21 Nov 2015

Transformers Masterpiece MP-25 Tracks

The day Takara releases a brand new mold into the MP line is a day celebrated by most Transformers fans. And this MP-25 Tracks release is no exception. Of course there are faults rightly pointed out by collectors, but by and large this figure is every bit a Masterpiece like the other cars before it.

For my full video review, click through to the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel below and check it out :)



The packaging is the usual simple yet classy Masterpiece black box style, with nice photo art of the figure and accessories. Since I got this from the great folks at Robotkingdom, I also got the collector coin included, which is a very nice addition to the MP coin collection!

The set also comes with a flight stand to cater for the flight mode, and the mini-Blaster and Raoul figures straight out of the classic G1 cartoon episode. Great little touches there by Takara!




The standout feature of the car itself is how amazing that metallic blue deco looks in hand! The paint application was pretty much flawless on mine, and the way it rolls on the wheels is very smooth. The only issue I had with the alt mode was getting the little side mirrors to sit flush with the car door. I would've preferred that they were just molded in. But I think a bit of hot water or old hairdryer trick should make it sit in properly.

The flight mode also looks great, but I did have trouble pegging in the arms against the front sideskirt hole. I was more worried about scratching the paint than anything, but most other collectors have done it with no problems.

Pulling out the rear of the car was a little tricky at first, but it's one of the main components of the transformation and gets easier with time.

The flight stand works really well with joints that allow for a wide range of flight angles etc. Just be careful putting in and taking out the peg into the bottom of the car as the fit is pretty tight.




The transformation sequence is not overly difficult, but I always struggle with these MPs anyway. The most difficult parts were the rear at first, and then separating the front hood. The front is pegged in so tight the first time, a totally excessive amount of force is needed to pull them apart. I almost pulled my finger nails off doing it the first time, and many collectors have had the same issue.

The other faults with the transformation include the way in which the shoulder areas are pegged into the back of the body. They tend to become unpegged while posing, so just be sure to push them in tightly.

The backpack pegging into the side doors (or torso in bot mode) is also a little tricky, and depending on how you do it will determine how high the backpack sits above the head. If you peg it in right, it is quite secure and does not sit too high.




One step in the transformation that is missed by many collectors, myself included, is the rotation of the little blue hood piece near the ankles. This needs to be rotated to close the gap between the lower legs and ankles. It also allows the side and shin panels to peg in nicer. You can see in the group photo below that I have not rotated the blue piece, and so the gap near the ankles is more visible.

The other thing missed by some collectors is the head. The head is on a neck joint that needs to be pulled up past a click point. Then it will rest at that point without collapsing back into the backpack. Some have complained that the head is not stable, and it's just because they need to pull it up past that click point.

On the head sculpt, I think it's a perfect representation of the cartoon character, and one of the best in the MP line. Together with the other Lambor, Nissan, and Lancia molds, Tracks and this new Corvette mold fits in beautifully with the MP line.




Many collectors are still on the fence with Tracks. I was initially not overly impressed with the bot mode due to the issues I mention above. But after messing around with it for a while, the articulation and accuracy to the cartoon just wins you over!

The poseability is really one of the best out of the current group of MP cars, and when you think about it, the flaws are no more apparent than they are on the previous molds. I still think the Lancia mold design is the best and most elegant, but Tracks has some great design elements too.

So all in all, I think MP-25 Tracks is a fantastic addition to the MP line. If you're a G1 fan, then I think this is pretty much a must have to continue getting the cast of Autobot cars in this incredible MP line.




Click the link below to head on over to Robotkingdom and pick up this awesome Autobot Warrior for yourself! :)

Robotkingdom - Transformers Masterpiece MP-25 Tracks

16 Nov 2015

Hot Toys MMS291 Spacetrooper Exclusive

The Star Wars awesomeness from Hot Toys continues with the release of the MMS291 Spacetrooper exclusive! Sure it was only in the movie for a few seconds, but since it's from the Original Trilogy, I just couldn't resist!

Here's the link to my full video review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel! Hope you can head over to check it out and subscribe! :)



The box art again is the usual boring black and grey style, but the cardboard insert art is quite nice. They're really doing a good job of those!



The figure comes with a decent array of accessories for a Stormtrooper, with the usual belt and blaster. This time is comes with the massive leaf blower of a weapon and the back-pack with three little capsules to put in it.

