G1

All posts tagged G1

The Road Rage Transformer character first appeared as a 2002 e-HOBBY exclusive with the red coloration being based off one of the pre-Transformers line, Diaclone variants of the Tracks mold.  Originally sold with the Skids repaint, Crosscut, she is his bodyguard and advisor as well as a diplomat and apparently goes from cheery and polite in robot mode to angry and reckless in vehicle mode.

 Road_rage_MP_robot_01

Name: Road Rage
Line: Transformers Masterpiece
Manufacturer: TAKARA TOMY
Released:
2015
Price: 4,500 YEN
Scale: Roughly 18 cm in height
Accessories: Rifle, Twincast (Blaster) boombox, Grille-gun

Road_rage_MP_robot_02 

Road Rage is the first female Autobot to appear in the Masterpiece series of Transformers. I was particularly looking forward to receiving this figure partly due to that fact and partly because you can never have enough female Transformers.

I did have one on pre-order, but as perusal for me, I just happened to be going to Japan when she was going to be released. So I canceled my pre-order (it was in USD after all and the Aussie dollar has always been a bit stronger against the Yen) and decided to take my chances in Japan.

As luck would have it Amazon JP had her on sale well below the US and Australian sellers ( unlike a lot of these local sellers, if you have to move something in Japan, you have to move it any way you can) at a steal of 4,500 Yen which still made her a great bargain. (I’m really starting to think she wasn’t that popular in Japan and perhaps everywhere, unfortunately)

So along with bargain-basement prices for Exhaust and Star Saber I was sitting pretty and fast catching up on my needed MPs. (Inferno should hopefully go the same way, fingers crossed)

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SCULPTING

Takara Tomy on the whole do a great, if not excellent job with their Masterpiece figures. Both the officially licensed car and robot itself. What I love even more about Road Rage is, unlike the G1 version of her, this one has changed arms (biceps), hands, legs and groin as well as a new head and details on the chest piece when compared to Tracks.

It really helps to drive home that this is a different character, even if it uses most of the same mold as the Tracks version and helps evoke the feminine aspects of the character, that is still a kick-ass heroic Autobot warrior.

One complaint I have is with the neck on of the figure, there’s no way to attach it to the chest, so it kinda just floats there and the slightest touch moves it down where it appears awkward to look at.

The car mode is also great! I happened to, by chance, see someone driving this style of classic Corvette around my neighborhood on the weekend and I must say in my amateur opinion, they have done an excellent job, of recreating the car for this figure, without sacrificing details in either mode.

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PAINT

Road Rage’s paint application is up to a very high standard for what you would expect from a “Masterpiece”  series of figures, you’ll find no slop here, it’s all very clean and crisp.

Paint has been also kept to a minimum as well as I would say it’s mainly used for details.

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ARTICULATION

Road Rage has the exact same articulation as Tracks and some of it stems from the transformation sequence more then anything else. But the figure has the usual articulation in robot mode you would expect: Ball jointed head, hinge/swivel arms and hips, hinge knees and hinge/swivel ankles.

That’s a brief summary of the basics, but even things like the wings, shoulder missiles and hands can all be turned and posed to some extent.

Sometimes parts of the robot or “kible” get in the way, but that’s always the trade off with figures like this.

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ACCESSORIES

She’s a little light on accessories, but I think you couldn’t really give her much more then a gun and the parts to make her flying car mode. The addition of Twincast (Blaster) is welcome and unlike Tracks she comes with the toy’s version of Track’s rifle which is a bit unwieldy, but looks mighty impressive in her hands.

The detail on all these parts is great! Especially the standout for me, the rifle itself! I won’t really be using anything else included with her.

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POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

Hardly anything to watch out for, pretty solid figure, which is well made and quite durable. Perhaps you might get a bad paint app on the face? My pet peeve with all my Takara purchases, most of the time, but thankfully not this one!

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PRICE

As stated earlier, I paid a great price of 4,500 Yen for Road Rage, but the ball park price is going to be around $60 – $80 in most currencies. It really comes down a few factors to decide if you want this figure or not, mainly being: if you like obscure G1 characters, red Corvettes or female Autobots to warrant buying the same mold again, if you have Tracks already and for me, I do love me some female Autobots!

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OVERALL

This is another great addition to the Masterpiece series of Transformers it’s a fantastic use of the Tracks mold to create a character that is different, to Tracks but also shares a lot of similarities with him too. If you are on the fence, I would suggest she’s worth picking up, even for the sole reason of adding a female Autobot to your Masterpiece ranks. She more than holds her own next to the Wheeljacks and Sideswipes among others on my Masterpiece display self.

