Yes, I know this site and the project that spawned it is supposed to be about having less junk than more but here me out. I’ve had a terrible few weeks. I’m not even going into all of it because I seem to be coming out the other end of a bad time, I’m hopefully almost done with doctors and tests after tomorrow (I wonder if I should call this “doctor visit season”?), and I’m ready to get back to work. The last two weeks have been videos of someone else cleaning. Trying to snag the photos for this was a larger chore than it should have been. Point is I’m not having a good time and something needs to make me happy. This was still cheaper than a “pity Transformer”, something I had my eye on for a while waiting to come out, and it doesn’t take up a lot of space. It’s not something I’m going to do a lot of and it’s time for projects that may lead to more removal so I’m giving myself a pass on this.

If that’s not enough: chiwawa in a flying mech suit with guns. Argument over.

Final Faction is kind of a throwback to 1980s action figures like G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. It’s exclusive to Dollar Tree, a former dollar store that just went $1.25 on my last trip out there earlier this week because (or so I heard) some influential and greedy boardroom member doesn’t understand what a dollar store is for, especially as the economy gets worse with the idiots in charge of said economy. Then again I’m not sure how an extra quarter is going to boost their revenue. There are two episodes of a CG cartoon that shows either this is meant as a humorous homage or someone doesn’t know how the 1980s worked as it’s kind of goofy. I first heard about the line from an episode of the YouTube channel Retroblasting (here’s the video if you want to know more about the line) and it sounded neat but not something I was interested in. Then I saw the first episode of the promo cartoon.

Still not interested in most of the line so I probably won’t get anything else from this series but one thing stood out immediately: chiwawa in a mech suit that’s also a dog that it uses to fight alien invaders. I’m too much of a geek to say no to that, especially given what I’ve been through as of late. Sadly fans of this idea would have to wait until wave 2, which just recently came out around here. (Connecticut is notoriously slow for getting new toys, which really used to annoy me when I could collect Transformers.) So for under three bucks I have this silly thing and the accessories seen in the episode. I’ll explain that as we move into the review.

 

“I blew up an alien superweapon. Can I have a cookie?”

This is Churro. Yes, they named the chiwawa after Mexican food. Happily the two shorts they’ve made have not done anything with that. There’s not much to say about this. Despite his name being on the figure card, Churro is really just an accessory. Thanks to the aforementioned photo-taking issues I didn’t realize that you can’t see his harness with carrying hook, for the human hero figures to carry him around, especially his master and the “Alpha Team” leader Steadfast. Frankly I’m surprised it has any paint on it given he’s the size of any 80s G.I. Joe accessory but his eyes and nose are painted. Otherwise he’s cast in the right plastic color, though the molding of the harness and hook blend in being unpainted. He looks like a dog with a hook, but this isn’t what we’re here for, is it, kids?

Don’t mention “leash laws” right now.

We came for the robot dog. This is Churro’s battle mech, the FD-O. Did I mention this line is a bit silly? So we have a chiwawa climbing into what I would call a great dane but I’m not up on my dog breeds. Churro uses the FD-O to help Alpha Team, part of the Earth defense force Final Faction, in their fights with the Kharn, aliens on the moon who want to steal all of Earth’s resources. 1980s. The packaging says he uses a “sonic bark”, which from the episodes looks like some kind of sonic pulse gun. Sadly there are no other accessories other than the pilot and the mouth doesn’t open. We’ll deal with that in a bit.

First let’s talk about the colors. In the second episode the FD-O (I like saying that name) the colors are shinier than the appear on the toy. The head and hatch are brown while the rest of the toy is gunmetal grey. None of them are very shiny and I’m not a very good painter so there’s not much I can do about it. It is however in line with the first episode above so I can deal with it. My disappointment will depend on future episodes but these seem to come out with a new wave of figures. Under lights and correction the colors are brighter in the photos than they are in person. The first photo is closer to the actual colors since they were just resized for the site.

Should I put some newspapers in here?

First let’s get Churro into his robot. I brightened the photo so you can see inside, which is why the body has more of a blue than in other photos or in person. I kind of wish these had been the colors were really like. There’s a hatch on the robo-dog’s back that Churro goes inside. It took a few tries to get it in there so the hatch would close. The ears kind of add length to his head and as a solid piece of plastic there isn’t much give. The only soft plastic is on the FD-O’s antenna tail. I can see kids having a harder problem and either leaving him in there or putting him to the side in case the humans want to play with their furry doggy now and then. Once you get him past the doorway he fits in well. I’m not surprised they didn’t mold in controls because without a bright light you can’t see in there anyway so I don’t think the kids are going to care. I don’t.

Sorry, he can’t lift his leg. Besides, it’s the dog inside that needs to do that.

The FD-O doesn’t have a lot of articulation, but given the puppy pilot has none we’re lucky the robot does. The head turns left and right and there are joints in the hips. I’ve seen one reviewer remove the legs, but whether they’re making a mistake or there are plans for this in the future I can’t say at the moment. I wish the knees could bend as well but this is a $1.25 toy inspired by 1980s action figures. The fact that it has this much is kind of amazing. However, the lack of a jaw means he can’t show off his sonic bark. So how can Churro defend himself?

Bios are a dying art on card backs thanks to the international packaging created to save money…somehow.

The back of Churro’s package promises a flying chiwawa with guns. Well, the chiwawa is riding a robo-dane and there are no guns so the second item I purchased can fix that. One of the features of this line is the accessory packs you can use to outfit your figures. Alpha Team and the Kharn each have their own set, but while Churro doesn’t have one to himself you can use one intended for the human figures and the humanoid robot piloted remotely by a paralyzed teenager. I write weird things this review and it’s not even my fault. The wings in the “Air Assault” accessory pack matches what the FD-O has in the short so that’s what I got. Presumably other accessory packs could work with the mech. The other two accessory packs out there are clearly made for figures with hands in mind and while Churro’s ports might be able to use some of the equipment it’s this one that seems to be the one to use for all of it. Until you bring them out.

Two possible combinations. The backpack only goes in one spot (barely) but the wings, thrusters, and guns can use any of the FD-O’s ports.

The Air Assault pack comes with three sets of two items and a big jet pack, seven in total. Two wings, two guns, and two thrusters can be put into the back or the ports on his shoulders, the latter hiding the “FD-O” badge sadly. I’ve seen other reviewers use the one on the left more often and it’s what I gravitated to as well. Again, chiwawa with guns is what we were promised, and while it could be outfitted for other missions, like the jet pack there, I’m going with the show and the packaging.

Besides, the jet pack really doesn’t fit in given the shape of the back/hatch. I could modify it since I’m not going to get the other figures so it doesn’t matter if it fits them or not. I’m just not sure how to or if I can do it right. It’s fine, because while a speed boost option is neat I may go with this configuration. The guns, wings, and smaller thrusters can use all the ports but this feels like the best combination to deliver on the promise.

I kid our mail lady for how well she gets along with the neighbor’s dog or I’d make a mailman joke here.

Churro and his FD-O isn’t everything I’d hoped but everything I expected for the price. Final Faction is meant to be a “shut kids up” toy. You’re in the Dollar Tree, possibly the next or last stop on the weekly shopping trip, and the kids want you to buy them something. Maybe they’ve been good or maybe you like to buy your kids’ affection. I’m…no, I am going to judge you on that last option, but it’s a cheap yet fun toy for the kids with a retro feel that intentionally or otherwise has drawn more than a few adult collectors. Again, it’s the only figure in the line I want and I have an idea (possibly in one of the next planned projects post-declutter) where he’s going to go. Churro’s a good boy with a cool mech and for a geek like me that’s just fine.