Thursday, 21 July 2016

44 Magnum MC-11 (Micro Change)

The 44 Magnum was the only gun robo from Takaras Micro Change line never to be released in the Transformers toy line. Originally released in 1983 in Japan, the 44 Magnum Gun Robo was a very realistic version of the Smith & Wesson / S&W Model 29 hand gun - an alternate mode possibly chosen for its association with Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry film series.

44 Magnum also saw a release in GiGs Trasformer "Pistola Robot" line in 1984; like many of the releases in Italy it was identical to the Japanese release, however a red cap was glued to the end of the gun barrel for safety reasons.

My version pictured is the Italian release and is the common black version with a brown grip. Two other colour variations were also released in Japan and Italy, which are far rarer to find nowadays - a dark green gun with a chromed barrel and brown grip and a satin black version with a bronze chromed barrel and silver grip.

The gun has a revolving cylinder where you can place 6 plastic bullets and fire them at cardboard enemies - AcroDevils which is a nice feature.

Transformation I find is awkward (yet enjoyable), especially when pushing the left arm out of the revolving cylinder, this has to be done gently so you don't end up breaking the figure. When pushing the Cylinder back in place to form the chest, it doesn't clip in anywhere but it does stay in place. There is also an additional accessory which serves nothing more than to be the left arms forearm which also features a spring loaded wrist.

Whereas Browning and Megatron are reasonably symmetrical in robot mode, 44 Magnum certainly isn't - its robot mode looks clumsy, especially when viewed side on, though when posed from certain angles it can look an imposing figure.

Articulation wise it can move both arms up and down, the right arm has more movement because of its transformation. The head can also move left or right - again this is because of the transformation but neither Browning or Megatron can move their heads. The legs cant move other than being angled at the hips.

The weakest part in robot mode is the feet as they don't clip in place very well and if you aren't careful they can easily unclip and the robot will topple over.

Additionally the figure does not feel as solid a toy as Browning or Megatron which could be a reason it never saw a release in the Transformers line, but despite its faults it has a good gun mode, a reasonable robot mode and an interesting transformation. I would recommend this figure for collectors of pre-Transformers but certainly not for casual collectors - the price this commands on the secondary market seems to have shot up since I acquired mine.

View the full gallery here.

44 Magnum Variations:-

Black with brown grip (Takara, 1983)

Source: Yahoo Auctions

Satin Black with silver grip (Takara, 1983)

Source: Yahoo Auctions

Source: Yahoo Auctions

Dark Green with brown grip (Takara, 1983)

Source: Yahoo Auctions

Black with brown grip (GiG / Takara, 1984)

Satin Black with silver grip (GiG / Takara, 1984)

Source: eBay

Dark Green with brown grip (GiG / Takara, 1984)



Knock-Off (Taiwan)

Source: Unknown

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