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Optimus Prime is the courageous and wise leader of the Autobots. He feels his role is the protection of all life. He transforms in a red over-cab truck with large grey trailer. He has excellent leadership and decision making skills and is one of the Autobots’ greatest leaders. Optimus Prime is also one of the most recognisable cartoon characters of the 1980s.

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Name: Optimus Prime (convoy)
Line: Metalforce
Manufacturer: Takara/Time House
Released: 1998
Price: First released – unknown. Now – around 15,000 YEN minimum.
Scale: 11.5 Inches in height
Accessories: Ion Blaster, spare matrix of leadership (clear), spare head (clear face) and spare hands.

Transformers_Metalforce_Optimus_Prime_02

On my first trip to Japan, when I first visited Nakano Broadway, in their display window on floor 2, I noticed the anime version of Metalforce Optimus Prime, what I also noticed was the sign next to him saying “Not for sale” too. Still I was determined to own this Prime figure someday.

The next trip he was still there, still not for sale.

On my third trip, he wasn’t in the display window any more. When I walked inside the store there was the figure with box now for sale. Now, I don’t know if this was the exact one that was always on display, but it’s still the same version at least, bought from the same Mandarake that had him on display and worth the wait too.

There is also a metallic paint version of this figure released (I’m assuming it was released first or at the same time) and unfortunately there are knock off versions of this figure too, but it’s pretty bad re-cast, however it is out there, so be aware if you are hunting your own Metalforce Optimus Prime!

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SCULPTING
This is an amazing Optimus Prime sculpt! The one thing I love the most about it is the commanding presence of the pose, coupled with the size, makes you take notice of him, there is a bit of styling with Prime’s proportions, but it doesn’t distract from the figure. It’s obviously very anime and G1 comic inspired. Also the chest windows can be removed to reveal the inside chest compartment of Optimus, where another cover can be removed to reveal the matrix inside Prime’s chest, just like in the original 1980s movie!

Transformers_Metalforce_Optimus_Prime_BOX

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PAINT
The figure has excellent paint application and it is one thing that really caught my eye. The paint is very neat and very crisp with hardly any slop. Most of this figure was cast in white vinyl and then painted. Only a couple of small pieces were cast in the colour they are mean to be. But that isn’t an issue as the painted parts are very professionally done and they match the casted colour parts quite well. The white base really helps the colours pop and really hammers home the anime vibe!

Transformers_Metalforce_Optimus_Prime_04

ARTICULATION
Even for a vinyl figure, Optimus Prime has a decent amount of articulation: Ball-jointed head, swivel arms (at the shoulders) swivel biceps, ball-jointed wrists and swivel knees. The articulation helps a little bit, but you are mainly going to keep him either with arms down by his sides or one arm raised with rifle. The leg articulation is only there to help keep him upright and once you have fixed his legs, it isn’t even needed. The arm articulation however, is well thought out and quite handy, making his arms a joy to pose. Even the ball-jointed head is a great addition.

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ACCESSORIES
Optimus comes with a small number of accessories: mainly some spare parts or alternate hands. However, he does come with one very important accessory – his Ion Blaster! Unfortunately you do have to trim a lot of excess molding off the two separate sections and then assemble it yourself. The same can be said for pretty much all the other accessories – they have plenty of excess molding that will need to be removed if you want to use them.

The other parts besides the rifle really aren’t needed, but it’s nice to have some options. The extra clear face and matrix are a little puzzling, but I guess you can make a version of the head with a ‘light piping’ effect, if you really wanted.

Transformers_Metalforce_Optimus_Prime_06

POTENTIAL PROBLEMS
Only very minor issues with Optimus- being slightly bent smoke stacks and slightly bent-in legs – which appear quite common with this figure. However, these are easily fixed with a hair dryer and cold water, which is what I did. Now my Optimus Prime is pretty much near perfect.

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PRICE
I’m pretty sure the price wasn’t too bad for this figure from Mandarake, but in all honestly the price was never going to be an issue for me, I saw the figure, finally on sale and I wanted it, no matter what!

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OVERALL
It was great to be able to finally get hold of Metalforce Optimus Prime, even better to get one for a decent price, in Japan (also to be sure I wasn’t buying a knock off!) Although it doesn’t Transform, I think it really captures the look and feel of how Optimus Prime appeared in the cartoon series and comic books released back then. The addition of articulation really helps add variety to the poses. If you are looking for an almost perfect representation of G1 Optimus Prime, then this is it.

