Friday, May 29, 2009

Toybox of Fail: Transformatrix

First time here? Please take a moment and read the Toybox of FAIL Disclaimer. Thanks!

"And now for something completely different."

Years ago I picked up today's FAIL at a Dollar Store. Since I wasn't reviewing Bootlegs at the time, it ended up sitting on a shelf in my LEGO workshop, all but forgotten. Over time it must have migrated to a pile on the floor...and from there it slid under one of my rolling sorting bins.

That's where I found it while working on a bit LEGO build recently. Dusty, forgotten, and hiding under a cart.

Hardly a heroic move...but what do you expect from a bootleg? Even if it a knock off of the uber-heroic Optimus Prime...

Say hello to Transformatrix the Light Up Action Figure! He comes carded on cheap cardboard with a flimsy plastic blister! Fun from the get go!

Yes, a this is a Transformers knock-off. I don't know a lot about anything past the earliest Transformer releases, so I can't be sure this isn't a direct copy of an existing TF mold. I hope not, though, as there are some really crappy things about the design of this toy. (I'm sure someone more knowledgeable on this topic will chime in - be sure to check the comments section.)

I must admit that he looks pretty bad-ass here, though. He comes with a gun and axe as accessories - both look like actual Transformer accessories to me. Well, cheap and brittle recasts of Transformer accessories, anyway...

This guy does come with an "action feature"...

A push-button Red LED in his chest! If you read the Undiscovered Playthings blog you already know that "LEDs in the Chest" became something of a standard bootleg feature in recent years. This guy is one of the early adopters of that trend.

The back shows the two versions of this toy that were available. I passed on the second version, not knowing that in a year or two the Transformers Movie would be changing Optimus' look.

There's also a mailing address for the distributor. Smart move, that.

Looks pretty good in truck form if you don't mind those gaping holes.

Wait...gaping holes????

Yes. Gaping holes.

As mentioned earlier, the transformation leaves a bit to be desired. Giant holes in the cab of the truck allow for the arms and head to be snapped on. And when he transforms back into a truck, the arms and head apparently are just left lying on the ground for scavengers to pick up and recycle.

Another FAIL was in the quality control - they didn't screw this guys right leg together! As a result, the pins that hold the legs together in the truck form pull the leg assembly apart when you switch back. There's some quality fun right there...

...but, really, how much quality can you expect for a buck these days?

Even in a bootleg...

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Blogger Peppermint_M said...

I have one of those. It's in the correct colouring and has a trans-orange axe. No light and lots of gaping holes. Picked one up in Poundland for lols

May 29, 2009 12:06 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

transformatrix, less than meets the eye

May 29, 2009 4:41 PM  
Blogger Great escaper said...

Ah, poundland, I remember you well, everything you sold was of low quality. Mops? The head will come off or start to fall apart. Games? Real budget stuff thats barely finished. Toys? All cheap plastic knockoffs from Taiwan or somewhere. The only good thing about them are the value deals, like 3 bottles of coke for £1. I think you get them in America too, 99 dime stores/1 dollar stores? Am I right?

May 29, 2009 6:48 PM  
Anonymous Handy_The_Camel said...

Why can't this be found on the main blog page Doyley?

May 30, 2009 7:35 AM  
Blogger Christopher Doyle said...

@handy: Not sure what you're talking about - I hit the blog link and this is the first post. What are you seeing?

May 30, 2009 9:32 AM  
Anonymous Handy_The_Camel said...

It only shows the first couple of lines and I need to click "search blog" to read the full article. Also no other previous blogs are shown the way they previously were.

May 30, 2009 11:36 AM  
Anonymous takua-777 said...

@chris image on the blog doesn't link to the page. I think everyone got here by internet magics.

May 30, 2009 12:45 PM  
Blogger Christopher Doyle said...

Guys, this article works just like all the rest - you have to click the "read more" link to see the full article.

I've added a hyperlink off the title graphic, though - maybe that'll help.

May 30, 2009 12:49 PM  
Anonymous Handy_The_Camel said...

That has worked although there is no "read more" or previous entries. Is this a problem with particular browsers? Any suggestions?

May 30, 2009 1:41 PM  
Blogger Christopher Doyle said...


Thanks for reporting the problem, gang. I use Firefox as my primary browser, and it was displaying things just fine. In IE there was a glitch in this article that was preventing things from displaying right. It looks like I've fixed things now. Let me know if you're still having troubles.

May 30, 2009 2:50 PM  
Anonymous Jordan said...

Going entirely off track here but, Chris, if you've visited recently you'll see a lot of challenges to build and the designers will put in the game afterwards, this would be a great way of sticking your LEGO genius int o something global and would love to see you build something new.

May 30, 2009 5:35 PM  
Blogger Christopher Doyle said...


I've actually been building quite a bit lately - look for an announcement about it in the next week or so.

May 30, 2009 6:03 PM  
Blogger shawn said...

WTF is wrong with this...uh...POS transformer that doesn't transform. Whats next? Modified footballs?

I hope NOT.

June 11, 2009 3:52 AM  
Blogger jamesclark111 said...

It looks like he pooped the part of the leg.

November 2, 2009 8:56 AM  
Blogger Nigel said...

pretty sucky. Any of you got the city advent? Or, mayhaps, THE PIRATE ADVENT?????????? If so, please tell me were the HECK you found it.

November 30, 2009 4:17 PM  

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