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Final Faction
by yo go re

Daveed Diggs would be pleased - I found this puppy on the sixth day of Hanukkah!

Steadfast's loyal canine companion, Churro's bit eis every bit as bad as his bark. On the field of battle, Churro pilots the FD-0 Mech to protect his best friend from all threats.
Weapon of choice: Churro's FD-0 mech can be modified for flight or ground battle. After all, nothing is scarier than a flying chihuahua with guns.

That's right, it's been almost a year, but Final Faction Series 2 is finally starting to appear at Dollar Tree. The toys still look good, and they still only cost one hundred pennies, so let's get reviewing!

Churro appeared in the first episode of the animation, but he seemed like a really improbable choice to get an action figure. yes, the Kharn are odd-loooking, but a robot dog felt way too ambitious for this fledgling line. And yet, here we are!

The FD-0 mechsuit, in addition to having a wonderfully clever name, has a cool design. It's thick and chunky, more "Gundam" than "Terminator" (that should really be a sliding scale of robot aesthetic), with large, angled panels everywhere. The shape of the body is definitely canine, with straight front legs, bent rear legs, and a massive chest jutting out the front. Seriously, it looks like the prow of a battleship. The head is long and angular, with pointed ears drawing close at the tips, and a long snout with a black nose pointing forward. And its tail looks like a USB dongle! There have been other robot dogs in the past, but this one can stand right up there with the best of them.

The articulation is a bit light, of course - even the big robot from the first series only moved at the Big Five, and this is still an action figure that only costs one dollar, so we're not really expecting much. The mech does move at the head, shoulders, and hips, so it's not like we're dealing with a solid lump of plastic, here. And would adding elbows/knees have really added any benefit without also doing joints for the paws? The tail can swivel around, though - that's a fun little extra. There are holes on the shoulders and back to accommodate pieces from the accessory packs.

There are two colors of plastic used for the toy: a dark grey for the body, and a warmer shade verging close to brown for the head, legs, tail, and back. Paint is minimal, but serves the toy well; there's black on the nose, red for the eyes, and a yellow stripe on each shoulder. Again, not including all that would have made for a less interesting toy, but also no one would have complained about its absence on a $1 action figure. Contrasting bodyparts are more visually dynamic than being all one color.

We get more than just the mech suit for that dollar, too - we get the little dog who drives it! Churro is an unarticulated accessory, but he's sculpted wearing his carrying-handle vest. His nose is painted black, and his eyes are white with black pupils (which isn't very dog-like, honestly, but who's counting?). He's molded from a gray-green plastic, which is kind of ugly, but you get the sort of sandy color they were going for with his fur. The only drawback is his vest is the same shade; it really needs a paint app to stand out and make sense. Even coloring it the same black as his nose - something you could do yourself with a Sharpie - would be an improvement.

Churro isn't relegated to simply standing next to the FD-0 mech for all eternity: a hatch on the robot's back hinges open, and Churro can fit inside! The hollow cavity is undetailed (no sculpted cockpit or anything, naturally) and much larger than the dog actually needs, but this is an awesome feature to include! His ears are slightly wider than the opening is; the best way to get him in is to tip the head in first, then let the rest of the body follow; to get him back out, turn it upside down until the tail pokes out far enough for you to grab.

I've been regularly checking Dollar Tree to see when the new Final Faction figures would show up. So far Churro is the only one I've found (maybe because it's so easy to spot him on the pegs), but he and his mech suit are a winner!

-- 12/10/21

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