Despite loving the character as a child I have never owned a Generation One Omega Supreme toy. Somehow it’s always eluded me. This passing ships in the night like relationship began at a car boot sale in mid 1980something or other, when I came across a “Convertors Omegatron” toy and turned my nose up at it, only to be overcome with regret 5 minutes later and run back, but that indecision cost me dearly and it had been swept up. The reason I didn’t already own one is because Omega Supreme was never released in the UK under the Transformers banner (not that I knew this at the time, otherwise I wouldn’t have spent much of the 80’s searching). Instead we had companies like Grandstand licensing the mold and releasing it in their own toy lines in different colours (like Convertors Omegatron). When the reissue came along, my money was mostly reserved for booze and now a complete vintage version runs into the higher end of what I can afford. Or not afford.
Fast forward to 2018 and I am sat in the bar, sipping a nice cold beer, at the Hilton Metropole awaiting the beginning of this years TFNation convention, and a friend plonks this small third-party Omega Supreme figure on the table. Blown away, I got up the next morning with the sole intention of fighting my way through to the Kapow Toys stand and buying that toy.
And so it is that we have this review of Mechfanstoys Huge Dragon.
Huge Dragon, as any good Omega Supreme should, turns into a rather Soviet vibe giving off rocket launchpad (sadly not McQuack) with bonus train track for a tank to frolic around on. See: dictionary definition of awesome.
Omega was always something of a space P&O ferry for the Autobots, whose rocket mode would spirit them away on intergalactic adventures only for his body to mysteriously appear waiting, with bunting up, on arrival at their destination. This toy doesn’t employ magic to make the base mode disappear into the rocket but it does look bang on point. With only the head itself becoming the guard tank, that leaves the full torso to serve as a rocket platform. The rocket pegs in to the base but the orange claw pieces have to be bunched up in order to fit within the scaffolding. A rail track then envelops it and whilst there is no motorised gimmick the tank can still roll around easily enough. Or perhaps slide would be more apt as, oddly ,wheels are scultped under the treads but they don’t roll as they aren’t actual wheels. Having your own personal tank is cool and all but my favourite aspect of Omega Supreme was always the rocket mode. I wonder if he has a little built-in PA system that plays space themed music on loop. Prime’s foot, tapping away to the tune of: “To the Moon and Back” by Savage Garden, whilst Mirage asks if Omega’s got any Jean-Michel Jarre.
In base mode Huge Dragon is kitted out with enough weaponry to make even the most persistent cold caller think twice. The vintage Omega Supreme toy was fairly light on base mode armaments, despite his position as the Autobots “last line of defence”, but Mechfanstoys took the opportunity to give him multiple bonus ways to crack the planet in half. Each side of his chest flips open to reveal lovely, painted, missile racks that are straight out of Gundam. and the robot mode elbows now pull double duty as maneuverable defense cannons. There’s a nice compact, yet bulky, look to the base mode that feels like a spiritual relation to the Micromaster bases of yore. Though it is pretty much the same as its G1 counterpart, once shrunk down to this size it just screams out for you to pepper it with Micromaster bots.
Not to be left out, the obligatory patrol tank slides around the track defending the base from marauding Micromasters with its cannon that can pivot up and down. As the tank turret is also his head – Huge Dragon is literally on watch. Sadly there is no optional piano accessory to roll along the track with a tiny Vanessa Carlton on board.
A tiny flap opens on the side of the rocket that is meant to serve as a door/ramp, but at this size it’s purely for show as only dust could fit through it. Even then it is too high for the platform to reach it, so it ends up like a gang plank. Or that tower that would pop out from the Decepticons underwater base in the cartoon. Even though this toy is designed to scale with legends class figures it’s too small for the base mode to serve any functional purpose with toys of that size. Ideally you’d want toys from Takara’s old Worlds Smallest Transformers line if you really want to maintain some illusion of scale, but it’s futile as it’s a toy that you should want to just play with. As this is a playset, everything about it is designed with playability at the fore. It can act as a nice display piece but that wastes the effort MFT put in to ensuring the play feature side of Omega Supreme was maintained.
Parts forming has its detractors but it’s one of Omega Supreme’s signature features and in Huge Dragon’s case it allows for multiple configurations of the base mode. The one above is the fairly standard Omega template but other options exist if you want to be a bit more creative. Go wild.
If MFT earned Brownie points for making a unique toy that is not a rip off of an already existing figure, it’s gone a bit Lance Armstrong and overreached by throwing in a whole caboodle of KO Takara Diaclone reboot stuff. Moaning about bonus extras even if they are KO’s may seem slightly mawkish, but it adds an air of illegitimacy when the idea of moving away from knock offs was so tantalisingly close to being realised. Third party toys already exist in a grey area of dubious morality, but the unnecessary inclusion of bootlegged parts that aren’t required for any of the figures main modes just seems awkward.
Ignoring the moral quandaries, the little powered suit upgrades that are included make for a great little communication arrays to situate around the base mode and they go even better with a Titan Metroplex, Fort Max or Trypticon. I haven’t dabbled much with the Diabattles line, as I suffer from a chronic affliction of poorness, but it’s incredible how much versatility is even on display in small pieces like this.
