Review: TFCC Subscription Service 2.0 Chromedome and Rewind

The Transformers Collector’s Club and the organization behind them (Fun Publications) are a group rife with controversy in the fandom. Questionable business practices, mishandling of credit card info, poor show management, and very questionable public relations has put the TFCC in a state of resentment for a large chunk of the fandom. Despite their issues, though, they’re still the showrunners of the yearly Botcon convention, so they’re all we’ve got. Last year, TFCC took a page from their G.I.Joe branch and unveiled a Subscription Service where you pay a large amount of money to have exclusive toys shipped to you. The figures were rather hit-or-miss, but it proved successful enough for a second and a third. The first SS run held nothing of interest for me, but the second run, well… damn it, I just can’t resist anything with the mark of Roberts on it. From the tail-end of the Subscription Service 2.0 and (almost) straight out of MTMTE, here’s Chromedome and Rewind.

Chromedome

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Vehicle Mode

If you didn’t already know, Chromedome is a redeco of Wheeljack from Transformers Prime, and thus turns into a car that kind of looks like a Lancia New Stratos, which just blurs the line between real car and future car to make for a decent altmode for the character. Domey trades in Jackie’s white-and-grey for caramel-brown and cream, and both colors look gorgeous. At first I thought the gold rims looked a bit odd, but they don’t stand out too much and seem to fit well enough. The red accents are nice, and… that’s pretty much it. It’s a good-looking altmode.

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Transformation

I’ve always thought Prime Wheeljack mold was really fun to transform, which is good, because this is the fifth version of the mold that I own. It’s not overly simple, it does some really neat tricks with the legs, and is overall pretty darn intuitive. The swords still have to be removed, of course, but that sort of thing doesn’t bother me.

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Robot Mode

After getting this figure in hand, I can start to understand why it was chosen for a MTMTE Chromedome. Not only are there not too many other options, but the Wheeljack mold has broad shoulders with wheels mounted on them, as well as relatively thin legs. It’s certainly not a perfect physical rendition of the Roche/Milne design, but the mold choice really rather works. The colors give the toy an entirely different feel than any of the previous uses, though the use of red is a lot more G1 Chromedome than MTMTE. What really sells this figure as the character is the Nick Roche-designed headsculpt, which is spot-on to the comics and looks fantastic. I’m very glad the Club listened to the fans and gave this head comic-accurate colors rather than the grey w/ blue visor color scheme from initial images.

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In the Prime cartoon, Wheeljack was a swordsman, and thus Chromedome has apparently traded in his needle-fingers for two blades. Sure, it’s not in character or comic-supported whatsoever, but they came with the mold, so it’s not too big of a deal. Domey has mostly been a non-combatant in the comics so far, really only getting the spotlight for his mnemosurgery, so it’s not as if any character-crucial weapons are missing.

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Chromedome also boasts some very nice articulation: ball-jointed head, shoulders, wrists (w/swivel), hips, and ankles, as well as single-jointed elbows and knees and thigh swivels. He also has an additional transformation joint in his upper arms that could serve as a second elbow joint if it suits your fancy. You can also use the joint to set his shoulders and arm length to your preferred style, be it fully-transformed with thin biceps and long arms, or partially-transformed with large biceps and shorter arms (and insignia forward).

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Stylor

With select figures in the Subscription Service 2.0 came bonus Arms Microns figures done up to represent characters related to the exclusive figure. For Chromedome, the bonus figure is Stylor, who was his Headmaster partner in G1, but here turns into a crossbow-looking weapon for Chromedome to wield. I always liked Mini-Cons as a result of my Armada childhood, so I dig the Arms Microns and I’m happy to have another one.

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Like the swords, there’s no real basis in fiction for Chromedome to have a crossbow, but damn if it doesn’t look cool. Stylor has two different 5mm pegs, so you have a few options on where you’d like to mount him. It’s a shame that Chromedome doesn’t have an arm hole, but you can make do by simply rotating his fist and pegging Stylor in through the opening in his car door kibble.

