DX9, the alter ego of Unique Toys, take another swing at a Transformers Masterpiece-scaled robot with D06 Carry, a toy paying homage to the Autobots’ post-Optimus leader, Rodimus Prime. DX9 have been doing very well of late, their Invisible figure was superb, Chigurh was a recent favourite of mine, their War in Pocket line is blossoming and now they take a hugely ambitious stab at an all-in-one Generation 1 styled Rodimus Prime, inspired by the anime stylings of Japanese art group Studio Ox.
“Carry” – which I can only guess is a reference to his function as a truck/winnebago/trailer – draws on those Studio Ox designs to portray Rodimus Prime as a tall, slim, Masterpiece or Leader class figure that can easily be displayed alongside the likes of MP-22 Ultra Magnus. Knowing DX9, I had thought the name “Carry” had some obscure movie roots, maybe an awful 80s film Judd Nelson did once, but I could not find anything. The main point of interest on Carry, apart from the robot mode aesthetic, is that he is all in one, and does not parts-form or require a separate trailer to complete the Rodimus Prime look in vehicle mode. The result of that is a distinctly jarring rear view in robot mode where the trailer has folded up and created the iconic Rodimus wing. A wing that is no longer yellow from the back, but garishly covered in flames. There is also a considerable backpack, or kibble, that forms from the folded up panels of the trailer.
Carry is also accompanied by a Targetmaster which is not entirely unlike Hot Rod/Rodimus himself in appearance, and he transforms into the signature Rodimus rifle. It’s not quite Firebolt for me, but he’s a nifty little figure that has decent posability for its size (something of a specialism for DX9 currently) and a number of different configurations in rifle mode. There is an element of partsforming here too as the orange wings and barrel all separate from the robot and must be re-attached when in rifle mode.
There are some excellent points of articulation on Carry, the kind I really like, ones that lend themselves beautifully to dynamic and balanced posing. There is the all important waist swivel and equally essential ankle tilts which also allow the ankle to be rotated outwards, hence the superb end-of-86-movie running pose at the head of this article. Biceps and wrists have swivels and while the thumb is stationary and three of his fingers moulded as one, Carry can pull off a heroic point with his index finger.
There are limitations to the articulation, though, which mean Carry stops short of being held in quite the same regard as a figure like MMC Tigris. For starters, he suffers for the lack of double jointed elbows and knees, especially the elbows. The forearms can’t fold up enough against the upper arms to allow for the full range of gun-toting poses. The shoulders rotate up into his face as well when lifted sideways so there’s only so much you can accomplish there. The die cast feet cannot be pointed downwards so the above is about as good a kneeling pose as I could achieve. As with other UT/DX9 figures, if you want the robot to look directly upwards, you are going to have to lift up the panel upon which the neck’s ball & socket joint sit, affecting the natural look of a pose.
One more gripe before the positives, and there are a lot, so bear with me. The nature of the Targetmaster’s transformation is such that he has a very short handle for Carry to grip, and because of the raised orange sections on Carry’s inner forearms/wrists, the weapon does not sit flush enough when he holds it, so it wobbles about and there’s no firm grip. You also have to mess about with the configuration of the weapon at the rear so it doesn’t obstruct arm movement and can actually be pointed.
So what does Carry do right? For a start, and this is noticeable immediately, he’s solid as a rock. The movement of limbs, the feel of the bot, the balance he shows in extreme poses and how it just begs you to manipulate and play with it, it’s fantastic. Chunky moving parts full of substance. The wheels are rubber, that was a nice surprise. He has a terrific presence all of his own, good height and good proportions. The head sculpt I am extremely happy with, I think it’s much better than the official Masterpiece Rodimus Prime MP-9 head (but not the MP-9 Hot Rod, that still wins).
The fact that he’s almost the complete opposite to MP-9 is also something I like. MP-9 has a non-transforming trailer which is required for vehicle mode, it goes for screen accuracy, it has plenty of gimmicks and it has a reputation for being delicate and unpleasant to transform. Carry is all in one (come on this is a terrific achievement!), goes for a Studio Ox aesthetic, involves no partsforming, makes a Targetmaster of the Rodimus gun instead of being a separate weapon altogether and is completely playable, allowing plenty of handling. And, unfortunately, all of those things which allow this to stand on its own and not need to be compared to MP-9 as a replacement are all the things that will turn others off. He’s MP-sized, but he’s not Masterpiece aesthetic. He’s all in one but that achievement means a great deal of panel-forming and an almighty backpack and wings. I actually don’t mind the backpack or wings, what bugs me most is the trailer nose which is visible behind Carry’s chest, ruining his lithe look.
