Non-affiliated, Non-lengthy, Non-articles about Transformers

Sunday, 15 October 2017

MMC Reformatted R-25 Oberon

Alongside MMC's Reformatted R-24 Turben came R-25 Oberon, their version of Beast Machines Obsidian. I think it does represent a slight risk for them to release two figures simultaneously that share so many common features as a mould, but the influences for each toy are far apart, so I can see how it might capture the interest of collectors who would need both, or split the audience in a way. Anyway, Turben (Whirl) was the one I went for first thanks to my love of IDW's More Than Meets The Eye comic, and I enjoyed the figure a great deal. Oberon had to wait for his moment in the spotlight, but here it is.

Having reviewed Turben extensively, I'll let you check out that write-up for the nitty gritty details of the mould, instead focusing here on the changes and Oberon-specific features. While both are blue, Oberon has a delightful shade of it all over, extremely reminiscent of Turbomasters Rotorstorm and Boss. The combination of that blue, the mustard yellow, with the epic translucent red rotors, claws and the metallic red feet really make Oberon stand out. There was an audible 'wow' when I unboxed him, and I was not expecting that really.

The red rotors are on articulated arms that allow you to adjust their angle quite ably, I love them so much! The claw mechanism works exactly the same as with Turben, but they are now red translucent plastic. The forearms and wings have obviously been remoulded too, no longer containing spinning rotor blades. Oberon does come with two rocket pods that go under his wings/arms, but he's definitely lacking more substantial weapons and accessories. I guess those rotors kinda make up for it!

Even if the posability of this great mould has been covered, it bears repeating just how effortlessly Oberon slips into convincing poses other figures can't manage. The extremely wide range of movement in the neck - just as with Turben - delivers superb expressive qualities despite having no humanoid face. He struggles like Turben to maintain his balance when his feet are in-line as with the semi-running pose above or a natural walking pose, but get the weight balance correct and he will stand unaided all day long.

Being unfamiliar with Beast Machines, I didn't foresee the opportunities involved in keeping Titanika (Strika) around for some meaningful group shots, and I am also partially immune to the disappointment of some collectors who wanted a more grey or dark blue Obsidian to match other official media. So I can simultaneously apologise and rejoice at the fact that MMC chose these colours for Oberon, he's beautiful. That headsculpt is the absolute focus of my aesthetic appreciation for this toy, it's so brilliantly similar to late-era Generation 1. I think it would have needed slightly more extreme features to be more Beast machines reminiscent.

Having said that, I did find one sequence with Obsidian where he descends onto the scene and that is somewhat re-created in the above photos, so they have taken the positioning of the limbs and rotors into account with his design and original inspiration. Those rotors are very free-spinning and can be removed if desired. Did I mention how much I enjoy them? Like Turben, you can decide whether to have his legs like a humanoid, or angled backwards a bit like bird legs. He also has a Gerwalk mode, just like Turben.

If you're looking for further configurations, the missile pods can be mounted in place of the rotors on the translucent red shoulder beams, and with a little bit of balance (and one of the claws through the gaps), the rotor can be mounted on the forearm as a shield. No doubt about it, there's a fair amount of fun to be had here.

So, highly posable, highly attractive, not so many accessories and some issues around accuracy. What about transformation? Well, once you train yourself not to forget the button release on the legs (assuming you went for bird-leg mode) and the little slide-up flap behind his chest, it's as easy and repeatable as Turben's transformation. A lot of 3P companies have improved the transformation of their figures, although I do wonder how much of that is down to the direction they have gone in with character choice and therefore alt mode/robot mode complexity and compromise. Post-Movie G1 figures were already simpler than their predecessors to begin with, so some of the work was already done, but I digress.

With the translucent rotors, the blue, red and yellow on the body, I feel he's channeling even more Rotorstorm now! Just need to get some hot pink on that beauty. And beauty is the right word, Oberon maintains the exceedingly high standard of MMC releases in 2017, all the way thorough from Titanika to Tyrantron, with Calidus being the one I'd rate the least impressive so far. Oberon is every bit as fun and striking as Turben, if not moreso. I think if you take the fiction element out of the equation, I prefer this figure's appearance to Turben's.

Now, we all know rotors are not stationary when a helicopter takes flight, soooo......

That's more like it! Just as with Turben, he has the small fold-out mini-cannon under the nose of the copter, but it's a sexy translucent red now. He also has the fold down undercarriage and landing gear too, and just like his mould-mate, the large front wheels are still annoyingly visible in flight mode. I must say I would have LOVED a coloured translucent canopy on him, and if it opened allowing the positioning of a Dia-naut in goodness, the possibilities. As it is, though, he's still gorgeous and tons of fun. The build quality and solidity is absolutely there as well, no concerns about broken parts, although one tends to naturally be more careful with translucent plastic at the joint.

I think Turben will naturally appeal to more collectors than Oberon will, but it would be a shame for collectors to miss out on such a pretty toy, especially when the mould is a winner. It's easy for me to say as I have no connection to the Beast Machines source material, and am therefore not contending with any possible disappointment over the deco. It is really nice to see long-established 3P companies like MMC, MakeToys and FansToys get to the stage where they are refining their art and putting out fewer toys with overall conceptual or design issues. The tabbing on Turben/Oberon has been great, and those tolerances and tabs have not always been MMC's strong suit. What MMC have succeeded in doing over and over again, though, is present me with a 3P representation of a character I didn't care about, leaving me impressed and interested due to the quality of the product. Oberon is that exactly. Another glowing recommendation from me, a lovely figure indeed.

All the best


  1. Can we expect a Tyrantron review? Been really eager to hear your thoughts on him.

    1. Will definitely be doing a Tyrantron review this month. Just need to get Open Play Big Spring done and Tyrantron is next up :)

      All the best