Kool Kollectibles content

28 Mar 2020

Transformers Masterpiece Moments #3 - March 2020

I realised that the last time I had done a Transformers Masterpiece Moments video was almost 4 years ago! So I figured it was about time for another one to go through my favourite aspects of the Takara Transformers Masterpiece releases that I've collected over the past few years.

Hope you can click through below and check out the full video over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel! Let me know in the comments what your favourite TF moments are too!



Class of 2016:


Class of 2017:


Class of 2018:



Class of 2019:


27 Mar 2020

Hot Toys MMS517 Luke Skywalker Deluxe

The announcement of this Deluxe version of the Return of the Jedi Luke Skywalker figure was bound to rub many collectors the wrong way, especially those that had already purchased the original MMS429 Luke Skywalker.

But the alternate head sculpts and hair, along with the additional Endor outfit and accessories, made it a pretty easy decision for me to get this Deluxe version too, even though I had the first figure. When they announced the Endor Leia and Wicket figures, it solidified my decision to get this to display the core cast of characters in their Endor outfits, as well as Luke in his classic outfit from the Jabba skiff battle.

Click through below to watch my full review of the new Deluxe version of this Luke Skywalker figure. Also further below is my original review of the first release of this figure. Hope you can check that one out too!



As all Deluxe sets should, this comes with a decent array of accessories. Some I probably won't ever use, such as the deleted scene desert cowl and googles. They're a nice to have, are look to be pretty nice quality, but I just wouldn't have Luke displayed like that in my cabinet.

The sand base is a reuse of the mold used for other figures like the Sandtrooper and Snowtrooper, so is getting a bit boring. It doesn't really suit the Endor environment either. I think the forest flat printed base shown for Leia and Wicket looks much better.

The lightup arm and saber are the same as before, and I never use them, especially for figures like this where it's been reported to be an absolute pain in the arse to swap out. The hands are nice, with a few that are unique to this set. I'll definitely be going with the gloved hand holding the pistol for my display.


The alternate head sculpts are surprisingly good! I didn't think I'd like the slightly open mouthed head sculpt, but in hand I think it looks great! I'll be using that with the windswept hair in his classic Jedi outfit and robe/sash. The paint application is fantastic, and both are obvious improvements over the original head sculpt that seems a little flatter and less detailed. Even the paint app for the hair pieces seems more detailed with better variation.

The pic below shows the new figure on the left, with the original figure on the right. The fat suit they used on the original figure does make it look too bulky in the chest/torso area. The new figure doesn't use a fat suit, and so the proportions are more accurate to his look in the movie. The outfits are essentially identical, although the newer one on mine seems to be tighter around the neck.


The Endor cowl and helmet are nicely done. I was surprised that they used fabric on the top part of the helmet, which adds a nice touch of realism. The cowl is a nice material with a very thin wire along the edge to help with posing.

The stitching around the hood is very good and allows it to fold flat against the back and shoulders for a natural look. The camo colouring is decent, and fits nicely over the original figure to hide the bulky chest.

For both figures, I've used the two new head sculpts, since I find them far better than the original. Sure it's a shame Hot Toys didn't release a two-pack with all of this stuff included. But I think this separate release gives all the options for collectors to buy which look they prefer, or everything!

The new "looking to the side" neutral sculpt looks great especially when setup in his Endor gear. No I have a spare neutral sculpt from the original figure I need to find a use for! With the two figures now all setup, I can't wait to get Leia and Wicket later in 2020!


26 Mar 2020

Transformers Masterpiece MP-19+ Smokescreen

The Takara Transformers Masterpiece + series keep rolling on, with perhaps their best release so far with Smokescreen! The paint app and swap out head sculpts on this one are so awesome! Click through below to watch my full review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel.


Love the smoke plume accessory included with this set. You can keep it in one full plume, or split it into two to display on either side of the figure. The transluscent plastic and mold really adds a nice bit of dynamic display detail to the set.


