Action Toys MR-02 Rod Drill Review (Machine Robo)

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I got this figure in earlier this week, I was pretty excited to pick it up! I’m too young to have witnessed the original Machine Robo, though I had some Go-Bots exposure. I can appreciate as well that like many other IPs that came from Japan, Go-Bots was a bastardized localization.

That said, the primary reason I ordered this and a couple others from this line was that the design and engineering was done by someone who normally does Third Party Transformer design, I wanted to see how they handled an official product. I wasn’t too disappointed!

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There was a decent amount of stuff in the box. One of the other reasons I picked these guys up was that they came with modular display bases, more on that later.

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For now, let’s look at the figure and what he comes with. Pretty simple and to the point, two hand blade fist guns, a large drill and a connector for the base that came with him.

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The detail on this figure is very nice and to the point. His lower legs are diecast I believe, and help him stand pretty well. There are very few paint apps, but the ones there are look good and are done well. The tank treads have a nice feel to them and he can actually roll when in Tank mode.

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The figure itself only stands about 4-3/4″ tall, so for some it might feel a bit steep for the price.

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He does have double jointed elbows and knees, which is great! Unfortunately there are a couple problems that really diminish these facts.

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The first is that the double jointed knee is strictly from his transformation. It may as well not exist in bot mode as this is as far forward as you can move his leg due to the skirt piece.

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The second is that this figure has no wrist swivel. Apparently it’s something this designer just does and I’ll touch on that a bit more later. You end up having to use one of the elbow joints to swivel the wrist, reducing the range of motion by a lot.

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The forearms are also hollow, so there doesn’t really feel like there was a reason to not include the wrist joint aside from the designer not wanting to. Maybe there were articulation restrictions, but honestly with everything else that’s going on it just feels silly not to have it.

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I believe this is the same designer that did the Fansproject Insecticons, as they also sport this issue of no wrist swivel for no reason.

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They were fortunate in that they did not look nearly as silly as Drill Robo does.

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Once you slap his weapons on and get him posing, these problems don’t feel as significant. His weapons cover the entire bottom of his forearm, alleviating the idea of hollow arms. You can leave these weapons in his hands when he transforms as well, eliminating the need to ever remove them really.

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Yours is the drill that will pierce the heavens!

Here is the big drill he comes with!

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Unfortunately it is just for transformation and cannot be attached to his arm.

Speaking of transformation…

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He turns into a Drill Tank! Not that anyone is really surprised. This mode is very compact and solid, it looks and feels like it could bore through the Earth.

The drill is articulated on the same ball join that the head was, just pop, switch and go.

You can see from the pictures that he has a pretty sleek looking design.

Last but not least, the stand!

Being that it is modular, the more you have, the better. Unfortunately, one isn’t enough to do anything really interesting, but it does make for a very nice stand for a single figure to be displayed on, which I feel may have been the idea from the start. I guess I’m the only one wanting to furnish my hangar with junk like this.

So is he worth it? Well, he runs about $41 + shipping, and that’s a big step for some people who would liken this to a large Legends class Transformer. You get what you pay for though, he feels good and solid, well designed and very fun to play with. I think $41 isn’t too much for a figure this size, but I buy a decent amount of 3P Transformers, so I may be jaded to the price point.

Personally though, I’m planning on selling mine. I had a lot of fun shooting pics with him but the arm design and limited leg articulation really kill it for me. So it’s not the money, it’s the engineering, for me. We’ll see how the next one turns out shortly!

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*transforming noise*

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