So here is Ocular Max (AKA Mastermind Creations) Perfection Series 05 "Girder", otherwise known as a 3rd Party interpretation of Masterpiece Autobot Grapple. This mould has already been used by Ocular Max for their Not-Inferno "Backdraft" and since the release of PS-05 Girder we have had a show exclusive "Road Crane" version of Hauler. Forgive the lack of gorgeous packaging in this review, I had to leave it in the UK!
Saturday, 10 December 2016
Wednesday, 26 October 2016
What we have here is the Ex-Factory Gladiator, a 3rd Party Masterpiece Transformers-scaled representation of the Generation 1 Centurion Droids as seen in "The Key To Vector Sigma" episodes. These droids guard the Vector Sigma supercomputer, are supposed to have impervious armour and be highly-skilled fighters. Interestingly, they are not supposed to be armed, but Ex-Factory have equipped them with a handgun.
Monday, 19 September 2016
Fansproject, a 3rd party company who have been part of the scene since the beginning, have just released their interpretation of the 1980 Diaclone Dia-Battles figure. This WB008 from the Warbot series is called "Trianix Alpha", in reference to the fact that the original Dia-Battles - and this Trianix - split into three individual vehicles but combine to form the robot. It has been produced to scale with Classics/CHUG figures but it stands taller than the TakaraTomy Diaclone Dia-Battles V2 that saw release in the late spring. I was aware of this release and had a passing interest, but when I walked past it on display at Kapow Toys during TFNation, that passing interest became a fervent fascination.
Thursday, 15 September 2016
Corbot V, 3rd party makers of Classics scale Transformers accessories such as the Blizzard Axe, have done a full transforming figure. Using the 'Allicon' transforming alligators of Quintessa as a base mould, Corbot V have gotten a few uses out of the tooling, but the one that interests me the most is CV-002 "Mugger". This instantly recognisable creature did of course debut in Transformers: The Movie in 1986. Think Energon goodies, think Bah-Weep-Gra-Na-Weep-Nini-Bong, there's a great deal of Movie accuracy here.
Thursday, 21 July 2016
Ocular Max - The Masterpiece Transformers-mimicking arm of Mastermind Creations - have followed the example of BadCube and released a toy intended to help fill a very special and specific gap in your Masterpiece Diaclone-coloured ranks, Perfection Series 02 "Liger". This red repaint of PS-01 Sphinx (MP Mirage) is an homage to the 1985 Takara Diaclone Car Robot No.16 Ligier JS11 F1 in red, a toy only available in the spectacularly rare and sought after Powered Convoy DX set. Ocular Max offered this in May initially as a show exclusive, but it is now widely available from the usual 3rd party dealers and retailers.
Monday, 18 July 2016
Welcome to my full size gallery of the TakaraTomy Diaclone Dia-Battles V2 and the Dia-Battles V2 Prototype figure. You can find the detailed review of Diaclone Dia-Battles V2 on TFSource Blog. I've since added a number of extra Dia-Battles figures to my collection, photographed them all together and with vintage Diaclone figures too. As yet I have not combined all 5 of my Dia-Battles figures for the behemoth I have imagined in my head, but it's not far off! For now, enjoy this 73 image gallery in full size, accompanied by the magnificent soundtrack of Droid Bishop and Waveshaper that inspired me during the photography and writing of the review.
Monday, 30 May 2016
Here we have the full-size and complete gallery for DX9 D-08 Gewalt - a 3rd party Masterpiece-scale Blitzwing by the folks who brought you such brilliance as Carry, Invisible, Chigurh and Tyrant. You can find the full DX9 Gewalt review on TFSource blog, and below are the images from that review before they were reduced in size.
Sunday, 29 May 2016
Welcome to the full-size gallery for MakeToys MCB-03 Pandinus, a gigantic third party Scorponok interpretation with the customary MakeToys attention to detail, style and Citybot size.You can find the full Pandinus review on TFSource Blog.
Thursday, 28 April 2016
This week I finally got around to another lovely Generation 1 article. I am spacing these out because they are so tremendously enjoyable for me to do, and so finite, that I want to extract every last bit of enjoyment from my recent acquisition of many 1987/88 figures as I can. It's an era that I neglected a lot in my earlier collecting days, and am now discovering and enjoying with great enthusiasm. I did have a few Headmasters and Targetmasters from my childhood, but nowhere near the level of now. Sadly, they are not cheap and finding G1 from 87 and 88 in the condition I desire for these articles is very difficult. Anyway, thanks to my feature on Autobot Targetmasters from the TF Movie (Hot Rod, Kup, Blurr), I can now share the full hi-res gallery of the photos used in that article.
