Religious Orders

Modibot Review

Posted: Saturday January 11 2014 @ 6:28pm

Religious Order: Toys

I back a fair number of things on Kickstarter, but rarely do I love the resulting product as much as I do this one. It's a toy, called a Modibot. The guy making them used to work on Xevoz at Hasbro, I think. The concept is simple, but ingenious. Basically, let's make a Stikfas-esque base figure via traditional injection molding, then provide 3D printed accessories. (I think it's injection molding. Maybe it's some other traditional molding technique.) The Kickstarter project was a combo of figures and 3D parts. None of the 3D parts thrilled me that much, so I just went for the base figure. Later on, I ordered a few accessories directly from Shapeways. Now I can talk about the full product.

The figures themselves are much like a larger Stikfas figure, not exactly, but very similar. They're actually a little more abstract than Stikfas, plus the pieces have tons of holes for mounting accessories. Size-wise, they're considerably larger than Stikfas figures, and a little smaller than all but the shortest Xevoz figure. To me, the size is, well, perfect. Stikfas were always a little small for my clumsy hands. Xevoz figures are on the unwieldily side. Modibots are just right.

Modibot Xevoz size comparison
Flanked by the Hyper Guardian and Skull Jack
Modibot Stikfas size comparison
Next to a standard Stikfas figure

They come in a rainbow range of 6 colors, namely red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. Plus there are white and gray versions. Strangely, not in black. The colors are rich and well-saturated, but not garish. (They're brighter than my crappy phone camera shows.) Still, I wish they also came in black.

Modibot made with all eight colors
A rainbow of available colors!

As with Stikfas and Xevoz, they utilize standardized ball and socket joints, so you can mix and match parts to your heart's desire. Speaking of mixing and matching, you can use Xevoz accessories with them, to a point. Xevoz accessory pegs will fit nicely into Modibot mounting holes. However, the hole spacing for back-mounted things is a little different. Rubbery back-mounted things can be made to fit, but not rigid things. However, the most important thing is that Modibots can hold Xevoz weapons! The ball and socket sizes are very close, but I wouldn't say that they're interchangeable. You can force a Xevoz ball into a Modibot socket, but it appears to put a ton of added stress on the socket. You can easily put a Modibot ball into a Xevoz socket, but the part will dangle loosely. Just think of any compatibility between the two as an added bonus.

Modibot with large fists
Hyper Fists!
Modibot holding large sword
Hyper Sword!

Build quality is simply excellent. The plastic chosen is perfect. Stikfas figures suffered from a wide range in plastic quality. The glow-in-the-dark and the yellow plastics were both notoriously brittle. Modibots are made of sterner stuff. Xevoz, on the other hand, was also quite durable. My only complaint there is that, with play, the balls and sockets would form a white residue from wear. I have seen no sign of this in the Modibots, which have received extensive testing. The plastic also feels good in the hand, with a very subtle matte finish. The joints rotate with just the right amount of resistance. Again, perfect.

I also have more than a few female Stickfas figures with broken sockets, due to thin brittle plastic in that area. That's not a concern with a Modibot. The sockets are considerably beefier. This does give the figures the appearance of having knobby joints. I find the look charming and more than worth it for a longer toy life. I should note that there are female torso/hip pieces available.

So, the final verdict on the figures themselves? About as perfect as can be. The only complaint I can lodge is the lack of black figures. On to the accessories!

I went simple with the accessories. I bought a pack of alternate hands. (The stock hands are simple C-hands, as on a Stikfas figure, or a Lego minifig.) It included pointing fingers, thumbs-up, karate hands, and rock-n-roll devil horns. I also bought two packs which work together to form shoes, Converse All-Stars basically. One pack is the sole with a peg to represent the laces, the other is the remainder of the shoe.

Modibot with devil-horn hands!

One potential problem with the accessories is that the colors don't exactly match up to the colors of the figures. You can get accessories in white, black, blue, purple, red, and hot pink. (And in alumide, which is a sparkly gray.) White pieces are actually very close, close enough that it's difficult to tell that they're not stock. I ordered the shoes in the classic red/white combo. The red is also good, although deeper than the figures if you look closely. That isn't necessarily a problem. I don't think the colors need to match exactly, I just wanted folks to know that they didn't.

The accessories have a slightly grainier feel to them, but it's very slight, barely worth mentioning. I was actually very impressed by the quality and smoothness of the pieces. They compare favorably with the traditionally molded pieces. The fit of the ball and sockets was also excellent. They snapped on as if they came with the figure. This was my main worry with them, and I worried in vain. That said, pushing together the two parts of each shoe took some serious effort, but at least I know they won't fall apart.

One final note about the Kickstarter project as a whole: I received my Modibots precisely on time. If you've backed Kickstarter projects, you know how rare this is. (Some folks received their stuff a wee bit late due to 3D printing delays, but even the worst cases were delivered in a timely manner.)

In short, this is what Stikfas should have been all along. I'm delighted at the success of the product.

Modibot with thumbs-up and pointing hands
Who's awesome? You are, Kid Mechano!

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