Kool Kollectibles content

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 😃

5 Dec 2019

Bandai Star Wars Movie Realization First Order Stormtrooper

Just recently reviewed the Movie Realization Captain Phasma, and got this First Order Stormtrooper to go with it. Overall has the same issues as the Phasma figure, with the addition of a somewhat deformed helmet.

It looks decent displayed with Phasma, but I think the original trilogy Stormtroopers are a far superior design. Click through below to watch my full video review on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel.

Usual packaging style. Figure comes with the shorter sword this time, and the smaller blaster. All up nothing surprising or noteworthy.

Figure looks decent apart from a strange deformation in the helmet. The Phasma helmet looks more natural and wider, whereas the FO Stormtrooper here seems to have his helmet pushed in from the sides. This gives the helmet a strange elongated look that is a little off-putting.

As with Phasma, it has the crappy new big elbow joints and weird ball joints for the side kama pieces. I hope it's only with these figures, and anything new from the OT uses the previous design.

All up, these two First Order buddies look pretty good displayed together. I have Kylo Ren coming soon, and that will probably be enough for me from the Sequel Trilogy. Hopefully they hurry up and announce IG-88 officially, and more OT figures to come. I'd hate for them to concentrate on Sequel Trilogy figures from this point on.

Bandai Star Wars Movie Realization Captain Phasma

It's a shame that Bandai haven't released any more Star Wars Original Trilogy figures, and decided to announce Sequel Trilogy figures instead. But at least this Captain Phasma certainly looks pretty nice, despite me absolutely hating the character in the movies!

Click through below to watch my full video review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel!

Packaging is consistent with everything else we've received from this series. It's all classily packaged with some nice artwork. It doesn't come with too many accessories, but what you get looks pretty nice. The scabbard is a nice glossy black with gold highlights. The katana is a longer sword this time which looks great. The rifle is also a larger style that suits the weapon she had in the movie. The range of swap out hands is suitable to hold all the weapons, and as always be careful when swapping out.

The figure itself is a bit of a hit and miss affair. The glossy silver paint app is decent, but mine did come with some annoying paint scratches. I fixed most of them with metallic silver Sharpie, so they're not too noticeable now.

The most annoying thing for me is the use of softer plastic for the shoulder pauldron that deforms as you move it. It just feels like the quality dropped in that area. The decision to use ball joints to attach the side kama skirt pieces is also bloody annoying.

I have no idea why they did that, because it doesn't seem to add any articulation. It just makes adjusting them difficult because they don't align symmetrically with the other parts of the kama. I tried adjusting them and it's too much of a pain in the arse to bother anymore!

The large cape at the rear and on the left shoulder are also a little annoying. The rear is pegged into place with a hole in the back, but at least the shoulder piece can be rotated out of the way. However the part that goes in front of the chin piece hinder articulation of the neck which is also annoying.

Something I didn't really notice until another collector pointed it out to me is that Bandai also changed the elbow joint for these Sequel Trilogy figures. They now have large ball joints that are essentially single jointed elbows, instead of the previous double jointed design. The balls now stick out a lot more and break up the sculpt, which is not good.

In the end, the figure looks pretty good on display, but some of the design changes really are a step back for this series. I hope this is something they do only for the Sequel Trilogy characters. If they announce any more OT figures, I hope they return to the previous design.

Lego Ideas #28 21320 Dinosaur Fossils

Hot on the heels of the Lego Ideas #27 came the #28 Dinosaur Fossils set. I've always loved dinosaurs growing up, and so do my kids now, so getting this set was a no-brainer!

The three parts of the set, each of different size and complexity, make up perhaps the most popular of the dinosaurs, being the T-Rex, Triceratops, and Pteranodon. For the most part, the sets look fantastic, but there are some fiddly parts like the rib pieces that tend to move around and get bumped out of place.