The paint app follows the cartoon accurate styling as per other carbot + versions. Despite it having a plainer style, the glossy nature of the paint somehow really makes it look so much nicer! The red is a lighter share, the blue and white pop in all the right places, and the blue tinted windows just tops it all off.


The original has a darker shade of red, but the decals and other paint details seem to almost detract from the overall look, especially in bot mode. It's very strange, and only really becomes apparent when you see them side by side in hand.


The built-in shoulder cannons are a little fiddly, and the smallish nature of them takes a little getting used to. I think the larger ones still look pretty good on the original. Where the new one blows the old away is in the face sculpt! That large chin and smile just give the figure so much character!

I think it portrays the cartoon character perfectly, and the three different faces give you all the display options you need. I'll definitely be going with the open mouthed smile for my display. With the shade of grey instead of darker black, the figure oozes that cartoon style. All in all, the bot mode is a winner.


The original with its realistic racing car decals still looks great too. It certainly goes well with the other original releases, that I all display in their car modes.


I never thought I'd collect so many Nissan Fairlady Zs in the MP collection, but here they all are! Love the Diaclone repaints too, and the originals give all that G1 toy and realistic styling that looks fantastic in car mode. I think that's pretty much all the repaints they can make for this mold. I just hope they give us some more repaints for the Tracks and Ironhide mold!


18 Mar 2020

Transformers Masterpiece MP-47 Hound

It's always great when new molds of G1 characters are released in the Takara Transformers Masterpiece series. They seem to be coming out slower and slower these days, so the anticipation really builds up. Hound is no exception, and for the most part Takara has designed a fantastic figure.....except for one key aspect in production that has ruined it for many.

Luckily for me the widely reported cracking plastic has not happened to my figure. I have only been able to see a tiny crack on the neck armature piece near the back of the head at the rear. It's show in my video review at the link below. Click through to watch the full review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel!


The packaging is as we all know and love in the MP series. The contents are well stacked with accessories as shown below. The jeep hood and hologram effects are nice to have, but I won't be using them in my display. Many of the car parts that can be left attached during transformation I also left off, such as the rear cannon and spare wheel and fuel canister.

The new Spike figure included in this set is scaled well with the jeep mode, but this means it's quite a bit larger than the previous Spike figures that came with Bumblebee and Optimus. At least this one, with the larger size, doesn't keep popping off its arms and legs like the others!


The jeep mode is beautiful, has that official licence aesthetic to it, and the paint app is a gorgeous matte green which I really like. I'm glad they went with this colour and not a darker green like the original G1 toy. I much prefer the cartoon style.

The first thing pretty much everyone will do when unboxing in this jeep mode is check it over for cracks. Straight out of the box, mine was fine. The usual places for cracks include the side footrest hinges, the front pins/hinges near the front wheels, and the hinge at the rear panel that needs to be pulled out slightly.

It will do well for people to watch transformation videos on YouTube that clearly show where you should avoid placing pressure. This will definitely help in preventing cracks or breakages with your figure.


The transformation is rather complex, at least for me. I took my time and slowing manipulated every panel as I watched transformation videos. The engineering in the feet and lower legs is fantastic, and definitely the Masterpiece Moment for me on this one. If you go slow, and make sure the panels are all folded in the right way, the lower legs and feet will collapse together really well, and shouldn't stress the plastic.

The upper body transformation does have a couple of scary parts, especially the cannon and head armature piece. There is a single screw at the rear hold that armature in place as it swings, and it is screwed in very tight. Moving the arm is what causes many of the cracks. General advice has been to loosen that screw, but even as I did that I saw the tiny crack appear.

Luckily that's the only place that I've seen cracks, but many also have cracks at the back of the knees along the hinges there, and near the sides of the chest. Now that I've transformed mine into bot mode, he'll be staying that way pretty much forever in my display cabinet.

