TF-02 TRAILERFORCE GODARMOR
Categories: Upgrade Set
Godarmor is not a figure released by Takara-Tomy or Hasbro and thus not officially a Transformer. He is from third party company XOvergen (Crossovergen? Sovereign? How do you speak that?) and is of course meant to be God Bomber
, but for legal reasons canít be called by that name.
Godarmor is a Leader-class sized robot with a look very reminiscent of the 1980s Anime robots, which I am a big fan of. He is huge, he is bulky, but nicely articulated regardless. Godarmor can assume all sorts of poses and has pretty big feet, giving him a stable platform to pull them off. He has got amazingly well-articulated hands, though the thumbs tend to come off now and then. Easily plugged back in, though, so no complaints. Detailing on the robot is a bit sparse, a few more colored highlights or stickers would have been nice, but overall he does look good enough. His chest features two opening panels, the left being a sculpted missile launcher, and the right opening up to show... nothing. Just an empty compartment. What for? Your guess is as good as mine. Still looks cool, though.
Once you get past the looks, though, there is a number of issues to be addressed. First off, Godarmor is designed to come apart into numerous pieces to serve as armor for another bot. We knew that coming in. Sadly, much like his G1 predecessor, it really doesnít take much for various parts of Godarmor to come loose and fall off. Chief perpetrator here is his back, which becomes the breastplate for the combiner mode. Also, both his front and back hip plate require no more than a tender touch to come loose. Itís especially bothersome considering that the front hip plate doesnít really need to come off for any of his modes, so why is it so loose? So Issue Number 1
: Godarmor falls aparts just as easily, if not more so, than G1 Godbomber.
In terms of weapons Godarmor has two big rifles that can combine into one humongous rifle. Given his great articulation and flexible hands, he can easily hold the weapons in just about any configuration and pose. Sadly there is no peg or anything to firmly affix the guns to the hands, which would have been better given their size and weight, but he can still hold them quite nicely. One small issue here, though: the original Godbomber had his big gun on the shoulder. How hard would it have been to include a single peghole or two on Godarmorís shoulder in order to make that possible here as well? So Issue Number 2
: No shoulder cannon.
So the bottom line for the robot mode: Godarmor is a good robot, but he has a number of issues that, to my mind, could easily have been fixed. Still, this is easily Godarmorís best mode. Sadly it goes down from here on out.
Godarmor came packaged in robot mode, so once it came to transforming him into vehicle mode, given how fiddly he is and the many, many extra parts involved, I decided to swallow my manly pride and seek out the instructions. What I found, though, was a single sheet of paper. Roughly two thirds of every side are taken up by the same pictures of the finished modes you can also see on the packaging. The rest is tiny little grey-scale pictures that, at best, offer a few tantalizing hints as to how the transformation is supposed to work. So basically we have got this huge, complicated, and very expensive robot with three different modes, a huge mass of extra parts, and we are given practically no instructions. Yep, thatís Issue Number 3:
No instructions for transforming.
After a lot of trial and error, including some online research for more pictures, I finally managed to transform Godarmor into his truck mode. Itís basically the robot lying down on his back, yes, but a lot of fiddling is involved, several extra parts are applied, and the result seems barely worth all the time and effort involved. Oh, and once youíve got him finished, you run into another disappointment. Unlike G1 Godbomber, Godarmor cannot combine with Masterarmor
in truck mode. Really, how hard could that have been? So Issue Number 4:
Canít combine with Masterarmor in truck mode.
Looking at this truck mode solely on its own merits, itís not bad looking, but not really that impressive, either. Itís a futuristic truck that somewhat but not really manages to hide the fact that itís a robot lying on its back. Thatís really all I got here. Sure, youíre not getting this figure for the truck mode and Godbomberís truck mode wasnít anything to write home about, either, but still: not really all that great.
The reason to get this figure is, of course, that it can combine with either the Masterarmor or MP-10 Convoy / Optimus Prime
. I donít own the latter, so I will focus on the combination with Masterarmor. I am very tempted, actually, to make another issue here of the lack of instructions, as you need them even more for the combining than for the truck mode, but fair is fair, I already made an issue of that. Just be aware that itís a broad-ranging issue.