Articulation is limited since the feet are integrated into the stands, but the head and arm movements are decent. I hate that they still use stickers on these sets - I really wish Lego would just make prints! The included mini-figs are pretty nice, especially the human skeleton.

If you're a palaeontology fan, I'd highly recommend this set. I do hope they extend the series and release some other dinosaur variants in this style. I would love a Stegosaurus or Brachiosaurus!

Click through below to watch my video review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel!

Lego Ideas #27 21319 Friends Central Perk

Back in the 90s and early 2000s, I watched Friends episodes every week when they first aired. It was a TV show that really took you along the journey of the characters, and you really felt invested in their stories. The show still has so many classic scenes and lines that haven't aged at all in the many years since the show finished.

I was very surprised when Lego announced the Central Perk set because I don't usually keep track of all the ideas making through their Ideas program. But I'm definitely glad this set was given the green light! It's a nice little set that brings back so many memories from the show!

Click through below for my video review of the set over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel.

Here's the left side wall completed. Love the menu print on the wall (thank god that wasn's a damn sticker!) The kitchen area is also nicely done, with the big coffee machine being the centrepiece.

Here's the serving area done along with a small customer area. Love the big service arrow that didn't really feature much in the show, but great that Lego designers had that eye for detail. The cash till looks nice as well as the cookie jar. I liked the way they designed the rug areas and furniture to be whole pieces that can be placed or lifted out entirely.

Here's the main entrance to Central Perk and the classic stage area where Phoebe performs her ridiculous songs. The big window looks great, and the doorway brings back lots of memories of classic lines and scenes in that entrance.

Here's the completed main area where the Friends all sit. The couches are pretty nicely done, and gives decent room for the mini-figures to be placed. All in all, if you're a Friends fan looking for a bit of nostalgia, this is a great little display set to show off next to your blurays of the TV series!

9 Nov 2019

Lego 75252 UCS Star Destroyer

Here are my quick thoughts on the new Lego Star Destroyer. Click through below to check out the video over at the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. I also give some thoughts on the messy state of my collection room!

Here are the in progress pics as I went through the build. Lots of interesting techniques to assemble this model!

Bag 1 - Interesting way to integrate the stand/base directly into the structure of the model. Only just the beginning, but you start to get a feel for the size of this thing.

Bag 2 - Some interesting ways to connect and secure these long framing parts. I'm not a big Technic builder, so lots of techniques were new to me.

Bag 3 - Placing the greeble along the framing edges got a bit tiresome, but the end result does look really nice. Love the way the turbolasers come together on the sides!

Bags 4 and 5 - The way in which the panels connect to the frame is nice and firm with the ball joint mechanism. There's also a bit of difference in the greeble detailing to break up the symmetry (not that anyone is really going to see it being the bottom surface of the model!)

Bag 6 - These two assemblies attached to the bottom of the frame. That lower one has a nice little mini-TIE Fighter and can also fit the mini-TantiveIV to recreate that opening scene capturing the blockade runner.

Bag 7 - The two angled panels are nicely attached at the rear. It's always interesting to see how the designer worked out how to attach the panels at just the right angle to meet the other panels in a flush way!

Bags 8, 9, and 10 - These essentially complete the bottom and most of the rear areas of the model. Lego shipped out the one missing plate to allow a flap to be attached to the rear enginer. Pretty good customer service!

Bags 11 to 14 - Completed the top panels. Love how the cannons assemble together on the top. I got a lot of joy just spinning the damn things! After this, it was the last few bags to add the top part including the bridge.

And here it is all done! Now to figure out where in the hell I'm going to display this damn thing! 😂

6 Nov 2019

Storm Collectibles Ryu and Ken from Ultra Street Fighter 2

Here's my look at the Storm Collectibles Ryu and Ken from Ultra Street Fighter 2. Not bad overall - definitely looking forward to Guile and Sagat!

Some more pics below.

