Well, haven’t done one of these in a while! Judging by the amount of announcements that came out of TFCon Chicago it appears the third-party Transformers market is booming. New companies are putting out some crazy exciting characters. Meanwhile established companies are upping their game by tackling some ambitious new projects. Things are looking nice and healthy in the third-party Transformers market, and to celebrate today we are going to take a look at “Troll” also known as Blot by Unique Toys.
This is the second Unique Toys figure I’ve ever purchased. My first experience with Mania King (Galvatron) wasn’t all that great. I decided to give them another try because word on the streets was that Troll was a large improvement from previous Unique Toys’ releases. It helps that I love strange alt-modes, and from looking at early pictures Troll’s alt-mode was right up my alley. Troll is also a leg of the combiner team Odin, or the official name: Abominus. After completing MMC’s Feral Rex I’m not entirely sure I’m ready to jump back into a combiner team just yet. I bought Troll with the intention of only having him, and then considering additional Terrorcons if they fit my non-sensical criteria of being worth a purchase. I’m not opposed to finishing Odin, but I’m going to wait and see if it will be worth it.
I’m happy to say that Unique Toys has improved quite a bit in regards to plastic quality since their last release. Troll has some nice heft to him. Perception of value is important with third-party releases because when you shell out the premium price you want it to feel like a solid figure. Mania King is a great looking figure, but it has a ton of small parts (especially during transformation) that are scary to mess around with. Troll has his fair share of smaller parts to be careful with, but his transformation is much easier to perform. I wouldn’t say it is more simple but it definitely makes more sense. There were two joints on mine that were pretty hard to put into their correct position the first time I transformed him: the left leg and the tabs that lock his bot-mode shoulders into the torso. If you do grab Troll and find a stuck joint (and are positive you are moving it the correct way!) then just make sure to grab as close to the base of it as possible while trying to move it. This should keep you from snapping off any other parts in the process.
The thing that stands out most with Troll is that he looks great in any form. He can also be placed in a “hybrid” mode where he’s in bot-mode but has the alt-mode clawed hands and arms. It looks great this way and if I keep him in bot mode this more than likely will be how I display him. Troll also comes with the foot part to the Odin combiner. The foot comes apart and transforms into guns and a missile launcher that can be plugged into various holes or pegs located on the figure. The one complaint I do have over his bot-mode is that I wish the ball joint on his neck had a little larger range of motion. I like when I can make my robots look up! An opening jaw in Troll-mode would have been cool too, but these are both minor nit picks on an overall great figure.
Troll is a great little robot. I’m not sure if I’m going to complete Unique Toys’ take on Abominus, but I can appreciate him as a single figure. That says a lot about the figure since typically combiners suffer in some shape or form to make the combiner team work. Troll is solid in bot, alt, and leg form. He has a great color scheme to compliment a very nice sculpt. As I previously mentioned there are a couple of parts where you have to tactically apply a good amount of pressure to release a joint, but once you do get them loose they shouldn’t cause you problems again. Also UT’s instructions are traditionally shit, and Troll doesn’t disappoint in that respect. They do a pretty good job explaining how to do his upper body and then they just give up. At least the amazing amount of spelling errors on the box, instructions, and character card will keep you smiling while trying to transform the legs!
It looks as though the going price (import or not) is about $105 for Troll. For a singularly voyager-sized figure this is a pretty reasonable price; as far as third-party releases go anyway. The important thing is that he’s a great figure just to have on his own, so you shouldn’t feel obligated to build the rest of Odin if you don’t have it in you.
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