Saturday, 23 April 2016
This week on TFSource Blog I published an article called Burnout, exploring the causes of collecting fatigue and general disillusionment with Transformers buying and the community. Having not received or bought much in the way of new toys recently, I'm having to get creative with article topics and even moreso with the photography. Thanks to my daughter's toys making for great Masterpiece accessories, I came up with a few images I can be proud of where the figures are demonstrating exhaustion, sadness and negativity. Here's the high resolution gallery of those same images. Enjoy!
Saturday, 9 April 2016
Another treat! Another night photographing an incredibly gorgeous Masterpiece custom by Steve Phiakkou (Stevil33). Using MP-8 Masterpiece Grimlock as a base, Steve has created this very striking custom in unreleased Generation 2 "Tiger Stripe" Grimlock colours, based on concept artwork seen in publications such as Legacy. Enjoy!
Saturday, 2 April 2016
Third Party company BadCube (formerly Cubex) had previously mainly tackled Generation 1 minibots such as Huffer (Huff), Brawn (Brawny), Outback (Backland) and Warpath (Wardog). Evil Bug Corps (Insecticons) aside, they took an enormous step towards being a headline event with OTS-08 Sunsurge, their take on Autobot car Sunstreaker in the Masterpiece style and scale. The Autobot cars are massively popular still, and the Masterpiece Transformers have proven to be as desirable as anything else around. Being the first company to get a legitimately MP-style Sunstreaker on the market ensured Sunsurge's success. Now, BadCube have repainted the modified yellow Lamborghini Countach into its red predecessor, known widely as the Diaclone "Red Sunstreaker"- named BadCube Old Timer Series Special 01 - Sentinel Blaze. I'm going to have a brief look at this upcoming figure, explain its history and significance because it excites me hugely, and needs some defending. Much as I felt the need to address the question Who Is Tigertrack for the Masterpiece release in 2013, let us now ask Who is Blaze?
Ocular Max - otherwise known as the Masterpiece-mimicking arm of Mastermind Creations (MMC) - opened their account with the very well-received PS-01 Sphinx late in 2015. Sphinx was their take on a Masterpiece Mirage using what they believed to be top quality materials like diecast metal, rubber tyres and so on. They also make no attempt to hide their influence from Studio Ox's well-established style for Transformers art, or homages to the original Generation 1 Transformers packaging features. Well, Sphinx was a sell-out and Ocular Max have re-issued it, after a fashion, as PS-01A Sphinx Alternative. It is a lighter blue version, more accurate to the actual #26 Equipe Gitanes Ligier JS11 Formula 1 car from 1979 driven by Jacques Laffitte on which G1 Mirage and its Diaclone predecessor were based.
Saturday, 12 March 2016
In addition to Tuesday night's 1988 Autobot Headmaster article for TFSource Blog, here are the photographs in full resolution. Enjoy Hoeshead, Siren and Nightbeat!
Saturday, 5 March 2016
What a treat! Tonight I got the chance to photograph this utterly spellbinding Movieverse-style MP-11 Masterpiece Starscream custom by good mate Steve Phiakkou. Using Acid Storm as a base and employing Fans Want It upgrades for the leader class movie Starscream, Steve has created this gorgeous, competition-winning custom. Enjoy the pics!
Wednesday, 24 February 2016
Last night I uploaded the review/article on Masterpiece MP-28 Hot Rodimus pre-release sample to TFSource blog who were also kind enough to source the sample for me in the first place. For those who want just the images at full size and don;t fancy the 3000 words chucked between them, here's the full uninterrupted gallery. Enjoy!
Thursday, 18 February 2016
Mastermind Creations, under the guise of Masterpiece-focused Ocular Max branding, have introduced a sub-line into that sub-line! The Remix line begins with RMX-01 Jaguar, a figure that homages the Generation 1 Decepticon cassette Ravage. Now why bother launching a line with something already covered by the official TakaraTomy Masterpiece collection? For a start, not everyone seems to share my high opinion of MP Ravage, it's true to say some actually dislike the figure thoroughly. While the MP Ravage is scaled to a micro cassette like the original G1 rendition and fits inside MP Soundwave's chest, Ocular Max believed that it was too small in kitty mode. Their reasons for developing this product are for a better experience in transformation and posing, as well as scaling with other associated Masterpiece figures like Soundwave in jaguar mode. For the moment, this has been offered as a Planet Steel Express exclusive.
Saturday, 13 February 2016
We know how the current TakaraTomy Transformers Masterpiece line operates by now. Cartoon likeness for the Generation 1 Transformers cast is a priority for release and where possible the designers inject much enjoyed references or likeness to the original G1 toys (occasionally descended from Takara Diaclone or Micro Change Series lines). MP-21 Bumble has an Amazon exclusive toy-style battle mask, MP-17 Prowl had Amazon exclusive toy-style missile launchers. So, when Masterpiece MP-25 Tracks was revealed with a cartoon-accurate humanoid face and no plans for an exclusive toy-style battle mask replacement or add-on option, we looked to the repaint, MP-26 Road Rage. That too was released with a brand new female humanoid face and no add-on options or exclusive, so neither version of the Masterpiece Corvette Stingray paid any homage to the much loved toy face of the mould either as a Transformer or a Diaclone. With no removable section on MP-25 or MP-26 faces, we have seemingly been denied a toy homage. Now it has come to light that this, it seems, was not always the case.