20 Sept 2019

Legacy of Revoltech LR-057 Jessie from Toy Story

I've waited for a reissue of the Revoltech Jessie for years now, and thanksfully they finally released it! It perfectly complements the Revoltech Woody and Buzz as you'd expect. Click through below to watch my review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel.

Poseability is always a focus for Revoltech figures, and Jessie is no exception. Glad they included a stand with this one though, since her feet are so small. Getting a decent balance is tricky so the stand really helps for stability in the display cabinet.

Setup with Buzz and Woody only makes me wish they made the whole gang! But I'm happy enough with these three in the collection. Definitely brings some great colour and great memories of a fantastic trilogy (still haven't seen the fourth movie yet!)

Back to the Future Hover Board Bottle Opener

Here's a great little tool in time for the warmer weather coming in Australia!

Click through below to watch my review of the Back to the Future Hover Board bottle opener. Hope you can subscribe and give the video a thumbs up too :)

Choose your beer, then choose your opener!

7 Sept 2019

Transformers Masterpiece MP-44 Optimus Prime (Convoy)

Optimus Prime is understandably one of the most revered characters in Transformers lore, and by all accounts is immensely popular in Japan. It's no surprise that Takara will always look to improve on previously released figures of Optimus Prime, known as Convoy in Japan.

The iconic MP-10 mold was released in September 2011, almost 8 years to the day. It became the benchmark in scale and quality for all subsequent MP releases, and was one of the reasons I started collecting Transformers toys again in 2012!

But things move fast in toy technology, and engineering design techniques have grown more sophisticated in dramatic ways over the past few years. Takara really stepped up their game with new molds such as MP-33 Inferno, MP-36 Megatron, and MP-39 Substreaker. These figures brought in a new era of ultra cartoon accuracy, sculpting, and paint application; complex transformations; and amazing articulation.

This new MP-44 Optimus takes all of that and presents the definitive G1 cartoon Optimus Prime. With any release like this, there's always controversy and the inevitable comparisons with past figures and new 3rd party equivalents. I'll discuss more on that below.

Click through below to see my two-part review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel!

Part 1: Covers accessories and truck mode, with comparison against MP-10.
Part 2: Covers transformation risky/tricky parts, knee joint articulation, and bot mode comparison against MP-10.

Hope you can check out the videos, and also read through below for more of my thoughts.

Part 1: 

Part 2:

This set comes stacked with accessories, most of which are of very high quality. The changes that Takara have made to the trailer and its related parts are a big improvement over what was included with MP-10, and add a lot of display options and playability to the set.

The new removable gun tower itself is very nicely done, with lots of options to use it with Roller, separately on its own, or integrated with the trailer. I can't recall if all of those options were depicted in the G1 cartoon, but it's great that Takara are giving thought to these options when designing their new figures.

Their love of the G1 cartoon also shows through the inclusion of specific accessories for scenes from the cartoon, such as the Starscream head/air intakes and the jet pack. These give that extra bit of nostalgia to the cartoon for those wanting that photo opportunity. I really hope the Starscream head is a teaser for a new Seeker mold that is sorely needed! The likeness is perfect to the cartoon version.

The swap out head sculpts are also great for collectors to vary up how their Optimus looks. I personally prefer the stock head sculpt from Season 2. The Season 1 head sculpt has a rounder jaw/mouth plate, and somehow doesn't seem quite like the Optimus I remember from my Saturday mornings in front of the TV.

The battle damaged sculpt is decent, and goes well with the damaged torso piece to replicate the scene from the 1986 movie. But since it's only those two pieces of battle damage, it doesn't really go all that well with the rest of the figure. Decent for a one-off photo opportunity, but I doubt they will be used much.

The axe and shooting effects are also accessories I'm not sure will be used too often. The axe is smaller than MP-10's, but is made of a decent transluscent plastic. For this one, I think the MP-10 axe is better.

