Extra-Ordin-ary (Part 2)

This may be Part 2 of the Unique Toys Ordin (Abominus) story, but we’re going back to the first figure released by UT as part of this combiner team. O-01 Troll – who is the modern 3rd party interpretation of the Terrorcon Blot – signalled a significant rise in quality for UT and a wider acceptance that they were on the path to considerably improving their product and output. In fact, the first images of Troll were so impressive that before UT were linked to it, many thought it was an MMC figure, or at least designed by those responsible for the Feralcons. Nearly three figures into the Ordin combiner, and having already reviewed O-02 Alberich, let’s see what this Nordic-named monster has to offer.

It all starts with the eye-catching packaging and grandiose statements like “The King Of The Gods” or “The Most Powerful Witchcraft Masters”. To be fair, I’m loving the sojourn into the cyber-fantasy realm and the Norse mythology that seems to run through all of these Not-Abominus figures. Figures that UT appear to be pumping out at a phenomenally fast pace. Troll comes with instructions (average to useless), a very pretty collector’s card and one Ordin foot. I really do love that box art, and since UT have typically been sending me loose production samples to review, I’ve been trying to find collectors who wouldn’t mind selling me the packaging for Alberich and Fenrir.

Straight out of the packaging I realised that this was no flash-in-the-pan project, Troll has serious and charming character. Pretty much the opposite of G1 Blot. The proportions are almost heroic, and that giant barrel-chested upper body dominates Troll’s silhouette. Articulation is just what you would expect of a figure initially mistaken for an MMC combiner limb, there are wrist swivels, double-jointed elbows, a head on a ball joint, rotating waist and ankle tilts. This results in Troll being virtually impossible to put down. There’s always another pose, another weapon configuration, another stance where that growly bastard face will be the cherry on top.

Can you believe that running pose he can pull off? In addition to having what is fast becoming my favourite feature on modern toys – outward ankle articulation – Troll has a small heel spur that truly adds a lot to his stability. Ordin’s giant foot spilts into three parts, the smaller side attachments have flip-out cannons that can be held by Troll or mounted on shoulders or forearms. The larger central part of Ordin’s foot can seem enormously cumbersome on Troll’s shoulder, so it’s better employed on the beast arms that are tucked up behind him.

You know when a toy maker has got robotic proportions right because the figure can kneel and one knee can touch the ground with ease. Troll nails this look and the rotating head, waist and shoulder movement do the rest. As far as robot mode goes, Troll beats out Alberich and Fenrir, it’s definitely the strongest configuration. One thing to note, after a few weeks I have noticed the red Ordin foot-cannons are starting to rotate with ease when pegged in, so they’re not as tight when attached as straight out the box.

So there’s no doubt that Troll has a successful and non-generic robot mode, but what about the beast? The terror? The abomination for which this team is known? I’ll tell you what, the first time transforming Troll from robot mode to beast mode using the instructions, I was utterly lost. What a nightmare! There was simply no way I could see myself repeating that on my own, and some steps bamboozled me for an embarrassingly long period of time. But transform him I did, and here he…it…is.

He’s definitely an abomination, all hunches with tiny legs and mahoosive arms. The fingers being ball-jointed is a nice touch and the articulation in the feet is greatly appreciated. The posability at the waist is less impressive but I’ve certainly gotten plenty out of Troll in this mode, and you can see the accessories attach all over the place. I had to look images of Troll up online to make sure the off-centre placement of the central Ordin foot part on the beast’s back was correct. Flip open that foot and reveal the cashier’s till underneath! I really like that feature actually, it totally nails the unattractive and completely un-streamlined aesthetic of this team.

It seems odd that the beast arms as shown in the images above are correct as per the construction of the figure because rotating the forearms (and exposing the folded up robot arms) actually affords the beast mode far mode arm articulation. The apron-like crotch piece is weird but I’m beginning to appreciate unique twists on 3rd party combiner limbs, this is much more important now as so much of what gets shown appears generic and free of character. The G1 Terrorcons were inherently crappy and so far Troll and Alberich have tapped into that but in a way that charms, not detracts.

Gymnastics, acrobatics, Troll can do it even in beast mode. There is no trickery involved in the above photos, he really can balance on those fingers alone as a beast. Can you not imagine him hopping along in gimpy fashion dragging severed heads behind him?

Despite all this praise and genuine enjoyment that defines Troll, there are a couple of beast mode limitations that are almost unforgivable. Why is there no articulated jaw? Why is there no movement available in the beast head apart from up and down? I’ll admit it’s hugely G1 of the thing to just have a non-articulated block of a moulded plastic head, but I think that’s all that stops Troll from being one of the very best 3rd Party figures of them all. As a result, he’s merely excellent instead of perfect.

I touched on it jokingly before, but that transformation really does bear mentioning again. It was very tricky to get from robot to beast with Troll, but robot to combiner limb, beast to combiner limb and beast to robot is a piece of cake and quite intuitive. After a few goes, even robot to beast becomes fun and is not exactly reminiscent of anything else around currently. It’s a fact, Unique Toys make unique toys. I do have a long-term concern and that’s the softness of the plastic, especially the parts that tab, peg, clip and rub against each other. I’ve noticed scuffing and even thin slivers of the pegs coming off during some transformations. This makes me sad because Troll is a figure I suspect I will have trouble leaving untouched for a while. I hope it doesn’t get to the stage where sections won’t clip or peg. Just look at these hideous fan modes:

Fun is the key thing here, and Troll has it in spades. When he’s not a comic representation, he’s a quite seriously well-proportioned Decepticon combiner limb. Speaking of which…

I like a good leg, and Troll makes a damn clean, tidy and good-looking combiner leg. Alberich made a very convincing and quality-looking large Ordin combiner arm and Troll is doing the business on the ground. It bugs me a little that the two leg halves don’t snap together completely flush around the large T-shaped Ordin foot peg but the colours are so dark in that region that it won’t draw attention. There’s decent lean in the combiner ankle as well, demonstrated ably by Troll in the photo above compared to MMC’s Feral Rex. The feeling is growing among collectors that Ordin could rival Rex for quality and ticked combiner boxes. The fact that UT are putting the Ordin members out so quickly is helping to build an enormous sense of cumulative excitement and expectation.

Receiving O-03 Fenrir (Not Sinnertwin) recently has allayed my fears that the individual members of Ordin will show little development or diversity after Alberich, and it was incredibly smart for them to start with Troll instead of Alberich. Not-Blot is definitely the gateway to this entire project, and for some it will just be a terrific standalone figure of a formerly-nothing character (to me) made important thanks to UT’s efforts. I am still not convinced that any of these Ordin team members warrant a $100 price tag, but I’m at a slight loss as to explain what would be needed to allow them to justify the tag. Were they offered at $70 each, that mental dilemma wouldn’t exist. Watch out for those pegs, tabs and rubbing parts and most importantly, have fun.

You can begin your own collection of UT Ordin team members here with O-01 Troll at TFSource.

Ordin team

All the best
Maz

About Maz

Diaclone and TF collector & writer from the UK. I also write for & own TF-1.com and TFSquareone.

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