MSRP: 100$ – 500$
Hello there! As many of you should know, I am a minicon junkie. This means that most of the money I spend in TFs is actually wasted on tiny, repainted, useless robots.
As many of you didn’t know, my army of useless tiny robots got a very nice addiction: a complete set of DVD microns.
Before I start with my review, I want to give you some words of advice.
I had a bad time purchasing these items, mainly because the seller was a real asshole. Get benefit from my experience:
-buying TFs from some forum’s users can lead you to some great deals, but if that user seems to you an annoying or greedy person, look for some deals elsewhere;
-except a couple of Lucky Draws, TFs are never unique items: it’s better to wait some time and pay maybe a little more on an exclusive than to receive a damaged exclusive because the seller didn’t put any care into packaging the items;
-paypal helps you only if you buy on ebay: in my case, they told me they don’t give support for items which arrived damaged, but only for items whose arrival can’t be given a proof of. This means that if you buy a TF off ebay and the seller declares “TF toy” on the box, if you receive a totally different item PAYPAL WON’T HELP YOU. This is very important, so be sure to get pictures, scans and everything you need if you are spending lots of money; also, shipping is NEVER too expensive, for my personal experience;
-before dealing with a forum user, be sure to contact other people who dealt with that person, so that they can tell you in advance what to expect.
I felt it was important to share these words with you all (if anybody ever reads my column, of course). Now, on with the review.
Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough
Before Mass Production Type Noisemaze, Minerva and Red Excellion, Japanese DVDs of TF series came with much smaller figures.
Micron Densetsu (Legend of the Micron), the Japanese version of Armada, was released in 13 dvds, all of them coming with a small manga and an exclusive micron figure. Microns are exactly the equivalent of Minicons for the Japanese audience, in case you didn’t know.
There were 15 microns for 13 DVDs, because the first one came with an entire team of 3 robots; the remaining 12 DVDs had a single micron each, forming other 4 exclusive teams.
The 5 teams were released as follows:
Street Stunt Team (Armada Street Speed Team repaint, the main characters of the manga)
DVD 1: Redline, Flatout, Sabo
Speed Chaser Team (Armada Race Team repaint; Skyboom Shield here is called Magna-Wing and it’s seen in the manga as a Jet of sorts, they are the Bad Guys)
DVD 2: Top Gear
DVD 3: Midship
DVD 4: Tail Light
Sonic Assault Team (Armada Air Military Team repaint, an all-female team!)
DVD 5: Falcia
DVD 6: Combusta
DVD 7: Twirl
Aqua Raider Team (Armada Sea Team repaint, allies of the Speed Chaser Team)
DVD 8: Freeboot
DVD 9: Breach
DVD 10: Sunburn
Hazard Team (Armada Emergency Team repaint, allies the Good Guys)
DVD 11: Kingbolt
DVD 12: Impulse
DVD 13: Quench
Each set came with a DVD containing 4 episodes of the Micron Densetsu series, the exclusive micron(s) and a 4 pages booklet that was part of a manga called “Linkage”, which is actuall very important to explain some of Armada’s discrepancies (when and how did they become so powerful that they could resurrect Prime?). I highly suggest you all give a look to fan2fan.jp’s section about this, they made a great job: http://www.fantofan.jp/fan/comic/fansub/linkage/linkagemain.htm
In my case, I am focusing on the microns only. On with the review!
Street Stunt Team
This straight repaint of the Armada Street Speed Team shares the same downsides, mainly an articulation-based gimmick that is not what it was meant to be (please read: articulation sucks).
At least this time colors were improved: of all the versions I have (of course, I have all of them) this is my favourite one. The red care could be easily kitbashed into a micron Hot Rod, it already has the right colors and the classic “V” behind the shoulders.
That said, this has never been one of my favourite teams, but I still like the colors a lot.
Energon Ultra Magnus was originally meant to come with a “swapped-around-colors” version of this team, that was also displayed at a toyfair during 2003; Energon Ultra Magnus’ boxes’ back originally came with a picture of the “regular” Street Speed team, while a repaint of the Space Team was finally included. This mistake was later corrected for the international market.
Speed Chaser Team
Many people always noticed that the Race Team’s combined form seemed to be more an airplane of sorts, rather than a shield.
In the Linkage manga this trio of evil microns combines into the Magna Wing, a gestalt Jet.
I find it a quite appropriate use of their gimmick. Their colors are unmistakingly evil, as it should be.
I think it’s the second best version of this team, the first one being the X-dimension white and blue release.
Sonic Assault Team
Finally, a fembot minicon team!
Linkage shows with little effort how to turn an evil trio of Decepticons-alligned minicons into a group of very aggressive ladies.
It’s the power of repainting. Yeah. By the way, I consider this team to be the best version of this mold, even superior to the Caliber Team (the remolded one, with handles, that was color-coordinated with Wing Saber/Sonic Bomber).
The transparent plastic is as fragile as usual, but it’s a necessary evil to get such coolness.
Aqua Raider Team
This team is straight repaint of the Sea Team. Please note that their main color is not black.
Forget about rust-like colors, purple, blue, lemon and whatever passed through the designers’ neurons, this is what this team should have always been: BADASS.
They are like a Minicon Scourge Team, or Nemesis Sea Team.
This is another case where new colors made miracles to improve the figure. As for the Speed Chaser Team, these guys are evil and they don’t hide it…
It seems that this team inspired Hasbro for the Universe Emergency Team, which was separated between Whirl, Fireflight and Stockade & Magna Stampede’s releases.
Differences are evident, but one thing they have in common is that… the yellow guy is totally out of place!
Our friendly neighbourhood Alpha Trion and his assistant show us how that yellow intruder’s colors are not coordinated to ANYTHING!
What the heck? I was able to find a good use for them, though…
Though similar, I consider the Universe version the superior one, whose colors seem to have more strength and appeal than the dvd edition’s.
Gotta catch’em all!
While made of 5 great minicon teams, this set can be too expensive at times… and some colors are just not okay for my personal tastes. If we consider that you’d be paying at least 350$ or 400$ for a repaint version of 35$ of toys, I see little sense in getting these little minions, unless, like me, you consider yourself a hardcore minicon collector.
On Elohim’s Energon scale, I give to the entire set of 15 DVD microns 8 out of 10 cubes.