Ben's Toy Box: "Complex Base Building System" Review
Before I begin this review I want to offer both my thanks most profound apologies to the folks at Complex Base Building System for the insane amount of time I have taken to get this review put together. For various reasons I had several false starts (including all my original photos being deleted) I finally hunkered down to get this review done. Thanks to Tim Ericson for providing samples and being super patient with me.
In the 80's, one of my favorite types of toys were bases. Kenner released several Star Wars environments ranging from Dagobah, to Hoth to the Death Star (you can see a fun article on them here). Over the years, this idea of having an environment for your action figures has evolve. One example of this evolution is the Complex Base Building System. Here is the description of this system from the official web site:
"From heroic headquarters to villainous volcanic lairs, RaginSpoon Toys has the playsets and dioramas your action figure collection deserves for display and play! Using our COMPLEX base building system you can build structures as simple or as astonishing as you want, there are no limits to what you can create! The COMPLEX system is completely modular and geared towards 3 3/4 inch action figures. It allows you to construct your very own custom dioramas just the way you want them. Already you can build structures of any size with ease and each successive wave will only add to the excitement as new additions roll out!"
The Complex Base Building System is intended to be one that you can build up to whatever size you wish, and that makes it a toy in itself. It was fun imagining different configurations for the panels. To start off, it is best to purchase a "Wall Pack" with a "Floor Pack" (this is how BigBadToyStore sells them). With these packs, you receive:
Wall Pack: Wall/Door, 2 Insert Panels, Step Connector and an End connector
Floor Pack: 2 Double sided floor panels, Two sided connector, Four sided connector, Three sided connector and an L Connector.
Each panel is a square, with one side looking like metal panels and the other looking like concrete or stonework. This was a great idea as it gives you the option of creating a more "scifi/mechanical" environment or a more "real life/earthy" environment. There are peg holes integrated into the design, allowing you to peg in figures if you have the appropriate pegs for them (not sold with this set). One wall panel has all sorts of electronic equipment and screens sculpted into it with a breakaway door that is made up of two pieces. If you have enough panels, you can use the connector pieces to form simple right angle displays or even create levels!
Complex was designed for use with 3.75" (9.53cm) scale figures, however with Transformers toys things get a bit tricky. In general, this set is great for anything from a Micromaster up to a modern day Legends Class figure. You can even have Deluxe Class figures hanging out and it will look cool. However, once you get to the Voyager Class you will need to stack quite a few panels to make it look right. Even then, the doorways will clearly not make much sense so I'd close them up.
In terms of the pieces themselves, they are all hard plastic from a factory. These are not gritty Shapeways print outs or something fashioned on a home 3D printer. This is very much the quality of something you would find in the toy aisles. I did notice the connector pieces were somewhat tight here and there (with one requiring light tapping from a hammer to get loose). I suspect this will differ for you depending on your environmental conditions.
The Complex sets come in two colors utilizing the same sculpt. There is the Urban version which features darker colors and the Desert version featuring lighter colors. They are $36.99 each at BigBadToyStore.
I have really enjoyed working with the Complex sets, to the point where I have integrated them into some of the photography for BWTF (check out my "Cyberverse" Prowl review for one example). For those wanting a nice background or way to build your own base, this is a great set to pick up.