I was ready for a little change of pace this week when I looked across my “pending review” list. I’ve been doing my best to keep on the site’s bread & butter, 6” reviews, but one of the great things I’ve been collecting of late has largely gone ignored on the site: Transformers Masterpiece.
A lot of it has to do with the line being really heavy on repaints. I’m okay with this – smart mold use only helps my favorite toy lines along in these expensive times, but it makes it tricky to do reviews. Do I need to do a full review on Red Alert? Not really. He could get by with a brief review and some good pics – as long as I’ve already reviewed the mold progenitor that is. Oops.
Yeah. Acidstorm. Black Convoy. Tigertrack. I’ve got some MPs piling up, so I need to get on the ball, go back a few months, and get the initial release on the books. That’s exactly what I’m doing today with MP-12 Lambor, or as we affectionately know him here in the states: Sideswipe! (And for the record, I won’t call him Lambor twice… okay, three times).
I never had Sideswipe, any version of Sideswipe, as a kid. I still have an affinity for him because he was a popular character, but I think his alt mode also makes him a little more important to me (and iconic to all) than some of his Transformers brethren. I mean, not very much is more 80s than a Lamborghini Countach. Though starting off in the 70s, that car hit market saturation in the 80s. Movies, TV. Micro Machines. Heck, this car got posters (do cars even still get posters?)! And it was only natural that it made its way into Transformers (multiple times over).
Sideswipe arrives in his iconic alt mode and, honestly, I find myself tempted to leave him that way for vast periods of time. I’m usually into Transformers’ for the bots, but Masterpiece has been doing a fantastic job on the alt modes. In Sideswipe’s case, I feel like I could almost leave him in car mode and convince my buds that I’ve started collecting toy cars instead of figures.
The attention to detail is that good. First, you have the engineering to fit an entire Transformer into the alt mode cleanly, but it’s the little things that sell it. The tampos are spot-on featuring the tiny bull shield logo on the hood and the and the name on the rear of the car. The line work is sharp and just about everything looks in place. I think the only visible kibble in this mold is at the rear of the car near the mufflers and it still manages to blend in well.
Part of the polished look is due to an all-encompassing paint job that covers the car in the alt mode. While this does open the door for some QC issues, particularly around the clear-molded roof and windows pieces, I ended up with a pretty sharp example for my shelves. I do have to be a bit careful during transformations, particularly under the side-view mirrors as I think that’ll be an easy spot to wear down the paint over time.
And lest you forget (or try to be mean to your friends) that this is Transformer, the hood features a great tampo of the classicly-placed Autobot logo. It looks right at home on this car, doesn’t it? And if it’s not just menacing enough, Sideswipe’s shoulder cannon can plug into the car’s roof (along with the rifle, if you’d like) to give this figure a crazy 80s, car wars feel.
While the alt mode is pretty magnificent on its own, the real fun begins when you start to transform him and pull the robot out of its disguise. The transformation process itself is pretty slick and I’ve seen more than a few “in-between” pics that almost look like animation or artwork of the character transforming. Everything folds out nicely and there are some good examples of ingenuity at work like the lower legs forming as a “reverse” box of the car’s rear and a willingness to give Sideswipe brain surgery (his head folds open) so that it fits cleanly in the alt mode without looking wrong or messed up in bot mode.
Once you’re done you end up with a decent-sized Transformer, about 6-6.5 inches in height. I think it’s after transforming the figure once that he really starts to shine. Here’s this little on-model Lamborghini and then it gets turned into an on-model robot. That’s what the Masterpiece is really about and Sideswipe is a shining example of it. Continue to Page 2…