iGear Mini-Warriors
Tubes & M.A.N.A.T.E.E. Review

Did I miss a week or what? Some changes at work and a nasty bug kept me woefully away from my IAT duties last week. I’m still not quite back to 100%, but I have to get something posted before I go crazy. Today, ’ve got a quick look at the two latest iGear Mini-Warrior exclusives!

I’ve reviewed the figures in this review before, the Rager mold a couple times, so I’ll leave those handy links there for anyone that wants to know the specifics on the molds. Suffice to say, I’ve given both, though particularly Rager, my rubber stamp. I wouldn’t be buying colorway multiples otherwise.

Tubes is my fifth purchase of the Rager mold. I’m not entirely certain that I needed all five. The 4th Anniversary Rager (orange truck) serves as my stand-in for Huffer and more or less makes the original, yellow release, redundant. Shafter (yellow truck, red windows) serves as much as a unique character as he can while I’ve come to look at Black Rager as sort of a Shattered Glass Huffer (I just need CapturedPrey to restock their Shattered Glass faction stickers).

Honestly, I hesitated a bit on ordering each of those repaints, though I’m ultimately happy I purchased all of them. I can’t quite bring myself to say the same for Tubes. I pre-ordered Tubes right away when BBTS put him up (it was a good call, the pre-order sold out pretty quick) and I thought he’d end up being my favorite version of the mold, standing in for a favorite childhood toy: Pipes. It wasn’t to be.

The problem is that Rager does a great job standing in for Huffer. Many of his bot mode details were switched to include elements closer to his appearances in the cartoon and comics. He’s a sharp update on the original. Those changes, though, ensured that the mold really shouldn’t be reused to make an update for Pipes. It just doesn’t look right.

The first problem comes into play over twenty-five years ago – while Huffer & Pipes look very similar in their tiny, tough truck alt modes, Takara/Hasbro retooled the bot mode pretty heavily when they got to Pipes. The originals transform into two very different bots – and as a result Tubes bot mode just doesn’t call back to Pipes much at all. I love the colors. I love the alt mode. But it’s a shame that iGear decided to go with Tubes as a repaint instead of including a new head and a new chest to get him right. Continue to Page 2…

15 thoughts on “iGear Mini-Warriors
Tubes & M.A.N.A.T.E.E. Review

  1. cool stuff. I can see where an OCD mind (ahem) would be annoyed by the straight repaint, but he is passable, considering many other “updates” are nowhere near as accurate.

    The FOC Magnus would be closer, if you turn his torso around (and I’m trying to work out switching the arms or at least hands without breaking things) and do a few minor paint retouches. (red windshield = black) also, he’s got a BFSword which can be modded onto his carryover Prime gun, but while the packaging mentions it, the instructions leave that out.

    I had to laugh at the MANATEE packaging and the fact you have the (new/”updated”) Cutter to pair him up with is the icing on the cyber-cube confection.

  2. “Sadly, though that figure has been nicknamed Puffer by the fandom and well, we just can’t change the first list of Tubes name to a P. That’s just not right.”


      1. A lot of folks don’t know this, but there actually is a Transformer called “Pubes.” He transforms into an electric Norelco razor. Obviously, this is a Takara Japanese-release only.

  3. the title of the review is one period short of a full M.A.N.A.T.E.E., just FYI

    these guys are cute. how’s the QC on these, still feel up to snuff, better, worse? any feeling like the mold is getting worn? the lines look tight from here.

  4. Nice review (as always). These are the kinds of reviews I appreciate the most. As a huge fan of the original molds of both of these guys, I was really torn when the preorder came out for these guys. Ultimately, the cost kept me away. Now I’m kind of glad, especially after seeing there was no retooling on Tubes (most of the promo shots were just CGI). I have heard rumors that he was going to get a “real” release, so I’m hoping that is true.

    I’m not a huge fan of MANATEE’s color scheme in general, but for being a WHALE homage, it’s pretty spot on. Phillip Reed took a pic for Transforming Collections and it’s of MANATEE driving WHALE. It’s pretty brilliant. I’m eagerly awaiting my chrome Spray (you haven’t gotten yours yet, have you?) as I haven’t seen final product pics of that one either.

  5. Yea, I did the same research on Pipes and I just couldn’t justify a straight up Huffer repaint for my classics rendition. I hope iGear or someone makes a proper one…

  6. Welcome back, Noisy. You’ve been missed! Hope you’re all better soon.

    I’m glad that I passed on these two as well. Pipes just isn’t Pipes without his mouthplate and inverted cab alt mode.

    Manatee’s box art is a cool nod to Joe fans. If they’d added orange parts, you’d also have a Night Force Whale (Night Striker) homage.

  7. Great review and good pics as always.

    I decided not to pursue the original “small” iGear molds after they announced that the following minibot remakes (UFO/Cosmos and Hench/brawn etc) would be at a bigger scale. These are far too tiny to look good next to their larger new brethren IMO.

    Still, good review.

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