Sunday 28 January 2024


We are almost done with January, February is looming on the horizon, much like the sun of the lengthening days. I’m a little later than usual with my year end look-back. I could make a plethora of excuses, each more dramatic than the other. The truth is two fold and quite unremarkable. Firstly I’d not been so well over Christmas and the New Year, still not 100% even now but getting there. And secondly, I’d really enjoyed not doing the whole social media / collecting thing over the festive period. I’d come to really appreciate not feeling the need to come up with new content, new camera angles and how to do my next Photoshop gimmick. But, there are still things I want to do so it’s back to it and where better to start than the retrospective of my collecting during 2023.

I’ll keep it brief where I can, mainly a copy and paste of the ’Closing Thoughts’ of my reviews of each item (where they exist). I’ll also include a link to the original review should you wish to engage in further reading.

Lets make a start then shall we my fellow Iconians!


The collecting kicked off a quarter into the year with an existing pre-order landing into the Vault. Arriving on the 10th of March from Omegalock, Fans Toys FT-53 Parkour.

Closing Thoughts

Fans Toys continue to release quality product, there is very little argument against that, and I’m no through and through Fans Toys fan (I still have strong thoughts on Hoodlum). Parkour is a solid representation of the G1 cartoon Cliffjumper and I see very little improvement over it even from Takara with their imminent release. That’s not to say it’s perfect, which it isn’t. More and more Fans Toys are getting bland with their aesthetic, chasing this cartoon style. And that’s fine if you like that kind of thing. But as much as I liked the cartoon I don’t really want figures that look that plain. To me a Masterpiece figure should have the correct balance of character points versus a little technical detail. Say, maybe the odd panel detailing or robotic circuitry etc. Something that makes it stand out as a believable sentience and not a smooth statue to something. But these points aside Parkour is a compact yet hefty figure with solid materials, great paint job and reasonable articulation. I’m still a huge fan of MMC Hellion and he will maintain his presence on my shelf, but being totally objective I have to say that Parkour is a better rendition of Cliffjumper than Hellion. Sounding like a stuck record, I’ll say again, please quit with the pointless accessories. I’d rather have fewer to no accessories (except a blaster) and a cheaper price point than additions that are never going to be used. I think a better way to go about it would be to retail accessory packs either for specific figures or factions that incorporate a wider range of characters. That way those who want less for less are covered as are those that want more for more.

FT-53 Review Here


April saw my first ‘impulse’ purchase of the year. Not planned whatsoever, but after having it in hand I was smitten. The plan was; local toy collectors emporium Cosmic Toys loaned me the piece to photograph and review before it then went out for sale in their shop… Fans Toys FT-51 Chomp never made it back!

Closing Thoughts

Fans Toys do make some good stuff, there are one or two duffers (Hoodlum we are looking at you) but for the most part you know what you are getting for your money. They are also edging more towards that god awful cartoon aesthetic, with some minor tweaks here and there I might add. Hopefully they will back off from it a little more and produce a more hybrid looking thing, piece, figure etc…

Have I any negative points about Chomp? No, amazingly I do not. And truth be told I’ve become quite smitten with the colourful bugger, to the point that I ended up buying him for myself. Totally out of my collecting remit, no place I can wedge him in or group him, but you know what…. I don’t care. He’s got a place on my shelf just for himself, where he can dazzle the other Drab-icons with his luminescence.

So to close up, as this half-arsed approach is in danger of becoming a quarter, maybe even an eighth. Chomp is a real tasty figure, with extra bite. If you are the least bit tempted for an MP Headmaster, you couldn’t go far wrong in picking one up.

FT-51 Review Here


This month saw the arrival of a figure that I’d long debated myself over. Not so much the figure, more the character. I am of course speaking of X-Transbots MM-04 Ollie (Ver.2). Arriving from Omegalock, the figure may have won me over ever so slightly, yet still did nothing to endear me to the character.

Closing Thoughts

Have X-Transbots changed my mind regarding Wheelie? Hell no! But by the same token, my dislike of the character and G1 toy have not clouded my opinions of this figure. The truth is, I like the little bugger! Is it perfect? No, could it be better? Yes. I’d start with some of the thin joint attachments, maybe swap out some of the screws for pins and definitely give it an all over paint job. That alone would make it feel more like a premium figure, because as it is, the bare coloured plastic does let it down a bit…. but not much to be fair. I also happen to think some rubber tyres would be of benefit too, but that is a thing for me. Personally I believe all Masterpiece figures (whether Official or 3rd Party), should have some die-cast content and rubber tyres as standard.

