Toy Review - Perfect Effect's PC-15, 16 and 17 (Upgrade Parts, Jinrai Prime and Core Magnus
The explosion of the Third Party Transformers marketplace has in some ways been really surprising. Hasbro’s reaction to it has been almost equally as surprising, allowing it to mostly proliferate…almost with the understanding that there’s no way that they could hit all toys, features or characters that collectors want so why not let someone else do it. We’ve already posted one Third Party product, Fans Project’s Stunticons, and while I own a few others, these I really felt needed to be reviewed because they fix a couple of figures that were really…REALLY bugging me: Ultra Magnus and Powermaster Optimus Prime (or in this case, Magnus Prime…or Super Ginrai).
I’m going to let you in on a little something that’s probably going to make most Transformers fans hate me: I hate Minimus Ambus. I REALLY hate him. Now, I’ll confess…it’s me. It’s really me. [I sense a long story coming on…please don’t. – Ed.] You see, it all starts with the original Magnus toy. [DAMMIT! – Ed.] I never got the original Optimus Prime (well, until much later in life)…and part of the reason I loved the original Magnus toy was indeed the white Optimus that came with him. It felt like not only a consolation prize but actually a BETTER toy because Magnus could combine with his trailer…Optimus couldn’t. Fast forward many years later to Dreamwave’s infamous G1 run and you have that scene toward the second G1 miniseries that shows Magnus pulling off the damaged armor to reveal the white Optimus inside. I SQUEEEEED so hard nearby glass cracked. [Of course with a long story there’d be a moment of Too Much Information. Should’ve seen that coming really… - Ed.] Now, I certainly understand IDW taking the whole ‘bot within a bot’ thing in a different direction…after all, as storytellers, they have to mix it up…and I certainly give Hasbro credit for giving the fans a current comic book accurate representation of the character, since the majority of the fans really like the little guy. And even in spite of my not liking him, I felt the overall Combiner Wars Magnus figure was fine…a pretty good update. Well, aside from having absolutely nowhere to put Minimus Ambus when the larger bot is in vehicle mode.
Then Perfect Effect comes along. While this mold that we’ll be looking at here was primarily designed for Powermaster Prime/Super Ginrai…and we’ll be taking a look at that piece next…it was obvious that they couldn’t pass up the opportunity to fix Magnus as well. The Perfect Combiner PC-17 set comes with the core robot, a new chestpiece for the larger bot mode, and a neck joint that allows using and storing the original large bot mode head in the new cab. The only tool you’ll need to make this conversion is a small Phillips screwdriver so that you can remove the old cab. No other steps require any hardware…although there is a VERY specific way to get the old chestpiece out. Read the directions carefully or, what I’d recommend, is search for this figure on YouTube, there you’ll find plenty of instructional videos that will show you what to do.
This core bot itself is a joy. All the poseability any collector could want with none of the sharp plastic edges typically associated with Third Party products, a fun, interesting transformation and even a pair of splayed open hands for the aforementioned posing purposes. Sure, you can tell it was definitely designed to be the cab that came with the original Powermaster Prime (or Ginrai) but as is the case with any Magnus, you make that sucker out of white plastic with some gray and teal highlights and boom…Ultra Magnus. Size-wise his robot mode runs about a head taller than most Deluxe class Transformers…so he’s halfway between a Deluxe and a Voyager…while in vehicle mode (without the trailer) he’s right there at just about the size of a Deluxe and fits in pretty well. The design aesthetic in both modes fits right in as well. Now, I will say in vehicle mode that the feet sometimes interfere with the turning radius, but otherwise, not a single complaint. Hell, even that is just a minor nuisance. Like any Third Party item, though, this is going to set you back a bit of cash…in this instance about $60. Is it worth it? Well, that’s going to depend on your tastes and how much disposable income you have. It’s a fantastically solid, very well done figure…full marks there. And for me, it corrects a…ahem…mistake made with the original Magnus release. All in all, if you’re on the fence about getting it, DO IT. If you’re looking at it thinking that it’s a bit much for the size of the figure you’re getting or if you’re perfectly fine with the Ultra Magnus that we got, then this might be a little bit easier to pass on.
Now on to the big enchilada. For this upgrade, we’re not just going to need PC-16, Jinrai Prime, but we’re also going to need PC-15, which includes an actual Powermaster Hi-Q and a non-Titan Master head for the combined mode. Like PC-17 Core Magnus, PC-16 has the transforming cab and a replacement chestpiece for the combined mode. Same poseablity, same extra hands, same rifle…same awesome…just in traditional Prime colors. Again, I can’t overstate how much I love this mold. Now, if you opt to not get the PC-15 kit, you CAN transfer the Titan Master helmet…and in spite of what the instructions say, it CAN storage (that’s a play on the Engrish in the instructions) within PC-16, you just have to turn it to the side. Still, the PC-15 head is pretty snazzy…even having LED eyes! Truth be told, though, getting the tiny batteries in can be a bit of a pain in the ass. Oh, and I should point out YOU DO NOT NEED TO UNSCREW THE HEAD TO INSERT THE BATTERIES. I wish someone had told me that. The door for the batteries is easily taken off with your thumbnail. The main feature in this set is the Powermaster figure. He’s just a little bit taller than a Titan Master but far more poseable. The transformation into engine mode is intuitive and while many of the review I watched and read commented on how fragile the figure feels…well, I think they’re exaggerating a bit. Now, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t something you want to hand to an 8 year old and tell ‘em to go have fun with it…but as a Third Party collectible designed for collectors, it’s fine and will likely hold up to anything you’d throw at it. [Don’t throw it. – Ed.] Prime’s cab is removed just the same way Magnus’ was…and the chestpiece swaps are identical too…including exactly how it has to be done. Docking the Powermaster is as easy as turning around the semi’s grill…and Hi-Q tucks in easy enough. The same vehicle mode limitations are present with regards to turning radius when the trailer is attached but the big thing is that yes, these add-ons are completely compatible with Godbomber.
Is it all worth it? Well, for me, having Powermaster Prime as a Headmaster or, in this case, a Titan Master…I was pretty lukewarm about it. But then when you see what the gimmick is for Power of the Primes it becomes a little more befuddling. Granted, what they have planned for Optimus in that line looks great, and through that lens I see why they did what they did…but this was another toy that I had a strong attachment to the original incarnation and, as such, felt the upgrade was well worth it. But I can certainly see how much of this is superfluous, so let me break it down like this: if you’re happy with the Titan Master play model, then you can probably skip the PC-15 kit. When you throw in the cost of getting this kit stateside, about $50…only $10 shy of the PC-16/17…well, even I have to admit it’s not REALLY worth it. As for the PC-16 Jinrai Prime, well, again, he deserves every bit of praise that I gave his repaint, PC-17 Core Magnus. It’s a great Transformer…but will depend entirely on your budget.
Our rating: Happy Cat