The bot mode is simply amazing, and for me is by far the best looking Hound out of all the options at the moment. There's barely any kibble that people love to complain about, and he looks very accurate to the cartoon. He fits in beautifully with the new Optimus and Bumblee, and complements the + versions of the Lambor and Nissan molds really well too.


Overall, I think Takara designed a fantastic figure, but let themselves and collectors down with sub-standard plastic. The hinges or the pins are simply putting too much stress on the plastic, resulting in many reports of breakages. It's certainly ruined the experience for many collectors. Hopefully if they do a repaint or a reissue, the plastic quality is improved, because this design deserves to be given the best production value it can.

If it wasn't for all the reports of breakages, I'm pretty sure Hound would go down as one of the best figures in the MP series. But as of now, it's really a matter of what could have been! Mine's still holding up ok with a few pose changes, but here's hoping it doesn't start falling apart!


1 Mar 2020

Toy Notch Sun Wukong Monkey King

Toy Notch is a company that I've never heard of before, but was pleasantly surprised when I saw a company willing to release something a little bit different! This classic Sun Wukong (Monkey King) from the iconic animated movie from the 1960s is one that I've remembered since childhood! My parents certainly had some old Chinese art books that depicted this character, and I certainly wanted this for my collection.

Click the link below for my full video review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Make sure to subscribe too and stay tuned for upcoming reviews! :)


The set comes with a decent array of accessories, and they're all of pretty good quality. I especially love the staff that is actually made of metal. I was expecting just painted plastic, but the fact that they went the extra mile with metal is pretty nice.

The swap out face sculpts are nice too, with all the options you need for the various moods of the Monkey King. The swap out hands aren't all that great, but decent enough with the posing options. Be careful swapping them out, and especially when inserting the staff. I would put the hand for the staff in hot water first to soften the plastic.

The magic cloud is a great touch, but I really wish they had included some sort of elevated display base or dynamic stand for it. Another annoying feature is that the molded part to insert the foot is too small for the actual foot of the figure. This makes it extremely difficult to insert the foot and get the figure to stand in a stable manner. Even with hot water I could not really get the foot in there properly. So it's a great idea, just not executed as well as it should have been.


The figure itself is very nicely done. The quality is pretty much on par with other similar sized figures from Bandai S.H.Figuarts or the Revoltech figures. The joints are very similar to those figures, so if you have any of those then you'll know what you're getting into.

Overall the paint application is pretty clean and sharp, with only minimal bleed in the skirt. All other areas on mine were good. The yellow in the shirt is nice and I like the way they did the red pants too. There's no real risl of paint chipping when posing this figure.

Articulation is as you would expect, however it would've been nice if they had figured out a way to get more into the head. It cannot look up very far at all due to the back of the head sculpt and his head gear. But other than that, I think you can get him into some pretty dynamic poses. Even in static poses, the joints aren't so obvious to make him look strange.

For fans of Chinese mythology or for those looking for something a bit different in their collection, I think this figure fits the bill perfectly. It will be interesting to see what else Toy Notch have coming up - this is a pretty good start!


22 Feb 2020

Hot Toys MMS511 R2-D2 Deluxe

I have the previous Sideshow Collectibles R2-D2 Deluxe figure set, which is still a pretty decent set with some great accessories. The first couple of Hot Toys releases for R2-D2 didn't really interest me too much, but their announcement of their own Deluxe version finally sold me with the Leia hologram accessories.

Check out the link below for my video review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. It's a great set that has definite improvements over the Sideshow version.


The set comes with a decent array of accessories. Many of the attachments are magnetic, which makes them very easy to attach to Artoo when you open up the panels. The detail and paint application on the attachments are much better than the Sideshow version. The only accessory I think the Sideshow version has that is worth using now is the drinks tray.