What is most definitely the next issue, though, is the fact that in order to put the Godarmor pieces on Masterarmor, you need to remove whatever Optimus Prime figure you have inside the Masterarmor. Yep, in 1988 it was possible to leave the Optiumus Prime / Ginrai figure inside his trailer armor when applying the extra Godbomber armor, but not today. The only way to put the armor on is to leave the chest space of Masterarmor completely empty. While it doesnít really make much of a difference objectively (as you couldnít see any part of Ginrai anymore once Godbomber was put on), it still rankles. So Issue Number 5:
You canít leave your chosen Optimus Prime figure inside.
Leaving that disappointment behind you start to put the Godarmor parts on Masterarmor to the best of your ability given the complete lack of qualified instructions. The chest plate and wing rucksack, made from the back and front of Godarmorís torso respectively, are not that difficult. Some extra parts are needed to affix both pieces properly (not even a hint of that in the instructions) and the wings have some problems staying extended, but itís all manageable and looks pretty great. Then, though, you start working on the leg armor and despair beings to set in. Not only do you need several extra parts per leg, not only do you need to disassemble the Godarmor legs and put them back together differently, but getting all those extra parts to peg in properly is a nightmare. Not only do you need to bend some of the parts to a near-breaking point in order to fit, the results it far from stable and tends to pop right back off if you are not careful. So yep, we have Issue Number 6
: The leg armor and feet are a nightmare.
But after tons of sweat and anxiety you finally have everything assembled and the result looks great. The big gun goes on the shoulder and the combined robot can easily fire that gun or wield Masterarmorís two rifles. Side note: Godarmor comes with two new hands for the Masterarmor, which are far more stable in the wrists, allowing him to finally properly hold his rifles. Some bonus points for that. Now theoretically the combined robot (termed Godmaster by Yours Truly) is very nicely articulated and has big feet that should give him a stable platform. Like I said, theoretically. In practice, though, the big rucksack makes Godmaster very back-heavy and the fact that the legs of the Masterarmor need to be slightly bent in order to fit into the armored boots means that Godmaster is always squatting slightly if he wants to refrain from toppling over backwards. Also, as I mentioned before, excessive posing is sure to cause his feet to pop off. So Issue Number 7:
Articulation is great in theory only. Best to get him into the pose you like and leave him like that. He looks fabulous, but he is most definitely not a toy for playing with.
So bottom line for the combiner mode: visually heís an absolute delight, but getting him there is a nightmare. Side note on the combination with MP-10: from what Iíve read the combination is quite a bit easier, but the parts go on so tight that they are threatening to scratch the chrome parts.
Not a topic I usually broach unless there is something really wrong with the quality, so... yeah, that says just about everything, doesnít it? Godarmor isnít exactly fragile as glass, but the plastic quality isnít good, either. Several of the parts used for combining already show stress marks after just one combination and one tiny little peg used in the vehicle mode transformation has already broken off. So we are up to Issue Number 8
: low quality plastic.
In the Japanese Masterforce cartoon (the second Japanese-exclusive sequel to the original G1 series) the Seibertron (Autobot) leader Ginrai received a power-up in the form of the Godbomber, a non-sentient drone that could either fight alongside him or transform into additional armor for him. This idea has been recycled quite a few times over the years, i.e. RID Ultra Magnus
and Armada Overload
. When the original Masterarmor from XOvergen was released, there was a teaser image on the packaging about a Godbomber-style upgrade that I was very much looking forward to. When Godarmor finally came out, though, not only was the price exorbitant (200Ä here in Europe), but the first few reviews were far from positive. So I held off quite a while until Godarmor was on sale at my favorite online store and I could no longer resist.
Now having him in hand I can only say this: Godarmor was a great idea, but the execution was, for the most part, really not good. Too fiddly, too many separating parts (sometimes for no reason at all), and low quality plastic. I canít tell you how much I wanted to like this set, given that I am a huge fan of God Ginrai, but even with all that nostalgia involved I canít really overlook the many faults this set has. Itís not a total loss, mind you. The robot mode is pretty good and once youíve managed to successfully combine him and just, you know, leave him standing there to look at him adoringly, he works fine. But given how expensive this set was originally, that simply isnít enough. I got Godarmor at an extreme discount (roughly one third of the original retail price) and for that he is JUST good enough that Iím not shedding tears of regret for getting him. So my recommendation: if you already own and like Masterarmor (or own MP-10), can get this guy here at a huge discount, and just plan on combining him with Masterarmor (or MP-10) once, never to touch him again afterwards, then heís worth consideration. To all others, though: HANDS OFF!
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