Cliffbee.com: SpyChanger Mirage Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Mirage
Series: Robots in Disguise
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: F-1 Racing Car



CAR MODE
Height: 1.5cm Length: 7.5cm Width: 3cm

   A small formula 1 racer, Mirage is largely milky white, with a black arrow on his nose and a paint-stamped Autobot symbol on the arrow. The arrow is no doubt the inspiration for his Japanese name - Counter-Arrow. His sides have blue stripes, the platforms on either side of the cockpit, as well the headrest, are painted red. The tail is blue and the engine block has blue stripes on it. His spoiler reads "TM TRANSFORMERS", which looks pretty cheap. His tyres are black with gold painted hubcaps. There are no numbers on this racing car.

   The moulding detail's pretty good for such a small toy. There are supporting struts and axles on his wheels, above the actual axles (which are hidden), there's a steering wheel and even a cooling turbine above the engine. He has rear vision mirrors, too. The rear wheels are larger than the front ones. While this is the case on all six Spychanger moulds, in this case it makes perfect sense.

   As with all SpyChangers, Mirage has front and rear axles, and can roll quite well, and is designed to fit into Hot Wheels tracks. He has twin sets of three mufflers sticking out the back, which mean he can't roll on anything that's not a flat surface - such as the hills of a Hot Wheels track.

   This is my least favourite of the SpyChanger moulds. The car mode's not bad, but it's a little small compared to the others and the low clearance works against it. The colours are dull, and don't really make use of the better paint technology available by this stage - most of the Spychangers had more complex paint jobs than their Gobot predecessors, Mirage's is marginal.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Pretty simple. Pull down the rear to form the legs, fold down the hood to form the chest, pull out the arms.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 6.5cm Width: 4.5cm

   The black painted nose is now his chest, his arms, head and lower legs are white and his thighs a solid white. The thighs, as well as the chest section behind his nose, are a solid white plastic, different to the milky white. His head is painted blue with a silver face. There's very little moulded detail, but the blue drowns most of what it does have anyway. His feet and central stripes of his shins are painted blue.

   The feet are the mufflers from the car mode, which means Mirage has feet that hardly point forward at all - he often falls forward when placed on a surface with his hands at his sides. Add this to the small size of the toy and this robot mode's shape doesn't work that well.

   Poseability is about what you'd expect of a SpyChanger - his shoulders rotate. Of course, pointing his arms forward or giving him his gun makes him more likely to fall forward. His shoulders are too far down his torso for him to look very good with posed arms - the resulting stubbly arms can't clear the chestplate that is the car's nose.

   As you might guess, I'm not really a fan of this mode at all. The stability, lack of real feet and plain scrawniness (small arms, small for a Gobot) all work against it. The colours don't work that well, the blue head just looks silly.

VARIATIONS

   A repaint of Double-Clutch and Gobot Mirage (a different character). Counter-Arrow doesn't have the stamped Autobot symbol, rather a heat sensitive section that reveals an Autobot symbol when rubbed. There's at least three transparent variants.

OVERALL

   A poor mould, the robot mode really fails to impress, the car mode's okay but can't make up for the robot mode. This is the worst colour scheme yet for this mould, too. The car mode's colours aren't _bad_, but they're not good either. The robot mode colours are bad. It's not a mould I'd recommend hunting down - but if you do, grab one of the G2 Gobots instead if possible - 3/10

"Transformers" and other indica trademarks of Hasbro and/or Takara.