REVIEW: DX9 D14 Capone (part 2)

Last time we took a look at the very lengthy event that is DX9’s Capone release in vehicular form and boy, what a thing it is, right?

Not so much “king of the road” as he is just “the road”! Anyway, we put aside all the giggles to determine that there were actually numerous nice things to be said about that truck form too, especially as it appeared to be a well-made and sturdy product, on the whole.

Well, now it’s time to see what he’s about in robot mode, and of course this is really a story of two halves. OK, well, maybe not quite, as in reality it’s only about the first quarter of the truck mode that actually turns into the main robot mode form here! The rest is set aside for fun times aplenty to come.

As for the robot itself, well, let’s start by saying that this is my *third* 3PMP Motormaster, but even taking that into account, there’s definitely a few things to admire about ol’ Capone, here.

First, and perhaps most obviously, he’s remarkably clean in the top half or so, with surprisingly little kibble to be seen. It’s definitely the tidiest backpack of all the options for this character available, and consequently looks the leanest too. Sadly the same cannot quite be said about those legs, though!

How to say it…? I think if you squint and look at this chap then there’s a lot to like about the overall look, but it’s once you notice some of the faults in the design that it becomes all-too-hard to take your eyes off them. He presents nicely enough, but not without compromise, after all.

The most obvious example is the way the front of the truck becomes the shins. There’s a passable attempt to form miniature cab-front feet from a faux part folded out from underneath the leg, which isn’t perfect but ticks the box. What works distinctly less well is that it sits below the also far-too noticeable front part of the truck from the actual alternate mode, complete with the much-larger windshield section being on display for all to see… the effect is quite jarring.

It’s one of those elements that is very hard to un-see once first glimpsed, and completely ruins any kind of belief in the feet having been formed from the front of the alternate form (weird as the whole concept is to begin with).

Sadly it’s not quite just that, as the mini-wheels on the side also fail to convince due to how they’re formed, and jut out at a very odd angle indeed. This, coupled with the still-visible large tyres on the heel, makes the whole affair pretty messy. I mean, he even still has wiper blades and doors all on show right there below the knee!

It’s a weird solution, all told, and if anything it’s a bit of a shame considering just how streamlined the top half of this chap is. I know the common conceit is that a lot of Masterpiece-styled toys tend to shove all the bumpf in the backpack these days, but here it’s all left to sit on display in the legs. Odd!

Still, despite that I’d be hard-pressed to say that Capone doesn’t at least look a fair bit like his already-strange animation model. In terms of proportions and general look, DX9 certainly come close, even if it isn’t the most elegant all told.

Besides, there are some strengths to talk about here too. As I have already mentioned, the top half is very strong indeed, and the overall fit and finish on offer here feels very solid too.

My first experience with this DX9 set was with Montana, and if you’ve read my review of that guy then you will know that he was very iffy in terms of quality, with numerous scratches, paint chips and other flaws all there to see right out of the box. I’m pleased to say that Capone presents with no such drama, and actually swings dramatically the other way in terms of how well-put-together he appears.

I mean, look, it’s not necessarily top-tier stuff, but he feels robust, solid and altogether decently built, and compared to where this journey started that’s a remarkable improvement! I have also found that despite his quirky appearance, he’s actually quite a lot of fun to transform and mess around with.

I’d even go as far as to say that he’s the smoothest and most-enjoyable of the three 3PMP Motormasters to transform, especially as it can be done really very easily within a matter of minutes once you know what to do. If you’re looking for a comparatively simple solution in terms of how he handles, this could be the one.

And hey, he does look nice from some considered angles too – pretty great, even. I’m not in love with the overall look, but there are some strengths to it, yet again. Pose him well and he can look pretty cool.

Unfortunately the opposite is also true – it’s perfectly possible to pose him in such a manner that brings out all of the awkward qualities too! For as clean as even that upper body is, it can look a bit odd how some of the various joints hold together.

I guess it doesn’t help that he is quite literally a stack of boxes all strung together, so by his very nature he looks exceptionally blocky. However there’s also just something a bit cumbersome about him that’s hard to put your finger on.

He’s certainly not the most lithe or graceful thing I’ve ever seen, let’s say that. Whilst he can hold a pose, the level of meaningful articulation on offer is minimal compared to what a lot of MP-styled toys can achieve these days, so really a relatively stoic pose is where he works best.

Still, he does bring his own rather unique sense of presence to the proceedings, and as I say he is fun to mess around with despite not being hyper-articulated in any way.

The other thing to highlight here is that face, which I think is another element that doesn’t quite hit it on the button for me. It’s not bad, but it’s not great either. It actually is a fairly decent attempt at recreating the character from his show model, but still doesn’t manage to look particularly appealing, all the same. I do like the purple they’ve gone with, however.

So, I don’t know – I find myself waxing and waning on this chap quite a bit. On the one hand he’s pretty ridiculous. I mean, there’s *that* vehicle form, and then there’s stuff like the messy lower legs to contend with.

On the other hand there’s still something that I find oddly appealing about him which I can’t quite put my finger on. Despite all his (sometimes obvious) flaws, he does have a sort of innate charm that is hard to ignore. It’s very strange!

What is true is that he’s put up way more of a fight in the so-called “Stunticon wars” than I ever could have imagined. As the last one for me to receive in hand, he certainly had a tough act to follow, so really it’s to DX9’s credit that I’ve ended up having as much fun with him as I can honestly claim to have had.

He does also really look the part when mixed with any number of other Masterpiece-styled characters, and certainly fits the cleaner, more cartoony style that a lot of toys have swung towards of late.

I genuinely expected him to be a fairly average affair at best (and, based on my experience with Montana, perhaps not even that!), but actually I find that I can legitimately see the appeal in this guy as an option for a Motormaster on my shelf.

Ultimately I don’t think he reaches the same levels of achievement as his rivals in many ways, but that’s not to say that there isn’t still plenty to admire here too. He’s maybe not the most remarkable robot, but he is solid and fun all the same.

Oh, but what of the other three quarters of the vehicle mode? Well, that unfolds in an amazingly clever fashion to become the bulk of the overall combined mode, known as Attila! It’s one of those solutions that really needs to be seen in hand to fully appreciate (or at least glimpsed in an unboxing video, perhaps!), but it really is something!

It looks exceptionally silly until you finally manage to install all of the various cars on his arms and then, well, it’s really quite impressive on the whole, but perhaps that’s a story for another time if we want to do it justice.

For today, it’s only fair to say that I’ve found myself enjoying this set to a surprising degree on the whole, and despite whatever quirks it may have, I do think it’s a pretty solid affair. He may not be “king of the road”, but he’s trucking along quite nicely all the same.

WHAT’S HOT? Fun transformation, very solidly built toy, impressive solution for the combined mode and a clean-looking robot top half.

WHAT’S NOT? The trailer is waaay too long, and does look a bit mad. The lower half of the robot is a bit messy.

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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