Vaults of Iacon


Takara Masterpiece MP-18B

August 31st, 2015 | posted by Eddie


Bluestreak – Diaclone Ver.

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Takara brings us their nod to the Diaclone line with MP-18B Bluestreak. This “Blue” version of Bluestreak is the one that some incorrectly remember as being released under the Transformers line by Hasbro. Yes the figure appeared on some catalogue photos and it’s likeness does appear on the G1 box and instructions but no “official” release of the figure has been recorded but that aside on to this Masterpiece release review.

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As always we start with the box, it’s the usual TT Masterpiece box. Quality and style remains the same as previous releases and the images, aside from colour are a mirror of those used for the MP-18S Streak release. The eagle eyed amongst you will note the head sculpt is the same as Prowl’s, more on that when we get to the figure itself.

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What’s in the box:

Bluestreak Figure (Car Mode), Blaster Rifle / Gun, Two Shoulder Mounted Rocket Launchers, Instruction manual and the Collectors Card.

The inner tray has the same layout as that of MP-18S.

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On first impressions it is apparent that aside from the colour scheme (in car mode), it is identical to MP-18 and MP-18S. As like the other MP18’s it feels a little plasticky but solid non the less and the new paint scheme makes the car mode really stand out from the other releases. No panel gaps, nothing loose, all is straight and rolls well on the wheels with good clearance on the underside.

The only “fault” so far are two marks on the bonnet (hood if you’re in the U.S.), the lid from the inner tray has rubbed and worn the silver paint slightly. If I was to be picky, which is unlike myself, I would have liked to have seen a little more detailing on the rear light cluster. The current paint application has an animated feel to and lacks the detail afforded to the rest of the figure.

After transformation to robot mode it is immediately obvious that this is a repaint of the Prowl mold, minus the roof mounted light bar of course but retaining the same head and waist sculpt.

With there being no animation model to base this figure on look and colour wise it makes sense to be a repaint of the Prowl figure, this then gives it distinction from the other MP-18 releases.

Articulation remains the same and some great poses are achievable, again if I were to nit pick I would think a separate index finger would be nice but I suppose on a figure this size it would be quite delicate and a week point for breaking.

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Nothing new accessory wise, the gun and launchers remain the same as the ones supplied with MP-18S, with some minor paint colour changes. The same is also true for the enclosed instructions and collectors card, I had the additional Collector Coin sent with mine but I don’t include these in the reviews. I know for some they are a nice addition but for me personally, I’d like to see an additional accessory that can be used in conjunction with the figure itself.

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In conclusion this is a very nice piece, the colours with their links to the Diaclone figure make it worth the repaint and its availability to us the collectors. If you are not a completist then you could give it a miss but if you do not have the MP-18S Silverstreak and would like another representation of this mold then I would definitely pick him up. MP-18B is better than MP-18S in my opinion and this is all down to the paint scheme.

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With more than a passing interest in the old Takara Diaclone & Microchange stuff I hope we see more repaints reflecting those figures, next up for this treatment is the MP-21R “Red” Bumblebee which will go well with this, MP-23 and MP-12T.

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back to the 70’s……well, maybe early 80’s ?

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Dia……clone !

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

Or keep us locked into your browser favourites at www.vaultsofiacon.com

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MP-21R – Bumblebee (Red) Microchange Ver.

August 24th, 2015 | posted by Eddie


Takara have given us a glimpse of their December 2015 Masterpiece release and it’s Red Bumblebee !

What appears to be a homage to Takara’s Microchange release Red Bumblebee will be the third time Takara has used this mold, (still some way to go before it catches up the numerous seeker releases). It’s a logical decision considering the Red ‘Bee’s that were available during the initial runs of the G1 toys.
I have no issue and will be adding to my collection here in the Vault, I do find it amusing though the comments on various forums lambasting yet another repaint. Like it’s something new, if repaints are not your thing then give them a miss……however, we know that most collectors won’t even though they complain !

You may also note from the image below, pictures of Takara’s version of MP Thundercracker with his more animation accurate colour scheme and to the top right some pictures of MP Ironhide

MP-21R has a release date of December 2015, so if you’re in the market for another re-paint then support home grown business and check out your UK stockists for pre-orders.

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Masterpiece MP-10U – Ultra Magnus (KO)

August 24th, 2015 | posted by Eddie


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KO Masterpiece Ultra Magnus based on the MP-10 Convoy (Optimus Prime) mold.

