Fans Toys FT-56 Variator (Masterpiece Gears)

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Fans Toys FT-56 Variator (Masterpiece Gears)

Fanstoys items usually come with an outer plastic baggie to protect the box.

Ye ole Fans Toys protective film sheet

As usual, the figure comes out of the box slightly mis-transformed to minimize the box dimension. In this case, just rotate the waist on Variator and you’re set.

Since this is a Third Party, non-official item, it doesn’t come with a faction symbol. It’s best to get some stickers from Reprolabels/ to make this guy more “toon-accurate”. Alternately, you can also use “water slide decals” to make them look even more flawless (you won’t see the edges, unlike with stickers) but I’ve never really had the proper skills, or time (usually needs to be individually cut first) to work with those.

For water slide decals, most folks recommend the one from Ocean Studio. Here:

To apply stickers, I find the best way to stick the stickers on is to use the tip of a blade, or a flat, small-tipped object, this way you have more control over the application, as compared to using one’s stubby fingers. You can also use the blade to help gently peel off a corner of the sticker in case you didn’t center it right and need to re-apply.

Since my water slide decal skills suck, I’ll just stick with stickers.

While often seen as a grumpy complainer on the surface, unlike Huffer, Gears actually behaves this way in order to cheer up his fellow Autobots by making them appreciate the bright side of things in his own way.

It’s never fully demonstrated in the cartoons, but Gears was actually one of the physically stronger Autobots. While not as strong as Brawn, Gears’ bio indicates that he has a high level of physical strength and endurance. His main function is actually listed as “transport” (as well as “reconnaissance”).

According to his bio, Gears is also one of the few Autobots that can fly straight upwards by releasing jets of compressed air from his feet, propelling him vertically as high as 20 miles.

Variator stands roughly 5.5 inches and weighs 168 Grams.

Diecast parts include:
-Hip joints
-Sections of the lower legs
-Sections of the feet
-The figure’s “spine”
-Variator’s “hook” accessory / welding torch

I got QC 32.

Variator features a mid-torso ab crunch joint. Unfortunately, using this joint makes the figure look like it’s been snapped in half. It does not look right.

Annoyingly, the figure comes with a singular front skirt plate, instead of separate pieces.

The set offers 5 additional optional faces for Variator.

Variator’s chest panel can be flipped up to reveal his internal circuit details, as seen in the episode “Changing Gears”. Too bad it doesn’t come with an ejectable circuit board (episode plot device) containing Gear’s personality (Bad Cube’s Grump came with one).

Variator comes with a “happy” face just like how Gears appeared in the episode when his personality board was removed and he became cheerful and eager to please anyone (even the Decepticons).

The set also includes Gear’s welding torch that appeared in the same episode. For some reason, Fans Toys incorrectly calls this thing a “hook”.

Lastly, Variator comes with some guns.

His guns can be folded up and merged down to form a rifle. I don’t know if this was ever shown in the cartoons, but Gears has been shown to hold pistols, as well as a longer, rifle-looking weapon in some scenes I think.

Variator’s guns can be mounted on the vehicle mode.

I guess Fans Toys missed the moment from the second episode where Gears used his infra-red lamp to help track an escaping Ravage. Too bad, that would’ve been a cool add-on feature for the vehicle mode.

Overall, another great release from Fans Toys, just beautiful paint and show-accurate appearances with lots of diecast spread around. The transformation this time is not too hard, too (unlike the disaster that was Warthog/Powerglide). I love that it comes with so many extra face plates and even has a diecast welding torch. It’s a shame it didn’t come with the infra-red lamp for the vehicle mode, as well as the circuit board, but it is what it is. I can’t wait for Fans Toys to release Windcharger, Cosmos and Tailgate so we can finally wrap up the Minibots in MP form.


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