The little lamp is similar to the one that came with the Yoda set, but this time has an chord that also attaches to Artoo. The light is not too bright, but is good enough for what it is. The Star Wars logo remote control is nice, similar to the one that came with their first Darth Vader figure. It controls the lights and sound effects on the figure, which I surprisingly liked a lot more than I thought I would! I usually hate electronic features, but the iconic sounds from Artoo really did put a smile on my face.


The Leia holograms were the accessory that finally sold me on this set. The Sideshow Deluxe set had one too, but it was just transluscent blue plastic with not too many facial features. This upgrade from Hot Toys gives it a much better sculpt, and looks far more accurate to the scene on Tatooine.

The little base that provides the light is decent, and is quite bright. Unfortunately the light piping in the holograms really only allows the light into the lower half of the body. But the overall effect is decent.


The Sideshow version came with a more movie accurate table from that scene in Obi-wan's hut. I think using the new Hot Toys hologram on the old Sideshow table is the perfect combination! I haven't tried the light up effect of the Sideshow table to see how it looks with the new hologram, but I'm sure it'll be a decent enough effect.


The biggest improvement on the figure itself is the use of the diecast medal dome. The brushed finish is much nicer, and there is no longer an ugly plastic seam like the Sideshow had. The difference in the domes side by side is quite striking.

The body itself is pretty similar, but the internal detailings within the panels and the way the accessories attach is quite different. The Hot Toys version has much more subtle weathering, which I think is fine. The deeper blue also seems more accurate, and certainly looks better on display.

For now, I'll be keeping both versions, with the Sideshow Artoo and Threepio figures being my Return of the Jedi versions with Hot Toys Jedi Luke. The new Hot Toys version will go with my other Hot Toys figures from A New Hope.


If you're on the fence about getting this new Hot Toys, I think it's worth getting as an improvement over the Sideshow version. Side by side, there's no doubt it's a better looking figure on display. Whether it's better than the Tamashii Nations Artoo is debatable. I prefer the Hot Toys version since the Tamashii is far too clean, and I don't really like the rivets in the sculpt of the body.

Together with the rest of the core hero cast from A New Hope, I think this R2-D2 looks fantastic. Now I just hope Hot Toys gets off their arse and announce a decent version of C-3PO to complete the photo below!


17 Feb 2020

Toy Collecting and Affordability

An interesting discussion on a Facebook toy group recently made me think about one aspect of toy collecting that is always a bit controversial - affordability. To set the scene, the original poster stated that they had chosen to buy one item because they thought a different version "was too expensive". There were many comments from collectors affirming that they believed the poster made the right choice. Some other collectors commented that the poster should have considered another option altogether from the two that were compared. And I chimed in with my reasons as to why I thought the better option was actually the item they chose not to buy.

A response to my thoughts essentially chastised me, where they indicated that the original poster "clearly said he didn’t have the money for it" and that "some people don’t have $350-$400 to pony up for one figure". That got me thinking about affordability for us collectors, and whether that's even a valid argument in this particular debate. For context, it should be noted that the item the poster decided to buy is roughly about $250 brand new going by ebay sold listings, so is not cheap in itself, which added to my thoughts.


We collectors are a fickle bunch, making snap decisions and changing our stance on things all the time. Affordability, pricing of figures, and whether some thing is "worth it" always generates some times heated discussion. In this instance, the original poster did NOT say that he couldn't afford the item, but simply said that they thought it "was too expensive" and so decided to buy another version. That to me is not an affordability issue, but a conscious collecting decision to buy something else that is "more value for money" in their eyes.

Collectors need to remember that we're just spending disposable income here (assuming we have our priorities straight in life!). The fact the poster spent $250 on an item instead of $350 is NOT an affordability issue. If they truly could not afford the more expensive item, then I'd be questioning why they're spending $250 on a toy at all! If you have $250 in disposable income, one could assume that you'd have more disposable income next week, or next pay day. So they could have simply saved that $250, waited to the next time they have more disposable income, and buy the better, but more expensive item!

