Monday, 20 November 2017

REVIEW: KFC E.A.V.I. METAL Phase 11: A Stratotanker

Masterpiece-styled triple changers remain a bit of a tricky prospect. Aside from there being about eighteen different attempts at a decent Springer (possibly an exaggeration, but hey) there's an argument to say that we're still on the hunt for the "definitive" version, and when you move onto the other characters it starts to look even more bleak. To their credit, Unique Toys / DX9 have previously led the charge, with attempts at Blitzwing, Sandstorm, Astrotrain and yes, Octane all behind them. However, none of those figures were particularly cartoon-accurate or reminiscent of the characters as they appeared in their respective animation models, and so don't quite scratch the itch for me, personally speaking. Then KFC unveiled their own attempt at Blitzwing, with Ditka, but you may recall that turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. I actually reviewed two versions of the Ditka test shot, but sadly found that the second version (which was much closer to the retail release) took several backwards steps and overall felt like a missed opportunity, to put it kindly.

Friday, 17 November 2017

REVIEW: Wei Jiang NE-01 New Evolution Megamaster

Megatron. Has any character caused as much debate or created as much focus in discussions around the Masterpiece line? I certainly doubt it. Whether it’s the now legendary story of how MP-5 was rushed into existence and a comment on the subsequent disappointment that figure created, the longstanding absence of a version 2 Masterpiece figure and the rather colourful debates that created in years now gone by, the polarising opinions on the previous three third party options and in particular the wildly varied schools of thought on X-Transbots Apollyon, or indeed the reactions and disagreements that are still raging today about MP-36, I’m pretty sure that most collectors have been sucked into it at some stage or another. Clearly this is a character that people care quite a bit about, and perhaps with good reason - we are talking about the Decepticon leader after all. Add to that how challenging it appears to be to do Megatron justice - it’s widely acknowledged that the transformation is a difficult thing to do well whilst achieving two decent modes, and that’s to say nothing of the headaches of producing a realistic gun mode in the first place - and perhaps it’s no great surprise that the character is such a common topic in online discussion forums and social media.