Cliffbee.com: Erector Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Erector
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Construction Engineer
Alternate Mode: Crane



CRANE MODE
Height: 4.5cm Length: 13cm Width: 5.5cm

   A yellow truck cab hauling a gigantic yellow and grey crane trailer, which is both taller and wider than Erector himself. The trailer has two sets of wheels at both the front and the back, while the truck has four wheels for a total of twelve wheels. The tyres are big black affairs, and give an idea of the huge scale here. Of course, the enormity of this crane mode is otherwise lost at Micromaster size. Erector has red painted windows an d a giant yellow hitch on the back of the truck which attaches to the trailer.

   There's actually a lot of mould detail here, including piping, pistons, rivets and grip on the trailer and windscreen wipers on the truck - which is unusual on a full sized Transformer, let alone a Micromaster. The tyres are ridged and there are exhaust pipes on the back of the cabin, making for a very detailed Micromaster.

   There's some play value here too. The hitch can turn, the crane arm is hinged at the base and can lift up to about 40. The hook is on an inch long black rod, and this rod can swing back and forth. The arm's base rotates, allowing the arm to turn right around (it also detaches). The wheels all roll and the trailer is stable on it's own thanks to the front wheels.

   While I'm impressed by the play value and mould detail, Erector lacks realism, both in size and shape. Sadly, the hitch on the truck itself is hollow so without the trailer it looks pretty bad. I suppose the designer was going for play value and abstract detail rather than realism, and on those levels Erector works.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach the trailer to become the base. Flip the cabin forward and lift up the head. Stand him up.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5.5cm Width: 3cm

   Again mainly yellow with grey thighs and arms, Erector has a red face with some red on his groin in the form of the windscreen. The front wheels sit on his shoulders and look good there while the rear wheels stick out on the sides of his boots, and while they don't have the same effect, they balance out the wheels on his arms.

   Exceedingly simple even for a Micromaster, but this robot mode works better than the standalone truck. The boots are s single piece, since they're the underside of the hitch, but at least this side is hollow. The roof of the cabin forms his torso and the grey arms have stylised moulded digits. It's obvious more attention was paid to this mode than the finer details of the truck itself.

   Articulation is laughable. The shoulders swing and his knees can bend forward as one. The former is meaningful but the latter is only enabled so he can sit in the base. So really, he's going to stand there and maybe lift an arm. I don't mind so much since most Micromasters aren't much better, although even with raised arms Erector ends up looking rather static.

   Simple and limited, but this robot mode does what it has to do. On it's own it's limiting but then the whole point is the combination with the base.

TRANSFORMATION TO BASE MODE

   Rotate the crane arm, fold the top over onto the arm and swing away the hook. Swing the side panels out to form stabilisers, deploy the black feet and lift out the antennae. Lift up the yellow platform above the hitch to reveal twin black cannons, lift out the cannons to reveal the seat for Erector. Seat Erector, or stand him using the notch in front of the seat.

BASE MODE
Height: 6cm Length: 15cm Width: 20cm

   Now mainly grey with yellow side stabilisers, a yellow primary cannon and backplate and some black details, this is more a gun emplacement than a base, but the overall effect is the same - it's a battlefield station for Erector. The dominance of grey ensures that the largely yellow Erector doesn't get lost amongst the multitude of base features.

   This base is more or less an unfolded trailer, and it still rests on the wheels. However the folded out bits are all functional - stabilisers, cannons and such, so it actually looks like a weapon rather than simply somewhere for Erector to sit. The small feet on the stabilisers are a nice touch, as are the handles on the twin black cannons - although Erector is unable to grasp these.

   Both the black cannons and yellow primary cannon can lift up and down, swing back the base of the black cannons and you can rotate the primary cannon. As mentioned, Erector can stand securely on a notch or sit securely by attaching his hitch to a socket on the platform. I prefer the standing pose partly because sitting bends his knees forward and partly because he's a lot closer to the cannons he's meant to be controlling.

   While it's fairly straightforward this base is more effective than some of the larger Micromaster bases. The other Transports have trailers which transform into planes, so this gun emplacement makes Erector unique. My only real complaint is the number of removable pieces that can get lost - I've seen quite a few incomplete Erector trailers down the years.

VARIATIONS

   None as such. Mine is actually the Japanese version, Cra-Gun, which came in different packaging but is otherwise identical. I'm glad that my toy is dissociated from the horribly suggestive English name.

OVERALL

   While the truck mode isn't very realistic it's quite detailed, and the robot and base together make for a fun toy. Since he's fairly cheap to get, Erector is a toy I'd recommend to Micromaster fans, despite the misguided nomenclature - 7/10

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