Affordability to me is when your income is NOT enough to cover life's essentials! If you reach pay day, but you can't cover your mortgage/rent, put food on the table, and pay your bills, then you have an affordability issue! But after all of those essentials, if you have disposable income, then it is no longer an affordability issue, but one about the collecting choices you make and how you spend that money. Saving up for a more expensive figure above is just one example - I'll give some other examples below.


I have spoken to many collectors who say that they cannot afford 1/6th scale Hot Toys figures, that generally range in price from $220 to $300. They say that in the same breath as saying that they just received their haul of five smaller 1/12th scale figures that range in price from about $50 to $80 each! In reality, they have spent pretty much the same amount of money, just on different items. It simply cannot be an affordability issue! It is purely a collecting decision they made that they would rather have five smaller figures than one larger figure.

It comes down to what is "more value for money" in their eyes. Just use the Luke Skywalker picture above as an example. In almost all discussions, I would recommend to collectors that spending $300 on the larger figure, rather than buying 5-10 of the smaller figures would be the better option. Many collectors still choose to buy the smaller figures, and that's perfectly OK. They get more enjoyment buying more figures for their collection. But they shouldn't then come out and say that they can't afford the larger figures, because they certainly can!

The same analogy applies to Lego collectors. I've had collectors say that they cannot afford to buy the $1000 UCS sets, but then I see them posting photos of the many $100 sets that they got in a recent haul. Again, they have essentially spent the same amount of money, but they view more smaller sets as better value for money than just one large set. That again, is not an affordability issue, but a collecting decision they made, just as I made the equally valid reverse decision to buy one large set instead of many smaller sets.


In the end, we collectors make decisions on what we buy, and whether the things we buy are "worth it". It's all subjective, and what is value for money for one person may not be for another. But that does NOT mean one person can afford it, and the other cannot. I've made the mistake myself by saying that I can't afford a particular item, but what I really should have said is that it's not worth it to me.

That is, there are many things that I simply cannot justify the price to buy, but then there are some things that are more expensive that I strangely can justify! The large and expensive Ryu statue above is a case in point, where I could justify that price in my head, but cannot justify spending $50 on a new shirt! It's not about affordability!

I think many collectors, myself included, need to think about what they realistically can and can't afford, as opposed to what they can and can't justify collecting. I mean, it's just toys we're talking about here, with disposable income that we have to throw at them! A first world problem if there ever was one! 😂

6 Jan 2020

2 Jan 2020

End of 2019 Collection Update

Well it's the start of a new decade now, so here's my end of 2019 collection update video. It was actually a slower year for me in 2019, with a bit more focus on some major pieces instead of getting lots of items this year.

Thanks again to everyone that has tuned into the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel and interacted with me on the Facebook page. It's always been fantastic to be part of such a great collecting community. Hope you can all stick around to see what I have coming to my collection in 2020 and beyond!


Bandai Soul of Chogokin GX-88 Dairugger XV Vehicle Force Voltron

Back in 2013 I got the Miracle Productions MA-01 Vehicle Force Voltron. That was perhaps the best representation of the character in diecast form for many years. Unfortunately the release was plagued with quality issues (albeit mine were minimised since I had the subsequent version that had some QC issues fixed from the very initial released version).

Then of course Bandai released the Soul of Chogokin GX-71 GoLion (Lion Force Voltron) in 2017, which showed how amazing they are in making diecast metal robots! Every fan was praying for them to also make the Dairugger XV Vehicle Force Voltron. It took them over 2 years to get there, but this GX-88 Dairugger XV is a phenomenal figure, and really does blow the Miracle Productions version out of the water.

Click through below to watch my full video review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Hope you can give the video a thumbs up, and also subscribe to the channel!


Just like the GX-71 GoLion, this set is beautifully packaged, with gorgeous box art and all the accessories you'd want to have with this figure! The display stand with the accessories is again a nice touch, but I just don't have the space to display it. So both the stands and most accessories for this GX-88 and the previous GX-71 are back in the box.