So I’m done, short and semi-sweet. Question now remains, would I recommend you buy Ollie? Well, yes and no! Yes because I think the price he is going for at the moment is worth it, even if it is just to keep a place on your shelf until another option becomes available (I’ll leave a link for Omegalock below, it’s where I picked mine up from). And No because if you have gone this long without a Masterpiece style Wheelie, you either aren’t a fan of X-Transbots, not a fan of the character or you are holding out for someone like Fans Toys or even Takara to bring you one. So maybe stick to your guns as I feel that should you pick one up, you’d be disappointed, not through any fault of the figure but maybe more down to expectations or preconceptions. Then again…. you could be as surprised as I was!

MM-04 Review Here


Heading into the summer months and my two pick-ups reflect the colours of the sunshine. These two were both impulse buys, one because I was won over by the bonkers colour and the other because it was a total bargain. Firstly we had MHZ Toys MH-01C Hurricane (Shattered Glass Cyclonus) from fellow collector Bens Collectibles and the second was Hasbro Tonkanator from Cosmic Toys. Bright orange and yellow certainly had that zesty flavour to them… mmm, refreshing!

Closing Thoughts (Hurricane)

This is a great KO of Quietus, with the added bonus of that amazingly vibrant orange decor. The materials are good, the paint application is beautiful and like me, even if you don’t know much about the characters origins, you can just enjoy this figure for just being. Don’t expect it to be as good as Quietus, if you do you’ll be disappointed. But in all fairness it isn’t that far off, and if MH Toys consider visiting some of the other Fans Toys offerings, say a certain cohort of Cyclonus further down the line, I’m sure I’ll be sweeping one or two up.

MH-01C Review Here

Closing Thoughts (Tonkanator)

I picked this one up from Cosmic Toys. It is used but in like new condition with no marks and all the stuff there, and at a price I was willing to pay to have him gather dust on my shelf. Contrary to what impression you may have garnered from what has preceded, I do like it, and that’s because I like the original Devastator. Of course it’s not the best of toys and in the day wasn’t really a great toy to play with. But to me it’s a great piece of early transforming robot engineering. Very simple but really effective. It kind of falls into the category of ‘why’ but you then shrug your shoulders and think ‘I’ll have one anyway’. 

If you're a fan of G1 & Devastator, and if you can find one at a sensible price, it’s worth having one just so you can ask yourself why but then feel all snug at the happy yellows.

Tonkanator Review Here


This month saw me take a ‘risk’ of sorts. I have many X-Transbots figures and it’s safe to say they are a mixed bag when it comes to build & quality. Of course it would be unfair for me to not point out that they are getting better, but they are not quite yet at the Fans Toys level… but they are closing. So the figure I took a punt on was one that eludes me in his G1 guise so I thought, what the hell. I speak of X-Transbots MX-23 Fioravanti or as we know and love him, the Omnibot Camshaft. Again, this was another pre-order that came via Omegalock.

Closing Thoughts

The die-cast! It feels to be everywhere, no joke. The wheels, the thighs, the forearms, the feet and some of the panels to the back of the lower legs. This is what gives Fioravanti its heft. The paint application where it is, is great and even, no blemishes or over-spray. Good articulation that enables some great posing opportunities, that die-cast helping in the balance too. 

I’ve made no mention of any negative points as yet, I do have some but they are very minor points. They are: I’d like a locking mechanism for the wheels in the upper torso when in robot mode. Also a locking mechanism for the plate the head is attached to, one for the hands as they slide out of the lower arms and finally one for the tops of the upper part of the lower leg. But this final one you could argue doubles up as a double joint for the knee to get you a more dynamic joint. That’ about it for the down sides to be honest, well for me anyway.

This figure is what I want a Masterpiece figure to be. A real world looking vehicle, a robot mode that captures the essence of the character but retaining the characteristics of the vehicle whilst remaining robot looking. Reading that back it might not make much sense but it’s the best way I can describe it to be honest. I’ll try again. To me, the current batch of Masterpiece Transformers seem to have lost that mechanical nature of a vehicle and robot. This is due to the influence of the animation models dictating the current course the line is taking. Not doing right well here am I, okay one more try…

I remember when I first got Mastermind Creations Backdraft (Inferno) from their Perfection Series line. When I opened it up and laid hands upon him, it was an emotional experience. For in that moment I was a 10 year old kid again. What MMC had managed to do, was give me as an adult what I felt to be a natural evolution of the original toy line. 

