Monday, 25 May 2009

Who'll Be The Next In Line?

One of the best things about the Classics line was the lack of re-paints. There were only 3, so I shall review them in one hit.

First up is Ultra Magnus. I remember when UM was a distinctive character, but all that went out of the window a few years ago when he became an easy repaint choice for Hasbro. UM benefits from being a repaint of a great mould, but frankly, the deco is pretty uninspiring. Essentially white with blue trim, the one ting I actually like is that he has two Autobot badges tampographed onto his shoulders.

Ultra Magnus came in a two-pack with Skywarp. Again, an easy re-paint (Thundercracker and Sunstorm to follow for Classics/Universe 3.0 perhaps?) Skywarp pretty much follows the original toy scheme. I have to say that the pink/purple paint used on this toy doesn't do the best job of covering black plastic. I have to say that I actually prefer this toy to Starscream.

Finally Cliffjumper, which I find to be the weakest of the three re-paints. The actual mould works quite well as Cliffjumper, but it would have been nice if Hasbro could have produced a new accessory that transformed into a large gun. Also the silver scratches (?) deco for the vehicle mode is atrocious!

Friday, 15 May 2009

Rock the Casbah

Well, I apologise for my tardiness! A bit of a delay getting 'round to this, a review of yet another excellent figure - Mirage. Yes, I know, these reviews are getting to be a bit like a stuck record (don't worry it won't be long till I get to 2.0/Universe)

Mirage, as with most of the original Classics line, is a character that first appeared in the first year of G1. I never owned the original toy, so I have no memories (fond or otherwise) of the original. Mirage is, however, a character that I have always felt was criminally underused in both comic and cartoon.
A aristocratic spy with no particular affinity to the Autobot cause, Mirage strikes me as a character with bags of internal conflict for a writer to exploit. Perhaps his time will come.

In time honoured fashion, I shall begin with a review of the vehicle mode. Mirage used to be a 1970s F1 race car, now he's a generic race car that looks quite a lot (but not the same) as a F1 race car (or Indy car for you Yanks). There's not a lot to say about the toy as such - it's a toy car, it has 4 independent wheels (no suspension). You give it a push, it rolls across a flat surface a fair way.
As far as the deco is concerned, Mirage is blue and white as has always been the case, and he still sports the number 26. The adverts tampographed to the toy offer a few nice homages - to the Autobots' human friends and the robotic race wiped out by Unicron early in the animated Transformers movie.

After a very satisfying transformation, Mirage stands as a willowy, yet powerful looking robot. This toy must also be one of, if not the, most poseable Transformer yet. 14 points of articulation. It doesn't sound much, but you can get some fantastic poses out of this toy. A nice touch is that the nose of the car becomes Mirage's pistol, which seems a fitting weapon for a sneaky spy.