Vaults of Iacon


Takara Masterpiece MP-26 Road Rage

February 10th, 2016 | posted by Eddie


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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.

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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.

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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 !

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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.

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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.

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Thanks to Kapow Toys Ltd, figures reviewed are available online via their website: www.kapowtoys.co.uk

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Takara Masterpiece MP-14C Clamp Down

February 10th, 2016 | posted by Eddie


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The Masterpiece line continues it’s nod’s to the Diaclone toys, whilst also milking the repaint cash cow, with MP-14C Clamp Down. Based upon e-Hobbies 2003 release of Clampdown which in turn was an homage to the Diaclone release 20 years prior to that, No. 19 LP500s Police Car.

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Packaging maintains the Masterpiece standard, nothing new or different. Clamp Down is packaged in a clam shell in car mode. His accessories include a blaster, shoulder mounted cannon and a pair of pile drivers, along with the instruction sheet and a collectors card.

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In car mode it is immediately apparent that it’s essentially a re paint of MP-14 Red Alert (with the inclusion the aforementioned weapons and the addition of Sideswipes pile drivers).

On my example in hand I cannot fault the paint application, no blemishes or over spray here. Badge detailing follows the eHobby release of having the Autobot symbol in the shield on the bonnet and a star in the shield on the door. I wouldn’t of minded a deeper red for the light bar, currently it’s a little pink looking to me.

Talking of the light bar, is it on incorrectly ? I believe so.

When removed and rotated through 180 degrees and replaced it looks much better but will not allow the lid of the clam shell to sit flush. Official photos (including those on the box) show it sitting in it’s “correct” position, I’m going for a slip up at the factory and that it should be on the way in the photo’s. I find it quite interesting and that it highlights an issue that must have happened early on in the process as the molding of the clamshell shows.

Transformation sequence is identical to that of all the MP Lamborghini’s, quite simple but effective enough to make the robot mode look like the animation models, in the case of the others and not Clamp Down here or Tiger Track……..oh and G2 Sideswipe. So in fact, just G1 Sideswipe and Red Alert then, glad we cleared that up.

With this figure we are seeing the 5th issue of this mold and it’s a fair bet that we can expect Deep Cover in the near future. Personally I hope so as it will be yet another nod to the Diaclone line and like Clamp Down, a chance for me to own these characters after missing out on the e-Hobby versions from 2003.

Tight joints and poses well if a little limited.

As we come to the end of a brief review I will close by saying that I really like this figure. Yes it’s another repaint and being such it can be a bone of contention for some collectors but not for me. However with a limited release of just 2000 pieces I’d say Clamp Down is very much for the completist, nothing new or amazing to turn the head of the pedestrian collector.

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Thanks to Kapow Toys Ltd, figures reviewed are available online via their website: www.kapowtoys.co.uk

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Takara Tomy Mall Exclusive MP-11T Thundercracker

February 8th, 2016 | posted by Eddie


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Another release of the MP-11 mold, this time round the Takara Tomy Mall Exclusive Thundercracker MP-11T.

We have had this character previously from Hasbro, however this time around Takara presents him in an animation accurate colour scheme and thus completing their trio of the original Generation 1 Seekers.

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Packaging continues to follow the set standard for Takara Masterpiece, nothing more or new here in that regard.

As with the previous MP-11 seekers from Takara, Thundercracker is presented in a clam shell in robot mode with his sole accessory being that of a holographic pilot !

Instructions and collector card are present and with this being an Asia Exclusive we have the addition of the Chinese instructions also.

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In hand Thundercracker holds no surprises or anything new over what’s been before, other than the previously mentioned show accurate colour scheme. Now I like to stay positive in my reviews, as that is the type of person I am and as such I’m always quite generous and forgiving. However this nature has been pushed near the limit with this figure, Takara pay attention and please see me after class !

Thundercracker feels “cheaper”, in honesty he feels much like Hasbro’s release of Sunstorm. Now this baffles me as they are the same mold, subject to the same QC, made of the same materials….basically they’re essentially the same figure as MP-11 Starscream but MP-11 Starscream feels and looks so much better than this, what’s the deal ?

Colours are vibrant but as with Skywarp I’m not sure about the shininess of the silver, think I would have preferred a slightly duller or “brushed” effect look.

Now maybe its due to the blue plastic but the main things to stand out are the sprue marks, the points where the plastic is injected into the molds. It’s not really the kind of thing you’d expect on a £140.00 figure, certainly not to this extent anyway.

