One of the things I love about Transformers over the years is the effort to cross boundaries and test out new concepts and ideas.
We've had Lego-styled sets.
We've had Play-Doh sets.
Crossovers with Star Wars, Marvel & Disney Characters.
Small model kits (in the photo above, on the right), as well as transformable, working electronic items like an MP3 player (Soundwave), earphones (Rumble & Frenzy), working Mouses (Grimlock & Trypticon), USB sticks (Ravage, Cheetor & Tigatron) and a USB hub (Blaster) (some of those are in the centre of the photo above).
Micro sized Transformers (packaged as, Worlds Smallest Transformers - on the right of the next photo).
Plus, a number of remote controlled vehicles from the recent Movie lines, as well as screen-accurate non-convertable vehicles.
Now, we have a pair of "big" Model Kits from the Japanese market of Transformers (the JP Transformers company is more aimed at collectors, than US Hasbro's targeting of the average consumer, which is why most of these creative concepts have only ever been released in Japan).
I call them "big", because in Transformers standards, they are bigger by far than anything previously released by Tomy in Japan. The previous ones (in one of the photos above) were only about 30-50 pieces each, very small and simplistic... but had the feature of actually being able to transform (usually involved removing and relocating some parts though - but so do some actual Transformers toys, including the original Omega Supreme toy). These new pair of Model kits are a lot bigger, both in size and number of pieces (150-200 pieces each), but don't convert, because their gimmick is screen-accuracy.
These are the type of models that aren't supposed to require glue, but after spending a couple hours on the Bumblebee one, I'm finding that some parts aren't slotting in tightly enough without glue. Since these aren't going to transform, and only have a small number of inter-changeable parts, it shouldn't be a problem gluing some of the looser parts.
So this is what the Bumblebee set looks like, for those wondering.
I've also purchased the Optimus Prime set (there are only two), but it hasn't arrived yet. I held off on it because it was so much more expensive (I thought both were meant to be the same price, but Optimus is apparently a much bigger figure, to keep in scale with Bumblebee).
As mentioned already, I'm only a couple hours into this set, and am still a long way off from completion. It is a very time-consuming project, but at least everything is pre-painted (parts on the tree have paint where it is needed).
I just wanted to comment on how "enjoyably frustrating" this set is so far... Yes, you heard right. This time-consuming set is frustrating (especially all the tiny parts), but I am enjoying the progressive result of a ending up with a completed robot.
As for the name "Dual Model Kit" - I was confused as to what it's "dual" purpose was, but now having the box I see that it is just a brand name for Tomy, and doesn't appear to have any "dual" gimmick to it (like two modes).
Well... back to it. I've got Kung-Fu Panda in the DVD player, ready to go... to keep me company while cutting, trimming and attaching model parts together.