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Transformers Third-party Review – iGear’s Hench and UFO


In times like these when the Official Transformers line isn’t putting out anything I want, it’s great to have an occasional third-party release or two to perk up the collection.

Hench and UFO join the previously released Rager and Spray in iGear’s Mini Warrior subline, which is dedicated to bringing back the classic smaller-sized Transformers of yesteryear. Where Rager and Spray were updated representations of Huffer and Seaspray, Hench and UFO bring Brawn and Cosmos into the 21st century.

As a particularly finicky kid when it came to the playability of my toys, the Minibots — and let’s face it, a lot of Transformers — were always a bit frustrating to me. Some, like Bumblebee, were rendered fairly static due to unmoving legs, while others like Brawn were so far off from the presentation I was used to in the comics and cartoons that I couldn’t help wish for better toys. With so many toy lines to choose from at the time, I ended up passing on a lot of the Minibots, choosing to spend that same amount of money on a GI Joe or something with less limitations, while still pining for better representations of those characters.

I never owned Cosmos, but I did own Brawn. However, after all these years, I can finally say I have a Brawn worthy of the name.

The one thing to take into account with these figures is that it’s not about how faithfully they can recreate the original toy, but how faithfully they can stay true to the essence of the character while making the figure that should have been made in the ’80s if it had been possible. This means that you can say goodbye to those odd hook-shaped hands on Brawn: he’s finally — finally! — got a nice set of fists.

Of the two, Hench’s vehicle mode is closer in design and color to the original Minibot version. Where Cosmos was originally a dark green, UFO is much brighter. I’d bet a darker paint variant will be making an appearance in a future release, but since I’m not terribly bothered by the paint difference here, I’ll probably stay with the brighter green as my default version.

Transformation on UFO was fairly simple, intuitive to the point of barely needing to glance at the instructions. With such a simple design in saucer mode, it’s just a matter of pulling him apart until he looks like a robot. Mine has a loose knee joint, but it’s nothing terrible. He has a stumpy, chunky look in robot mode and while the oddness of his arms means he’s a bit inhibited in his arm movement, it isn’t a deal breaker.

UFO is primarily yellow and green, and with most parts cast in those colors, there’s minimal paint, and mine had no problems with what paint there is. Overall, this is a fun toy and a cool enough representation of Cosmos.

Where UFO’s vehicle mode strays, Hench is extraordinarily faithful. I had a huge surge of nostalgia when I pulled him out of the box. His transformation was a bit more challenging, especially in the leg area with some odd twisting and folding, but after one run through I could do it without having to peek at the instructions. But make sure you swivel his waist around to properly finish transforming him and get his legs right.

One super-cool bonus: swivel his head around and you can choose between either his original toy-esque face or the more expressive animated/comic-styled face. This was a pretty nifty little bonus to toss in there, and while I like the more expressive face, the mouthless look has a certain charm to it as well.

Hench/Brawn’s articulation is nearly perfect. In fact, he’s probably got almost every point of articulation he needs. If I could wish for anything extra, some wrist swivels would be nice — I found myself needing them for certain gun poses — but that’s really reaching for something to pine after.

His colors are dead-on to the Brawn I remember. While I was pleased with UFO, I’m extremely happy with Hench/Brawn. I like them both a lot, but I keep picking up Brawn and fiddling with him. That’s him in a nutshell: fiddleworthy. With his thick legs and solid trunk he looks like the strong bot he is, and he’s got great balance in a variety of butt-kicking poses.

These are more expensive than the first pair of Mini Warriors, but they’re also larger as you can see in the picture below. They’re available on iGear’s website separately or in a set of the two.


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5 thoughts on “Transformers Third-party Review – iGear’s Hench and UFO

  1. Love all of the Mini Warriors so far that iGear has made. Has any company made stickers to detail these figures?

  2. Brawn was a character I remember liking in the show and hating the toy. That Hench activates my nostalgia for this property more than anything I’ve seen from Hasbro in a long time. Yikes. Must resist buying transformers…

  3. Hench looks amazing. I’m going to have to bite the bullet and find him. I think UFO looks pretty good, but I’m content with my Legends Class Cosmos.

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