Cliffbee.com: Browning Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Browning
Series: Masterforce
Allegiance: Destron
Function: Gunman
Alternate Mode: Browning M1910 Pistol



PISTOL MODE
Height: 8cm Length: 12cm Width: 2.5cm

   A silver and black compact semi-automatic pistol which will immediately remind fans of Megatron - indeed the two toys come from the same line (Microchange Gun Robo). The upper section is chrome silver while the trigger section and handle is black. The chrome is actually more extensive than on Megatron - although this is a smaller toy so the amount present is quite similar. The fact that there's so much chrome means this is a great toy in terms of realism. Okay so this brings potential problems which I'll leave aside, but it also makes this gun mode quite compelling. There is a robot mode blue sticker with a Decepticon logo on the left side of the toy, which breaks things up somewhat. The sight notch is actually yellow, because it's a trigger for his firing mechanism.

   I'm impressed by the sculpt here. The handle grip is simple but done well, there's a fairly complex "FN" logo (the logo) of the manufacturer on either side of the handle and the words "BROWNING - M1910 above the trigger. There are some sculpted lines on the stock, which mimic those found on a real Browning. I don't know how big the real pistol is, but judging by the tight fit for my finger inside the triggerguard, I suspect Browning is not quite life sized. Perfect for a kid, though.

   The play value here is fairly minimal, but then Browning does as much as we could ask, really. The trigger pulls back and springs forward - without the clicking sound of Megatron. Browning comes with five yellow plastic pellets - they're sort of bullet shaped. You can plug them into the front of the gun and pulling the trigger (or pressing the yellow button) fires them. They fire quite weakly - far too soft to cause any damage, except to a house of cards. The loaded bullet is also visible at the front, so it's quite obvious that he's not a real gun while loaded. Nonetheless, I do respect this toy being able to fire a projectile.

   It's a good gun mode, not just because it's quiet realistic. Browning's extensive chrome really looks good, and he compliments Megatron well. The yellow bullets are kind of silly, really, and the firing mechanism is a little underwhelming, but they still serve their purpose. The die cast metal within this toy (I'll come back to that) also gives Browning some weight, which also helps this gun mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Extend the front and back, lift up the silver section and rotate through 90 (back to the left, front right). Slide the grip down, fold the halves of the handle forward to cover the trigger and form legs. Swing the front and back down to form arms, which reveals the head. The head will automatically pop out on a spring (think Rumble). Plug the hands in, fold down the feel and pull down the heelspurs.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13.5cm Width: 8.5cm

   A silver robot with black on his head, fists, groin and boots. Browning's face is painted silver while the thighs, feet and heelspurs are a silverish die-cast metal. The outsides of his boots, his elbows and a small notch on the groin are blue while that yellow button is on the outside of his right wrist. There are silver stickers on the chest and boots, along with one on the yellow waist section. Despite the use of yellow and bleu plastics, this colour scheme is quite similar to Megatron, since the layout is essentially the same even though arm formation is quite different. It's a good colour scheme - the chrome again does wonders for Browning. The yellow and blue are fairly minimal, which allows the silver and black to play off each other.

   Browning comes with two chrome silver guns which can plug into holes on his shoulders or into his fists - I like the idea that a gun Transformer has his own shoulder cannon. He comes with two sets of fists, which is a good thing in case you lose one. Since the right fist is a projectile (which is necessary for it to fit into the hole that's used for the yellow bullets), it would be easy for a child to lose.

   He appears far more symmetrical than Megatron, even though Megatron is _actually_ more_symmetrical. This is because the arms are quite similar, and there's no barrel piece floating around here. The right arm is actually slightly longer and of course houses the firing mechanism. The left arm has those lines and a square inside while the right is pretty much cylindrical.

   Browning's poseability is good for the time - his shoulders swing and lift out to the sides while the wrists rotate. The legs are essentially fixed, but the heelspurs are still a nice touch. You can rotate the waist, it's for the transformation, but it doesn't really work as poseability. The legs can swing in or sit facing out slightly - the latter is actually correct. It's worth noting that the trigger is concealed well, between his thighs. It's kind of suggestive when described that way, but doesn't really look suggestive, thankfully.

   A good robot mode, in some ways Browning's robot mode is actually superior to that of Megatron. There's less kibble and the weaponry looks better. I can see why Hasbro wanted the fusion cannon, but the weapons here are more useful, really. His bodyshape is slightly better, too. He's smaller and less imposing than Megatron, but still has his share of die-cast metal. Moreover, Browning's robot mode is a clever robot mode in its own right.

VARIATIONS



   None as such, although the Microchange MC-07 gun - the pre-Transformers version - is relatively common. Which is largely because Browning is rare rather than MC-07 being common as such. MC-07 came in a blue version - like the later Transformers toy - or a red version. I actually have the red MC-07, which is close enough for me (same mould, same company). The mould is identical and the accessories are the same on all three toys, as far as I know.

OVERALL

   A good toy, especially if you liked the Microchange-derived Transformers. Comparisons with Megatron are inevitable, really, and Browning stands up to them quite well. He's smaller than Megatron and the firing mechanism is less spectacular, but he's as good as the later mould (which came first in the Transformers line). The chrome really does a lot for this toy, and the transformation is impressive. There's little kibble in the robot mode, and while the add-on fists are a drawback alongside Megatron, there are a bunch of G1 toys with add-on fists anyway (although not within the Masterforce line). If you have the means, Browning is a great figure. Having said that, Browning is hard to find, and illegal in many jurisdictions (I actually have obtained a permit!), so I can't recommend him as such. If you're in a position to be able to get Browning, I would say do so - 8/10

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