He is presented in a matt black Masterpiece style box with plastic insert very much like the Takara release of MP-10B, (in robot mode). The main difference (aside from font style and the lack of the Takara Tomy logo) is a small tab to the back of the box which stops the flap from rising up. A problem I’ve seen with other MP boxes, however not all of them.

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What’s in the box:

Ultra Magnus Figure

Black Ion Blaster

Translucent Blue Energo Axe

Matrix of Leadership

Instruction manual

Collectors Card

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The inner tray is identical to the one used by Takara Tomy for MP-10B, it is sturdy and good quality and the accessories are also arranged the same.

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The figure itself is based upon, as we know, the TT MP-10 mold. This particular one is actually a modification of the original MP-10 KO which addressed the Quality Control issues that figure had, it also corrects some issues that the TT MP-10 mold had, (loose joints, pin in index finger, extra paint applications and screw detail etc..).

The figure does contain the same amount of die-cast as per the TT version.

I’ve been lucky here with this one as there are no major flaws or issues (as has been reported by some people), I have however as a matter of preference applied extra paint detail to the eye/face area and done a slight modification to the knee joints (there is also a slight chest gap which I have managed to lessen).

All joints are stiff and hold in place very well, articulation gives some great poses but the waist area does restrict somewhat.

I’ve not measured the figure but it has been suggested that the KO may be slightly larger than the TT version.

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MP-10U is supplied with all the same accessories as MP-10B, such as the Ion Blaster, Energo Axe and Matrix.

I had to repaint my matrix as the original paint application was less than stellar, one of the main things to stand out with the accessories are the spikes on the Energo Axe, they have a little droop going on.

Other than this there are no discernible quality differences from the TT version.

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The artwork on the collector’s card is good, looking like a high quality scan which carries over to the instruction manual, again which follows the same Takara Masterpiece format.

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Transformation is good, all parts move as they should with a satisfying “solid” feel to them.

In vehicle mode it holds together well and looks amazing in that glossy white finish. It does have “rolling” issues, some of the wheels are quite loose on their pins and the tyres are not great. The MP-10 trailer fits well (I have used the YOTH version for illustration) and hold in place tightly.

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Well, I’m quite beside myself if I’m honest !

Recapping, this is a great quality KO figure, yes there are one or two QC issues but not to expect these is a little unrealistic, however it would be great if they were absent. Price wise, do you get what you pay for ?

I got mine from a private seller so I feel I got value for money, some retailers I feel charge a little high but if the quality was improved I’d say it would be worth it. If you like this mold and are a bit of a completest then pick him up, if you’ve no immediate urge then maybe wait to see if TT hit back with an official release.

With this article I am not condoning the production, marketing or sale of Knock Off 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.

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We can’t deal with this right now….

Figures reviewed are available online.

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Hasbro Masterpiece Sunstorm MP-05 Customs – Coneheads

August 24th, 2015 | posted by Eddie


Codename: Coneheads 2.0

After doing Nemesis Grimlock I decided I’d try my hand at the Coneheads utilising the MP-11 mold (Hasbro’s MP-05 version). The one thing I wanted to do was to keep the wing configuration the same and apply the original paint scheme to that, obviously I had to have the actual “cone-head” too. The cones came from some small rocket fireworks I had in the shed, they required little modification and slid over the head much like a sleeve. They were then glued into place and painted the relevant colours. As with Grimlock I used Humbrol and Revel satin matt enamel paints, brushed not sprayed, this has given me a hard wearing finish that allows transformation without peeling or chipping.

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Coneheads Assemble

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“Roger” Ramjet

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Thrust

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Dirge






Codename: Cupcakes

So while I’m just finishing off the MP-10U review I thought I’d just post some quick photos of some customs I’ve done recently. I am new to this area of figure collecting (however I do have previous form in Airfix modelling). I have always been intrigued with the idea of the alternate reality versions of characters we are familiar with, thanks mainly to Star Trek and Spock rocking the goatee. I’m a fan of Nemesis Convoy or Scourge if you prefer so felt my first try should be a nemesis version of my favourite character, Grimlock. I stuck with the traditional colours (black, red and teal), mirroring those found on Scourge. The paints I used were Humbrol and Revel enamels, satin matt finish, brushed not sprayed. The result is as seen in the pictures, now safe to say he’s got pride of place on the shelf.