Friday, 5 February 2016
The MakeToys Re:Master (Masterpiece-a-like) train steams along with MTRM-05 Wrestle, their version of the Autobot Grapple. Pretty much released at the same time as their Inferno "Hellfire" of the same base mould, for the time being Wrestle has only been offered as a MakeToys website exclusive. I was told I was within the first 20 to order this, and so I've received my specimen in the first wave of send-outs. Having owned and loved G1 Grapple as a child, I was always going to choose this over Inferno/Hellfire. Following the lauded MTRM-01 Cupola, the (in my opinion) excellent 02 Gundog and 07 Visualizers, 05 Wrestle fills another hole in the Autobot season 2 cast list that TakaraTomy may not fill for at least another year. With MakeToys' reputation for quality engineering and solid figures still in place, there's a chance that by getting to market first before Ocular Max and X-Transbots, Wrestle will be a success too. However, being a website exclusive that almost all online retailers are denied from offering currently, and taking into account MakeToys' distinct aesthetics, that's not a guarantee any more.
Monday, 1 February 2016
TakaraTomy's Masterpiece MP-21R Bumble - Red Body is a fascinating release, probably for all the wrong reasons. I know I personally pre-ordered it out of a sense of obligation and completion, trying to make up for never having properly completed the vintage Diaclone and MC Car Robots & minibots I so desired. Masterpiece MP-21 Bumble was in itself one of the toys of the decade and a comprehensive success, but I found the G2 repaint MP-21G massively underwhelming, so my hopes of being impressed by the red version were not high. I've seen a lot of disparaging comments about this release because it is supposedly a poor man's Cliffjumper and the origin of the colour scheme confused a number of collectors.
Saturday, 30 January 2016
It's about time, they said. A Takara Tomy, cartoon-accurate Masterpiece Decepticon strike plane Thundercracker. MP-11T is, across Hasbro and Takara, the second version of Thundercracker to use the MP-11 mould. The Hasbro Thundercracker from a few years ago was more toy coloured and had tampos of Reflector and Soundwave (as well as various bits of relevant text) that not everyone wanted. At the end of 2015, after a reissue of MP-11 Coronation Starscream and the Hasbro Asia MP-11SW Skywarp, Takara Tomy Mall (this specimen specifically through Hasbro Asia) finally gave us a toon-coloured light blue Thundercracker. So does the third Masterpiece toy to bear the Thundercracker name finally do the business for the cartoon crowd?
Sunday, 24 January 2016
The Transformers Masterpiece line by Takara Tomy has, to my eternal happiness, continued with the Diaclone homages and MP-14C Clampdown is the latest in that sub-line. This police car version of the Lamborghini New Countach LP500S Autobot Sideswipe was originally a Takara Diaclone figure from 1983, the original inspiration for what would later become the Autobot Fire Chief "Red Alert". Coming full circle after all this time, Clampdown is in fact designated MP-14C, meaning it is a direct repaint of MP-14 Red Alert. The first time the Diaclone New Countach was given Transformers form as "Clampdown" was the E-Hobby exclusive reissue repaint, alongside "Deep Cover". Let's have a look at how the recently released Masterpiece version stacks up.
Saturday, 9 January 2016
Welcome to an extended gallery of images for Takara Tomy Transformers Masterpiece MP-26 Road Rage. Road Rage is basically a red version of Tracks whose roots lie in Takara's 1984 Diaclone Car Robot No.21 Corvette Stingray released in Japan (in red of course). With the red Corvette Stingray imported and sold in countries like Italy (GiG) and mainland Europe (Ceji Joustra) under the Diaclone banner, it's no surprise that collectors have memories of actual red Tracks toys, not just the artwork on the back of 1985 Hasbro boxes. In 1985, when Hasbro and Milton Bradley took over the licence and stock from Ceji Joustra to sell Takara's transforming Diaclone and Micro Change Series toys in mainland Europe, they inherited a gaggle of red Corvette Stingrays. These were subsequently repackaged into Transformers boxes (MB badged) and so was born a bona fide Transformers Red Tracks. In 2002, E-Hobby paid tribute to this colour scheme by releasing a red version of the reissue Transformers Tracks called "Road Rage", a character created for that E-Hobby release, and a female Autobot to boot. Here then is Masterpiece Road Rage, a repaint of MP-25 Tracks with newly sculpted head, hands, thighs and waist to differentiate her from Tracks. Oh, she also comes with the toy-accurate handgun, a mini Twincast, the small laser for the front of the vehicle... and a gorgeous red deco. No display stand, no Raoul and no "CS" on the hood for "Corvette Stingray".