Cliffbee.com: Classics Mirage Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Mirage
Series: Classics
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Racer



CAR MODE
Height: 4cm Length: 14cm Width: 7cm

   A blue and white track racer similar to G1 Mirage, although this car isn't a Formula 1 racer. Mirage has black tyres and an enclosed cockpit with a transparent blue wrap-around window. There are some painted racing sponsors, including "Lithonian Drivetrain" on orange on his airdam, "F.P Racing" on the side fenders and "Witwicky Sparkplugs" on the spoiler. The latter is a nice obvious G1 tribute, and really confirms that this figure is about revisiting G1. Mirage sports "26" in black on either side, surrounded by silver and a smaller version of the same thing on his nose. There's a rubsign on the right side just behind the cockpit - as is usual with the Classics, this is his only allegiance symbol.

   While this vehicle is a little more aerodynamic, it's quite similar to G1 Mirage's car mode. Mirage slopes up - the base of the spoiler is much taller than the front of the car, and there are some air intake vents moulded around the cockpit region. The front support struts are painted silver and there are twin grey exhausts at the back on either side, rounding out his detailing. While the detail is perhaps slightly below the level of some other Classics, Mirage is meant to be aerodynamic, so in context he makes sense.

   There's no real play value here, other than the rolling wheels. Mirage does roll reasonably well on his tyres - and mine rolls straight, which is nice. I can't see how the designer could have put too much relevant play value in here without impacting on the Transformer itself, so I'm not really worried about the lack of play value. As a minor bonus, if you look inside the cockpit, Mirage's head sits in front of the seat, sitting low enough that you have to look to see his face.

   A simple yet effective car mode. It's difficult to see how the designer could have put too much play value here without compromising the toy, and Mirage works well visually. The G1 link is immediately obvious, even if the cockpit is now covered. I can't recall too many racing car Transformers with any useful play value anyway - other than a few with missile launchers awkwardly added. While it's not quite as true to the character as Liger, it easily beats earlier attempts at recreating the character such as Gobot Mirage.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Unclip the airdam and set aside. Lift the rear, pull out to form the legs, split the legs and fold up the spoiler to form feet. Swing the sides out to form his arms, rotate the waist. Fold down the shoulderblades, swing the nose down to form his chest and reveal his head. Unfold the arms and swing out his fists, give him the airdam as a handheld weapon.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15cm Width: 8cm

   Again blue and white, Mirage has grey elbows and knee hinges along with black fists. His head is blue with a silver face, and sports transparent blue eyes which means he has a lightpipe. There are some red paint apps on his forearms and blue on his waist, adding to the orange, black and silver paint apps carried over from the car mode. While the transformation does expand the concept a little, this robot layout is essentially a copy of the G1 version - with most of the changes in his torso. The colour layout and location of car pieces closely matches what we saw in G1, even down to the front tyres sitting behind his shoulders.

   Mirage's robot mode does have a slight proportion problem - the chest is very slender and his shoulders high set, giving him an unnaturally spender waist (worse than a Barbie doll). While it doesn't ruin his robot mode, it's a significant flaw. The legs look really good though - the rubsign now sits on the left boot and faces up, the split spoiler looks quite nice as his feet. I suppose the canopy on his back counts as kibble, even if the wheels are sitting where they did on G1 as a result. The kibble isn't that bad, despite being quite visible.

   The poseability here is excellent. His head turns, the shoulders are ball jointed while the elbows have two hinges and a rotator each. The waist rotates, the hips are ball joints with flaps covering the ball joints, the knees are double hinged and the ankles ball jointed. Mirage has small but meaningful heelspurs which, along with the ankle balls, give him a variety of stable poses. The airdam sits in either hand as a gun - there's no shoulder missile launcher on this version of Mirage.

   As with most Classics, Mirage doesn't come with a gimmick as such. I'll admit invisibility would have been a neat trick, but since I doubt they'd be able to manage that, I'm happy enough with the play value here. The poseability is great and the gun works quite well, allowing Mirage to display in some nice poses. The hourglass waist is my only real complaint - and it's enough to bother me. The G1 tribute is very strong, his head is undoubtedly that of Mirage and the colour map is faithful to the original.

VARIATIONS

   A transparent blue Mirage was sold exclusively at BotCon 2007. Takara's Henkai version features chrome. Universe Drag Strip and Fracture are repaints of Mirage (thanks to Mr Blades for reminding me about Fracture!).

OVERALL

   A really faithful colour map, a face that really fits the character and some nifty G1 tributes on his vehicle mode make this an enjoyable Mirage toy. The robot mode is very poseable but the waist bothers me. While the G1 theme is quite focussed, I really wish the robot shape was better. Of the Classics I've purchased so far (which, admittedly, is only part of the line), Mirage ranks as the weakest, thanks to the waist - 7/10

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