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Nemesis Grimlock

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Me Grimlock love to pose

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Don’t call me Cupcakes !




Takara Masterpiece MP-21G

August 16th, 2015 | posted by Eddie


Bumblebee G2 Version

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Takara gives us Bumblebee in his G2 incarnation – and not Goldbug –  as some fans have been speculating. He is presented in the usual matt black Masterpiece box with plastic insert, (in car mode).

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What’s in the box:

Bumblebee Figure, Jetpack with 2x Black Straps, Gun, Spare Wheel Cover, 2x Interchangeable Faces, 1x Set of Door Mirrors, Instruction Sheet, Sticker Sheet and Collectors Card.

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There are no moulding changes here from MP-21, aside from the loss of a faction badge on the flip panel in the roof of the car. The thing that immediately stands out is the paint job, the metallic gold really makes this figure appeal, I’m relieved they went this route and not the vacuum metalized look of the original figure which for my tastes always looked a little naff, (maybe due to this the figure feels a lot better quality than MP-21). The transformation sequence remains the same, quite easy to be honest, all tha joints are stiff and panels sit well with little to no gaps.

In robot mode he has the “battle mask” if you like or the facial appearance from the original G1 toy (insectoid looking). Articulation is good and you can achieve some great poses from this little guy, the hands are fixed with the gun slotting into the fist and again this paint application makes the robot mode look awesome.

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The accompanying accessories, for me feel a little unnecessary (aside from the gun and door mirror that is). I was not a fan of the wheel cover with the MP-21 release and it’s inclusion here along with the two faces and jetpack don’t really add anything to this figure. 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. Sure, it may have not had much relevance to G2 ‘Bee but neither do the accessories he is supplied with here.

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The artwork on the collectors card in very nice, going for a more figure accurate look and the addition of G1 style stickers along with the G2 ones are, for me a nice addition. The instruction manual follows the same Takara Masterpiece format as previous figures released.

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Overall, I like this figure a lot (more so than the release of MP-21). I acknowledge they are the same figure but the paint job really does make it stand out from his G1 counterpart. Anyone who has MP-20 & MP-23 will appreciate how a differing paint application can really “transform” a figure. I do think along with G2 Sideswipe that it’s kind of slipped under most people’s radar, it almost passed me by as I never was much of a fan of G2 back when first released. With more Masterpiece figures planned there is every possibility that the G2 ranks could see some welcome additions (Masterpiece Jazz, we are awaiting you sir).

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Thanks to the good people of Kapow Toys Ltd, figures reviewed are available online via their website: www.kapowtoys.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) or keep us locked into your browser favourites at www.vaultsofiacon.com

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screw you guy’s, I’m off to Dinobot Island !

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Reviews are Inbound !

August 5th, 2015 | posted by Eddie


We are getting near now to the launch of our blog reviews.

The aim with these reviews is to keep it really simple, stripped right back to just the points we as collectors tend to want to know.
hence the title “brown paper reviews”, its plain and simple and does the job, (just like when it’s used to ship those objects of our affections).

Most reviews will be done upon release of new items that are added to the Vault collection, these will be brought to you in conjuction with Kapow Toys LTD. Other reviews will be retrospective and cover recent releases and maybe just one or two G1 items.

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Just a dab of paint here and there……..

July 26th, 2015 | posted by Eddie


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So what started off as me just adding a little paint to a Hasbro Masterpiece Hot Rod to give him an Andrew Wildman Regeneration One look……..

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swiftly led onto this, whom I fondly refer to as Cupcakes, but it kind of did not stop there……..

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as I ended up spending a little time doing these 3……..so much for a dab of paint !




MP-10U KO Masterpiece Ultra Magnus

July 26th, 2015 | posted by Eddie


I picked one of these up a week or two ago, well worth it and I recommend one if you can. I’m no great video reviewer so I’ll hand over to Ben….




Goldfinger

July 26th, 2015 | posted by Eddie


Thanks to the good people at Kapow Toys, Masterpiece Bumblebee MP-21G, G2 Version arrived into the Vault today.
The paint job on this little fella really makes this figure pop, a nice addition to the collection. More photos to follow but for now here he is still in the box.

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Vaults of Iacon: Dedicated to Collectors of Transformers Toys, Comics and Merchandise


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