REVIEW: FansToys FT-41 Sheridan (part two)

BAM! ZOWIE! KABLAM! That unmistakable racket can only mean that it’s time for the second part of our FansToys Sheridan review! If you haven’t seen it yet then be sure to catch up with our unboxing video and indeed part one of the write-up before continuing below. And tanks for reading!

So last time we had ascertained that there was quite a bit to like about FansToys’ attempt at a Masterpiece-styled Warpath, with the tank mode proving to be a tidy little affair with some nice paint and a decent heft. If you’ve also seen the unboxing video then you’ll have taken note of my first attempt at transforming this guy too, which over repeated attempts since has become a smooth process indeed!

In fact I can honestly say that if you apply proper care and attention then there isn’t much that should have you too panicked about this transformation overall, as despite a couple of quirks it all flows relatively seamlessly. It’s still worth being delicate when maneuvering certain parts of the figure though, most notably those knees which I know have given some folks grief already. Fortunately though I don’t seem to have had any problems on that score, with perhaps my only real bugbear being that I can’t seem to get the flaps on top of the wrists to tab in correctly, meaning that they don’t quite look flush in robot form. Otherwise, it’s all a bit of a doddle and shouldn’t take you too long at all.

Oh and as for the results? Well, just have a look for yourselves, as Sheridan is a tidy little lad from all angles. The only real kibble on display is stuff that you would actually expect to be there as a result of the animation model on which this toy is based, such as the rather obvious tank turret and the treads on the back of his forearms.

Everything else is rather exceptionally tidied away, leaving us with a clean and surprisingly slim-looking robot form that does a great job at aping the look of the character as we know him from on-screen. It’s Warpath to a tee! You can almost hear that eccentric howling of his just looking at Sheridan.

I’m also pleased to report that for the most part this mode tabs together really nicely. I say this particularly of the legs and the main body as really nothing ever feels like it’s going to come apart unnecessarily, meaning that Sheridan is very solid overall. Perhaps my only slight grumble here is the arms, as on my copy I have noted that the rotating joints they’re positioned on already have a slight degree of looseness about them. It’s not enough to be a major problem but it has meant that the arms will sag a little without proper thought during posing. There is a small screw on this joint which I believe will remedy the problem once tightened a bit, but getting to it seems to be a whole other matter! Still, it’s not a major problem by any means.

Elsewhere Sheridan is packing all of the usual joints that one would expect of a figure of this sort, including a welcome ab crunch and a nice ankle tilt, proving to be quite poseable overall. There’s something about his general body shape that means he’s definitely not the most nimble of toys but you can certainly crank him into some decent positions all the same.

I will add that I’m no fan of the hip skirt on this toy. I’ve never liked it when designers opt for a single crotch flap at the front of the robot form, as inevitably it ends up looking quite awkward in certain poses that require the legs to bend forward at the hips (and not to mention it can make the legs feels a little impeded in their movement too). So it goes with Sheridan, although sadly the side flaps have a habit of looking rather unsightly too from time to time.

It’s not enough to really put you off or anything but it’s just one of those design quirks that I really wish everyone could stop using by now!

Overall though this is a really fun robot mode to pick up, play around with and pose, and there’s no doubting that he’s a handsome chap to boot, so don’t let that little groan on my part make you think otherwise.

I suppose credit where it’s due as well, really, because in the wrongs hands this could be a tremendously awkward-looking robot form, yet FansToys have somehow managed to make it work well. Credit to them on getting the proportions of the thing so well worked out, which I think really helps to make it all come together without looking silly at all.

Whilst there isn’t really much to talk about in terms of paint applications or highlights, the base red and silver continue to look really lovely in this form too, catching the light to ensure that Sheridan sparkles and gives off a real feeling of quality.

I have noticed an ever-so-slight presence of paint rub in one or two spots that I suspect may have occurred during repeated transformations, but other than that the toy continues to present as well as he did out of the box.

I think FansToys have done a cracking job with that headsculpt here, as it resembles the character incredibly well and manages to look chock full of personality. I like the vivid blue colour they’ve used for the eyes, which provides a very welcome break in the otherwise predominant sea of red, and the clearly-defined moulding in the face looks fantastic too.