Transformers_Metalforce_Optimus_Prime_010

 

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Ratbat is a micro cassette tape, which was one of Soundwave’s minions. He first made his appearance the original Transformers movie and also made a small number of appearances in the third season of the Transformers cartoon. Although he did not have a big role in the cartoon, he was used a lot in the Marvel comics’ series released around the same time. The toy was released with Frenzy originally in a two pack of Decepticon cassettes. Ratbat apparently has no friends, only business partners and main function is a fuel scout.

Ratbat_01

Name: Ratbat
Line: The Transformers (G1)
Manufacturer: Hasbro/Takara
Released: 1986
Price: First released $12approx, now $70 USD or less
Scale: 3 Inches in height
Accessories: Two back mounted thrusters
Variations: Either silver or gold chromed weapons and either painted or sticker cassette details 

Ratbat_02

Transformers will always be one of my favourite toy lines. Growing up I had a number of Transformers, some Autobot cars, some Decepticon jets, some combiner teams, pretenders etc. One such toy I had a loved dearly was Soundwave (I still have my original one in my collection). One thing I never received as a child, were any cassette tapes to go with Soundwave, so he was stuck with just having Buzzsaw as his only minion. But like many collectors who have come into adulthood, I decided I not only wanted to re-claim my childhood toys, I wanted to buy the ones I never had.

One good thing about wanting to reclaim my childhood and being a twin is that my brother wanted to do the exact same thing. Another good thing is, we both liked different Transformers! So it made it a lot easier to fill out a collection fairly quickly. One such Transformer I purchased for the collection was Ratbat, which is the subject of tonight’s review.

Ratbat_03

SCULPTING

Most G1 Transformers have always have had nice sculpting, in my opinion. Ratbat is no exception, transformed in bat mode it is a very good, if not blocky version of a bat there are plenty of smooth surfaces as well as exposed tubes on the inside of the wings, the detail work is great and really helps make this toy look good! There are also plenty of raised plates and other small details to keep the sculpt interesting. Not to mention the tiny ears are very cool too!

In cassette tape mode Ratbat looks the part. Basically he’s a rectangle in this mode; if you are old enough to know what cassette tapes look like, you can easily recognise what it’s meant to be. The stickers make up the detail in this mode and do their job well. However you need to watch out for play wear on them.

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PAINT

There is not really much paint on Ratbat himself, Just the metal torso and eyes. Also his thrusters are painted or  “chromed” too of course. The paint application on the chest is great as expected; it’s the eyes you have to watch out for as they can sometimes be applied pretty badly. Just keep that in mind when purchasing one. The chrome on the weapons is great to as expected, I feel it really adds another dimension to the toys and makes it stand out a little bit more. It also really suits the robot aspect to the toy. The plastic colours for Ratbat look great, I really love the purple/pink tones and I think they work really well with the gold and black.

ARTICULATION

Ratbat doesn’t really have any articulation so to speak; if he does it’s mainly due to his transformation that gives him anything. You can move the wings up and down and fold them inwards for some variation, also the can move the head up and down as well as move the ears a little bit. But, ultimately he is stuck in the one pose. Thankfully, this one pose still looks pretty cool.

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ACCESSORIES

Ratbat comes with two thrusters that are part of his bat mode. They are for use in this mode only, so they are there more so to complete the look then anything else. They are well sculpted and look great. But cannot be used for anything else. Also, they can be a bit stiff to attach, so be gentle and take your time.

POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

Like most G1 Transformers Ratbat can be very delicate and brittle. If you are not careful you can lose or break the tiny ears. The main problem is those ears, the rest of the toy is quite sturdy, but just be careful with any vintage version to be on the safe side.

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PRICE

I Purchased my Ratbat from Transformerland.com, which is a great little website for almost all things Transformers with great prices, I would strongly recommend you buy one from a reputable vintage Transformers seller. I paid about $50 -$60 for Ratbat and I was fine with that. Any more for this tiny toy and you are kidding yourself.

OVERALL

I really do love the original Transformers cartoon series and toy line. It’s something I grew up with and will always have a soft spot in my heart for it. If you are a fan of G1 Transformers and Soundwave and his cassette tapes, then of course you need Ratbat in your collection as he has a pretty unique design and looks great when lined up with other Transformers from the same series.

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