The chroming on all the relevant accessories is very nicely done. It's all very clean with little to no sprue marks that I could see. The array of hands suits all the poses and fits the applicable accessories nicely.


The Ground Team (Land Division) comes together nicely. The overall assembling experience across all the teams is far more enjoyable with this GX-88 than with the MA-01 version. I never felt like I had to struggle and use excessive force to peg or connect components together. The design of the features to assemble the teams is far more intuitive and easy.

The only thing I don't particularly like about the Ground Team components is the large front bumper on the cars. It's definitely more noticeble when they are separate components, but become less noticeable when fully assembled into Voltron. Since that's the way in which I'll be displaying the set in my collection, I'm overall OK with it.


The Sea Team (Sea Division) are also nicely done. I love the chromed pieces that can be attached to the vehicles to give that extra bit of detail, and then removed for the full Voltron mode. The metallic blue is a beautiful shade, and the overall paint application is sharp with no colour bleed. Again, the way in which the components come together is much cleaner and simpler than with the MA-01 version.


The Air Team (Air Division) look great too. The helicopters are painted more accurate to the cartoon than the MA-01 version, and the pieces come together nicely. The only aspect of the MA-01 version I prefer is the magnetic base to the Falcon Jet Fighter. The use of magnets makes the connection to the chest piece much easier. There were a couple of times where the clips on this version made me feel like I was just about to snap something trying to get it off.

Whatever material they've used is pretty strong, so I haven't had any issues. But a simpler mechanism would've been much better. But at least the head piece is a huge improvement.


 The experience to form Voltron is very enjoyable, with simple clicks and pushes to get everything solidly assembled. I didn't have to break out in a sweat, swear, or hurt my fingers like I did with the MA-01 version!

The articulation and stability of this GX-88 is also amazing. Bandai really does know how to use diecast in all the best strategic places. This maxmises strength and stability in the figure, such as the hips and ankles.

Getting this into some heroic and quite dynamic poses is a joy, and it holds up beautifully next to the GoLion. I'm so happy that this can even get both hands together to hold the sword in front.


My favourite part of the articulartion would have to be the hips, where there is strength to allow some wide poses and more natural stances. The ankle articulation allows the feet to be flat in most poses to help with stability.


Posed next to GX-71 GoLion, you can't help but think that these two sets really are the definitive versions of the two Voltrons every released. They scale quite well together, and the quality of both sets is visible to anyone that sees them.


These two will be proud additions to my collection, and won't ever be leaving it! I still remember all those Saturday mornings and afternoons after school watching classic 80s cartoons, and the Voltron series were among my favourite. It makes me so happy that Bandai have released such high quality versions of these two that I'll be able to enjoy for many years to come!

Storm Collectibles Guile from Ultra Street Fighter 2

Just like the Sagat figure, this Guile is another fun figure in this Street Fighter 2 series by Storm Collectibles. The whole package I think is excellent, with lots of aspects that really bring back memories of the character in the arcade game.

Click through below to check out my full video review on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel.


The set is again jam-packed with accessories. The head sculpts are a stand out as usual, with fantastic paint application. The blood and the eyes are really nicely done. They suit the array of hands and fight move effects like the sonic boom and flash kick.

You'll need a different figure stand to hold the figure upside down if you want to use the flash kick accessory. But one of the Bandai action stands should do the trick. The two sonic boom effects are nicely molded too and look great posed with the figure.


Articulation is pretty good, although there is significant gappage in the torso area. The soft rubber upper torso tends to fold and get caught in the gap, which is unfortunate. Other than that, the other aspects of articulation are pretty good.

I love that they included the comb to get him into that classic combing hair victory pose. The colour and style of the figure just bring back so many great memories of the various Street Fighter 2 variants.

I really hope that Storm continue this SF2 series, and announce characters like E.Honda and Blanka. Here's hoping for announcements soon in 2020!


