Series: Fans Project
Legal stuff first as always. Smart Robin here is not a figure released by Hasbro or Takara-Tomy and thus not officially a Transformer. Heís from third party company Fansproject and clearly meant to be G1 Headmaster Brainstorm
, but canít be called that for legal reasons.
Letís get my one big gripe with this figure out of the way first. All incarnations of Brainstorm (cartoon, comic, toy) showed him having an Optimus-Prime-style mouth plate instead of a nose and mouth. For reasons that escape me, to be honest, Fansproject gave Smart Robin a human-style face instead, foregoing the mouth plate. Why? Canít tell you, sorry. Maybe they just wanted him to look a bit different. Itís not a big thing, mind you, and easily fixed if you really want to (just glue something over the mouth or whatever), but it does bother me a little bit.
Thatís pretty much the only thing, though. The rest of this figure is just plain good. Articulation is excellent and leaves no room for complaint. The detailing and paintjob are pretty cool as well, very accurate to the G1 toy the figure pays homage to. And one thing that deserves explicit mention: given the fact that this robot transforms into a jet with a pretty big wingspan, you see no trace of said wings at all.
The only clue as to his alternate mode are the little wings on his back, but those are actually belong to his weapons (which do become part of the jet, but not the wings). The actual jet wings fold up into his legs, very nicely done. The weapons, which are basically two smaller wings for the jet mode and can be stashed on his back, serve as a kind of jetpack when on his back, suggesting flight capability in robot mode as well.
So bottom line: an excellent robot mode. The thing with the missing mouth plate isnít really a flaw, just a (to me) strange design choice.
Being a homage to a G1 Headmaster, Smart Robin can naturally detach his head, which transforms into a smaller robot. The little guy (who doesnít have a name of his own) is about as nicely detailed and articulated as you can expect at this size. He has knee joints and quite a few paint apps. He can also sit in the pilot seat of Smart Robinís jet mode, of course. So to sum it up: a nice little Headmaster figure.
Itís a very nice piece of engineering that transforms a pretty sleek and kibble-less robot with almost no visible signs of a jet mode into a space jet with a pretty wide wingspan and a long nose with a cockpit, where you can actually seat a pilot. Smart Robin becomes the same kind of futuristic space jet as G1 Brainstorm, though he does look a whole lot sleeker and far more aerodynamic. The wing-weapons attach to the nose, while the bigger wings also contain a gun each, giving Smart Robin quite a bit of firepower in jet mode.
No traces of the robot mode to be seen, the Headmaster can sit inside with no problems, the jet has a landing gear, and it just looks pretty awesome, I must say. So bottom line: an excellent jet mode, no complaints at all.
Smart Robin is Fansprojectís third Headmaster homage, following Code
) and Quadruple-U
). Personally I can only compare him to Code and I must say heís just as excellent engineering-wise and a lot cooler look-wise.
Brainstorm has recently come back into vogue as a character thanks to his role in IDWís More Than Meets the Eye comic series, so itís not surprising that two third party companies have come up with a version of him (Toyworld Brainwave
being the other) and there is rumor of an official Hasbro Generations version, too. I decided on the Fansproject version mostly because my buddy Caked-Up favored it over the Toyworld version and I am not disappointed. He looks great, he moves great, he transforms great. An excellent third party version of Brainstorm. Fully recommended to everyone not put off by the higher price tag of a third party figure.
Thanks to HunterPS, who informed me that Smart Robin's lack of a mouth plate is due to him homaging the Brainstorm from the Japanese Headmaster cartoon, where the character was portrayed without said mouth place. So Smart Robin is meant to be Japanese Brainstorm, apparently.
Reprolabels for Smart Robin have been applied: