Originally, I was going to do something a little different with today’s review. Last week, I took a look at Masterpiece Sideswipe and so I’ve basically already covered this entire figure. Just take out the word red, toss in yellow and *boom* it’s pretty much done, aside from a few cosmetic changes. The plan was to do just a quick Review Gallery for Tigertrack, highlight some of the differences, and mark him as done.
But in photographing Tigertrack, I realized that I had a story I wanted to tell. It’s about loving & collecting toys – actual toys, not just little totems from my favorite licenses. So, if you need to know the specs of Tigertrack the toy, head back to Sideswipe’s review because you’ll find most of what you need to know there.
There are a few differences other than deco changes, namely the jackhammer accessories instead of the piledrivers and the neat idea to swap in Red Alert’s faceplate with Sideswipe’s head. It gives Tigertrack a slightly unique feel – it’s not a lot, but on redecos every little bit counts. Other than the yellow overall deco, there’s some nice little touches like the blue tampos on the feet and the two-tone missile “launcher”. Finally, the packaging is unique to Tigertrack, featuring a simple, but elegant silver foil design. Pretty neat.
Okay, if you need more than that, go check on Sideswipe, because we’re about to go neck-deep in the history of Tigertrack!
I don’t mean to come across condescending earlier when I mentioned collecting toys versus totems. There’s nothing wrong with collecting toys based on everything but the toys themselves. I do it all the time myself. Is my DC Classics shelf full of amazing action figures representing my favorite comic characters of all-time? Not really. It is loaded with some of my favorite comic characters of all-time (I still am in awe they made Jemm, Son of Saturn), but the figures mostly range from great to good/average, with a few real stinkers in the mix. I don’t mind one bit, because I love the little plastic universe hanging out on my shelves.
Now, I do much prefer it when a great toy matches up with a property I love – that’s how Takara has got me buying these Masterpiece dealies to start with. In trying to decide where to draw the line, just looping it around the G1 characters of my youth seemed a really smart place.
And by that standard, I didn’t much need a Tigertrack. He’s not technically a G1 character, instead paying homage to a redeco of Sideswipe available through Figure Oh magazine in Japan. That was available just ten years ago. In toy years, that means the Hulk movie figures were out, MO2K was still (sorta) in stores, Transformers was somewhere between Armada & Energon. DC toys were, as usual, barely at retail with the 6” Batman line dying & JLU getting its slow start. So, basically, not that long ago and a lifetime ago at the same time.
So why make a Masterpiece of a 2003 redeco? Well… probably to diffuse the costs of the mold, but why buy it? Well, it turns out that Tigertrack itself is paying homage to something much, much older. And that makes him a great toy with a great story and I will eat that up almost every time. Continue to Page 2…