Monday, September 23, 2013

KO Korner: G1 Transformers Browning M-1910

This visit to the KO Korner is one that I'm most definitely excited about.  One of the trends in the Generation One collecting community one must face are knock-offs.  Thankfully there are many good resources and guides online to help you decipher the real vintage piece versus a KO.Most of the G1 KOs these days are tried to be passed off as the real deal.  From the toy itself to it's G1 identical packaging.  Up until recently the packaging used was the American Hasbro cards/boxes, but the upcoming G1 Scorponok will be using the Japanese packaging.  So frustrating!  Well today's topic thankfully falls into a slightly different category.  I've still yet to figure out who is behind this new release of Browning, but I'm so grateful the party responsible opted to use new, custom packaging for the toy so as not to confuse collectors.  Or at least MIB collectors.
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There is no denying this "new" Browning is trying to passed off as the original.  That is one of the reasons alone I decided to grab this release once I found out about it.  The box used is just an ordinary brown cardboard box w/ some awesome looking brown ink line art.  I'm not 100%, but this appears to be original art too as this image wasn't used on the Japanese Masterforce release no was it used for it's pre-Transformers Microchange release.

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The back of the box looks odd with the big blank area.  It almost looks like the area on a box where you'd apply the shipping label!  I'm wondering if there wasn't something else that was supposed to go here, and was left off late in the design process.

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More line are found on each end of the box.

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Top of the box

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The tech specs are found on the bottom of the box.  It says "Dio & Tech Specs" and I'm assuming that means Bio.  However there isn't a bio anywhere to be found on the box or even inside.  Hmmm.

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I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the box to see a form fitting styrofoam "coffin" inside!  When was the last time you opened a new toy that had a styrofoam insert inside?  If you look carefully you can see faux screws in each corner of the styrofoam block.  Nice!

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Browning comes packaged in robot mode and is all snug in the bottom half of the styrofoam block.  Both the original Microchange and Masterforce versions had him packaged in gun mode, but with today's safety laws and the general society we live in, I'm not at all surprised to see him in packaged in robot mode.  Browning comes with two fists, two guns and 5 yellow pellets.  Both originals came with two sets of fists.

This is my first experience with this mold so I really didn't know what to expect.  For instance, I didn't know the chrome would be so shiny!  I knew it had die-cast metal pieces, but where were they located.  Was Browning built similar to Megatron?  Also because of my inexperience with this mold I can't properly point out any differences, if there are any, between this and the vintage piece.  I was a little disappointed to see the round "scratch" on his chest when I first pulled him out.  Thankfully his chest sticker covers most of this up, but that was the only flaw I could find on the whole toy.

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Sadly the same apparent quality that went into the packaging and the toy itself isn't present in the instruction booklet.  The instructions aren't bad, after all it's folded like the old G1 instructions and the step by step transformation instructions are easy to follow.  It's just that the booklet feels and looks cheap.  Oh well, I guess you can't have your cake and eat it to.

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Mine came with two sets of stickers.  Since this release came in "Microchange red" and "Masterforce blue", two different sets of stickers were required.  I used the silver sheet on the right as those matched the Transformers release.  The stickers were cut pretty good, only one did I have a probable with.  The stickers are really thin, and don't want to peel off very easily.  Thankfully though once applied they smooth out nicely and look really good.

Sticker #3 is the lower chest sticker.  Some have suggested you trim off a tiny bit across the top to help with the application, but I found if you put the sticker on something thin and flat, you can get the upper part of the sticker up underneath the chest piece so the whole sticker applies nicely.

Of course Browning was a Destron (Decepticon) in Masterforce so the alternate #1 Cybertron (Autobot) sticker was probably thrown in for fun.

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Once all the stickers were applied Browning looks so much nicer.  He's got a great look in robot form and most importantly, he doesn't suffer from "trigger crotch" like G1 Megatron!  His thighs and feet are made of heavy die-cast metal.  This gives the figure some needed heft and also some good stability in robot mode.  Browning easily stands on his own so no fears of him tipping over.

Articulation, as you can expect, is G1.  He's not quite a brick, but don't expect many dynamic poses here.  His shoulders are locking/ratcheting joints.  What I mean by that is the arm has to be pulled away from the body to be rotated.  It'll then turn one notch before "locking" back into place.  The robot head is on a spring so no turning of the head.  The hips do swing out due to transformation, similar to Megatron so you can move his legs for a better standing pose.

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Each fist is removable as part of the transformation.  His left fist has a regular shaped peg that keeps the fist snug, while the right fist's peg is shaped like the end of one of his bullets.  The yellow tab once depressed will fire the fist.

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He comes with two large chromed rifles.  The rifles feel like they have a little heft to them as well, i.e. they don't feel cheap at all.  Of course he can wield them in either hand, but he can also have them mounted on his shoulders.  There is a small round peg hole on the top of his shoulders on each side.  The guns are supposed to be attached there, but they don't quite fit.  I could get one in with a little effort, but the other side just didn't want to cooperate.  So I guess that's 2 flaws I've found now.

Now that we've looked at the robot mode in detail, let's take a look at his alternate mode.

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Browning's alt mode is that of a Browning M1910 pistol.  It's rather small and compact when compared to G1 Megatron.  I apologize for the lack of comparison pictures of he and Megs, but I hate transforming Megatron!  Browning is so small it didn't want to fit very well into my adult hands.  It looks as if it would fit better into a woman or child's hands.  Perhaps this is why Browning was given to Cancer as a gift in the Masterforce anime.

Also of note the toy doesn't match his Masterforce anime colors, but neither did many of the toys from the Japanese series'.
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I really, really like this toy.  Some of my buddies in my local TF collecting circle have given me crap for bringing a KO into my vintage G1 collection.  Let's face it though, I'm a collector on a tight budget and the real Browning can easily cost several hundred...when you can find one.  For me this release was right up my alley.  Now that isn't to say I don't want the vintage version some day.  If anything I want him more than I ever have.  

If you like what you see and would like to grab one without having the hassles of eBay, then head on over to Aces' Toy Store and grab him today.  For $45 you really can't go wrong.

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  1. I rather dig this whole thing! Some KOs can be very cool and as long as you know it's one then i think it's ok. : )

  2. $45? That's an amazingly low price. He looks so perfect, and I love the fact that this can't be confused for counterfeit, as far as buying it MISB goes.

  3. Looks like a great figure. Do we know any distinguishing characteristics from the original?

  4. Very cool. I also appreciate the fact that they didn't replicate the box.

  5. I just found out about this KO. I've been waiting for years to get some sort of version of this mold whether it be KO or an worn original. I see a US seller which is even better with getting gun toys over the border and the orange plug fiasco on the Masterpiece Megatrons.

    I know Takara can't do Encores or they won't for whatever reason for this figure. Its an obscure figure from Masterforce which people barely watched but a small size and I'm sure low production cost never hurt anyone. Not even a limited Ehobby run.

  6. how well would it fit in a 12 year old's hands in gun mode

    1. He is smaller than G1 Megatron so I'd expect him to fit well in small hands.