Within the next five days I’ll have completed two of my Fans Toys Masterpiece scaled teams: Insecticons and Dinobots! FT-14 Forager, better known as Kickback, showed up yesterday and will finally join his brothers Grenadier and Mercenary. I’ve mentioned before that I look forward to Fans Toys’ releases because I’ve always had great experiences with all of my previous purchases. So normally this would be a time of great happiness and excitement. However, I suppose there is a first time for everything.
Forager looks fantastic, but he is far from perfect. The first and biggest problem is foreshadowed even before you break the figure out from his foam prison. Included in the box is a slip detailing his shoulder rings and warning that they are extremely fragile. My first impression was “no problem, I had nary an issue with Soar’s leg snaps so this should be a breeze.” Nope, this wasn’t the case. The hinge where the shoulder ring opens appears to be pressing too tightly against the body, so when I moved the joint the plastic frayed and broke.
Mind you, I was simply doing the transformation as instructed. I fuck up a lot of things, but I’m well aware when the screw up was my doing. This was not a Jon thing, the joint was not constructed correctly. It was inevitable that the plastic would eventually snap during transformation. It hasn’t completely come off yet and I don’t intend to force it off. I believe the wings will still function with the clasp missing, but it will just look a little weird.
The other problem I have is with the head. Forager has a great set of antennae as well as a swappable face gimmick. The two faces are built into the head. The blank face swings in from the top and the detailed face swings up from the base of the neck. Unfortunately the painted face doesn’t have anything to tab into on the top of the skull, so when you move the head it separates from the face. This makes it extremely annoying to pose his head.
Forager comes packaged with a three-pack of energon cubes (same as the other two Fans Toys Insecticons), a replacement head-cannon for Grenadier, his gun, an alternate clear chest, and a screwdriver to aid in the swapping of said chest. I was not aware of any issues that called for Grenadier’s head-cannon to be replaced, but if you had one it’s available here! Now I wish there was a fourth Insecticon so it could come packed with some type of shoulder ring replacement for Forager.
There is plenty to like about Forager. Like his Insecticon brethren he has some great diecast weight. His shoulder joint has an incredible range of motion. He’s a fantastic looking robot. His transformation is a little bit confusing at first. It was especially stressful the first time with the shoulder clasps started to break, and then on top of that I had to figure out how his back folds out. Once I was about to transform him once it stuck with me. There is quite a bit going on in his “backpack.”
Forager will run you about $75 – $90 depending on where you decide to pick him up. Amazon currently doesn’t have him in stock but feel free to browse the Fans Toys selection they do have. Is he worth it? That’s a tough call. I’d say he’s worth it to me simply to complete the set. He could have improved with a little more thought going into how the shoulder rings were constructed. But other than that I’m a bit relieved to be “done.” Ever since Takara increased their production schedule I’ve almost completely fallen out with third-party Transformers. However, I wasn’t going to let my Insecticon and Dinobot teams go incomplete.