Friday, 17 July 2015

TransFormers (Movie) Fracture Knockoff

(Femme-Bot Friday #27)
The trouble with buying stuff on eBay is that, all too often, a deal that looks too good to be true actually is too good to be true. I honestly wasn't aware that the Classics Mirage mold had been knocked off, let alone that it had been put to such an esoteric purpose...

...But, apparently, knockoffs happen when a toy is popular enough that demand outstrips supply, and it would seem that Hasbro's 2008 Go-Bots reference, in the extended live action movie toyline, was a perfect candidate for ripping off unsuspecting fans of these cheeky references to Bandai's old rival toyline.

Ladies and Gentlemen, let's meet this piece of rubbish I like to call K.O.rasher...

Vehicle Mode:
Let's be honest, the Classics Mirage mold is actually one of the great successes of the Classics range. Despite being one of the earliest releases, it's a new and iconic form for one of G1's most iconic characters... I mean, when all the other Autobots (other than Jazz, perhaps) take reasonably sensible alternate modes as disguises, poncy snob Mirage became a Forumula 1 racing car. And you know who else was a racing car? None other than the Renegade named Crasher from Challenge of the Go-Bots.

Apparently this started out as a Photoshopped image of Mirage recoloured as Crasher, but the fans liked the idea so much, Hasbro made it a reality. And it does look good... In fact, in a lot of ways, this colourscheme makes for a more convincing racing car than Mirage, even without sponsorship labels. Like the Go-Bot, K.O.rasher has the number 1 on her nose and sides but that, along with the red and white striping, are the only decoration on the body of the car. The wheels have a nice coating on silver on the spokes, too, so vehicle mode looks excellent overall.

The back end isn't desperately floppy and the spoiler is troublesome on some genuine Mirage variants so, in this mode, there's little indication that it's a knockoff without getting into the details of the molding, where certain areas are shaped or marked differently. That said, the front wing doesn't seem to fit properly - either there's a fraction too much plastic on either the wing itself or on the body of the car, or the peg has become distorted, but it's a real struggle to get it into place.

Robot Mode:
And here's where everything goes horribly wrong, because K.O.rasher is a pathetic, floppy mess.

Still, the paint job works remarkably well and, in still photos, the toy still looks fantastic. The redistribution of colour does mean that several parts look as though they've come straight from Classics Mirage (specifically, the white forearms and thighs) but the figure looks surprisingly close to the Go-Bot, despite the many obvious differences in mold style.

Naturally, the 'crossbow' weapon remains, though there's just as much trouble getting it into K.O.rasher's shoddily molded fists as there was attaching it to her nose in vehicle mode. And then, given the floppiness of the joints, getting her to hold it up or point it anywhere but down happens more by luck than judgement.

Like the genuine toy, the head sculpt is the unaltered Mirage head - I guess there's not a lot of room to change it, given where it ends up in vehicle mode - but painted pink and with yellow eyes, in honour of the character's appearance in the Challenge of the Go-Bots cartoon. I'm not sure whether it's the paint job or the mold itself, but something does look off about the face...

While K.O.rasher's transformation is, obviously, identical to the original, real Mirage, its very looseness makes it a completely different experience. Vehicle mode just doesn't feel as solid or as tight as the real thing, robot mode feels like it might fall apart at any moment... and that waist joint is prone to separating. What is it with Mirage molds and dodgy waists, eh?

Articulation suffers due to the crappiness of the knockoff. The head lolls about, barely able to stay upright, the legs and waist are so floppy K.O.rasher can barely stand and her waist barely holds together. The arms aren't too bad (though the left arm on mine had the upper 'elbow' joint's pin inserted from the wrong side) but the shoulders are horrifically loose.

The most annoying thing about this purchase wasn't that it was expensive - the whole point was that it was comparatively cheap for a 2008 Deluxe picked up on the secondary market (albeit vastly more than the seller would have paid at whichever Pound Shop it turned up in), or that I feel that I was deliberately duped (that's always possible, but I bought it unopened, so there's better than average chance it was a genuine mistake), it's that the only reason I bought this was to include it in a Femme-Bot Friday. While I felt that I needed to include this - as a warning, if nothing else - it still feels more like a wasted post than any of those about the billion variants on Energon Arcee/Superlink Ariel I ended up writing.

As good as the Mirage mold is, I already had three versions of it (Classics Mirage, Universe Special Edition Drag Strip and Timelines 'invisible' Mirage) and the Go-Bots tie-in alone wasn't enough to get me interested in this toy when it first came out. Still, a genuine Fracture would be a cool addition to a collection... this thing is to be avoided wherever possible. Look online for a guide to spotting a knockoff Fracture before shelling out anything for one of these... or, at least, know what you're buying!

Addendum 18/7/15: Noticed and corrected the typo in the post title (though it remains in the post's URL), but briefly considered retitling it "Transformographagizers Fracture"

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