These points aside the figure poses and has the same articulation we’d expect from the MP-11 mold.

Transforming from jet to robot mode, the figure I have in hand here has nice tight joints, aside from his left wing which drops off at the slightest touch or movement. Under inspection there are no apparent faults to the clip.

The F-15 Eagle is Thundercrackers better mode, not as accurate as the MP-03 mold granted but the colours here make the plane look really nice, highlighting again the animation look. Comparing against Hasbro’s Thundercracker its nice to see a blemish free paint job, you know not so “inked” up.

“It is easy to become cynical towards this mold, with all the re-releases and potential for multiple re-paints. However that aside it has to be acknowledged that this is still one of the best masterpiece molds.” This was a comment I made in my review for Hasbro’s MP-07 Starscream, and whilst I still maintain the second part of that comment I am now pretty much done with this mold. With the images we’ve had for Ramjet there are enough changes to warrant getting the Coneheads, however the bottom of the barrel is wearing thin now.

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I’m running out of steam here and things to say about this figure, it’s difficult especially when its another issue of a mold we’ve seen so many times. Were I not a completist I believe I would have passed on this figure, it’s not that it’s a bad figure, despite the minor flaws, more just that it feels rushed. Bereft of any meaningful accessories, at the very least Skywarp came with yet another Megatron in gun mode, selling this under the Takara Tomy Mall Exclusive really is more like Takara sticking their hand in your pocket and squeezing your balls. They know collectors very well, too well in some cases and exploit this.

Would I recommend this figure, after all that, yes I still would. If you have the money and shelf space go for it, if not and you have the Hasbro version already then stick to your guns people. Besides, more retailers are going out of stock with this and the prices are going up on the after market……another phenomenon that never fails to bug me.

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“Success is no excuse to let your standards slip Thundercracker”

Thanks to Kapow Toys Ltd, figures reviewed are available online via their website: www.kapowtoys.co.uk

Except Thundercracker, it’s out of stock………………well I did tell you !

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Badcube OTS-08

February 2nd, 2016 | posted by Eddie


Warrior Sunsurge

………….and God said “Let there be light” and there was light. The Sun shone so bright…….

Okay, so a little dramatic with the introduction there but is Badcubes OTS 08 Sunsurge worthy of such gravitas ?

……..well, maybe !

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I’ll start this review by making a little confession, I’m not one for 3rd Party figures, my first foray into this other world of collecting started (and nearly ended) with the Toyworld Dinobots. I’ll not get into reasons here (I have reviews of them on the site already), suffice to say they were good but not that good and they only compounded my hesitance to explore further those murky waters.

Then, I started to see images of a figure from Badcube. Now I was aware of their previous offerings such as Brawn, Warpath and Huffer etc.. Incidentally OTS 01 Huff almost got me but I resisted, I’ll get back to that later. The images I speak of are what we know to be Sunsurge, not Sunstreaker…….definitely not Sunstreaker should any legal departments be reading this review.

Long story short (too late), I liked what I saw and decided to dip my toe in the water again, here’s the review of what ensued.

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Now those of you that may follow me on social media or visit the website will know I’m a bit of a box

collector, I love a nice tidy box (fnarr, fnarr). Also, two of my favourite colours are Yellow and Black ! Badcube tick all my boxes here with theirs. A good quality solid and glossy looking box, simple, basic logos and imagery make it a win for me, easily on a par with Takara’s Masterpiece boxes. With dimensions not that far out from Takara’s, it fits in quite well on the shelf with their releases.

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Cracking the box open we see Sunsurge presented in a clamshell in vehicle mode and the selection of accessories he comes with. Badcube have taken inspiration from Takara in it’s presentation, for the Autobot car’s I do prefer them packaged in car mode, it’s a little reminder of those hazy 80’s G1 days for me.

Anyway, in the box we have:

Sunsurge (vehicle mode), small screwdriver (with spare screws), chromed set of wheels, air intake and spoiler (initially it’s the buffed silver parts that are in the clamshell but I changed them over prior to the review), blaster gun, two chromed nozzle like attachments to replace his hands and a spare face with smirk.

We also have an instruction booklet, two collector cards and the nice, if a little unnecessary, addition of a Chip Chase figure complete with his wheelchair.

