One thing I’ve noticed about Impossible Toys (at TFSource) is that they love the 1986 Transformers: The Movie and the third season of the original cartoon series. From Quintessons to Nightbird to Spike and Sparkplug toys, Impossible Toys has dug deep into the eighties Transformers to bring us some neat pieces for our collections. And now we get Kranax, inspired by a minor character from Transformers The Movie. In celebration of opening this new toy I’ve got the movie playing as I write this review; unfortunately, I can’t invite all of you over for a movie night. Sorry.
Kranax comes nicely packaged in a colorful box that uses an illustration instead of photos to show off the toy inside. It’s a decent box and the toy is packaged in a simple plastic blister inside. A short description on the back of the box gives us Kranax’s story which, if you take a moment to read it, you’ll notice is as inspired by the 1986 movie as the toy’s design is. A nice box, but not so nice that you will feel bad popping the packaging open to remove the toy inside.
Impossible Toys isn’t known for amazing sculpts and Kranax sticks to, in my opinion, their standard sculpting quality. Decent, not great, but clearly recognizable as Kranix in the 1986 film. Unfortunately, Impossible Toys stuck to the film for their inspiration so their Kranax toy is non-transforming; Marvel’s version of the story gave Kranix an alt-mode which would have been quite cool. But as a movie-inspired character this is a good design and at about 5-inches tall he’s a great fit with most “Deluxe”-sized Generations toys.
The face sculpt isn’t an exact match for the Kranix in the movie, but it’s so close that it’s easy to tell what the designers were inspired by. In general the sculpt is clean but simple; not a lot of details and nothing spectacular. I feel the photos here do an excellent job of giving you a close look at the toy; click any of them for a much closer look at the toy.
Unfortunately, the paint is a little rough in some spots. I really like that Impossible Toys added black detail lines, but some of the lines are a bit ragged. And if you look closely at the various edges where colors meet you’ll find some bleed. As a shelf piece the paint is acceptable; not terrible, but it’s not as good as I like to see. The one spot I am unhappy with is the face; the silver doesn’t quite cover everything cleanly and those green eyes are a bit tough to see; a darker green would have worked a lot better.
Kranax’s plastic feels pretty good and durable and overall the toy has some heft to it and doesn’t feel like it’s going to shatter. The lack of any transformation helps that durability, as does the limited number of points of articulation. Running through the limbs we find:
- Head - I cannot properly identify the neck joint since it acts like a swivel with some wiggle. It is possible that there’s a ball-joint hiding deep inside the chest because the head can turn 360-degrees and has a bit of give side-to-side.
- Arms - The shoulders are 360-degree swivels while the elbows are simple hinge joints. The wrists also swivel, giving you a little bit of choice when it comes time to pose Kranax.
- Legs - Almost the exact same as the arms, with swivels at the hips and hinged knees. There’s no foot/ankle articulation at all. Swivels at the ankles would have been nice.
- Torse - None. The torso is one piece without any articulation. A swivel waist would have been nice.
Basically, Kranax is a simple action figure with nine points of articulation that stands nicely, looks pretty good in a group, and does exactly what I needed him to do: that is, Kranax gives me a toy to represent one of those characters in Transformers The Movie that caught my imagination when I first saw the film in theaters 26 years ago. It’s tough enough I’m not worried about breaking it and articulated enough to give me some choices when posing him on the shelf.
Impossible Toys doesn’t get a lot of attention in third party circles, but their Quintessons were the very first third party toys I ever bought and the company continues to make me happy. Kranax would be cooler if he transformed, yes, but as he is he makes a great addition to my collection and is one of the toys I wanted back when the movie was first released. I’m going to say this is one to buy if you’re a hardcore fan of Transformers Generation One and specifically a fan of Transformers The Movie.
Not the best of the third party toys out there, but a nice new addition and of a character I never expected to see in plastic.
Philip Reed spends his days working away in the game industry and whatever spare time he can steal goes to the toy website, battlegrip.com, where he writes about a lot more than just Transformers.