All in all there’s a lot to like about Sheridan’s robot mode overall, enough that if you’re giving consideration to picking him up then I highly doubt you’re going to be disappointed with him! He certainly ticks all the boxes for me, as a big fan of the character from the cartoon.

Speaking of the cartoon, Sheridan’s sole accessory is a direct reference to the episode, Hoist Goes Hollywood and resembles the alien mask that Warpath and several other Autobots have to wear as part of their role as extras on a movie set. It clips over the robot head very neatly and looks suitably goofy in homage to the animation.

It’s funny to note that this is not the first toy to come with one of these masks. Masterpiece MP-39 Sunstreaker gave us the only official version so far, but we’ve had other 3P attempts accompanying DX9 Richthofen and X-Transbots Paean as well, so in theory you could be well on your way to assembling the whole gang from that scene, should you wish!

So, turning our attention to some comparisons, it’s time to weigh up Sheridan versus the other main 3PMP Warpath contender on the scene, that being Badcube Wardog. We saw in part one how that toy is noticeably larger than FansToys’ effort in vehicle mode, so perhaps it’s surprising to see that they actually end up being roughly around the same height in robot mode!

Wardog does an exceptional job at “shrinking” down during transformation, although at the cost of retaining a lot of extra bulk in his robot form as you can see. It means he’s not only significantly stockier but ends up altogether more kibbly as a result, leaving Sheridan looking rather clean and lithe by comparison.

Ultimately I’m sure these pictures will be enough to help you decide which of these toys you might prefer, though it’s worth noting that Sheridan also boasts a more premium finish and is notably studier too, so for my money ends up coming across as the better bet overall. I will say again that I prefer the larger tank mode on Wardog, but as a complete package I think Sheridan has pipped into place as the not-MP Warpath for my shelf.

Good thing then, that he also looks fantastic in an MP line-up, doing a startling job at fitting in alongside various other toys, both official and non. We’re really getting to the stage now where the G1 roster from the first two seasons of the cartoon is being tweaked and perfected as new attempts at these characters are released, and personally I’m here for it.

It is worth mentioning that due to his significant heft and the shiny finish he’s boasting, Sheridan ends up feeling somewhat different to a lot of the more recent MP carbots in hand, with their matte colours and predominant use of plastic. Comparing him to the likes of the recent MP Hound will show you exactly what I mean.

That’s not to say he doesn’t fit in well though, and it’s not like these sorts of differences are a new thing once you add a number of different 3PMP to your collection. Besides, the overall aesthetic gels well enough with the newer crop of ultra-cartoony MP toys, to my eye.

What is perhaps interesting is how much larger Sheridan is than any other MP-styled attempt at a Minibot character we’ve had so far! He stands head and shoulders above even the likes of DX9 Richthofen or X-Transbots Neptune, who had previously clocked in as some of the larger toys representing that line-up. Still, it does work for how the character was portrayed in animation.

In fact it’s great to see so many of these Minibots being so well represented in toy form these days, with various companies all working to bring us some rather wonderful renditions of the characters as we knew them from animation.

Still, with FansToys already teasing a Beachcomber and yet another attempt at Seaspray, one wonders just how long it’ll be before they have this corner of the market dominated too! Watch this space, I guess, as one imagines that greyed-out design renders could be dropping at any point!

For now anyway, they’ve done a marvellous job with Sheridan, bringing us a cartoon-accurate Warpath toy that really looks and feels like it fits alongside the rest of your Masterpiece collection.

BLAM! ZOWIE! WHAM! FansToys does it again!

WHAT’S HOT? Very tidy in both modes and feeling really premium with attractive paint and decent heft. He looks spot-on to the character too.

WHAT’S NOT? The arms are a touch loose on my copy and the tabs on his forearms don’t quite sit flush. I’m also not a big fan of the hip skirt.

SHOP FOR THIS TOY AT TFSOURCE

TTFN

About Sixo

Transformers collector from the UK, collecting vintage G1/G2, CR/RID, UT & Masterpiece/3P. Find me at twitter.com/SixoTF or on YouTube at youtube.com/SixoTF

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