Out of the clamshell in hand and immediately Sunsurge has a solid, quality feel to it. Now as I mentioned I swapped over the chromed parts for the buff silver ones, this was a personal preference as I felt the chrome cheapened the overall appearance, the buff silver also fits in better with the official Autobot car releases.

The plastic is good quality if a little sharp, by this I mean it does not have the more dull or flexible feel to it that Takara releases have, this may harm it in the long run as it could contribute to the appearance of stress marks if care is not taken when transforming.

Being Sideswipes brother, Sunsurge shares his alternate mode but with a slight difference. Based on the Lamborghini LP500S with the addition of two very large air intakes over the engine bay, the official term for this is Super Tuning but to my knowledge there is no actual real road car sharing this look.

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Comparing with MP-12 Lambor, Badcubes effort fits in, they have managed to retain the look and size of the former. The yellow is a nice, not too over the top tone in comparison to Tigertrack who also shares the same mold as MP-12. Aside from the aforementioned air intakes the other main and most welcome difference is the addition of rubber tyres to the wheels. Seeing this on Sunsurge it reaffirms my opinion that Takara could have done this themselves, sure it may have added a little on the price point but I feel it would have been worth it. Minimal to no panel gaps on the example I have here in hand, also it rolls and sits well on those rubbers.

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Transforming Sunsurge from car to robot I hit my first issue (not enough to be a negative point but worth a mention), maybe it’s me and my increasing age but much like MP-25 I found the transformation on the fiddly side……a little complex too. Do I think it has been over engineered, maybe but I think it was necessary to keep the overall aesthetic and help it to fit in with other official scales. Simplifying the design and transformation process would have irreversibly harmed this figure.

Once transformed and all was in place the robot mode is awesome, a great likeness to his G1 inspiration with lots of articulation affording some great poses to be achieved. However he does feel a little delicate, this maybe down to that “sharp” feel of the plastic again or the complex transformation. A minor quibble is the mismatch of colour on the chest area, but as it is paint on translucent blue plastic I’ll cut them some slack.

(At this point I cannot stress enough the importance of reading the instructions fully BEFORE transforming, it will save on causing any stress marks, breakages or Primus forbid, miss-transformation)

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There is some great detailing on this figure, close up there is no part that looks superfluous or out of place.

The attention to detail continues when scaled up next to MP-12 Lambor, there is an ever so slight height advantage to MP-12 but this can be addressed by a slight alteration of how the ankle joint sits on Sunsurge, this will give him that extra few millimeters.

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Bringing this review to a close, Badcube have given us a really great figure, a solid car mode with a complex transformation to a fragile feeling robot mode and the inclusion of some great accessories. It may sound a mildly enthusiastic wrap up but I assure you it’s not meant to. Sunsurge has left me open to trying other 3rd Party figures (I have my eye on MMC Sphinx next and Make Toys Hellfire & Wrestle, I’ve also heard rumours of a reissue of OTS-01 Huff), this is a huge positive from someone who was previously not convinced.

I’ll leave you now with some additional photo’s, thanks for taking the time to read and until next time……..

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Thanks to Kapow Toys Ltd, figures reviewed are available online via their website: www.kapowtoys.co.uk

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Takara Masterpiece MP-21R

January 27th, 2016 | posted by Eddie


Bumblebee Red Body

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Takara rolls out the Bumblebee mold again, this time giving us an homage to the Red Bumblebee’s found in Hasbro Transformers packaging from 1984 to 1985. He is presented in the usual matt black Masterpiece box albeit with the differing title of “MP-21R Bumble Red Body”.

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What’s in the box:

Bumblebee Red Body Figure (in car mode), Gun, Spare Wheel Cover, 1x Interchangeable Face, Set of Door Mirrors, Instruction Sheet and the Collectors Card.

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The accompanying accessories are minimal, I have to say again that I’m still not a fan of the wheel cover, I’d have much preferred to have been given Daniel in an Exo-Suit to compliment the Spike we got with the initial issue of MP-21. This may have impacted upon the price point but at least it would have given us a useful addition to the set.

The artwork on the collector’s card is nice (pretty standard) and the instruction manual follows the same Takara Masterpiece format.

Much like with the previous release of MP21-G there are no moulding changes here from MP-21 (the faction symbol omitted from MP-21G has now been reinstated). The first thing that attracted me to MP-21G is also the thing that is whetting my whistle here….that paint application is very nice. There is something about this lush red coupled with the chromed bumpers that makes it look so vibrant and stand out, it maybe more a psychological thing but it does feel better, higher quality with little to no panel gaps.

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No changes to the transformation sequence, still quite easy to be honest, all the joints are stiff and hold poses very well. The hands are fixed with the gun slotting into the fist, again this paint application makes the robot mode look great.

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To close this short review (no pun intended there ‘Bee) I really like this figure, more than the release of MP-21 and MP-21G. Yes, again they are all the same figure but the different paint jobs really do make a difference.

Another reason for me liking this is nostalgia, recalling as a child seeing a Red Bumblebee on the shelves and wondering just how and why…..the magic of memories and childhood.

If you already have MP-21 & MP-21G then should you get this, I’d say a definite yes, personally I’m a bit of a completist when it comes to certain things but even if I was not I think I would still have to have him. The colour difference and the lower price point makes it very hard to refuse this little fella.

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Thanks to the good people of Kapow Toys, all figures reviewed are available online via their website: www.kapowtoys.co.uk

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Hasbro Generations Leader Class Jetfire

January 12th, 2016 | posted by Eddie


Micromaster Level Review

Now as you may have noticed, for those who follow me here on the website or over the varying social media platforms, I don’t tend to review the newer lines of figures. This is in no way a reflection upon their place, relevance or quality, more because I have a very precise remit for my Transformers collecting.

At Christmas Santa Claus was kind enough to give my son the Generations Leader Class Jetfire. He immediately loved it, as would most 7 year old boys, and as soon as he had freed it from its cardboard prison he passed it to me and asked the oft repeated phrase “Daddy, can you transform him please?”.

Now I have only seen one of these once before in the “flesh” when a friend called by the Vault to show me it along with his Metroplex (yes, you Jay) when they first hit the stores. Initially I was just ‘whelmed, neither over or under so to speak.

Fast forward a few years to the ghost of Christmas 2015 and I have reassessed that view point, read on to see this dramatic turn around and the realisation of the error of my ways.

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The packaging was nice, no issues there…….no photo as it was destroyed whilst excitedly removing Jetfire from it by my son, he’s a child it’s a toy, deal with it !

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When first out of the packaging Jetfire is in his robot mode, with previous releases of Jetfire he has been

presented in his jet mode, that’s about as much of the history lesson you’re going to get, I’ll not retread old ground with the whole historical saga of the toy or character.

Anyway, first impressions, he’s a solid looking figure but I was surprised at how light he was. Maybe I’m just used to handling MP line figures, you know feeling the absence of the die cast. The other thing that assaults your eyes is the shiny red chroming of his attachments, not a fan I have to say. There are gaps (lots of

moulding gaps), but I have a lesser issue with this, I know a lot of other reviewers and collectors have pulled this figure up on this but for me I can let it slide as it does not distract from the overall aesthetic like the chroming does.

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Joints are quite articulate and some good posing is achievable both with or without the armour accessories. Another nice touch I like is the inclusion of a removable face shield, a battle mask if you like. This gives the option of going for rather a G1 toy or cartoon look. The gun has a firing mechanism which shoots out a small black missile, I anticipate this being lost very quickly.

Transformation sequence from robot to jet mode is not too difficult, after a few minutes my 7 year old son had mastered it. I found from my attempts the fiddly part was moving the chest section over for jet mode and getting it in line to then fold down the clips, I have since mastered this……honest !

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In jet mode Jetfire again looks great, sleek sharp lines, good amount of detail and a worthy homage to the original G1 mold. He can be used with either the armour pieces attached or not, I preferred with just the extra top mounted boosters. Wings sweep backwards and forwards, tail fins fold down and the front nose cone wheel fold out to assist landing…….oh and before I forget, the cockpit opens !

And for those of you who air on the side of caution and are safety minded, the nose cone is rubber so no eyes being gouged out, it’s good to know.

In closing (this is a Micromaster level Review after all), upon this second meeting with Generations Jetfire I have to say I like it, not a lot as Paul Daniels once told us but yes I do. Will I call Burt the Elf and see if I can get one, honestly no, I’ll just wait in the wings until my son bores of it or until he gets older and moves out and leaves all his toys behind…..muwaha, ha, ha, ha, ha…..

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Thanks to Santa Claus, this figure reviewed is available via his toy workshop: www.northpole.com (ask for Burt the Elf, tell him I sent you)

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Toyworld TW-D03 Corelock & TW-D04 Iron Dreg

November 13th, 2015 | posted by Eddie


I’ll be honest from the start, I’m kind of running out of steam here with the reviews for Toyworld’s take on the Dinobots.

I’m still new to this review malarkey, still honing my craft, and I have nothing but admiration for the big hitters like Bens Collectables who do this on a regular basis. Have I writers block ? maybe simply reviewers quagmire ? or could it be that I’ve now cooled in the waters of 3rd Party, I’ll endeavour to soldier on.

I have decided to combine the reviews for TW-D03 & TW-D04 (see what I did there), mostly so I can get them done and out of the way as I have some other reviews to come that need doing (actually I’ve done them and have been posted, I’m working here like a Tarantino film), also because as of this moment I’m not really sure if I will be completing the set (TW-D05 Spear). I also feel that I’ve said all I really want to say about this line of figures.

TW-D03 Corelock – Box: Same as before but bigger, much bigger. I has his gun and sword but also the hands, feet and shoulder pads for the combined mode. Instructions, tech card and sticker are present also as before.

TW-D04 Iron Dreg – Box: ……..same as before, much like Roar & Muddy’s box, this time only includes his blaster (no sword). However in the tail section there are two “axes” of sorts, Instructions, tech card, sticker………

TW-D03 Corelock – Dino Mode: Corelocks dino mode is okay, a little restricted on articulation (much like the others) with no head swivel just up and down movement. Dino mode also looks a little more mechanical than the others for some reason, colour scheme is there but overall just lacks something.

TW-D04 Iron Dreg – Dino Mode: Now this I like a lot more, he’s up there for me with Roar. Iron Dreg looks like a natural evolution form G1 and those chrome horns !

TW-D03 Corelock – Robot Mode: This is where Toyworld loose me a little, Corelocks robot mode is a bit of a mess. Now I know it has to shift to combine with the other guys but it looks too big, clunky and disproportionate. Limited on poses due to weight balance issues of the figure.

TW-D04 Iron Dreg – Robot Mode: Where Corelock fails Iron Dreg wins you back. I am again comparing to Roar as for me this and Roar are the best ones. I also like how Toyworld finally put swivel joints on the wrists. Good pose ability and well, just looks great.

Moving on to the combined mode, Corelock is the main body of the combiner with Iron Dreg being the right arm. Both as individual components feel solid and sturdy, it’s when combined it all goes a little wrong. At the points where all the individuals join it’s not sturdy enough to hold or support so “Dino-King” is a little floppy. This being the case it makes posing very restrictive , if you manage to get it right and not move him (ever) he does look awesome but the floppy-ness is there waiting to pounce.

Wrapping up (I’m loosing the will here) this short review, Toyworld does offer a good quality product, however minor points and issues do tend to stick in your mind. Corelock is the runt of the litter and I feel that Toyworld would have been better (giving the Roar & Iron Dreg molds) just giving us a team of Dinobots and not a combiner. After doing this review I have decided not to go ahead and obtain TW-D05 Spear, a shame really but the minor niggles have put me off and besides there are more upcoming official products that are needing my attention.

Thanks to Kapow Toys Ltd, figures reviewed are available online via their website: www.kapowtoys.co.uk

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With this article I am not condoning the production, marketing or sale of 3rd party figures, I am just reviewing items that I myself like and purchase. Where possible and budget allowing always buy officially released items and preferably from your local stockist, this supports the manufacturers and local business.




Masterpiece MP-25 Tracks

November 6th, 2015 | posted by Eddie


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With another Autobot joining the ranks of the MP line, this time round from Takara they give us Tracks, which was originally from the 1985 release of figures.

It has to be said, what a sweet release it is, I had tracks originally back in the day and whilst I was never a huge fan of the character I always loved the toy. And what’s not to love, a robot, a car and a flying car ! Triple changer that never was, that was never marketed as such, you get the feeling Hasbro missed a trick there.

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Getting straight in there and it’s the usual design and quality masterpiece box, complete with images of the figure in both car and robot mode. Also on there are the license logo’s of Chevrolet (GM) as he is after all based upon a 1978 Corvette Stingray C3.

Plastic inner tray houses Tracks in car mode along with a miniature Blaster (in tape deck guise), his hand blaster, front car mounted laser (flight mode) and Raoul. Also there is a bag with the instruction sheet, tech card and two sets of rear view door mirrors. The best accessory is the inclusion of a stand, functional for both flying car and robot modes, I’ll get to that later.

Now I know some of you will like the addition of the Raoul and Blaster accesories, it’s a nod to the cartoon episodes “Make Tracks and “Auto-Bop”, but I’m not that big on these additions. I think that maybe in part due to living here in the UK I never got to see any of the Season 2 episodes aired on terrestrial TV as a child. Also maybe if Raoul had have been articulated much like Spike and Daniel from the MP Magnus release I may have been swayed a little, but it wasn’t and aside from this review they will be remaining firmly in the box.

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So out of the box and in hand Tracks looks great, the reason I liked this toy back in the 80’s is still the reason I like it now, an amazing likeness of the actual car. The lines and the colour of the car are so sleek, looking like it’s going fast even when stood still (note for my pictures I have rotated the roof mounted Autobot logo, thus hiding it and also I have not attached the door mirrors).

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Another nice touch is the opening bonnet (hood for our US viewers), which reveals a moderately detailed engine bay. As with the other Autobot cars Tracks has all plastic wheels, I for one would not mind paying slightly extra to have rubber tyres or do away with certain accessories to make it more viable. I have to say I’m a little surprised that no 3rd party company have jumped on this opportunity to date, maybe they will, who knows.

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A few twists and turns and tracks is in his “flight mode. And he still looks great, on occasion some Transformers are made to look good in one mode more than the other or at the expense of another, not this time. When mounted on the base some dynamic angles are achievable to show flight action poses. I have not checked as yet but I wonder if the stand can be utilised on other MP figures.

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Now transforming from car mode to robot I hit my first issue (not quite severe enough to be a negative point), maybe it’s just me and my advancing years but I found the transformation a little on the fiddly side.

The back section took for me some staying in place (correctly) and the front section would pop off (chest). That said once all was in place I find the robot mode quite sturdy and with some great poses achievable, however it does to me feel delicate.

I have to say though while I do like the robot mode I have never been a fan of the red face, it’s not a great look.

To conclude, great car mode with a fiddly transformation to a delicate robot mode. Inclusion of some inspired accessories (display stand) and some that would not have been missed if not included. No paint errors or molding issues with the example I have here in hand.

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Tracks sizes up really well with his fellow Class of ‘85 Autobots, in both modes. Takara have done an excellent job on keeping to scale. No doubt we will have repaints, already confirmed is Road rage (Red Tracks), based off of the old Diaclone line toy. Another I would like to see, also based from Diaclone, is the Black Tracks…………you know it’s coming and you know you want it !

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Is this the best MP Autobot car released to date ? Oh, I’m not touching that one, maybe you can offer your thoughts and opinions, I’d love to hear them.

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Vogue your best G1 box art pose !

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Missing in Action

Thanks to Kapow Toys Ltd, figures reviewed are available online via their website:www.kapowtoys.co.uk

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BPR - Footer copy




Hasbro Masterpiece Starscream MP-07

November 6th, 2015 | posted by Eddie


Another release of the MP-11 mold ?

Is this bad comedy…………maybe not !

Hasbro’s latest Masterpiece offering is another release of the (TT) MP-11 mold. Previously they have given us the excellent Acid Storm (MP-01) and the fan dividing Sunstorm (MP-05), now it’s Starscreams turn……..again.

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The packaging is following the now standard Hasbro Masterpiece boxes, outer sleeve with actual toy images over a glossy sturdy box (Purple for the Decepticons) with both English and Chinese text.

Starscream is presented in a plastic tray with a display base, two missile pods, gun clip for Megatron and a pilot. As with the previous (H) MP-01 and (H) MP-05 he is in jet mode.

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Straight away out of the box what hits me is the colour scheme. At a casual glance you may be forgiven for saying “What’s the difference between this and (TT) MP-11”, but I assure you they are there.

The greys look to be ever so slightly darker in tone with what appears to be a hint more metallic. The red also feels a little richer, the face paler and the aircraft canopy a nice translucent yellow as opposed to the “smoked” look of (TT) MP-11.

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The main and for me one of the key differences is the metallic blue paint on the tail fins, forearms and feet. Hasbro in my opinion, with this release has trumped Takara, something they seldom (if at all) do.

Generally Takara have the better paint applications where Hasbro go budget, not this time.

Oh, before I forget, he has a blue nosecone !

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Transformation from jet to robot mode is the same, the figure I have in hand here has nice tight joints with no visible errors or flaws in either molding or paint application.

