Review by Laserwave13:
Allegiance: Other Villain
First thing first: this is not a product from Hasbro or Takara-Tomy, and thus no official Transformers toy. But most of us know what character MakeToys really had in mind when they designed Hyper Nova right after Nova Prime’s comic appearance. Surely no accident and most likely to fit in with your Classic and Generations toys on your shelf. So far this figure sadly is, or better was, a MakeToys shop exclusive, but we all hope that he will see a mass release later on. Being an exclusive, he comes with a few bonus parts, sticker sheet, and a few translucent orange parts, that the mass retail version will not have as far as it is known. You will see those parts in the pictures, although I did not apply them because I like him as he and think of them as not necessary. So they can stay in the box.
Talking about the box, you will receive this figure inside his own mailer box from MakeToys. Inside is the actual box, housing the figure in vehicle mode. The box is mostly white with a few Japanese characters with glossy foil and a few pictures of what to expect inside. The figure rests inside a clamp shell and even in a poly bag. Additionally there are your instructions and the silver stickers for his wings as well as the bonus parts which are still on the plastic tree (you have to cut them out yourself). Nicely done, nothing special, but more than you will ever need.
His alternate mode is a truck with trailer, and like many add-ons, everything and every part is stored in it. Nothing stays lose or has to be put aside. As far as I know this mode is also inspired by his comic appearance, but since I do not read comics I cannot confirm this. Also there is a strong influence from Hasbro’s RTS G2 Optimus Prime
, which was previously used for the Battle Tanker series. They look pretty similar, but are indeed totally different. The front section may kind of pass for a realistic truck, but only as long as you leave the trailer aside. Otherwise you need to shoot for a Cybertronian vehicle, because the trailer is more like a mash of parts than a realistic trailer. But it works and looks good enough. As long as you like or at least don’t mind the general design, you will not find anything to complain about. Everything fits together nice and tight and the beautiful white with some metallic blue accents is done perfectly. So, a very nice vehicle mode to look at and basically everything you might need or could ask for.
This happens in several steps, at least kind of. Best description I can think of would be as follows: Take the cab section and transform it to robot mode. Then you upgrade the robot with some, not all, parts of the trailer for some kind of power-up mode and then, of course, what I call the full blown angel mode by attaching all there is. The transformation of the cab is similar but not identical to G2 Optimus Prime and - most importantly - no part is an exact copy, they are all different down to the last piece. The trailer also has some similarities to MakeToys’ own Battle Tanker, but again it is not the same, but merely a good use when sharing a similar base robot. Getting everything together is not overly complex, but good enough and you will feel the quality of the toy. The plastic is high quality and all the joints are very tight, everything holds together very stiffly. So be careful when doing this the first time until everything has loosened up a bit. This was done on the highest level in every detail.
The core or base robot, as stated, is pretty similar to G2 Optimus Prime, but not an exact copy. There are differences on the shoulders and arms, for example. Instead of a sword coming out of the trailer hitch you will get the first and smaller of the two included guns. Nice, otherwise everything is good and tight and he is very poseable. The only downside is that he is rather small, but that is where the parts for the power-up mode come in play. So take a few parts out of the trailer and attach them to the core robot, which will not only give him some much needed bulk, but will also boost him from about deluxe to voyager scale in size. Personally I prefer this one over the base robot. Every part holds nice and tight and everything has so many joints built-in that pretty much nothing is in the way when posing him. Genius and well done in plastic quality.
If the power-up mode is still not enough, you can move on to attaching the complete trailer for the angel mode. And that is a sight to behold! Very big and bulky, wonderfully detailed and everything holds together perfectly. In addition you will get a second, even bigger gun for him. Even the parts that hold the wings have so many joints in it that you can pose them in almost every way you can think of. And every position will be stable, while the figure has no balance issues worth mentioning. No matter if you spread his wings to full extension or give him some sort of cape, he will stand just fine.
Of course attaching everything will result in a backpack for him, but one that does not hinder any movement or give him any problems in terms of stability. And should you really manage to make him too back heavy, there is a flip out stand that does not reach the ground when just standing straight but might help for some extensive poses. If one chooses, one may attach the silver stickers and over them the orange parts for the wings and two for his legs, but I did not. He looks more than good enough as he is. So I cannot find anything to really complain about. The paint is perfectly applied and the general look and feel of him is just perfect as you would want and expect. He is not only on equal terms quality-wise with Giant, he even surpasses him a bit, I would say. Well done, MakeToys.
Well, what can I say? Having nothing to complain about should say everything. The look and feel of Hyper Nova is just excellent and exactly what collectors want. But when it comes to third party items, there are some things a collector might not want: And that is a) a limited release and b) the high asking price, especially when you have to buy from resellers. Compared to add on kits like City Commander
from FansProject, his price may be somewhat understandable since you not only get a kit, but also a full figure. But that does not change the fact that he will bleed your wallet dry when ordering him, even more if you have to import and tax him.
Personally for me it was worth every penny having him in my collection but I cannot understand the exclusiveness. Why limit the availability of this figure, given that MakeToys could sell so many, many more of him? As a Third Party market provider they should make sure that every fan has the chance to get his hands on and enjoy figures like this one. This is an excellent toy and will be an excellent and somewhat unique display piece, but I can still not really recommend him unreservedly because of his limitation and the resulting extremely high asking price. Should you decide to get him anyway, do not worry: he will do you justice for what you have paid for him. For MakeToys themselves, this is an outstanding figure and I definitely would buy more if you can just bring it. Seems that MakeToys, FansProject, Toyworld, Perfect Effect and more and more others do make the better Transformers!