Rewind

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Vehicle Mode

In the first issue of MTMTE, Rewind complains, “Let’s have a go at Rewind because he turns into a giant memory stick and not a… super space tank or—or—whatever…” Two years later, we get a MTMTE Rewind toy that turns into a super space tank. The unintentional irony of his altmode is what makes it work, honestly, coupled with the fact that there really aren’t any other options for a good Rewind toy. I never owned this Rumble/Frenzy mold due to its cancellation in the States and expensive price in Japan, so I’m glad to get a chance at the toy. It’s a pretty cool little tank, and… that’s about it. The turret rotates, and the two cannons can be tilted up and down. The only downside is that the pile-drivers activate at the slightest touch, but I’ll talk about that later.

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Transformation

Rewind’s transformation is a bit frustratingly fiddly. Parts tend to bang into one another, some bits have a hard time staying pegged in, and those damn piledrivers are always going off. That said, it’s still a very well-done mix of complexity and intuitiveness that defined the Golden Age of the Scout Class from which this mold originated.

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Robot Mode

While Chromedome’s mold has some vague similarities in shape as well as accurate colors, Rewind doesn’t get off quite so lucky when it comes to character resemblance. He has the Roche-designed headsculpt, but in person it looks a bit gummy and really loses points for a) not being white, and b) having a camera sculpted, but lacking a tiny red dot of paint to make it stick out. The entire color layout is off, as well, but given the mold I suppose it’s to be expected. Putting character accuracy aside, it’s a fairly nice robot mode, hampered only by the somewhat awkward arms and the tendency for the crotch to not stay pegged into the main body.

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The main gimmick of this toy comes in the form of the pile drivers utilized by Rumble (and sometimes Frenzy). You can detransform the arms a bit, then press a button on the sides, and BAM – the pile drivers pop out… about two centimeters. Still, it’s a neat feature, and the transformation joint even gives it an elbow for delivering pile-driving uppercuts. It’s totally out of character for Rewind, but eh, what can you do? The problem with this gimmick, however, is twofold: for one, when not in use, they just hang off the back of Rewind’s shoulders, which hinders articulation a bit. Secondly, the button for the pile drivers is practically a hair trigger and will go off if you so much as breathe on it, which is incredibly frustrating.

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As far as articulation goes, Rewind’s isn’t bad for a figure of his size. His head is on a swivel, his arms have a stiff bicep rotation and a simple elbow bend, as well as a mid-forearm joint for transformation that you can use, but it just looks weird. Finally, his hips and knees are ball-jointed. His two gold cannons are mounted via the C-clip system that was so prevalent back in 2012 (and has since sadly been forgotten), and thus can be clipped onto the bars on Rewind’s arms for arm-mounted cannons.

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Overall

Though they are sold separately (well, technically not, as they’re both in the same subscription service), TFSS Chromedome and Rewind are obviously made for each other. As the fan-favorite confirmed couple of MTMTE that got a fairly big spotlight in Season 1, these two characters very much deserve to have toys, and since Hasbro appears to have no plans on the horizon for either of them, these figures are the best options out there. Chromedome pretty much nails it in terms of mold choice, colors, and the Roche-licious headsculpt, as well as the added bonus of Stylor. Rewind falls a bit short, with inherent mold flaws, an inaccurate color scheme, and a somewhat less-impressive headsculpt, but he’s still a fine toy. Chromedome is definitely the stronger offering of the two, but let’s face it; you can’t have one of these guys without the other. They’re conjunx endurae, after all, and not even death can separate them.

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Where to Buy

Chromedome and Rewind were part of the TFCC Subscription Service, and are thus preeetty darn expensive on the aftermarket. Rewind himself came packed with his redeco Eject, so it may prove difficult to find one without the other if you’re just interested in Rewind. I was able to get both of mine for just over $100 from a member on TFW, and I would recommend finding deals like that and use online stores as a last resort. These are great exclusive figures, but perhaps not for ultra-premium prices.

Chromedome

Rewind

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