I love the chrome and the colours on Carry. As someone who doesn’t own MP-9 – and I admit this has had an effect on how positively I view this figure – I love having such a big and heavily Generation 1 Rodimus Prime to display and play with, one who can point and run convincingly. Maybe it’s because of this that I am not offended by the fact that he has black hands instead of the orange hands of the toy or the distinctive and accurate light grey hands of the on-screen Rodimus. Others are far more unhappy with the way his main chest flame section is completely separate from the top of the flames which are actually moulded into the area around his collar. The mix of tampographs and moulded flames has really caused some disappointment. I can see clearly why there are boxes Carry will not tick for a fair number of collectors. The spectacular looks of MP-9 will have spoilt many in that regard. What I would say is that I miss the lack of a visor or added bits from the 1986 movie that MP-9 comes with, and I’m not very fussed with the opening chest and the moulded matrix Carry…carries. Wait, could that be…why he’s called…
Anyway, vehicle mode! Carry took me 4 minutes to transform from vehicle to robot (hardest part being the extraction of heel spurs from the feet), and decidedly longer in the opposite direction. It’s easier and more intuitive the first time out than Chigurh, but getting the panels folded out and aligned was not easy. They are thin in places and I wouldn’t be shocked if months down the line, after repeated transformation or a wrong move, a stress mark or two appeared on a few specimens where the pins are located. Clip-together is good when you get it right and there is a distinct sense of finality to the transformation. It’s a clever conversion, there’s no two ways about it, that tall reasonably-slim robot becomes a boxy trailer, and the vehicle mode does not feel hollow as a result of the backpack forming the chassis/shell.
There’s no doubt, it’s Rodimus Prime. However, I was surprised how much smaller he ended up being in vehicle mode than I expected. I love the way it feels when you roll it along due to the rubber wheels. The way the blue windshield sits on the hood and how the hood sits on the robot shoulders made me feel as though I’d done something incorrectly, but that is the way it’s meant to be. The missing iconic yellow wing between the cab and the trailer is a great omission, and unforgivable for some. I do very much wish they had found a way to include something there, it’s sorely missed. The headlights are also not yellow. I feel the vehicle mode is an area where MP-9 triumphs significantly over Carry, but then MP-9’s vehicle mode doesn’t do what Carry does, so horses for courses.
You can see the size issue clearly when HotFireRodBolt (seriously, does this guy have a DX9 name?) stands next to Carry. As for attaching the full weapon to the roof, you can do it, but no thanks. As you’ve probably guessed, there’s no command centre or honking great cannon in the trailer with Carry. What you see is what you get, a very DX9 approach. Once again, solid as you like.
I’ve heard differing opinions on how successfully DX9 have matched Masterpiece scale with Carry’s vehicle mode, it will depend on your preference, but I certainly feel he is not correctly scaled as a truck if that’s what they were going for. The cab on Magnus and the width of Sideswipe put paid to that, but then it’s not as if all the MP cars are in perfect scale is it?
With Carry and scale, it’s all about the robot mode, and I think he looks just perfect next to MP Ultra Magnus, but maybe slightly too big for Unique Toys Ordin (Abominus). I must admit, I was desperate to receive this item from DX9 to review when I first saw the prototype. It’s because I am very much missing a fully representative Rodimus Prime in my collection at this scale, and I was fascinated to see how they pulled the whole thing off without a detachable trailer.
I am impressed with how the transformation and the concept works, I am impressed with the overall finish and quality of the figure. I am thrilled with how he looks in hand as a Masterpiece-sized Rodimus even if his aesthetic goes in a different direction to the other screen-accurate figures he’s able to interact with. I don’t like his weapon and I very much wish he was bigger as a vehicle and featured a more extensive range of forearm and knee bend, but despite that he can pull off some utterly brilliant poses and he holds them solidly, effortlessly, beautifully. I do also wish he had just a few more bells and whistles, the gimmicks that MP-9 Masterpiece Rodimus Convoy has which have always made me so keen to mess with that figure.
I said it before, but I am exceptionally happy about the fact that DX9 Carry does not threaten to replace or compete with MP-9 as the Masterpiece Rodimus because of just how much he does differently, exactly how I feel about DX9 Invisible versus a Masterpiece Mirage. The world is a better place for the existence of both MP-9 and Carry. I don’t classify this as a CHUG figure, I sometimes think that description comes to mind a little too quickly for a well-articulated, G1 inspired figure that deviates from slavish G1 screen or toy accuracy in terms of aesthetic. Thanks to DX9, Carry (and Invisible) are creating a new line of standalone excellent transformers-based figures of proper quality and finish that do not need to fit in perfectly with my other established collections, even if DX9 wanted them to, and the fandom needed them to. Carry is a great figure, and I am happy to accept all the flaws he has – including giant wing, his small vehicle mode, ineffectual Targetmaster, separated flames – because of how good and solid the thing feels, its ingenuity in design and transformation, and especially his looks and posability. There was just one thing missing for me that I could not live without, and I added it myself…
All the best