Review: FansProject Function X-04 Sigma L

Though I’m generally a fan of FansProject as a company, their design aesthetic rarely jives well with my own tastes. The Protector armor always looked too awkward, the not-Stunticons just looked off, and Warbot Revolver never really did it for me, even though I did own it for a time. The Function X line solidified mine and FansProject’s differences in aesthetics, with a very ugly Code and Smart Robin (though admittedly my dislike could be traced to my attachment to the MTMTE designs of Chromedome and Brainstorm). UUUU hit some nice design points, but I have no real attachment to Weirdwolf and the design itself wasn’t enough to sell me. I had similar feelings about Sigma L when I first saw production images, but after seeing in-hand pics, I’ve decided to finally take a chance on FP’s unofficial Headmasters with not-Mindwipe himself. Here’s Sigma L.

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Bat Mode

Sigma L assumes the alternate form of a big mechanical bat. I’ve found that flying animals tend to make for rather uninteresting altmodes, as they only really look good when in flight poses. For articulation, his wings have multiple joints, and can fold up rather convincingly to form what could be considered a pair of arms that end in hook-like structures, which is kinda-sorta like a real bat. The rear legs really don’t move much, but they don’t have to. The mouth can also open and close, and the translucent green coffin-looking panels on his back open up to reveal a little cockpit for the Headmaster, which is really cool.

Transformation

I didn’t get around to making a transformation gif for Sigma L, but I can say that his conversion is fairly simple, really. The legs fold out of the torso, the arms unfold, and the bat head folds down to reveal a port for the Headmaster. I know the Function X line prides itself in its intuitive and clever transformations, but on Sigma L it feels a bit boring, but maybe because there really isn’t any other way to do a Mindwipe conversion. Eh, it’s okay.

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Headmaster

Before looking at the big robot mode, here’s the little one. This fellow doesn’t seem to have any name, but I assume he’s supposed to be Vorath, Mindwipe’s Headmaster partner from G1. Being a Headmaster, he’s a tall and thin little guy and doesn’t have too much articulation, just forward/backward at the hips, knees, and shoulders. One really nice thing about the FP Headmasters is that not-Vorath here does not actually have Sigma L’s face stuck on his back, thanks to some clever engineering. Instead, he’s just wearing a big clunky backpack. Also, the little silver bat symbol on his chest is funny, and I kind of wish they would’ve gone all the way and made him look like Batman.

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Robot Mode

With the Headmaster applied directly to the neck port, Sigma L is complete. He’s a very tall, very thin robot gentleman with a striking purple-black color layout. The translucent green plastic looks gorgeous, but it’s sadly limited to his shins. The magenta bat head stands out a bit on his chest, but it’s not terribly distracting. The colors are overall quite good, but the proportions are a bit odd. His body looks way too long and rather uneven due to the aforementioned bat head comprising the majority of the torso. It feels like the bat head should push further into the chest, but it doesn’t actually lock in at all. The arms also feel a bit short, but maybe that’s just me. The wings are just as cool here as in bat mode, but in a rather irritating design choice, they are attached to his shoulders rather than his back. This makes cool poses rather limited, as moving his arms too much can throw off his wings. At least the wings are well-jointed, though they could use some better rotation.

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Speaking of joints, Sigma L has: swivel head, biceps, waist, and thighs, ball-jointed shoulders, wrists, hips, and ankles, double-jointed elbows, and single-jointed knees. His shoulders and hips are obstructed by the sculpt, which means he can’t do too much in the way of spreading his arms or legs. His knees and neck joints are also super tight, which is a problem for the latter because the head (where you have to grab) is full of joints, which often results in not-Vorath’s limbs unfolding. At least FansProject maintains an extremely durable-feeling plastic, so nothing feels easily breakable. For weapons, Sigma L comes with two shotguns, which really seems like an odd choice for the figure. Wouldn’t a scary-looking melee weapon fit this guy a lot better? Regardless, they’re cool weapons, and the holes in the barrels can fit some effect parts, such as the SHFiguarts Iron Man Mk 42 flight pieces.

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Overall

Sigma L isn’t a bad toy by any means… I just don’t like him. Maybe it’s the overall design cues, maybe I was expecting too much, maybe I just don’t like Mindwipe enough, but I was rather disappointed by this figure. I think I can confidently say that I don’t need to bother with the Function X line any further, because it clearly just isn’t up my alley. Still, if you think this guy looks totally rad and you’re just itching for a cool Mindwipe Headmaster, you won’t be disappointed in this toy. It’s got quality construction and generally does look good, but FansProject failed to hypnotize me into loving this one.

Where to Buy

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