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In robot mode (H) MP-07 looks identical to (TT) MP-11 aside from the mentioned colour differences. Where the “MP-11” mold gives us a truer representation of the Seeker robot the (TT) MP-03 mold is a better jet.

Articulation is good and dynamic poses can be achieved , in flight ones too with the addition of the base.

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It is easy to become cynical towards this mold, with all the re-releases and potential for multiple re-paints. However that aside it has to be acknowledged that this is still one of the best masterpiece molds. With the imminent Takara Asia Exclusive Thundercracker due to land soon and the retool of the mold for Ramjet early next year it’s apparent that there are still some (air) miles in the mold yet.

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To wrap up, if you do not have the (TT) MP-11 then I would most definitely recommend this release,

especially if you are Stateside. For us here in the UK it’s down to online retailers I’m afraid, not that that is a bad thing. Here at Vaults of Iacon we have always supported the home grown talent, I merely mention this as it’s not looking good for a release being made available at Toys r Us.

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Thanks to In Demand Toys, this figure reviewed is available online via their website: www.idtoys.co.uk

To see more awesome reviews, news, blogs and general meandering thoughts and posts head over to our Facebook page here (we are also on Twitter).

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In Demand review Paper




Plesy—A Childs Design Remembered

October 19th, 2015 | posted by Eddie


I suppose we’ve all got a tale to tell when it comes to The Transformers, when we first saw them, where we were, what figures we had and what figures we wanted. Some of us we were fortunate enough (or as the years pass by so quickly cringe at how long ago it was) to have been there way back at the beginning—September of 1984. However, regardless of when, the main thing is we are all here now to appreciate this immense brand which has so completely captivated our hearts and imaginations and calls out to that inner child so precious within all of us.

At the beginning of that September of ‘84, I was almost 10 and still very much a Star Wars fan, I had the figures and some of the vehicles but toy wise nothing new was coming and hype was almost gone. I recall going into my local town and seeing big blue water barrels (without the water of course) filled with Star Wars figures being sold off for 50p (around 76 cents for our American fans) at market stalls. Then, late September it happened…….well, you all know the rest.

Fast forward 3 years to 1987 and I’m still very much the Transformers fan but now being 13 and at High School pressure was on to abandon such child like things and be more grown up. Before I succumbed to such peer pressure I had one last fling, something I only recently remembered after reading an article about the Transformers Legends Paperback.

Whilst reading this article I came across a story about a Dinobot called Paddles who was a Elasmosaur (a genus of Plesiosaur), this story was written in 2004, 17 years after my final shout before teenage angst set about.

Back in 1987 I designed a new Dinobot called “Plesy”, he was of course based off a Plesiosaurus as I wanted to give the Dinobots some waterborne support. Also I figured it would be easier to design and manufacture as it would be a retool of an existing Dinobot figure, namely Grimlock (looking back now I suppose it would have been better to use Sludge but my love of Grimlock was as strong back then as it is now). My original drawings are below, now I was not too bad at artwork but I get the sense I was getting bored so started to rush it.

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Now I sent this design to Hasbro, back then Milton Bradley was responsible for the distribution of the Transformers brand in the UK, hoping as a child does for fame and glory but in reality knowing that nothing would come of it or even expecting a reply……how wrong I was (well, for part of it anyway).

On the 11th November 1987, this arrived through the letterbox at my home.

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Excitedly and hurriedly I opened up the envelope as it was a school day (yes, back then First Class post arrived in the early mornings before school), and inside I found my drawing and a letter from a Mr Roger A Ford, Vice President of Research & Development……..

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Had I been an adult I would have dined out on this for a whole month but being a 13 year old at High School my excitement was contained to just myself and my parents, not even telling anyone until now (sorry Owen).

So this was a secret along with my renewed and refreshed love of Transformers, my duality was as awesome as Bruce Wayne’s, well in my eyes back then it was.

The three comics I was given are below:

As you can see they are American releases and back then I felt super special in having these as opposed to the UK marvel comics. Sure the stories would see UK print but not in this American style.

So, that’s my Childs Design Remembered, 17 years before Jean Rabe wrote the story “Paddles” a young Edward Cassidy designed Plesy, the Dinobots first Underwater Operations Specialist……maybe still stuck somewhere in time on Dinobot Island ?

And finally a thank you to Roger Ford, a man I never knew other than through a letter. This one act of kindness kept a passion of mine in me through my childhood and into my adulthood (but still refusing to grow up).




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