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Crossfire XF-02B Munitioner

by yo go re

It takes a lot for a fan production to become a name that's known and trusted - we've spent eight years becoming the premier source for toy reviews, but if we drop the ball even once, all that clout could go right out the window. Fansproject, meanwhile has only released seven kits so far, and they're already synonymous with quality.

Compared to Explorer, Munitioner is a young and impulsive warrior. He was supposed to rollout as part of the second generation of Colossus Unit, however due to the violent incident of C³, Munitioner is forced to rollout earlier than schedule.

Replacing one of the Colossus' leg, Munitioner is fully responsible for C³'s Weapon Control System. Since C³ was designed to be a full-range battle machine, he has installed so many weapons that required an independent AI to manage them. Munitioner was designed to do this job so that Explorer can focus on maintaining the conscious of C³.

Being a WCS AI, Munitioner is a perfect weapon specialist; he has the knowledge of all kinds of weapons, including those from enemy forces. He also has high proficiency in operating and maintaining different weapons, which makes him the manager of all the weapons in the Combat Units. However, the impulsive manner and lack of experience usually puts him into dangerous situations.

Just as Explorer was clearly an update of Blast Off, "Crossfire XF-02B Munitioner with Combat Unit Appendage Add-On Kit Set B" is Derrick J. Wyatt's favorite, Swindle. In G1 he was an orangey-tan jeep, but since that's outdated, he's now a mustard-colored Humvee - hell, since this isn't an official toy that would have to pay licensing fees, it's an actual Humvee: an M1046 Humvee with TOW Missile launcher on the roof. The truck is a little more than 4" long, 1⅞" wide and nearly 2½" tall counting the roof-mounted launcher.

Gone are the comicbook instructions, replaced by a more traditional photo montage - not as cool, nor as informative as the line drawings Hasbro uses for its instructions. Munitioner's conversion is nearly the reverse of Swindle's: the legs fold out of the front, while the rear end folds back over the figure's shoulders. We get more small moving parts, a change for the better.

As you know, Swindle was a huckster, a con man, a grifter. And not the good Hustle/Leverage kind, either: the crummy used car salesman kind. The idea of him as a weapons control specialist is inspired by the old Tech Specs, but a young and impulsive warrior? That's new. He stands 4⅛" tall, just like his fellow Crossfire buddy Explorer.

Swindle was the only Combaticon to have a mouth instead of a faceplate, and Munitioner keeps that tradition alive. He has a threatening little grin on his silverface, and his eyes are red - how typically Decepticon of him! His head is mostly square, since as a "Scramble City" style combiner limb, his connector plug noggin had to be able to fit into any slot, and thus, generic is better.

The mustard color remains strong in this mode, but it's joined by black and just a bit of purple. Munitioner has a balljointed head, balljointed shoulders, hinged and balljointed elbows, swivel waist, balljointed hips, swivel thighs, hinged knees and balljointed feet, allowing you to get some killer poses - seriously, this is nearly Revoltech level of mobility! And the huge flat feet will keep him stable the whole time, even with that huge chunk of kibble behind his shoulders (something Swindle also suffered from).

The design of Munitioner's torso is very cool: it's all based on Swindle's chest, the sort of stylistic reinterpretation the Four Horsemen used to do on the Masters of the Universe toys, before Mattel's epic fail with the property. The blue crotch is the same shape as the sticker that went on Swindle's waist, and the chest not only suggests the stickers that ran down the sides, but also the way Swindle's neck folded forward out of his torso.

As the name "Crossfire XF-02B Munitioner with Combat Unit Appendage Add-On Kit Set B" implies, Crossfire XF-02B Munitioner comes with Combat Unit Appendage Add-On Kit Set B, a collection of weapons and accessories with names like "Anti-Material Rifle" or "Waist." One of the weapons are specifically assigned to Munitioner: he gets the Grenade Launcher, and the TOW Missile system from the roof of the vehicle can become a handheld weapon, as well.

There's no disputing the fact that Munitioner is one expensive bastard, and it would be superb if Fansproject could make these in numbers large enough to justify dropping the price - but that would probably make the company too big, and draw the attention of Hasbro's legal team. They're already skirting the edge by making full robots instead of just accessories and add-ons, and it would be a shame if all the trust Fansproject has built with the community had to go away.

-- 09/28/10

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