Iron Factory EX-14 Ultimate Commander

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Iron Factory have hit another home run this year and yet it feels like just yesterday that I was saying this about their previous big release and then the same before that. To be honest I just find that these figures really are the benchmark for all things legends scaled, they have no direct rivals, perhaps as a result of the fan following that Iron Factory have gained because they offer highly articulated, well painted and well-built pieces of plastic, and now other companies have left it far too long to try to get in on the action. Most third party companies take the masterpiece route but Iron Factory firmly committed to the legends line and have stuck with it, producing better and better designs time after time.

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We have had War Within Dinobots, a headmaster, a very adorable looking Pink Assassin not to mention IDW designs proving that a company does not necessarily need to stick to one aesthetic, of course this company has built up a solid reputation and as long as they maintain the standards that they themselves have set and we have come to expect I can see no reason why they can’t continue with this ‘dipping the toe into various genres’ business approach. You may have to forgive me; I am an out and out Iron Factory fan (I refuse to use the term Fan Boi) but don’t get me wrong, if I think they have dropped a clanger I am adult enough to highlight this.
Iron Factory’s IF EX-14 Ultimate Commander comes with a repainted/remoulded version of Pink Assassin in the form of Alleria which is their version of an Elita 1 to Pink Assassin’s Arcee. I have chosen to ignore this figure for now save to say it comes without a stand and sits inside Ultimate Commander’s box. I will be reviewing this figure along with Night Assassin and Pink Assassin at a later date.

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Right, back to our scheduled programming then, this figure is based on the Don Figueroa drawn War Within Optimus Prime, specifically from the Stormbringer series, and comes with  nine extra pieces of armour to convert him into a version of Super Ginrai from the Super-God Masterforce cartoon. Two different characters in one box and an extra throw in figure, come on now, what other company goes to these lengths to entertain us?

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I may as well start with the base figure alt mode. I remember back in the day, reading War Within and I have to say that I liked the majority of these designs, they were chunky and solid looking, transformation wise, I imagined they were very simple because they had no need to disguise themselves from humans. Height wise, he is around the same height as the Asura Knights which may or may not bother some people.

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There is no mistaking who this character is supposed to be and from what comic he stepped out of which is enough for me as I tend not to be bothered by the minutia of a figures design. If it looks like what my damaged memory banks think it should look like then I am more than satisfied, life is too short to dwell on what could have been. There are reds and blues and little yellow highlights as well as a smattering of silver on the thighs and hips. My copy is well painted and has tight joints-but not too tight like Blizzard’s ankles! Articulation is good throughout with the usual ball joints and swivels which are pretty much standard now. The head is probably the only real disappointment in that it is quite small although not a deal breaker for me it may be a sticking point for others.

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The design that the basic figure is modelled on doesn’t lend itself to brilliant shoulder articulation. The shoulders tab into the wheels and one side in particular is prone to come loose if you are posing with any sort of speed. They hold in place once set and so ultimately cause me no issues but I thought it might be worthy of a note. The feet have less than perfect articulation, better than the Asura Knights but worse than say Blizzard.

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He comes with the standard ‘Prime’ gun and can wield a long sword which can then be separated into a shorter sword and an axe if you so wish, reminds me of the arsenal that comes with Siegehammer. Transformation into his alt mode is largely without any issues, collapse the legs and push the shin guards back, orientating the arms is probably the most awkward part of this transformation. One thing to note is that you have to get the head seated just right in order to bring the middle of the chest grill up to sit flush with the roof. So…that was the most awkward part then. I took a number of photos with a massive gap in the front where one should not have been….very annoying! Finish by placing the twin turrets onto his roof then, if you haven’t already done so, add the twin exhausts/guns on to his forearms to complete the very recognisable exhaust look. finalfinalfinalfinal
If you don’t like parts forming then you may hate this figure but wait one minute, hold those horses! All of those accessories from a blimmin trailer, something that I didn’t expect at all. So the chest and head, crotch plate, backpack, forearms, shoulder pads and the feet all form a very nice and very solid box like trailer, albeit not a traditional looking trailer. And I have to say, what a great use of what, at first glance, looks like a heap of parts that have to be watched over like a hawk just in case they fall off the table and disappear. There are a number of 5mm peg holes on top and at the sides of the trailer. If you don’t like the Ginrai aspect then keep those parts as a trailer and you will never lose them. I think the detailing overall on this figure is marvellous and really celebrates the War Within design. finalfinalfinalfinalfinalfinalfinalfinalfinal
Right then, Ginrai or God Ginrai or Super Ginrai or Super God Ginrai, I don’t really know as I have never seen this cartoon. I recently acquired Power Master Optimus Prime (the reissue version) as well as Titans Return PMOP and so it seems I have a little penchant for a parts forming prime. The armour attaches as one might expect, so I won’t dwell on that but will instead point out some things of note. The backpack is very well designed and has poseable ‘wings’. The forearms and fists are one solid piece so you do lose the wrist rotation which is a little disappointing when you consider the types of poses you would want with a sword or an axe. The crotch plate is solid but there is a slight gap between the top of the attached plate and the standard crotch. I think this can be remedied by simply shaving some plastic although I haven’t tried it to make sure and I likely will not do this as I think this is more of a nit-pick than a serious issue. The feet are held on via one peg at the side which means they can come loose occasionally; however, the upside is that you get some brilliant ankle tilt. You also get two additional guns so that is three guns, three twin cannons, a sword, an axe which combine into a larger sword. Best of all all of these weapons can be used on other Iron Factory figures.

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Do I recommend this figure? Well, if you are already a fan of Iron Factory then I don’t think you will be disappointed. But this figure has been a little divisive; with the long wait because Alleria was added, which some didn’t want and some wanted as a separate figure altogether. The two different design aesthetics and of course the price point, some felt it was too much and some felt adding Alleria did not make it any better. I however, am used to paying a fair wedge for these figures and so the wait was helped by the addition of Alleria and the fact that Lord Scorpion and the Asura Knights were released kept me occupied. Bring on Shadow Tengu!

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