PHOTOBER THE 18TH – Quintesson Judge

It’s Compromise Sunday this Photober the 18th. My original aim was to use Sundays to publish galleries that I had already released early to my patrons. But I wasn’t able to prepare a regular gallery for patreon in time to have the regular release fall this weekend. Meanwhile, I have this Quintesson Judge from Earthrise sitting by my studio space that I couldn’t figure out how to make an extended gallery out of. So the compromise is thus to run it as a Photober item in the spot where I’d have some current-product gallery up anyway. I’m trying to do better for next weekend.

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The Quintesson Judge is difficult to work with in this context. Much of its purpose is to appear to float there, or maybe float-sit in its chair and there’s not a lot that it can really do. The tentacles are all hinged at the base, so they can vary their positions a bit, but I’d hardly call that “poseability”. Though at least they are just strong enough joints that if you prefer, you can use them to keep the Quintesson upright when sat directly on a flat surface without the use of the energy pillar piece.

Three of the five faces have hinged jaws. This is more visually effective on the Death face and the oni-derived face. The third has very little travel for the mouth hinge, so the distinction between “open” and “closed” is minimal. The other two faces don’t have moving parts, and those are the faces that must be user-installed when you get the toy. I’ve heard that this is apparently a difficult task, but I had no indication of that being the case when I put this Judge together, so apparently your mileage may vary? The toy has a geared action feature to switch faces, with a slide lever on the “back”. The top of the …uh, head, rotates with the faces, so you need to hold and/or brace the toy from below to have the function work right. It is reasonably fun to spin the faces around with the lovely mechanical clunking sounds as it goes. But one thing this isn’t is precise. I more typically have a face skip half a face-width past where it’s supposed to be. Needing to nudge it back in line does take a bit of the fun feel out of the process.

I do really enjoy that the toy’s biggest accessory is literally a chair. Clearly it is made specifically with the Quintesson in mind, and to be used with the energy beam. There’s peg holes on the base of the energy effect piece, and one of them (sort of loosely) fits the peg in the seat. It’s fine as long as it’s all sitting on a desk or table or something; the poor fit only is an issue if you try to move the toy with the chair attached, and then it might fall off.

Because of being low to the ground, the utility of the chair for any other toys seems kind of limited. But it’s not to say that it’s impossible to seat anything else… The Quintesson also comes with a tiny pistol. It can be stored and/or hidden underneath the chair. It’s probably best to leave it there in general, as it’s by far the most secure place it has to go.

The gun has a 5mm handle, utilized for storage. It means that any figure with a standard hand size can use this too. But the Quintesson doesn’t have 5mm hands. Or… hands… So it’s instead supposed to peg to any of the tentacles. There’s a 3mm port on either side of the gun for this purpose. The connection is difficult; the tentacles are hard to manipulate for being so thin, and the fit of the peg to the ports on the pistol is pretty snug. Snug enough that it might stay together well once it’s actually properly put together, but getting it to line up and work is quite a task in itself. And once you do get it there, you have just two choices. First, you can bend the tentacle in question around until another peg lines up with a port along the Quintesson’s body and secure it there, leading the gun to vaguely point “forward”. But having it this way for any length of time will certainly warp the plastic. If you don’t go that way because you don’t want distorted parts, the gun will just point wherever it points on the free-floating tentacle of your choice. Either way, use of this is not all that compelling to me.

I want to like the alternate mode, as the Quintesson becomes what I can only conceptualize as its own prison system. But it’s so bad. Obviously the thing is transforming out of obligation, so it has to do something to put a mark in that box on the checklist. But like, at the end there are two pieces leftover that have nowhere to go, and they literally just tell you to put them together and set them on top of the tower, haphazardly laid across the ends of the upturned faces. It’s absurd. There’s also tentacles sticking out everywhere. Conceivably, you could connect this to a system of Modulator bases and Battlemaster roads. But why would you?

The cage/jail cell is just big enough to close around a Battlemaster or Micromaster. I realized my choice of Knok from Spy Patrol III was not ideal when in the process of trying to set the shot up, it kept slipping out between the bars. Oddly, there’s a 5mm port inside the cell. Maybe you could plug a prisoner in for… reasons? To keep them from turning sideways and shuffling out of prison? I don’t really know.

Fundamentally, the Quintesson is an Action Master. And that’s fine. It doesn’t need to do anything to correctly serve its purpose other than to simulatedly float there, occasionally change faces, and acquit people of crimes so that they can be fed to the Sharkticons. It’s cool that this exists, and is quite nice in the form of the Judge, so long as you’re cool with the idea that it is gonna just sit as a display piece even if you routinely get your Transformers down to play with. Because it really can’t do anything else. And that’s why we’re here with it today in a short Photober feature rather than a standard gallery, because there just wasn’t enough I could do with it to get that many different or interesting shots.

We’ve got another week of Photober up ahead. Come back tomorrow for Photober the 19th to see where we’re going next!