The capsules have nice detail showing the internals of their capsules, but it seems a little pointless to me since you're meant to insert them into the back-pack where they're not visible anyway! I guess it's a nice accessory if you want to pose it holding one of them.




The large rifle is nicely designed and detailed. I have no idea why it needs to be so big, but I guess those space walkers need something to protect themselves?

The backpack is actually glued into the back armour, so removing it is definitely not recommended. The hose then connects to the chin of the helmet, and again that does not look to be removeable. I guess Hot Toys are doing this so that you can't adjust the figure to simply look like a standard Stormtrooper (forcing you to buy that separate figure!).




The accessories look nice though, and the addition of the pointing finger is a nice touch so that you can recreate the scene where the Falcon is being brought into the Death Star.




Together with the classic Stormtroopers, they do all look pretty awesome. It's was interesting in that the height of my Spacetrooper was in-between the short and tall Stormtrooper figures. Not sure if that's by design or just a quirk of my version.

Either way, this is another solid figure by Hot Toys, and caters for all the classic trilogy fans out there that want all the weird and wonderful variants.

There's plenty more to come before the end of the year, with the First Order Squad Leader, TIE Pilot, and X-wing Luke coming out in quick succession! Stay tuned :)



15 Nov 2015

Hot Toys MMS263 Han Solo and Chewbacca

Finally got the new Hot Toys Han Solo and Chewbacca 2-pack set from Sideshow Collectibles, and what an incredible set it is!! After getting Obi-wan recently, I didn't think Hot Toys could do much better, but this Chewbacca is hands down my figure of the year!

Here's the link to Part 1 of my video review on this set focusing on the scoundrel himself. A few issues, but overall still an awesome figure.



And here's Part 2 focusing on the walking carpet himself! Words cannot express how amazed I am by this figure!



The box art is the usual style, so nothing to dramatic to talk about here. The cardboard insert art is pretty nice though.



Once you get all the contents out, the set certainly has an impressive array of accessories. If you get the 2-pack, you'll get the heavy blaster and Han's stormtrooper belt as exclusive bonuses that you'll miss out on if you get these two separately. These guys certainly belong together, so I highly recommend buying the two pack!



The head sculpt of Harrison Ford would appear to be the hardest to match in 1/6th scale format. This latest attempt by Hot Toys is still not perfect, but is better than anything that has come before. It's certainly an improvement over the prototype photos.

But again, it's the paint application detail that takes Hot Toys to the next level, with their usual incredible realism. The outfit is also damn nice, until of course you get to the boots and the ankles!

The body uses long ankle pegs, and there is nothing to pad them out, so the boots bend and fold very unnaturally at the ankles. Many collectors have taken the boots off and taped cardboard or foam or bubble wrap around the ankles to pad out the gap when placing the boot back on. It's an essential mod for this figure; you're otherwise left with something that looks like his ankles are broken!

Other than those couple of nitpicks though, the figure is pretty nice and an essential part of any Star Wars collection!



Chewbacca is simply an amazing figure. With its full fur suit, I just can't comprehend how they pulled it off! The fur is not overly delicate, and so can be handled normally without too much fear of damage. Even the facial sculpt is great with the tight fur around the mouth etc.

I think you just need to use the little brush that's included to futz with the hair and get it looking as accurate as you want it to the movie scenes. The fur around the chin can perhaps be pulled out a little to fill his face more, and the fur on the arms and legs can be tidied up.

But everything else, from the articulation to the accessories is just superb!



If you're remotely a Star Wars fan, I would highly recommend these figures. They just look sensational next to each other, and complemen their OT Star Wars line perfectly!

7 Nov 2015

Hot Toys MMS283 Obi-wan Kenobi

My first of the new Hot Toys core cast of Star Wars figures arrive the other week. And what an absolutely amazing figure it is! This figure just proves without a doubt why Hot Toys is by far the best in the 1/6th game right now, setting a standard that other companies can only aspire to right now.

Here's my full video review below over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Hope you can check it out :)



Package art is pretty much the stock standard boring style mandated by Lucasfilm. But it does the job, and the insert art is pretty nice.




Content wise, it doesn't come with much, but the light-up sabre is a nice touch. I probably won't use it, but the option is good to have for photo opportunities.

The stand out of course is the head sculpt and layered outfit for me. The attention to detail, such as the patchwork on the inner outfit, is just superb! The material of the outer robe is fantastic, with a coarser outer layer but nice soft inner layer - just awesome tailoring in this scale.



