REVIEW: FansToys FT-41 Sheridan (part one)

It’s time for another third party Transformers review, and today we’re taking a look at FansToys’ latest offering with FT-41 Sheridan! This is of course their take on a Masterpiece-styled Warpath and is already causing quite a bit of reaction online. Does it live up to the hype or is it just all overblown noise? Let’s find out.

If you haven’t already then a good place to start is by watching my recent unboxing video of this guy. As well as explaining a bit of background on the character I also ran through my first impressions and an initial transformation from robot to tank mode.

Warpath is a bit of a fan-favourite character and remains a personal love as well, so this toy is one I’ve been particularly looking forward to. We’ve had a previous attempt at an MP-style rendition of him before (with Badcube Wardog), but as much as I do enjoy that beefed-up toy I always felt that there was room for someone else to deliver something truly accurate to the source animation.

Right off the bat it looks as though FansToys have done it again as Sheridan presents really nicely overall. The alternate mode is very tidy and looks to me to be a fairly accurate representation of an  M551A1 Sheridan tank (although I cannot in any good conscience claim to be an expert!).

One of the first things you’ll notice is how heavy Sheridan is, bolstered by a notable use of diecast metal throughout. That “heft” is something a lot of FansToys collectors have come to know and love, so I doubt they’ll be disappointed in this case.

In fact the weight is even more noticeable given how small Sheridan is! Don’t get me wrong, he’s hardly as tiny as his original G1 toy or anything like that, but compared to the typically larger scale you get for vehicles in the MP line, he feels quite significantly undersized given the choice of alternate form.

Still, what he lacks in size he more than makes up for with presence and style, as Sheridan is incredibly eye-catching and boasts a really nice shiny red paint job. Though there’s not really any paint applications beyond the base colours to note, they’re still very crisply applied and make the toy look quite premium.

Oh, and he’s loaded with some lovely intricate moulded detailing, too! The top of the tank looks especially swish with various moulded panels, joints and rivets etc.

In fact you could pour over this lad in detail for some time and still find new little design touches here and there. It’s a visual treat!

The back section stands out for looking rather marvellous with a coat of shiny silver paint.

Even the treads are worth pointing out as although they don’t have any kind of rolling function, they do look spectacular with a decent coat of paint – something that not every 3P toy company would have prioritised.

The only bit of real world detail that actually moves in any way is the hatch on top of the tank turret, which flips open to reveal… a screw hole.

It’s a nice little inclusion although maybe a little underwhelming in execution! Still it’s the kinda touch that I guess FT didn’t have to bother with, so props to them for thinking of it.

You can of course rotate the tank turret round with quite a decent range for a bit of play value. The turret will motion up and down ever-so-slightly as a result of transformation, but not enough to really make it worthwhile in any fashion.

Overall this is an exceptionally tidy and cohesive little tank form, with only a whiff of robot kibble to be found at the rear. Everything tabs together very solidly too, making Sheridan particularly solid in this mode.

Where Sheridan looks a little less neat is again on the rear section just behind the turret, with the hinges required for transformation sitting quite obviously on top of the tank. It’s by no means a dealbreaker but does make this mode just a smidge imperfect, perhaps.

(AUTHOR’S NOTE: my copy is mistransformed above; as it transpires there’s a small flap which can be moved forward to cover the hole shown here!)

But really, who’s nitpicking eh? Sheridan is positively rocking this tank mode and does a cracking job at bringing the character to life in plastic form!

In fact I can genuinely hear Warpath’s signature “BAM! ZOWIE! BLAM!” as I look at this thing!

In terms of comparisons, his diminutive nature becomes rather obvious as soon as you put him next to just about any other Masterpiece-styled toy, although given his Minibot origins it’s up to you to decide if that’s a problem or not, I suppose!

I will say that for my own taste I may have preferred a slightly larger tank form but it’s still fun to see Sheridan fitting inside MP Optimus Prime’s trailer, for one thing!

In fact that probably gives you a very good idea of exactly how big Sheridan is, as he ends up being just a bit smaller than an MP Carbot overall.

It’ll be a tough one to swallow for anyone who prefers the idea of vehicle mode scale taking top billing in their collection, but given the official line has always put robot mode size at the top of their list this really isn’t any kind of surprise.

He does feel a bit different to the Carbots too, of course, given that he’s significantly heavier and so loaded with detail. Still, it works well enough for my preferences!

Perhaps another worthwhile comparison is with KFC Ditka, who remains one of the main options for an MP-styled Blitzwing. It’s notable to see how much smaller Sheridan is overall – he looks tiny!

Of course FansToys have their own (very long-gestating) Blitzwing in development, and should it ever see light of day it’ll be interesting to find out how it shapes up next to Sheridan.

The real comparison to be made here is versus the other MP-styled attempt at Warpath we’ve already seen, Badcube Wardog. It’s again very noticeable how different in size these two are!

I think what’s quite amusing here is that the robot modes are roughly the same height (although Wardog is packing a lot more bulk), but the Badcube option spreads out so much that it effectively becomes larger through transformation – something I always thought that toy did very well.

Ultimately it’ll be up to you if the smaller size of this new offering is enough to put you off or not, although I will say that for me there is something quite appealing about the larger scale of Wardog.

It should be noted though that Sheridan definitely looks and feels better quality in hand, with a more premium finish and coming over as generally more solid. Props to Wardog for featuring a few small paint applications on top of the tank, although those bare plastic treads pale in comparison to Sheridan’s.

Really the one big asset Wardog has going for it here is the size, and I guess it’s worth mentioning that actually both of them are realistically too small versus how big an actual tank of this kind would need to be to fit with some of the vehicles in the MP line, so maybe it’s a moot point to begin with.

Besides there is something almost quite cute about Sheridan’s smaller scale, which in some ways harkens back to the G1 toy’s own adorable nature!

Ultimately this is a really well done tank form and represents a strong initial showing for Sheridan. Next time we’re going to be getting him transformed into his robot mode to see if FansToys can deliver on that score as well!

SHOP FOR THIS TOY AT TFSOURCE

TTFN

About Sixo

Transformers photographer & blogger from the UK with quite a well-known carpet. Collects both vintage G1/G2 and Masterpiece/3P.

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