This is what I feel X-Transbots have achieved with Fioravanti, and I like it and on that note I eagerly await the remaining Omnibots.

MX-23 Review Here


Seeing out the summer with three arrivals, and what would be the continuation and conclusion of my ‘risk’ pick-ups. Two were from a manufacturer that I’d not had experience of before and the third was a return to swimming the warm waters of knock off island. Modfans, I’d heard of but never had anything from so when I saw the images for their take on a transforming Roller, I thought why not. The price was a big factor in the decision as it looked to be a lot of figure for a little money… and I wasn’t disappointed. Modfans AL01T Ruller arrived from Omegalock while Modfans AL01S Ruller came via Show.Z. And completing this trio was the knock off version of MP-45 Bumblebee, also from Show.Z.

Closing Thoughts (Modfans AL01T & AL01S)

It’s safe to say that I’ve taken to this little fella in a big way, there is lots of charm on show here in such a small package. It’s not changed my mind with regards having things transform that didn’t previously, but with Ruller it does work. Besides, there are instances in the various comics of Roller being a transformable character, is this my get out of the hypocrisy jail card? Maybe!

I did not hesitate when ordering this piece, funny as I cannot explain why, I just know that when I saw it I was immediately drawn to him. Ruller is a sound purchase option given his price point vs play-ability factor. You get a lot for your money here, which these days is no bad thing. Hmm, bad thing! That reminds me, or should I say, Ruller reminds me of Badcube for some reason. Not exactly, more a refined version of there previous output. And with all that in mind, I’m glad that I have the IDW version on pre-order now to complete the trio.

I suppose I’d better wrap this up and get to the point, should you spend your money on this figure? Without question, yes, most definitely. Whether you want a transformable Roller or not, or if you just want another character to fill out your ranks. Ruller really does not really need a reason to bought, just buy him and enjoy the low cost and play-ability of this charming little bugger.

AL01T Review Here

AL01S Review Here

Closing Thoughts (MP-45 KO Bumblebee)

I’m glad that I picked this one up, honestly I am, but I don’t feel like its my definitive Masterpiece Bumblebee. I don’t see it being on the same level as the MP Mini-Bots released so far by Fans Toys. So it is definitely a space saver on my shelf awaiting a replacement. I’m also very much glad that I did not pay over the odds for the official version, when this KO is as good as it is. I’ve got what I wanted for a fraction of the cost, and that’s a win. That said, I don’t see me going full on KO in the future, even if there are one or two KO’s I do have my eye on. I see them as a means to an end, like what I did when I had the KO MP Hound until a legit one came along at a sensible price. But I won’t be doing that here with Bumblebee, for reasons stated above.

Overall the figure is spot on and I’m hard pushed to regard this as a knock off, yes it’s that good. But again, it is subjective and mine in hand maybe the exception to the rule, KO is a lottery. Would I recommend it? Well, if you are on the look out for an MP Bumblebee and don’t want to spend official money then sure, why the hell not. But bear in mind, as I’ve said, KO is a lottery.

MP-45 KO Review Here


Busy month for the Vault was September, with five pre-orders hitting all at once from both Kapow Toys and Omegalock. First up from Kapow was Ocular Max RMX-10 Motif & RMX-12 Pitch, soon followed by Fans Toys FT-56 Variator, Newage H56EX Rhedosaurus and X-Transbots MX-22CY Commander Stack from Omegalock. All good solid figures, with the stand out surprise being that of the Yellow version of Commander Stack. I was hesitant on account of the known history of how brittle translucent plastic can be. But like I said, I was positively surprised.

Closing Thoughts (RMX-10 & RMX-12)

Another solid pair of Cassette-Bots from Ocular Max, really shifting up a gear with regards design and execution, giving us another must have pair of release. My personal cassette-bot journey with Ocular Max is at an end as I have all the ones I wanted, but if you are eager for more, they just announced Ratbat! Were I to have one gripe, and it would be a very minor one, it would be aimed at the chest panels. As part of the transformation, they pivot upwards to hide the head. However in robot mode the just kind of hang there. I would have liked to have seen some sort of locking mechanism for them to keep them level and straight. As they are now they ‘slope’ down towards the shoulders, both front and back, which when the weapons are on their backs makes them drift off at an angle rather than just straight up. Oh, I think I would’ve also had the visible screw to the tops of the legs to that back rather than the front in robot mode…. I did say it was a minor gripe!

