Whilst sitting at my desk pondering the other day, looking around at the boxes that adorn my shelving, I suddenly realised that I never did a review (or gallery) for Maketoys MTRM-07 Visualizers. Sure, there are things on my shelf that would not make their way to a review, however for the life in me I couldn’t think as to why these little chaps slipped through the net. So with a resolve to remedy this I cracked open the box, took a few shots and put pen to paper.
Reflector is made up of 3 robots, Spectro, Spyglass and Viewfinder. He was quite a minor character in the cartoon, even more so in the Marvel UK comics with only 2 appearances if I recollect correctly. Anyway, his lack of exposure did nothing to diminish my interest in the character, the toy was quickly sought to round out my G1 Transformers from the first season of the cartoon. So when the Masterpiece line came along it was only fair that my MP collection “reflected” my G1 collection and with no Takara MP release I fished in the murky waters of 3rd Party.
Maketoys released Visualizer back in 2015 and at the time I passed on him, it wasn’t until a year later that I picked one up from a fellow collector. I stayed on the fence for quite a while with regards to a 3rd Party MP style Reflector, there were choices and decisions to be made. I finally opted for Maketoys as this was the one that more closely resembled the character from the cartoon whilst also having an MP aesthetic to it, in my opinion anyway.
Packaging & Accessories
Visualizers are presented in a medium sized box, on a par with Takara for quality and feel and maybe taking inspiration from the latter for the look of the box too. No artwork just multiple toy images both front and rear with silver, white and purple text on a matt black background. Quite plain, simple and straight to the point, very much in the spirit of what you see is what you get.
Opening the box up and we have the familiar two part button press plastic clam shell (same as Despotron & Downbeat) with Visualizer housed in his 3x robot mode. Also contained are the accessories, instructions and weapons (in a separate bag). Maketoys continue to supply no collectors card but it’s not a great loss for me although I know that they are quite popular with a lot of collectors.
Bullet pointing the provided accessories;
- Three alternate face sculpts, one smiling, one frowning and the other with a “grimace” ?
- Flash unit / missile launcher
- Flash unit camera clip
- Tripod mounting clip
- 3 Hand guns
- Small camera mode unit
Maketoys have gone for what I would call an “inspired” look to the camera mode, as in that it does not look exactly the same as it’s cartoon appearance. The generalised shape and form are there but it’s the colour scheme that lacks, this is down to the colours being needed / priority in the robot mode.
Still, this aside it is a good looking alt mode, bulky and solid. Not too heavy but hefty enough considering the lack of die-cast content. The three parts fit together well although there is some awkward tabbing work going on in there. Features are kept to a minimum, some minor camera works detailing like a moulded winder, painted on digital display, non functioning viewfinder, flash and non adjusting lens. Also of use when displaying is the tripod attachment that clips on the underside of the camera, also of use when off the tripod as it lifts the unit up slightly when placed on any level surface.
Just briefly touching on the lens again, it should be quite insignificant but I really like the translucent green, it gives it a little extra dimension that a solid or smoked one would not have. It’s all in the minor details, the subtleties.
Plastic is of good quality if feeling a little sharp, panel gaps are there but more through the design and build rather than any misalignment.
Transformation is not too difficult, pretty straightforward really, with head scratching only coming whilst trying to line up for the may panel tabs. With them being “clones” as such their sequences are pretty much the same. Fitting well together and holding in place with no issues.
Maketoys have done a great job here getting the G1 animation likeness, stout and stumpy but achieving great pose ability via clever articulation. Proportionally accurate and scales well with the other MP figures both official and 3rd party.
Minimal paint application to this mode as coloured plastic is the order of the day but certainly does not suffer for it. I cannot see any application or repro labels improving in any way. As previously mentioned, no die-cast content but the figure seems to be balanced well enough to manage without it. At no point during posing for photos did I feel the figure would not hold or maintain it’s position.
There are some very minor sprue marks here and there but nothing major that would cause a distraction.
Articulation again, ball joint to the shoulders, single joints to the knees and elbows, twist & pivot to the upper legs, pivot ankles, waist twist and twist to the upper arms. Twist joint at the wrist for the hands with fused fingers on a pin to allow opening and finally the head on a ball joint.
Each holds a gun well and it’s up to you who holds what, also I’m not entirely sure who actually is who. At a guess I would say that (facing you) Viewfinder is the central one, Spyglass to the right and Spectro to the left, in camera mode that is. But as with all things it’s up to personal interpretation.
The flash unit can also be utilised in robot mode as a multi missile launcher, not pictured as I think it looks rubbish. And aside from the three swap out faces, these are the only accessories that can be used in this mode.
If you read my review for Maketoys Downbeat you will recall me saying the following, “Downbeat is my second figure from Maketoys, my first being MTRM-07 Visualizers which I liked very much but cannot say I was truly blown away by. Sure, it did fill my requirement for an MP style Reflector but there was something about them I just could not put my finger on … and still can’t if I’m honest”.
In doing this brief review I have revaluated that opinion and you know what, I love the little buggers. There is a certain unappreciated charm to them, they may not be on the level of FansToys or KFC but as in life, I always root for the underdog.
Incidentally they are now my third figure from Maketoys as I picked up Despotron prior to getting MP-36, I wanted some comparison and besides, it’s a hell of a 3rd Party Megatron.
Closing out with bullet points I would say;
- Scales well with other MP style figures
- Detail to reflect the animation model
- Lots of articulation
- Nice selection of accessories
- Sharp feeling plastic can give the impression of being brittle
- Minor sprue marks
- Transformation can be awkward due to the multiple tabbing points
If you have not obtained an MP style Reflector then you won’t go far wrong in picking up Maketoys Visualizers. Their secondary market price point is good and certainly a cheaper option to FansToys or KFC. Why not show them some love, give them a little more credit than what the cartoon or comics ever did.
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