R-01 Continuously Variable (aka "not Gears")
Price: $70 USD
Comments: I never had a G1 Gears and he hasn't gotten
the Classics treatment (so far) so I sprang for this third party guy
(there's also a iGear version out there, btw).
As a toy he's comparable to the Deluxe class size that
Hasbro puts out. He comes with two hand guns (same mold, different
colors). Contrary to the BBTS website, the toy does not
have swords (no idea why they're pictured).
He's not bad... my only real complaints are that his
head seems a bit flat. It turns 360 degrees but they could've added
a little bit more "bulk" to it, made it more rounded out (like I
always pictured Brawn being). Also, his backpack in robot mode (i.e.
car rooftop, wheels, etc.) doesn't really lock down as well as it
could. They really should've made a piece to clip it together
instead of hoping it would more or less stay where it is (some of
Hasbro's Classics toys also have this problem though).
His SUV mode is pretty good overall. It does
lock together fairly well and looks quite good. I suppose they
could've made some holes for his weapons to store on the vehicle
mode (but it's not a big deal really. I'm just nitpicking now).
The price is...iffy. Honestly, this toy should be a bit
cheaper. I realize all third party toys are expensive and they're a
very small run compared to what Hasbro or Takara do, but part of me
wonders why a Deluxe sized toy is so much money. Couldn't they have
sold it for, say, $50 instead?
Verdict: Good. If you love Gears and
don't mind the price, pick this guy up. He's not perfect (what is,
though? :) but he's fairly decent overall.