RMX-10 & RMX-12 Review Here

Closing Thoughts (FT-56 Variator)

I kept this brief and hopefully to the point as I hadn’t much time and with Variator been out for a while now, most reviewers will have more than likely said what is to be said about him. So a short review for a short robot! So to recap; the tried and trusted formula from Fans Toys with regards the packaging and quality of the figure. Great paint application, quality plastic and plenty of die-cast give this figure a good solid feel. At no point did I feel he would break or stress. Some parts are tight to clip in and will need a ‘spudger’ to coax out, but nothing to cause any anxieties. Joints are tight and hold position well, which is good for the not too limited posing possibilities. So overall I’m pleased with this purchase, it was of course to upgrade from Badcube Grump, which has done his job well but now looks dated next to Variator.

So has this helped to promote Gears into my Top 10 of Transformers characters? No, not really. But while I may not have much regard for his media inspiration, Variator is a cracking little figure that I’m glad is in my collection.

FT-56 Review Here

Closing Thoughts (H56EX Rhedosaurus)

This is another solid release from New Age, an awesome version of Sludge in the smaller scale. I do have one issue however, and this carries over really from my thoughts on Ymir. The paint application is great but it’s a little disappointing that the silver parts are not chromed like the gold parts are. I believe that this would have been the icing on the cake with regards that G1 toy emulation. But I stress, it’s a very minor issue. I also like how they have adopted the name (Rhedosaurus) from the monster that features in the 1953 film ‘The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms. A classic black & white monster film, which if you’ve not seen it then it’s one I recommend. A short and to the point review of my thoughts then. Rhedosaurus is a small Dinobot that packs a giant sized punch and with lots of personality is sure to make an impact on your display shelf. If you don’t have one yet, stop messing about and go get one, you’ll not regret it.

H56EX Review Here

Closing Thoughts (MX-22CY Commander Stack)

So as some of you who follow me may know, I did not have the greatest of starts with my standard version of Stack. I had a left shoulder issue, hairline crack on the waist flap and the eye circuit board being non functional. All these issue have been dealt with by X-Transbots and the retailer, both of which I cannot fault in their communications and promptness. 

So, those prior issues aside, what do I think of this version of Commander Stack? In all  honesty I’d have to say he’s fantastic. It’s not just about the look or the fact it’s translucent (it’s my catnip), I’d have to say that I believe X-Transbots have produced a better and more sturdy figure. The joints feel better, as do the tolerances and stability. Also I think that the quality of plastic is better too, this version does not feel as delicate or fiddly.

Commander Stack displays very well and fits in with both Official and other 3rd Party Masterpiece in terms of scale and aesthetic. The latter due to it’s influence by the animation, as are most figures nowadays. Is it worth buying though? Well that depends on how you collect. If you’re a X-Transbots collector then perhaps, if you're an Ultra Magnus fan then definitely but if you just collect 3rd Party Masterpiece to reach a goal of having a particular line up then I’d say no. It is a bloody lovely looking piece but it’s niche, not one that you’d necessarily have in your 1986 Movie line up. Me, well as I said in the preamble… I had a score to settle. Now, lets see about that Delta Magnus re-paint shall we X-Transbots!!!

MX-22CY Review Here


A brief respite in October cleared the air for another release from Newage to swoop in via Omegalock for November (I know you saw what I did there). Adding to their Legends scale Dinobots, Newage gave us H57EX Freyr, their take on Divebomb Swoop!

Another great figure from the company that is doing some really awesome work in the Legends scale

Closing Thoughts

3 out of 5 releases down and Newage give us another solid figure, an awesome version of Swoop in this smaller scale. The beak in robot mode is a minor issue and not worthy of negatively marking him down. I could also pick at the knees were I inclined to but again, it’s a very minor point and not really worthy of mention. After all, they are not Masterpiece figures…. even if price wise they are getting closer to them. But I promised to mention that display stand didn't I. Well, it's not much use to be honest. The base is too small to counter balance the arm so more exciting angles are off the table. But to be fair that wouldn't really matter as Freyr doesn't stay tabbed onto it very well. The peg hole is not deep enough really to afford good purchase on to it, so he soon come off under nothing but his own weight. And as for using it in robot mode, well forget it. I know I have a picture with him using it in Bot mode but it's down to balance and blu-tac.

