Saber's Calsonic Impul GT-R mode retains every bit of the features of the original such as open-able doors, hood and trunk (although it's not really a must for them to retain the trunk feature).

Anyway, if you guys and gals are curious on how it compares to the Alternity GT-R, here are more shots featuring the two side by side; size-wise, no changes has been done to the mold.

Details - Robot Mode:

While the vehicle was VERY unique, the robot mode retains the overall look of the Alternity Convoy body with the only difference being the paint choices, a new Star Saber based head (The one that actually sold the figure for me since I just love Star Staber) fit to match that of a racing theme, as well as the obvious new edges due to the changes to the vehicle mode.  Overall, the silhouette of the bot mode is still the same althroughout.

I really do wonder why he couldn't be Red like GT-R Prime since Star Saber had only a few blues in his original design but meh, at least, we got an "updated" Star Saber figure; I guess we really just can't have 2 Red GT-Rs for the line. I do have a few gripes such as his abs being a full on plastic now as opposed to the die cast one the original had; his seat blasters also look cheap for some reason and I'm quite terrified that the plastic used on the seats may break anytime with accidental powerful force applied to them when flipping the blasters. But anyway, before I end the section, below is a shot of GT-R Saber with Alternity Nemesis Prime.


Something else that's new to the GT line is the inclusion of weapons based on pitstop accessories and GT-R Saber comes with his "Gas Fill Blade", it's weird though since he can't hold it like a real sword, more like a katar if you ask me. It's good to note that the handle of my Gas Fill Blade has had some paint chipped since the fit to the alternity hands are quite tight, so, do be careful with it if you get this guy. But yeah, at least, you won't need to buy some 3rd partiy accessory (but I'm hoping they do make a decent sword for GT-R Saber though :p) just to give something to your GT-R bot aside from the seat blasters as a weapon.

The Manual also indicates that you can attach the blade to the spoiler so that the vehicle mode can enter its "Attack Mode" but seriously, it looks ridiculous.

Articulation Points:

I won't be expounding on this section since I've reviewed a GT-R mold before and you can just view it there, but there are interesting bits as some points have been changed to, sadly, more  limited points now.

Though attached via a ball joint, due to how Saber's head was molded, it can only go left or right on a full 360 now and almost zero tilting, something which I can consider a big blow to the already limited articulation the Alternity Convoy mold had previously. 

The upper half of arms seems to have been thicker on this mold since you can't really swivel his arms on a full 360 anymore unless you bend the elbows on a 90 degree; another blow to the mold especially since Saber was given a sword, this quite makes it even more tricky to pose him around later on.

Aside from the points above, the rest of the articulation points have been retained but given the points above, the Super GT GT-R mold does have less articulation that the original. (At least for Saber that is)


Given that Saber had less articulation, does that really make him less playable? Not really but I do feel the head tilt lock was a big loss for Saber; but the elbow limitations doesn't affect him much, and basically aside from losing bit of tilting, Saber can still do everything else the original can in terms of playability. 

The inclusion of the Sword does work wonders as you can pose Saber in more dynamic ways than a weaponless GT-R Convoy, so that, in turn, makes a redemption for Saber in exchange of the slightly more limited articulation.

I really did enjoy shooting him for dynamic slashing poses and badass standing ones, but in the end, he's still limitedly fun in posing around so, aside from those, I couldn't really make decent sense out of other poses (as they look really weird) aside from carrying his partner, Anna, around. XD But anyway, some shots with the original mold below.

Final Thoughts:

The 10k yen pricepoint certainly does not justify the semi-new mold even with the very decent Star Saber head, weapon and the microman figure included; I do like the figure but I just feel the pricepoint doesn't justify the end product that well especially after finding out that he's slightly less articulated. But yeah, surprisingly for a bot supposedly colored in Red, the Blue scheme really works well for Star Saber; if you don't mind the pricepoint and how limited the Alternity Convoy comes in articulation, then by all means, I'd recommend getting GT-R Saber on your collection; IMO he looks a lot better than GT-R Prime since that guy looks like he's ready for a wedding (no offense to those who like GT-R Prime though xD) I myself really just got the set since Star Saber was my first real introduction to Transformers when I was a kid (thanks to Star World for airing it way back then). 

Many thanks to my usual friend and supplier, omniclone, for getting this set for me; also, stay tuned as I will be posting the review for Anna soon.

I do give this Autobot Commander a semi-victorious 3 out of 5.

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