This is Part Two of Iron Factory’s Spirits of the D.E.C. set, focusing on the combined mode of the set. The Decepticon Justice Division (DJD), which this set is based on, did not have a combined mode in the comics. Iron Factory gave this an interesting spin by surprising fans with one. I must say it was quite an ingenious move and really, who doesn’t love a combiner?
COMBINED MODE AESTHETICS & PROPORTIONS
RATING: 4.5 / 5
As there was no reference material for the look of the combined mode (because there wasn’t one in the first place), Iron Factory took the liberty of coming up with their own look. Nothing screams Decepticon justice (*cough* secret police *cough*) more than having a combiner with the Decepticon insignia as its face. Oh, and he doesn’t seem to have a name either. For the sake of this article, let’s just call him DEC for now.
I love how Iron Factory had managed to make use of Alkaid & Merak’s bodies to form up such a well-proportioned combined mode. In terms of the colour scheme, I must admit that I personally find that it requires a little getting used to. I wonder if Iron Factory will consider a “stealth” version (aka black repaint) of the set in the future. That could look even more menacing.
He scales well with other Iron Factory figures and I do hope that Iron Factory continues to give us more combiners in the future.
COMBINED MODE DESIGN, ENGINEERING & ACCESSORIES
RATING: 4 / 5
In order to establish a combiner that looks good, Iron Factory had to resort to some parts-forming. And by parts-forming, I mean massive disassembling of Alkaid. He is literally separated at all his joints to form up the limbs of DEC, and even his butt. There’s a place for every single piece of all the five figures, although some may want to go for a sleeker look by leaving some of the non-essential pieces out. The option is there.
OVERALL JOINTS, ARTICULATION & BALANCE
RATING: 4.5 / 5
The ratchet joints of Merak play an important role of creating a stable, study figure here. When assembled, all parts stay on well and nothing is flimsy or falling off. Range of motion is decent, aided by strong joints and the all-important ankle tilt.
On their own, the Spirits of the D.E.C. figures are already fantastically made. The combiner mode gives the set the extra play value and display option. Well-worth the money spent and if you are looking for your first Iron Factory product, this will be a good start.