H57EX Review Here


And so the end of the year comes around all too soon, but with it brings some last minute collecting goodness. Two last pre-orders of the year, again from Kapow Toys and Omegalock. First to land was Fans Toys FT-48X Jive, the amazingly lush and sexy toy version of their masterpiece Jazz. Second, and just in time for Christmas was a piece I have been wanting since my childhood. Finally I have a great representation of the Big Dai-X from X-Bomber (Starfleet). It’s a kit from Moderoid but don’t let that sway your opinion, once built it feels and acts just like a posable action figure.

Closing Thoughts (FT-48X Jive)

I’d be lying if I said there was not a slight tinge of buyers remorse, not for this release of Jive, but for its predecessor. I knew full well when ordering the latter that it was a dead cert that a more toy accurate version would come along in time. And thankfully we had to wait over a year for it to come along, as had it of come sooner them maybe I’d be pissed. But as it stands I’m not and despite the slight sour after taste, I don’t see me parting with either figure any time soon.

So in closing, a solid figure with quality materials, great paint job and good articulation which raises up an already amazing figure to a new loftier height. The minor points I mentioned in the review aside, I’m very pleased to own this figure, more so now that is adorned with that iconic Martini livery. So, what to do if you already have the standard release of Jive? Well you could be happy in your choice and enjoy his presence upon your shelf or you could seethe knowing you have an inferior version of the classic character. I jest, no really I’m joking… or am I? As of writing this review there has been a second run announced but I believe at an inflated price over the initial one. So, if you really want this upgrade then you could sell your original off to fund the other. But I figure that most MP collectors are in this for the cartoon aesthetic and will be satisfied with their collecting choices. And rightly so, you do you and be happy in the knowledge that whichever version you have, they are the best version of Jazz out there at the moment.

FT-48X Review Here

Closing Thoughts (Moderoid Big Dai-X)

I did not do a review for the website about the Big Dai-X, that one's just for me, sorry!


Well that’s another year been and gone. Not as busy or expensive a year as 2022 but still in line with my collecting ’average’. So I feel it’s been a good year for Transformers collecting, especially with regards 3rd Party Masterpiece. I’m sure there has been lots of good stuff from the other lines but they’re not my bag so I’ll leave that to those that do. Currently it looks like 2024 could be a slow year for me, not too many pre-orders on the go and nothing as yet announced that has my interest. But what are my conclusions with regards my best / worst figure of the year? What delighted me as equally as infuriated me? This is tough as I’m not a reviewer to be over critical, I find that there are equally good points as there are bad.

So this time around I’ve decided to give you the Top 10 of my 2023 pick-ups…

10) MHZ Toys MH-01C Hurricane

9) Fans Toys FT-51 Chomp

8) Fans Toys FT-56 Variator

7) Fans Toys FT-53 Parkour

6) Newage H57EX Freyr

5) Newage H56EX Rhedosaurus

4) X-Transbots MX-22C Commander Stack

3) X-Transbots MX-23 Fioravanti

2) Fans Toys FT-48X Jive

1) Modfans AL01T & AL01S Ruller

As you can see it is a little Fans Toys ‘top heavy’, but that’s to be expected as I did have more pieces from them this year.

I feel the biggest surprise for you the reader will be my choice of the top spot. Before having them in my collection, it would have been a total surprise to me too. But now having them in hand and in my collection I can safely say that they are my figure of 2023. The main reason for this is the quality of the figure, the articulation and mainly the price point. Modfans delivered a figure that has all that at a price point which is just amazing. A Masterpiece quality figure at a price that is even more competitive than the now popular 3rd Party Legends scale stuff. You get so much bang for your buck so to speak.

I’ll also mention X-Transbots, they are getting better with each release. At the time of writing this review I now have their version of Long Haul on the review table. It’s a serious contender for the Devastator wars, trust me. If they keep it up then I personally feel it won’t be too long until they are at a Fans Toys level… we watch and wait.

As for best of the rest, of which I mean the other 6 figures I picked up, well I’ll let you decide where you would place them. They didn’t make the Top 10 but that is not to say they were not worthy, it’s just my personal preferences led me to where it ended up. Although I will mention the cassettes from Ocular Max, Motif & Pitch. Had some slight different design choices been made, they would have been deep in the Top 10. But regardless of that, they are great and a good design improvement over Riot & Furor, I look forward to their Ratbat.

Links to all the retailers that I used during 2023 can be found in our 'Recommended Sites' section on the Home Page.

Well that’s it, I’m now officially done with 2023 and looking forward to what may come in 2024… see you there!

Right, I’m out of here. I’ve been Edd, this has been my retrospective of 2023 and you’ve been awesome for spending a little time reading my ramblings.

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