Toy Wizards Review: Takara Tomy LG-EX Big Powered Dai Atlas, Road Fire & Sonic Bomber

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Hasbro’s Transformers Generations toy line has been at the forefront for over ten years now. Takara Tomy has similarly been revisiting Japanese continuity characters in their own sub-line Transformers Legends. Though now with the brand unification of Hasbro and TT, the Legends line has been put on hiatus, however Takara Tomy Mall is continuing to give us special releases in the form of online exclusives.

Today we’re looking at the exclusive three pack featuring characters from the last Transformers animation in Generation 1 continuity – the Big Powered team of Dai Atlas, Road Fire and Sonic Bomber from Transformers Zone.

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Sculpt

Dai Atlas – Each of the three toys in this set are based on engineering from previous molds in the Titans Return toy line. Dai Atlas is a Leader Class sized offering that utilizes the Sky Shadow/ Overlord mold. Lots of things have been completely retooled here. We essentially have an entirely new upper body with unique sculpting to match the G1 look of the character. Also changed from previous versions of this mold is the ability to separate at the waist. Both Sky Shadow and Overlord featured two vehicles that joined to form one robot. Here a hinged chain joint keeps the two halves permanently connected and collapses into the torso when in bot mode.

Being retooled Titans Return toys also means that they left these toys as Headmasters, which was something not present on the original toys released in 1990. I’ve seen some flack given to the sculpt for the face of Dai Atlas. Some think it is too small for the size of this figure, but I’m in the mindset that a leader scaled robot’s head should only be slightly larger than that of his subordinates. Plus, in G1 continuity these three were pretty big dudes and I’m probably going to shuffle them into my ever growing legends scaled collection. A smaller head sculpt is only going to help him fit in better with that display in my eyes.

Road Fire – I was really looking forward to this guy just on the fact that it’s using the tooling from Titans Return Jumpstarters Twintwist and Topspin. Those two were my favorite Autobot releases from the entire toy line. Road Fire carries the mold well. We see Takara Tomy make ample changes again here, with unique chest, and leg details. This figure mold is on the larger side of Deluxe Class, which helps differentiate in height and bulk from the other Deluxe in this set…

Sonic Bomber – It seems like they took the best of the best from Titans Return to engineer this three pack. The last of the Big Powered team utilizes the Titans Return Decepticon Targetmasters mold seen on Triggerhappy, Misfire, and Slugslinger. Wouldn’t you know it, those were my favorite three Decepticon offerings from the Titans Return toy line! Lots of small changes here in the sculpt with the most notable being the legs and their new transformation.

Paint

This is a Takara Tomy release and an exclusive one at that. A good portion of the budget to produce these went into the application of paint. You see it on each character. Bright, vibrant painted details all over. Everything is relatively crisp and clean. Very little bleed or overspray. Logos and insignias are centered nicely. Faces and eyes are evenly toned and without blemishes. Altogether, I’m very content with the paint applications on all three. They really pop on a shelf, especially if they are among a large portion of Hasbro offerings from U.S. retail.

 

Articulation

If you have the previous versions of these molds then you know what to expect. Things like ball necks, shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows, some limited waist swivel, ball hips, thigh swivel, hinged knees. We do get some ankle rocker on two of the three, but no wrist swivel on any.

Accessories

All three Zone Autobots comes with a unique weapon or blaster. The three headmaster head/robots I’ll include in the accessories department as well.

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Alternate modes

Anything G1 Transformers post 1987 could either be described as futuristic Earth vehicle or something native to the character’s home world of Cybertron. Designers ditched the robots in disguise tag line in favor of just creating cool looking toys. Dai Atlas is a tank treaded shuttle with a drill nosecone. Road Fire is an armored tank. Sonic Bomber is, well… a sonic bomber jet. No real world constraints here!

Together the three can merge to form Big Powered. A vehicle so powerful that it literally stopped an army of the toughest Decepticons.

Packaging

I don’t always remark on packaging for most toys. To me I try to eliminate as much waste and optimize space. Many of the legends scaled toys I review for the site I actually purchase without packaging and have shipped to me in bulk!

The box presentation here is very nice. Cardboard outer shipping box over the beautiful full color LG-EX box with an homage of the G1 Big Powered gift set box art. Takara Tomy has some of the best artists in the business and they really got to shine on this design. I’ll gladly make space in a closet for this one.

Value

The set will run you about $150. There’s a few things to consider here. One of which is that this is a limited online exclusive. The price points on these size classes on the Japanese market usually hover around $34 for Deluxes and $54 for Leader Class. There’s a lot of new tooling here. If there were more, for example if all three of these were brand new molds, the price point would be much higher. The obscurity of the characters is also something to factor. Even in Japan these three aren’t super popular. This set is for the Generation 1 diehards, who like me, found out about the original toy releases sometime in the mid – late ’90s and saw them as grail pieces like many of the Japanese exclusive Transformers from the last days of G1. To get an updated set, in CHUG (Classics/Henkei/ Universe/Generations) scale was quite a surprise and quickly became something I knew I wanted and set aside funds for. I want more of these types of surprises. This is why Takara Tomy Mall and now Hasbro PULSE exist! Give us an online outlet for collector’s to offer them unique, deep cuts type exclusives. Give me Road Caesar! Give me LioKaiser! Give me DinoKing! Give me Landcross! I have no issue paying a premium for the things that cannot likely make it to mass retail.

Score

4 out of 5 Wizard’s Stars!

A lovely set based on a 24 minute Japanese exclusive episode that closed out Transformers Generation One continuity and ushered in Takara’s next phase of toys, the Brave Series. I’m very happy it was made. Utilizing existing tooling was the best way to keep costs down even though some are starting to show their age, and making the set a web exclusive was the best option to reach the market demographic. Not for the casual fan, but for those familiar with G1 and more specifically Japanese G1, I do recommend the set!

Enjoy the full gallery of the Takara Tomy Mall exclusive below!

 

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