Should you be so inclined, the box says that you can fudge an extra two modes. The first requires adding the giant Diaclone cannons that serve no purpose in any other mode, to form some kind of walking artillery thing that reminds me of what Shockwave always seems to end up as when they can’t figure out what else to do with him.
The last mode is a giant cannon that sure exists and is absolutely positively in no way the regular base mode knocked over…
One of Omega Supreme’s signature traits is that instead of transforming in the conventional manner he is cobbled together like a bunch of Stickle Bricks. Mechfanstoys wisely opted not to meddle with this winning formula for Huge Dragon and stuck with the standard “falling apart from robot to Inter City Rocket Base and back again” mantra that should really have been emblazoned on his box . He’s part robot toy, part construction set. Shoulders peg in, the rocket splits and becomes hands without actual hands, and grey platforms fold up into little grey booties that clip onto the knee. About the most involved element is folding up the tank and slotting it into the chest to form the head. A fittingly simple way to produce a very Omega Supreme looking bot. It’s easy but it’s also fun and accurate.
Assembling Huge Dragon’s robot form powerfully evokes the original and the same can be said for how he looks. Detail is etched onto every surface without overwhelming it, creating a modern Omega Supreme figure that matches the style taken by Hasbro with their Leader Class figures in the Generations line. Appropriately, that is also where this figure lands in terms of height (not so Huge Dragon?). It’s a unique design that takes inspiration from the classic Omega Supreme without being beholden on one particular incarnation. It’s nice to have a little break from animation accuracy sometimes. Plastic is molded in each of Omega’s signature colours with paint used purely to pick out smaller details. This removes the worry about paint chipping down the line and allows the toy to cut a striking celebration of Generation One Omega Supreme.
One area where Huge Dragon doesn’t quite hit the mark is with a face sculpt which calls to mind Peter Weller’s face with the Robocop helmet off. So much empty space within the helmet doesn’t help and it’s no wonder Omega is a solemn faced bot who spends his time hanging around on lonely moons listening to Tears for Fears with that mush. Truthfully, in hand as it stares at you through it’s pee stained visor, it’s not so bad but it’s definitely the one aspect of the figure that could have done with someone in the office raising their hands and going: “guys, is a mini waxy I Robot face really the way we want to go?”.
His signature train track wings complete his silhouette and slot into holes on his very clean back. Owing to the parts forming nature of his transformation it renders very little alt mode kibble for the robot to have to deal with. Only the train tracks could be considered as alt mode kibble, but even they are an incredibly important part of Omega Supreme’s outline. Instead of proper hands he is equipped with his massive cannon arm and novelty arcade grabby hand. Each claw features two joints giving you a surprisingly good range of articulated grabbing options and at their centre, in his palm I guess, is a clear orange booster that makes me crave Jolly Rancher’s AGAIN. The cannon arm has no gimmicks it just points at stuff to shoot as it should.. The head can rotate with the pivoting blaster barrel putting a new spin on the phrase: “head cannon”.
Oh come on, you had to know that was coming.
For a large lump of plastic, and as a character who is essentially the immovable object to the irresistible force, Huge Dragon is reasonably posable – and very noisy with it. Each knee employs some of the loudest ratchets you could ever come across. So loud are they that if I move those knees it sets my dog off yelping and running around like a Mad Max themed Cat army has invaded and set fire to her food whilst shouting about oil or something. Shoulders, elbows and hips are also on noisy ratchets and even the waist clicks as you twist it. Yes, he has a waist swivel. Omega always struck me as a quiet bot but you can’t move him without thinking some kid is lobbing bangers around the place. Sturdy joints ensure he can hold the maddest looking robot scarecrow poses around without toppling over but on mine one joint a bit too sturdy, with the right elbow being tighter than George Graham’s Arsenal defence. No screw holes are visible on the elbows so it’s not an obviously simple job to reduce the tension and avoid the breakage I fear is heading its way.
With a minimal amount of paint to apply the factory has done a neat and tidy job. I genuinely have nothing to grumble about, which will make my Mrs think I’m ill.
Setting themselves on a less shady path proves to be a resounding success for Mechfanstoys. The addition of the KO Diabattles parts is a reminder of the heritage this toy is trying desperately to escape, but as an original design this is about as perfect an Omega Supreme as you could want at this size. Quality is great, transformation is fun and it looks like the character it’s trying to emulate whilst adding it’s own details to keep it in theme with the Generations toys it wants to sit on your shelves with. It also helps that the price is far more affordable than the larger options and is in line with what you’d expect from regular retail for a leader class toy. There isn’t anything to complain about and if you think he needs to be bigger, well he ain’t trying to be that guy.
Having never owned a G1 Omega Supreme (it’s ANOTHER grail) there is something satisfying about finally getting to experience his particular approach to transformation myself. Whilst it’s not the original, it does such a great job at emulating the concept that it’s impossible to think of it as anything else. I will be very surprised if this isn’t on my top 10 of 2018 list. This or the blue Guardian repaint that is now poking it’s claw at me from eBay.