Takara presents to us it’s first official “female” Masterpiece Transformer, MP-26 Road Rage.
Another character that started life back in 2002 as an e-Hobby exclusive (sold in a set along with Crosscut), which in turn was based upon a figure from the Diaclone line, oft referred to as Red Tracks. Not really relevant to this review but interesting to note that in 1985 Milton Bradley released this red Tracks figure in Europe under the Transformers license, it also appears on the artwork to the back of Transformers packaging from 1985 too.
Packaging maintains the Masterpiece standard, nothing new or different. Road Ragre is packaged in a clam shell in car mode. Her accessories include a plasma rifle (the version that came with the original G1 Tracks), miniature Twincast (a repaint of the Blaster that came with MP-25), car mounted laser and two sets of door mounted mirrors. All rounded off with the usual instruction sheet and a collectors card but sadly no display stand, an accessory I’d rather have seen than the repaint of Blaster.
Road Rage in hand and out of the box initially looks great just as Tracks does, another sterling job nailing the likeness of the actual car (1978 Corvette Stingray C3). It’s a very sleek looking car and the colour suits, not as well as the blue of Tracks I believe but close. (for my pictures I have rotated the roof mounted Autobot logo, hiding it and also I have not attached the door mirrors).
The figure I have here does suffer with some panel gaps and misalignment, most noticeable where the windscreen meets the bonnet (windshield and hood for our over seas viewers) and the actual bonnet itself. I have tried to rectify this but to no avail, the bonnet does open but I have not pictured it here.
With being a repaint of Tracks aside from some changes more noticeable in robot mode (I’ll get to those later), Road Rage also has the 3rd mode, a flight mode. This is where it would have been nice to have had that additional flight stand, ah well, will just have to borrow Tracks !
Transforming from car to robot I am reacquainted with the issue I have with Tracks, I still find the transformation a little on the fiddly side, certainly not Badcube Sunsurge fiddly but enough to be borderline ball-ache.
What exacerbated the issue with Road Rage was that my figure here is quite loose and some of the tabs won’t stay in place. However once all was done and as long as I didn’t touch it too much all stayed together, which made taking photo’s interesting. Let’s just say that once or twice Road Rage almost felt some nerd rage !
As I mentioned, once all was in place I got some good poses which hold well regardless of how delicate the figure feels as a whole and with the flight stand some action shots.
Now back to those mold changes or retooling I brought up earlier. With Road Rage being a lady Takara have taken the liberty of making her a little easier on the eyes. Changes include; smaller rounded thighs, new waist plate, smaller hands, new upper arms, detailing to the upper chest and the obvious head sculpt. All look good and suit the figure, not appearing out of place or just tacked on.
In closing, much the same as my review for MP-25 Tracks, great car mode with a fiddly transformation to a delicate robot mode. Some minor molding issues causing panel gaps coupled with loose joints, hopefully localised to the example I have here in hand. Will Takara go for a third dip with this mold into the Diaclone past and offer us a black repaint, I for one certainly hope so.
I have one final point to cover, gender in Transformers. I’ll admit I’m not a fan, never have been, even way back in ‘86 when sitting there in the cinema watching the animated movie. This point of view does not take anything away from this figure, as a toy I’m a fan but it’s one that will be staying in the box for the foreseeable future.
Thanks to Kapow Toys Ltd, figures reviewed are available online via their website: www.kapowtoys.co.uk
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