Monday, September 23, 2013

Review: Sluban Space Flamingo/Red Spider (Transformable Mecha/Spaceship) M38-B0257

Well the torrential rains in Manila left me unable to get to work due to the flooded streets.

The good part about it was I was finally able to turn my attention to some brick sets that I've long neglected.  The Sluban Space Flamingo kit was bought more than a year ago but has been passed up by other more simpler sets.

I bought it because:
1.  It was a ROBOT!
2.  It was a TRANSFORMABLE ROBOT! (I hate the official Hasbro Kre-O transformer brick sets because you can't transform the kit without disassembling everything)
3.  ROBOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Two of my faves in 1 model: robots and spaceships

The color scheme reminded me of Jetfire/Skyfire from the Transformers.

The box had some statistics for the "Red Spider" although in another corner of the box below the model number it says "Flamingo"

Red Spider huh?  It says Flamingo on the other side of the box



Yeah Hasbro's Kre-O line can go suck it with their non-transformable kits.  This one transforms without disassembling the robot!

Valkyrie, Gerwalk, Battroid! Can I call you Jetfire?!?!?
Yep this is part of Sluban's space series

See it does say Flamingo!

Let's open up the box!

Small manual!  Nice bricks!

Manual + Sticker sheet!
 Although really glossy the sticker sheet feels thick in my hands.  Feels like cheap stickers.

The manual is clear enough although sometimes it feels disorienting since the colors don't provide much contrast from what you've finished and what your supposed to do next.

Nice bricks!

Out of the polybag!
The kit comes with a lot of these things that we can assume will later become the mech's arms and legs.

The bricks despite not being Lego gave a nice feeling when they are in your hands.  The colors are vibrant and doesn't give off a cheap vibe.

Let's build this thing!

Starting of with the legs.  First thing I notice is that Sluban did not use toothed gears for the joints.  This is going to pose problems later when the mecha needs to stand on its own.  The joints feel fit now but they foreshadow being loose much much later.

And here's the whole leg structure.  Looks great.  Stands up well on its own.  But again without toothed joints I have strong misgivings about these legs being able to support the upper torso of the mech.

Now for the upper torso.  Despite the lack of thought the designers applied to the joints,  the construction of the upper torso impressed me because of the application of Lego-like techniques, particularly the use of overlapping bricks to strengthen the structure.

Nice overlapping white pieces for strength

Overlap once more.

Here's the leg part and the torso portion.

More overlapping brick technique applied.

Nice strong reinforced structure

Here's the chestpiece:

The completed chestpiece with a partially built backpack:

This is the backpack for the mech.  This really reminds me of certain Gundam kits I've built before.

Striker pack?

The pieces of the upper torso:  Backpack, torso and chest piece.

The three portions attached to each other:

The arms.  Similar to the legs I have strong misgivings with regards to the non-toothed joints.

The torso is almost complete!

Still looks like a striker pack to me
The head reminds me of Skyfire once more!

The upper torso is complete!  Looking really good here!

Hello there!

Time to put it all together!

As theorized the non-toothed joints prove that they can barely support the top heavy mech.

I fell and can't get up!
After much wrangling I was able to make the robot stand up!  I had to quickly take the picture before it decided to flop down again.
Aha!  I can stand!  Sluban Space patrol for reference

As promised on the box the kit can transform without any disassembly!  Similar to Wing gundam it's shield become the forepart of the spaceship!  NICE!

A handsome looking spaceship form!

The shield serves as the spaceship's nose cone!  Ala Wing Gundam!

Let's try posing it some more!  
Success!  a semi action pose!

Keep that pose!  CLICK!

Ready for battle!

Some more pics before it decides to fold down

Overall it was not a bad kit.  My biggest gripe of course is that the mecha can barely stand on its own.   I wish they used some toothed joint similar to what Lego uses for some of their bigger Hero Factory and Chima models.

But great job for Sluban as they are able to create a model that can transform without the need to disassemble the whole thing.  It is still the biggest reason I got turned off from Hasbro's own Kre-O transformers line.

And of course the 500 pesos price tag for a 300+ brick count set isn't bad at all.

Good experience!