PICTURES COMING TONIGHT- SORRY FOLKS Transbot90210’s TB3PReeVee – Unique Toys UT-GO2 Sharkies Greetings and salutations fellow Transfans. As more and more holes are filled in our Classics collections they make the remaining holes look so much bigger. For the longest time all we had were faint whispers regarding a Sharkticon figure and old teasers that seemed to never come to fruition. Here we are now at the tail end of 2013 and now begins the BEAST WARS. Well it is more of a Sharkticon war with Unique Toys, iGear and Hasbro/Takara all announcing a Sharkitcon figure release of their own. Unique toys beat them all to the punch with a rather satisfying rendition of a much underrated character. It is with great pleasure that I, Transbot90210, bring you another TB3PReeVee (for those still not in the know that means Transbot90210’s Third Party Review). Today I bring to you the first Sharkticon to be released to the masses; UNIQUE TOYS UT-02 SHARKIES. This is my first experience with a Unique Toys (UT) release so let’s get right to it. The box is a vibrant yellow with a stylized drawing of three Sharkies on the front. The back of the box gives us a biography on the Sharkies as well as photos of the actual figure. The box is much larger than what it is holding inside but it is not too large to pack away easily for those MISB collectors or those like me that keep their 3P boxes. Inside the package we find our three Sharkies packed in a large plastic tray with their gun and tail packed just beneath them. From right to left we see a dark purple Sharky, a light purple Sharky and another dark purple Sharky. Also included in a separate bag are an instruction sheet and a hard plastic spec card. The instructions are a step by step visual representation of this figures transformation from bot mode to alt mode. The transformation is simple yet fun and the instructions do a fine job at illustrating the steps required to go between modes. Because the figures come packaged in bot mode let us begin with the bot mode. Visually I think they fit the bill perfectly. We have three figures and all three are made to look differently due to some minor changes. The easiest difference to spot is that one figure is painted in a lighter purple than the other two. All three figures also sport different facial expressions. This goes a long way in adding slight personalities to a set of figures that are basically clones of one another. The figures have a good deal of articulation and the joints to begin with are nice and tight. However, I did find that the more I transformed the figure the looser it became. This is not to say that the joints became completely loose but they are not as tight as they were and I personally fear that this is something that can lead to loose joints with enough play. I am not too concerned though because loose joints do happen with play and it is nothing that some clear nail polish or Future Floor Polish won’t be able to fix. My biggest issue with the bot mode is the hands. The hands simply pull out from the alt modes foot. This is nothing more than a friction fit and one that does not work so perfectly. I find that I need to put the weapons in hand to get them to stay out all the way. Speaking of weapons, I found that they are loose in hand if the tail/ball and chain is put in the figure’s left hand and gun in the right but they hold much better if you change which hand they are held in. That said, although the tail fits in perfectly in the right hand I find that the gun remains on the looser side in either hand. The gun does hold, just not as tight and securely as the tail does. The only real kibble on these figures are the alt mode arms which just hang off the back of the robot mode. I thought it would be a much greater eye sore than it actually is. The arms may just be there but the figure itself is not hampered by them and they really do not stand out like a sore thumb or anything like that. The figures are also on the lighter side but that is because of how it transformers. The robot legs actually hide away inside the hollow shark body. For this reason I completely forgive the lighter feel of the figure. Speaking of transformations and Alt modes, let us get to the Shark mode. These guys are terrific in alt mode. They are full figures with no kibble or robot parts to be seen. My only real gripe with this mode is the legs. They do not have knee articulation. Due to transformation the joint can bend from side to side but not forward and backwards like a knee should. It is not a make or break thing but something I would have liked to have anyway. I would also suggest being a little careful when handling the Shark mode because this figure has some very sharp points, specifically the two smaller fins on its back. Overall, If you like season 3 characters, troop building or cool transformers in general, I say pick these up. If you have no interest in the character then you can pass on it. The plastic quality is not the best I have felt but it is a long ways away from being cheap plastic as well. The colours are vibrant and those gold chromed lifeless eyes are a nice touch in making these Sharkies look like the dim witted Sharkticons that they represent. I wouldn’t call these must haves but I can also say that when buying these you will not feel disappointed in what you get, and it all comes in a big box. :P Transbot90210 gives this set a rating of “TRY IT!” The review is over Transfans but I would like to invite you all to gather around and hear me as I speak from my soapbox. We find ourselves at a perfect opportunity to send a message to 3P groups and their much too high pricing practices. We have three groups making Sharkticons now, Unique Toys, iGear and Hasbro/Takara. The Unique Toy version is more than enough to fill in a Sharkticon void in your collection with a great size, a great look and decent quality. I would gather that the Hasbro/Takara release will be too small although at a much more affordable price to help troop build. iGear has yet to release their three pack but one has to question why their version is $30+ more that the Unique Toys offering. With a company as well established as iGear one has to question their constantly increasing prices. Can you blame manufacturing? How so? When another company, smaller than iGear, has put out a very similar offering for MUCH less? I think what we are seeing here is another perfect example of a 3P company taking advantage of the fandom and charging what they think the maximum amount is that they can get from us versus fair pricing. I personally ask you all to skip on the iGear offering and jump on the Unique Toys (or Hasbro/Takara) if you are one, like me, that needs the Sharkicon void filled. With their consistent rise in prices with the MiniWarrior line and now a $30+ price hike for their version of the Sharkticons I think now is the perfect opportunity for our voices to be heard. I think now is a time that we can tell iGear that enough is enough and their prices need to become fair again and not just another attempt for a company to dip their hands in our wallets and take what they please. Vote with your wallets Transfans and let us come together in getting 3P prices down to a more reasonable and real level. We are not just life support systems for our wallets so that these companies can come in and grab as much out of them as they want.