If this is the quality that Hot Toys will push out for the remainder of the core Star Wars cast, then I think every Star Wars fan's dream will come to reality very soon! These are simply amazing figures, and Hot Toys is doing these iconic characters justice for sure!

Stay tuned for my reviews of Han Solo, Chewbacca, and the Spacetrooper soon! Make sure to check out the Obi-wan review link




Sideshow Collectibles Jango Fett Exclusive

The recent Sideshow Jango Fett 1/6th scale figure has been such a long-awaited release. The preorder period was over 12 months, and it wasn't clear if more delays were imminent. But it has released, and to be honest, I am more disappointed than excited about the figure.

For my full video review going over why I feel this way, click through on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel review below.



Straight out of the shipper I had bad vibes, with the inner clam shell inserted the wrong way in the artbox! I have no idea what the factory workers were doing that day, but someone in Sideshow's quality control department really needs to check and audit what the hell they're doing over there!

But once everything is out of the box, it does come with an impressive array of accessories. And this is the dilemma I'm in - lots of accessories are nice, but if the core figure and main components are sub-standard, then no amount accessories will fix that.



There are a number of smaller issues that I go through in my video review, such as the delicate plastic, armour pieces that come off etc. But the three biggest issues for me that really should have defined the figure are the head sculpt itself, the manner in which it is swapped out with the helmet, and the chest armour.

Sideshow has never had facial paint apps to the same high standard as Hot Toys. But when their prices increased to the same, and sometimes exceeded, the level of Hot Toys figure prices, that's when the quality must absolutely match Hot Toys. With high profile figures such as Jango and Pilot Luke that come with high prices and human head sculpts, the expectation is that the sculpt and paint app have the same wow factor as Hot Toys.

Unfortunately again, the Sideshow paint application essentially ruins a perfectly good sculpt! The facial paint app is far too dark - yes, I realise Temuera Morrison has a Maori background, but despite that the skin tone on the figure is still too dark. Not only that, it lacks all the realistic skin texture and detail that is now standard by Hot Toys. It is flat and in many ways just looks plasticky. It's been a consistent problem for Sideshow for so long, and they do not seem to have any idea on how to fix it during their factory production.

The other huge frustration is swapping out the head sculpt with the helmet. The whole process of taking out the neck joint etc was bordering on me just wanting to throw the figure in the damn bin!! It is so hard to do, and runs the risk of breaking the figure, it's probably not even worth doing considering the head sculpt paint app itself is pretty poor.


The other main issue is the manner in which the chest armour has been glued onto the suit. There have been so many cases, mine included, that the armour pieces just do not look aligned or centred. It just seems like some lazy arse factory worker just glued them on in sort of the right orientation, and didn't care if things actually looked decent!

To make matters worse, Sideshow's response to some customers asking for replacements was that all the figures have some sort of alignment issue with the chest due to factory production, and a replacement won't be guaranteed to be any better! To me that sort of response is pretty poor, and Sideshow really need to rethink their factory and the quality control over there.

All in all, I wanted the Jango figure to complete a group of 10 figures of the current Clone Commanders and their father figure. It's such a shame that a figure we waited so long for just seemed to be rushed out the door at the end. After releasing a great figure in the Scout Trooper, it's so disappointing to get such a lacklustre Jano Fett.

Sure after it's posed up it look OK on display, but it's all the little defects and issues that really sour my feeling towards the figure. I'm not a big fan of the prequels, but I love the Clone Trooper figures. But this Jango Fett is perhaps the first Sideshow figure that I regret buying.

For now, I just hope the upcoming Pilot Luke is up to standard. If it's not, it will definitely be the last Sideshow figure I buy with a human sculpt (if I don't actually cancel the preorder before then!)

Comparison of MP-12 Sideswipe re-issue and original version

For those who missed out on the original Takara MP-12 Sideswipe release a couple of years ago, here's a better option than picking up an KO version! They have re-issued the figure, albeit with some minor differences. Overall, a classic figure that helped kick the MP line into the stratosphere!

Here's my comparison video between the original and re-issue versions. Hope you can check it out :)



I get all my MPs from Robotkingdom! Click the link below to head on over to the order listing for this re-issue that comes with a newly designed coin too!

Robotkingdom - MP-12 Sideswipe re-issue with coin