That's right, another couple of boxes arrived. One was from TFSource containing my MP-18S Tokyo Toy Show exclusive Masterpiece Silverstreak, Hyper Hobby exclusive Animated Black Rodimus, a bunch of teeny tiny figures (thank you Jeremy!) and the Animated special edition "Cool" manga book that comes with a clear Activators Optimus Prime. And right at the back is the completely unsubtle show-stealer that came in its own special package, FansToys FT-04 Scoria.
After Quakewave, FansToys had a lot of work to do to follow that masterpiece up with something that could compete with it for shelf space and gain similar plaudits. I'll be going into the pros and cons of this astonishing figure very soon, but for now just enjoy the incredible robot mode on FT's interpretation of what a Masterpiece-class Dinobot Slag would look like, complete with die cast, interchangeable heads, accurate cartoon appearance with plenty of nods to the G1 toy.
With a few unfortunate souls reporting QC issues in various spots, I feel enormously privileged to have one without any major concerns, a toy that I can enjoy hugely and display proudly. I simply don't know what else I could expect from an official version of a Masterpiece Slag, collectors need to see this thing in person to truly appreciate its appeal and presence. Forget potatoes, forget dodgy shoulders (FT providing a fix soon), Scoria is in my opinion another massive home run from FansToys.
I'll be featuring MP-18S on TFSource Blog soon enough so no need to delve into extensive photography here, but I needed to get it out, transform it and attach the red launchers that I have been aching to see in the flesh. There have been paint application nightmares with some of the specimens other collectors received, mine is virtually perfect again and it's as stunning as you'd expect. At first the idea of a toy accurate Bluestreak was greeted with "Meh" and "Where's Blue Bluestreak?", then we saw Hasui's photos before the show and realised that Takara Tomy have made this colour scheme and concept as impressive as it could possibly be. Simply magnificent, financial situation be damned, I had to have this.
Wow, I did not expect this to shine so brightly. Animated Rodimus is a mould that has grown on me, but not quite wowed immediately. I love the Sideswipe BotCon exclusive but this is better, that purple and black contrast works wonders for the sleek vehicle mode and somehow reduces the annoyingly over-humanoid lower half of his robot mode. I think it must be the purple sections on the boots that do it. The whole black and shiny purple scheme is offset beautifully by the gold headlights and grey rear wing. Truly gorgeous and a properly justified repaint, I can't imagine not having this figure now. Animated black repaints have been of the utmost quality so far in terms of presentation. Expect a picture later of this fellow standing next to voyager Optimus Prime black version.
Finally, the little guys, more Animated and more Optimus Prime! The clear Activators Prime is lovely, but I absolutely could not transform/compact it into a stable vehicle mode that wouldn't spring out again. I didn't have the time or patience at 2 am last night so it only got photographed in robot mode and in its attractive packaging. Not being able to read Japanese, I shall only be enjoying the artwork in the manga.
The tiny capsule figures are so much fun and when I saw the Bumblebee, I had to have it. Jeremy from TFSource was wonderful enough to load in as many as he could get his hands on as a gift for my daughter and she loves them, bless you Jeremy! Of course he must already know he's committed me to finding a Grimlock...
Final thoughts. MP-18S is as beautiful and accomplished as expected, Black Rodimus is really beautiful and something of a show stopper - which means Scoria is simply end-of-the-universe spectacular. Mind blown.
All the best