Storm Collectibles Sagat from Ultra Street Fighter 2

I love that Storm Collectibles are making Street Fighter 2 figures. That's the arcade game that started it all for me back in the early 90s, and these figures bring me so much nostalgia. It's great that the quality of these figures is pretty damn good too!

Click below to check out my full video review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel!


These Storm figure sets come jam-packed with accessories, which are all of high quality. I especially love the alternate head sculpts that really gives a lot of options for poses and photo opportunities. The sculpting and paint application on each head sculpt is excellent for this scale.

The array of swap out hands, display stand, and the Tiger Shot flame give all the options you need for the action poses.

The articulation of the figure is surprisingly good. And the balance is beautiful too, which joints that are firm enough to hold a decent fighting pose without toppling over. The only area of concern when posing are the ankles, where using the tilting and rocking motions may scratch off the white paint of the feet straps.

Other than that, all the joints give a very wide range of motion that can get him into all the classic fighting move poses for the character. The figure scales pretty well with the Ryu too, and the body proportions look nicer unlike the more stocky, short-legged style of Ryu and Ken.

If you're a fan of Street Fighter 2, and played in the arcades like I did, I think you'll love these figures. It's just a lot of fun posing them together to try to recreate those fighting rounds that are ingrained in my memory!


Bandai Star Wars Movie Realization Kylo Ren

They timed the release of this Kylo Ren pretty well with the release of the Rise of Skywalker. The figure overall looks pretty nice and fits in well with the others in the series. There are a few annoying aspects to the figure though.

Check out my full video review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel below.


Contents out of the box are the standard fare, with just a small selection of swap out hands and his broad sword. The style of the sword isn't really Japanese, being more medieval Europe in design, but I think it still looks pretty nice.


The mask is quite nicely done, with decent protruding spikes to give it that menacing style. It would've been interesting if they had made the eyes somewhat visible, but they went with an inset look that doesn't reveal anything underneath. That works better for Vader I think.

The main issues for me with the figure are around the cape, the elbows, and the kama. The cape really hinders the shoulder articulation and can't really be moved out of the way. It's all one big hard molded piece.

The elbows are the new style of massive single hinged ball joints that really break the design of the arms. The previous elbow designs for the likes of Vader, Boba Fett, and the troopers is a far better design. This new design for the sequel trilogy is a step backwards in aesthetics, and I hope they don't continue this with any original trilogy figures they have planned.

The kama I thought was on ball joints like the Phasma figure, but it actually seems to be glued together at the top of the waist with the other floating piece. It just feels really difficult to move around due to its length. The weathering is a little heavy handed, but the patterning is pretty good.


All in all, the figure does pose well, with nice ankle articulation. I wish the arms could get just a bit higher to reach some of the poses I'd prefer for Kylo. But posed together with Phasma and the First Order Trooper, they do make for a nice addition to the series.


7 Dec 2019

Transformers Masterpiece MP-45 Bumblebee

The original release of G1 Bumblebee in the TF Masterpiece series was met with mostly positive reactions from collectors. Even today many collectors love the design, although I think it's looked quite dated against the MP figures over the past 2-3 years.

After MP-44 Optimus was announced, it wasn't too much of a surprise that Takara also announced a new mold for Bumblebee. Now that it's released, I think overall the new figure is a definite improvement over the original release.

Click through below for my video review on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel!


I also did a subsequent video comparing the new mold to a number of other MP figures in the series. I think the design is pretty innovative to give it all the articulation and G1 cartoon aesthetics that it has, and really makes it fit in beautifully with the more recent figures. Check it out below!


Packaging is the usual MP stylr we know and love. It doesn't come with too many accessories this time. The stickers are pretty useless overall (I can't even remember what episode they were from). If anything, most collectors would use the heart symbol to go with the I heart New York number plate.

