Japanese Transformers Prime Knock Out with Arms Micron Gra
Box: The boxes for the deluxe toys have no windows. I assume this is due to the lack of paint apps (see below). They look kind of awful without the stickers, so leaving out the window will hide that. Good marketing, but it’s only necessary because the toys are so plain without the stickers. Also, the internal packaging is cardboard, and these were very hard to even pull out of the box without damaging the outer boxes.
Arms Micron Gra
Kit: The kits are fairly easy to assemble, and so far the stickers seem to be staying on well. The plastic is higher quality than the Kabaya kits. They have no paint apps and are perfect for customizers to paint up for a more elaborate look. Each Arms Micron includes something like a spark crystal, but I’m not sure if that is the intent of it. A sticker goes on before the outer translucent plastic to form it. They look nice, but I had some problems getting the crystal to stay in on some of them. Might need a little glue. You need to be careful when assembling Gra. I must not have been paying attention to the instructions and snapped the crab body together without the staff between the parts. It was a bitch getting it apart again without breaking it. Be careful.
Weapon Mode: Gra’s weapon mode is a staff. It’s not bad, and doubles as a gun, but it would be nice if it folded into the gun rather than having such a long barrel.
Robot Mode: Gra is a crab. It’s not a great looking animal mode, but it was pretty cleverly designed.
Knock Out (Based on Transformers Prime Deluxe Knock Out)
Vehicle Mode: Knock Out is very plain looking even with the stickers. I do really like the car mold, but this version has a lot of issues in comparison to the US version. The Arms Micron ports have been added with separately molded parts in a dark red color. The one on the hood looks fine, but the ones on his doors look out of place. Add to that he already had ports farther back, and it makes no sense to put them there. His windows are clear, where the USA version is tinted. The tint makes the socket for the hands a little more distracting on the Japanese version.
Robot Mode: Knock Out’s robot mode has plenty of sticker detail, including stickers on his legs that were omitted (meant to be painted) on the USA version. As they also didn’t paint the weapon on the US version, the Japanese looks much better to me. Even the Micron port on his chest gives it some color, without making it a completely different color like the USA version.
Overall: Since there are no cheap plastic issues that were seen on some previous toys, I think I have to pick the Japanese version as the better of the two.
Thanks for reading!