Saturday 6 August 2022



Over the years I’ve owned many of the “Masterpiece” style Seekers, mainly of course the Holy Trinity of Starscream, Skywarp and Thundercracker. I have had some of the Coneheads but for now I don’t feel that any have rightly captured what it is I’m looking for in such a representation. This is all a bit of a pointless pre-amble as of now, I don’t own any of those previously mentioned figures, and so I’m left with Deformation Space and their Crimson Wings. And you know, I think I’ve finally settled…. I hope!

When I first saw the teaser images for Crimson Wings I was very intrigued to say the least. Takara had released MP-52 in the June of 2021 and I wasn’t over excited. Don’t get me wrong, it looked okay but two things stood out for me, firstly the price! Takara are getting very expensive I feel for what you get, but I’m not getting distracted, that’s another topic for another discussion. The second thing was it’s scale, I personally feel it’s a shade on the small side, but I acknowledge that’s a personal preference. So, back to Crimson Wings. I immediately felt it, you know that feeling as a collector, you see something and you just know that is the one. So, pre-order was placed and I awaited the passage of time. To prepare myself I watched a few early review videos on YouTube, I was liking what I saw. And so the day came, a knock on my door and my Postie had goodies for me. Now let’s get down to what I think…

Packaging & Accessories
This is a very nice box, sturdy and well made with Crimson nestled inside in his part transformed robot mode. (I’ll mention it now lest I forget, I think that all Masterpiece Transformers should be packaged in their robot modes) A clam shell houses him, with the extra faces and instruction booklet in the void below.

The elephant in the room, that picture on the box face. A hideously mal-transformed aircraft mode, but I get it and it does not bother me. I’m convinced it’s a IP rights thing, 100%, and I don’t hold it against them. Sure they could’ve just stuck with the reverse image which is a very nice outline illustration. But you know what, you can just turn the box around on your shelf, problem resolved. This aside, I still think it’s a very nice box, what would have elevated it to epic proportions would have been instead of a clam, poly’s. But that would mean a larger box and an increase in cost, but I’ll talk more on that later.
Accessories wise it’s a sparse affair, two alt faces and that’s your lot. I wouldn’t even consider the null rays as an accessory as they to me are an essential part of Starscream. I’m somewhat torn though on this as I often berate the inclusion of many unnecessary accessories that seem now to be standard with some Masterpiece figures. Most of the time they are like that one thing you vaguely remember from that one episode where they did a thing. At the end of the day, it’s Starscream and what accessories does he really need, it also keeps the price point down, there I mentioned it again.

Aircraft Mode
I’ll start here as I’m a creature of habit and in my reviews I’ve always structured them in a particular order. There’s a few things here that remind me of MP-11, which is to be expected I suppose given the iconic look of the F-15 Eagle. It does not share the same play features as the prior but as for surface detail it is its equal. Fold out landing gear and an opening cockpit is your lot. It feels sturdy and solid and on my example here, all panels tab in where they should and it looks neat and tidy, even on the underside too. It’s not perfect but you're never going to get that , there will always be some pay off somewhere. Were I to pick an issue it would be with the vertical and horizontal stabilizers, the incorporation of the pins to allow folding breaks up the smooth lines. That said, they are minimal and I’m a robot mode display person so no real issue from that perspective. The missile launchers detach and can configure between this mode and the null rays. No visible tab or connector for a display stand, so I used a desk tripod to grab an ‘in flight’ shot. I’ll have to look into a suitable display stand at some point, one that services both aircraft and robot mode That’s about it for the aircraft mode, short I know but when you're light on features and there isn’t much to bitch about then, well there you go.

I’m not a huge fan of Crimson Wings transformation, I think it’s too clever in a way which makes it overly complicated. Or is it just that there isn’t much clearance on certain sections. I’d say it’s a mixture of all those with a good helping of me feeling like I cannot be bothered at times transforming certain figures, hence my preference of figures being presented in robot mode. No, it’s not that bad but on my example there were one or two very tight sections both in clearance and in joint movement. Once or twice I paused to check for stress marks or potential breakages. Fortunately there were none, more my over vigilance and hesitancy. Actually, no there was one area of stress, the mushroom peg on the rear flap. It was super tight and the plastic has stressed to the point where I had to lubricate. I’ve been in contact with the retailer and Deformation Space have agreed to replace the part, which is awesome on their part so kudos for that.  I feel like after transforming it two or three times then in will be as intuitive as any other transformation sequence, it just takes a little time to get familiar enough with it. I like how neatly everything folds away and leaves no kibble on show. 

Robot Mode
Yeah, that’s why we’re here right? That awesome looking robot mode.
Trying to be level here but Crimson does look really nice when transformed. The proportions are spot on and the figure cuts a lean silhouette , especially with all things folding away as I mentioned above, no back pack or unsightly leftovers on display. I’m also okay with the back view, you don’t see it much unless you display it so. I’ve seen the add-on panels to cover the wings etc. and they are fine if you want them. It’s the kind of thing for me that should be included with the release rather than a paid addition after the fact. But as I say, I’m  not over fussed at this point so if you want them to finish off then fill your boots. Articulation is great, with a myriad of posing options on the table with only your imagination to limit you, hence my not so wide range of ‘posed’ shots, lol. Seriously, Crimson has great articulation in all limbs, hands, head and waist. Now the waist is another issue I’ve seen some mention, the fake piece of cockpit just above the crotch area being of irritation. Toon accuracy contradicts its functionality but in practice I find it a necessity. In static posing it looks good, but for me it also looks fine in more action focused shots. It’s that pay-off thing again, if you want good waist articulation then something needs to be offered up in exchange. You get a swivel and pivot, which for any Masterpiece Starscream is amazing given we’ve not had it before. Faces swap out to help Crimson emote along with his stance, null rays also move to accommodate certain arm positions too. You can have the wings in various points of tilt or angle, dependent on how you prefer. There’s a mixture of ratchet and friction joints on offer here, all good and tight keeping him sturdy and upright.

Final Thoughts
You’ll not be surprised then when I tell you that I think this is the best MP Starscream as yet. Good quality materials, nice paint application, reminiscent of Magic Square’s Light of Freedom (although be careful as with some clearance issues there can be paint rub), complex but not off-putting transformation sequence and most importantly… a cracking price point. Were here, it’s all about the money. Look, I think we can all agree that by now collecting MP figures is getting a little expensive. Prices are going up, Takara and Fans Toys are the two main culprits. But now you have an option of the likes of Deformation Space offering a solid figure for sensible money. I’d also watch X-Transbots, they’ve got some great figures coming up at reasonable prices.  Overall Crimson scales well with other MP figures, a Seeker should be on the taller side I think. No accessories really, which dependent on you point of view is either a good / bad thing.  I’d like to have seen the inclusion of the wing panels and more importantly a flight stand, but again I understand keeping the price point down.
I’d like to see more from Deformation Space, maybe the Coneheads and as I mentioned the other day on Instagram, I’d like them to have a crack at the Dinobots. But perhaps the future could be in the Combiners, Devastator perhaps? It’s an option as Toyworld Constructor is looking a little long in the tooth now.
I hope this review has been enjoyable and informative. It feels good to be back in the reviewing game after such a long break. More to come, such as Rig, Janssen and Outrider. I’m also continuing the ‘Re-Issued Reviews’ so keep an eye out for them.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and catch you all soon.
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