The Spike figure is the same ridiculously stupid figure from MP-44 I think. I didn't even bother trying to get it fitting into the VW car mode. It is just a crap little figure that is not worth the effort for me! The set also includes the swap out face sculpts and blaster effects that are common in the more recent releases. The bio card has some decent artwork, but I still prefer the older classic styled cards.

The alt mode is a perfect rendition of the super-deformed style of the G1 cartoon. Definitely not the realistic style of the original MP-21, but that's OK by me. The original will join the other original cars that I changed to their car modes once I got the corresponding "+" versions. This new MP-45 will be with my core G1 figures in the display in bot mode.


And what an awesome bot mode it is! Lots of collectors have complained about the backpack, the sides, and all the visible panels/parts due to the transformation. For me, none of that bothers me at all. I actually think it's pretty amazing that they engineered a transformation that went from a much smaller car to a taller, thinner, and much more cartoon accurate robot than MP-21! The only part that is a disappointment is the back of the feet, but more on that later.

The new head sculpt is a perfect rendition of the G1 cartoon character. The MP-21 sculpt was always off, and this new one recitifies it nicely. The swap out wider smiling face is pretty good, but I was happy to stick with the slightly smiling sculpt.

The chest in bot mode is a great "cheat" in the design to replicate the cheat from the cartoon where the roof of the car becomes much slimer and thinner. Much of the chest comes from the rear of the car mode, and the roof od the car folds away into the backpack. I think it's a great design and makes for much more natural body proportions, just like they did with MP-44 Optimus.


The waist and legs are also a big improvement. The crotch piece has a similar design to MP-44 Optimus where the panels fold away when you raise the leg. Some people have complained about loose leg/hip joints. I thought the same on mine, but then realised that the side skirts on the waist can be brought forward to lock the legs into place so that they don't wobble around.

The way the thighs and lower legs flare out to the feet replicates the cartoon nicely. So the combination of face, chest, waist, and legs are a big improvement over the MP-21 figure. In comparison, the older figure now looks far too barrel-chested, with a turtle shell for a backpack, thin chicken legs, and massive clown feet (see comparison pic further below!).

As I mentioned, the one downside for me is the feet. The designers didn't manage to work out a way to fold away the door and window better, and so the window shows very clearly on the back of the feet. Some poses can hide it fairly well, but for the most part it is pretty insightly.


Interestingly, the feet are only a tiny bit larger than the feet of MP-21! The reason why they look so different is that MP-21 has most of the feet at the front, whereas MP-45 has the feet equally at the front and rear. It makes the feet look pretty nice from the front, but pretty terrible from the back.

But as you can see below, MP-21 really does have massive clown fee. Collectors who say the chest and back is much cleaner are forgetting that they are just massive pieces that do not change at all during the transformation. It constrains how the figure can look due to the car dimensions. I think MP-21 suits G1 toy fans far more than it suits cartoon fans. For G1 fans of the cartoon, I think MP-45 is a much better fit.

Add to that the far better articulation of MP-45, and I think the new mold is a big improvement over the original. I don't buy the argument from some collectors that Takara was lazy with MP-45. They actually showed some engineering innovation, and for the first time gave a cartoon accurate car mode with a cartoon accurate bot mode too! All the folding in the backpack works well and pegs in well for me, so I dont have any complaints about the backpack or sides at all.


It's great that the original still looks nice in its more realistic VW Beetle car mode. It will display nicely with the other original cars such as Sideswipe, Prowl, and Wheeljack in their car modes. The new MP-45 Bumblebee fits in beautifully with the other figures in my collection in bot mode. Some collectors have complained that it is too tall, but it seems to be almost spot on to the official Takara G1 character scale chart!

So for me, MP-45 is another nice addition to the series. I love the G1 aesthetics, and it really does add to the shelf of figures looking like it jumped straight out of the cartoon. I cannot wait to get Hound by the end of the year and see how that turns out!


Here are some of my other G1 figures eagerly waiting for Hound to join them 😃