Fans Toys FT-16 Sovereign

The Vault Keeper

The Vault Keeper

It will do you no good Autobot …

I made a promise to myself some years back, I’d reached a crossroads with my collecting passion. The promise was simple and honest, I would stick to only collecting the characters that appeared in the first season of the original G1 cartoon. This meant that it would comprise of the entire 1984 toy line with a select few from 1985 to bolster it. Ironic really as my favoured G1 Transformers media of the time was the Marvel UK Comic, which in my opinion remains vastly superior to the cartoon. Anyway, bringing us to 2003 and the dawn of the Takara Masterpiece line it’s safe to say that I veered a tad off course from aforementioned promise. Now some 14 years later I have corrected this course to it’s original heading and I am now fully focussed again, my MP collection will mirror my G1 assortment, subsequently this has created a pile of MP’s that now sit on my For Sale shelf. Meanwhile … Fans Toys goes and drops this in the collecting community, massively testing my resolve !

Upon release I scoffed in the face of a well known UK based Transformers retailer when he said to me, “Eddie, you know you will cave in and get one”. Dam and bless him in equalling measure.

And I have to say that I am happy my resolve was breached, Sovereign is an immense figure, read on to see why.

Packaging & Accessories

Fans Toys FT-16 Sovereign comes in a big sturdy glossy box that harks back to the Generation One toy line with it’s purple grid pattern and sunburst glow. Adorning the box is some nice artwork of “Galvatron” in both his modes and on the reverse side has some text and photos, again showcasing both modes.

Opening up and we have a 3 piece polystyrene inner box that houses Sovereign in robot mode and his selection of accessories. In the fore part along with the figure are two particle cannons (one solid colour the other translucent), a purple tree looking blast effect, a die-cast matrix on a chain and a secondary face sculpt with his angry look on. Also contained here is a replacement face for Fans Toys previous figure, FT-09 Tesla.

Contained in the rear portion of the polystyrene box is a rather impressive display stand, made from clear plastic it’s in two parts which just tab together.

I’m a huge fan of this style of packaging, even if it does not allow a view of the figure when boxed it gives a sense of time and effort invested in the product.

Robot Mode

Freed from the confides of all that polystyrene and FT-16 Sovereign is an immense figure (yeah, I know I’m using that term a lot), sure he’s not as big as his contemporary Ultra Magnus but what it lack in height is more than made up for in sheer weight, bulk and heft. Sovereign is truly formidable, Fans Toys have put together an amazing quality Masterpiece style figure, Takara could (and should) take note here.

Just to briefly bullet point;

  • Very heavy
  • Lots of die-cast
  • Lots of articulation
  • Perfect (if that’s possible) paint application, no marks or blemishes
  • Lots of detail, near enough dead ringer for the animated movie model of Galvatron

So yeah, Sovereign is heavy, just shy of 2lb in weight, that’s like two bags of sugar (should those bags be a pound in weight each). This weight comes from the die-cast mostly which seems to be located in the feet, knee joints, crotch, chest and torso. There are smaller amounts here and there in other joints and connectors, if I’ve missed any then please feel free to point it out.

Articulation is all over the place; toes, ankle, double jointed knees, thigh twist and pivot, waist, shoulder joints, 4 pivots on arms with double jointed elbows, hand twist with wrist bend and finally individual fingers with 3 points of articulation as well as a ball jointed thumb. Head is on a twist and pivot and not a ball joint, it’s not a major thing as it suffices.

With all this articulation in mind the range of pose-ability on Sovereign is good and given some imagination could achieve some really special ones. I would say though that maybe his weight could work against him in this and would maybe require some extra support in places.

This sculpt is a thing of beauty, the lush colours and applications are spot on which makes this figure look good from any angle and really captures the essence of Galvatron.

Now you have a few options open to you regarding display with accessories; firstly you have the choice of either the transluecent or painted particle accelerator cannon, I tend to opt for the former as you well know my fondness for see through plastic. You can display with matrix hung around his neck as we see towards the end of the 1986 animated movie, whilst also popping in his “angry” face for good measure. The flight stand can be used along with the blaster effect add on to replicate another scene in the movie when he flies off to stand atop the new ship supplied to him by Unicron. Or you can pose him suitably and add the blast effect to simulate him expiring some hapless Autobot; note that extra support will be needed for this as the shoulder joints just cannot take the weight.

The possibilities are endless …. Well, actually they aren’t but they don’t need to be when looking this bad ass.

* Transformation *

Big bucket of arse ! Note to self; never complain or deride Badcube Sunsurge again … like ever.

This big bugger is tight, very tight which makes for an interesting time during transformation. Some small clearances and fiddly processes thrust my emotions through excitement to anger and anxiety within the 20 plus minutes or maybe more I endured to get to the cannon mode. Either he really is that awkward or I’m just getting old. Do not attempt to transform him without first consulting the instructions, I’d even go so far as to say try watch a video guide also as some steps appear to be skipped over in the booklet.

Laser Cannon Mode

Its, err … a cannon ! A nice shiny futuristic laser cannon. It rolls on tiny wheels and has some articulation to angle it upwards or downwards. That’s about it really, did I mention it was a pig to transform ?

Again as in robot mode, it’s a good looking affair that’s quite screen accurate too.

Everything is tightly packed away with no shelling or unsightly kibble. There is no “official” hand pistol mode like with his G1 counterpart but if you fold the rear leg section down on itself and twist the arms round you get a hand gun of sorts.

Struggling here for things to say about this mode, it does not lend itself to requiring a great deal of exposition. As before you can choose which cannon barrel to use, the Matrix can then be hung round the base of the chosen barrel. I do like how the base of the barrel has been made to mimic Galvatrons head, which forms this section in the cartoon and G1 toy. Flight stand is useless here but the blast attachment can be utilised with good effect.

Final Thoughts

I have decided again to bullet point my closing thoughts as opposed to writing some long winded text, I will say though that with this being only my second dip from Fans Toys I can honestly say I’m very happy overall with it. The design and quality is what I personally feel a Masterpiece figure should be and when put along side an official product it so very brightly outshines it.

  • Some very minor QC; screw covers on the shoulders keep falling off as did the red abdominal inserts.
  • Particle cannon (the transluecent one) pops out of the arm tab and opens up of it’s own accord, this can be resolved with the application of a couple of thin coats of clear nail varnish.
  • Blast effect accessory; looks like a tacky fake purple Christmas tree, not a fan.
  • Flight stand is nice but limited pivot range makes it’s usefulness a little redundant.
  • Inclusion of alt face for Tesla, I have been told is a waste of time as it’s no better than the original supplied with the actual figure.
  • Matrix is nice, however a little concerned about die-cast to die-cast contact over time and repeat usage. Potential for paint scratching or chipping on Sovereigns chest.
  • Sovereign “angry” face …
  • Like having the choice of particle cannon, fulfils the desire for toon or toy.
  • Box is nice and feels of good quality but as I commented whilst reviewing FT-15 Willis, I find fans Toys packaging a little garish. I do tend to prefer the more simplistic approach as taken by Badcube though I love the polystyrene.
  • Difficult transformation with excessive effort required for some tabs and sequences, very stressful and at time felt I may break something.

Now, lets find some shelf space !

Thanks to Kapow Toys Ltd, figures reviewed are available online via their website.

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