This will be Part One of a possible two-part review on the maiden offerings from Cang Toys, depending on how the future pans out. This will cover the first three figures that have been released so far – Ferocious, Landbull and Firmament from the Chiyou set. If you’re wondering what “Chiyou” means, Chiyou is “honoured and worshipped as the God of War and one of the three legendary founding fathers of China”. (Source: Wikipedia)
OVERALL BUILD QUALITY, PLASTIC QUALITY & PAINT APPLICATIONS
5 / 5 (Ferocious)
5 / 5 (Landbull)
5 / 5 (Firmament)
As with all new 3rd Party companies, collectors are naturally concern about build quality and such aspects, which may not be evident from promo photos. What worked for Cang Toys is that all three figures, despite being arguably different aesthetically, have consistent build and plastic quality. The paint job and tampo printing on the figures are done remarkably well, giving the figures a pretty premium feel. Each figure has considerably heft. This to me is a double-edged sword. On one hand, each individual figure feels solid with this weight. On the other hand, I fear that it may pose as an issue for a combiner figure. We will have to see how Cang Toys deals with this.
OVERALL AESTHETICS & PROPORTIONS
3.5 / 5 (Ferocious Bot Mode) 5 / 5 (Ferocious Alt Mode)
5 / 5 (Landbull Bot Mode) 5 / 5 (Landbull Alt Mode)
3.5 / 5 (Firmament Bot Mode) 3.5 / 5 (Firmament Alt Mode)
One of my first thoughts, when I saw the promo photos, was that the alt modes resemble Zoids figures. I think it would be quite incredible to say that the designers did not take reference from them. Now, when it comes to the overall aesthetics, I have differing views for each figure and also for their respective modes.
Landbull stands out as the clear winner of the lot in my opinion, with two well-balanced modes. Hats off to the designer for creating what may be the best bison alt mode that we’ve seen so far.
Ferocious has an outstanding sabretooth tiger mode and I love how the forelegs look. Again, I think the designer did a fantastic job in creating a big cat alt mode that does not look like a bot on all fours. Having said that, it felt like that was a slight compromise for the bot mode. The proportions do not look as well-balanced as Landbull’s, and I feel the figure looks a little lanky. I think it’s the proportion of the thighs to the upper torso.
Firmament gives off a quite a different vibe compared to the earlier two figures. It might be the amount of gold used on the figure or the onslaught of details that we see on the figure. It’s not a bad thing…it just feels different with all the bling (looking at you too Kinglion). Anyway, Cang Toys is almost successful in their attempt to design an outstanding bird mode. If we ignore those bird legs, he’s got quite an impressive alt mode, especially with that wing span (30 inches!).
These figures are pretty big compared to the other Masterpiece-scaled combiner bots. They are about the same height as MP36 Megatron.
OVERALL DESIGN, ENGINEERING & ACCESSORIES
4.5 / 5 (Ferocious)
5 / 5 (Landbull)
3.5 / 5 (Firmament)
In terms of design and engineering, Landbull stands out again. The transformation sequence is not entirely unique but the attention to details is very noticeable. The bison mode forms up very nicely when the panels move into position and these panels are concealed reasonably well in bot mode, giving quite a clean, kibble free look.
Landbull comes with a sword and a blaster. Strangely, the blaster doesn’t peg onto the back in bison mode, unlike Ferocious.
Ferocious’ transformation sequence has some similarities to that of Landbull’s. What I’d noticed is how the designer paid a lot of attention to how the neck portions of both alt modes are formed. Very interesting and I think this has helped to cement the look of the alt modes. One perculiar thing is that both Landbull and Ferocious have their alt mode tails hanging at the back when in bot mode. Would have been good if those were be concealed, but it’s not a deal breaking for me. I must also mention that the fit and accuracy of the parts is phenomenal. There were a few occasions when I thought the tabs and parts will not peg together but they did and in a very snug manner.
Ferocious also comes with a sword and a blaster, and as mentioned, his blaster does peg on the back of his alt mode, albeit a little too high in my opinion.
Firmament is again being overshadowed by the other two figures in this aspect. His transformation sequence is significantly less complex and I personally feel that more could have been done to refine the look of the legs in alt mode. In alt mode, he is fiddlier because of the pieces of armour which double as feathers. It’s easy to displace them when posing the figure.
Firmament comes with a sword that is similar to Ferocious’, twin blasters and Thunderking’s left hand. I think the inclusion of a flight stand for the figure would have significantly elevated the play and display value of the figure. Maybe Cang Toys can consider including one with Kinglion or Hugerrhino.
The wings can also be reconfigured to form shields. Oh, and two of the feathers can be detached from the wings and be used as swords too which is pretty cool! The figure definitely has more options when it comes to playability.
OVERALL JOINTS, ARTICULATION & BALANCE
4.5 / 5 (Ferocious)
4.5 / 5 (Landbull)
2.5 / 5 (Firmament)
Let’s start with Firmament for this segment. The first thing you will notice when handling the figure is that the wings are heavy because of their sizes and this is always an issue for the articulation and stability of any figure. It doesn’t help that the hip joints are not ratcheted and the figure faces difficulties holding poses because of the weight of the wings. It may be worth considering building the wings using a lighter material in the future, if that is at all possible.
Another issue that you will notice is that the helmet, which forms the head of the bird mode, does not rotate and that limits the posing of the head.
An alternative is to not use the helmet and move it to the back of the figure, which will then allow the figure to have a better range of head rotation.
Both Landbull and Ferocious have a good range of motions in bot mode and a fairly decent range in alt mode. The figures balance well and the joints do their job in holding the positions. Unfortunately, both alt modes do have very limited range of head articulation, especially sideways.
The latest reveals of Kinglion have certainly generated buzz amongst collectors, particularly those who are already on the Chiyou bandwagon. I guess we’ll need more information and clearer photos. I will continue to watch the developments closely and hopefully have the chance to review the rest of the set when all the remaining figures are out, so watch this space.
For more photos, check out U.NEM Archive on Patreon!