The new MP-44 blaster rifle however is definitely better! It's significantly larger and suits the character so much better. It also has a storage gimmick on the back in bot mode, where it clips in like he has it slung over his shoulder. Still a pretty silly gimmick like the MP-10 folding gun in the back. I won't ever display it like that.

This time Takara packaged the figure in truck mode, unlike most other larger MPs that are shipped in bot mode. So the above photo will likely be the only one for many years showing him in truck mode in my collection! I rarely transform my figures once displayed because it takes me so long to do it!

People have complained that they think it has too many panels in truck mode, but I think it looks great. From videos I've seen, once you get it back from bot mode to truck mode and carefully align panels, it mostly clips together well. The main issues have been around the chromed fuel tanks, but most photos after a couple of transformations have looked fine.

For me, the trailer is a real surpise. It's lacking the blue stripe along the sides due to cartoon accuracy, but the rest of the trailer is painted in a beautiful gun metal grey. The longer ramp is also nice to finally get the cars rolling out better.

I love that the gun tower can be removed or integrated into the trailer base. The trailer also has metal parts to allow the minifigs to stand with the magnets in their feet. Check out my video for all the details on the internals of the trailer.

Although the truck mode is nice, the bot mode is always where it's at for me regarding the MP figures. I love the cartoon accurate aesthetic that Takara are going for, and this MP-44 takes Optimus to a whole new level.

The head sculpt, paint application, and overall sculpting is just phenomenal. The body proportions perfectly reflect his cartoon look, and the gloosy paint app simply makes the figure pop on display. Almost every surface is painted, and it gives the figure a presence on display that is of very high quality.

There are a few risk areas for paint scratches during transformation, such as the yellow parts on the crotch piece and the grey areas under the armpits. But if you follow the instructions and videos of the transformation, you'll go a long way to avoid paint scratches.

The chest and arms of MP-44 are the biggest improvements for me over MP-10. There is no longer a gorilla-like stance for this figure. The arms have a nice curved design that just makes the character look so natural and almost organic. That is in stark contrast to MP-10 and the newer 3rd party figures that still have the block look of the torso and arms.

There have been complaints about the ability to insert the matrix into the chest cavity. I'm not sure why that is, since mine inserted all the way without any issue. The position of the cavity itself is not as cartoon accurate, with it being lower in the chest. It would've looked better if it was higher like it was shown in the cartoon. Luckily I don't display him like that, so it's a non-issue for me.

Another major source of complaints is the backpack in bot mode. Once it's transformed, it's actually not as big as photos or some collectors are making it out to be! It integrates well with the figure and its overall proportions so it doesn'treally bother me at all.

My photo above shows that it's not hugely massive, and many collectors love the sound features so it's a decent design compromise. There are also comparison pics against MP-10 below that show it's only slightly larger. I've done actual measurements and it's mainly wider more than anything.

The stand out feature for MP-44 is its incredible articulation. It is by far the most poseable Optimus figure that I've seen. Some have complained that it is very "gappy" but most pics show it still looks great even in extreme dynamic poses.

An area of concern has been the knee articulation. Part 2 of my video review shows how to articulate the knee to avoid damage. When bending, you must rotate the top ratchet first which reveals a slot behind the knee. This slot allows a blue tab related to the lower ratchet to slide into when you start rotating the lower ratchet. Do the reverse when extending the knee straight.

If you don't follow the above, you risk rotating the lower ratchet without moving the blue tab, which will damage the ratchet mechanism. If you follow it, you'll be able to safely get the figure into some awesome crouching poses.

The ingenious auto folding of the front hip plate also allows great movement. The fact it automatically slides up when you rotate the leg forward is just amazing. This is the type of engineering that sets Takara ahead of the competition.

In comparing the new figure against MP-10, the differences in body proportions and paint application really become apparent. The blockiness in the arms and chest of MP-10, plus its gorilla-like length, are areas definitely improved in MP-44.

The paint application is also much brighter than the unpainted plastic of MP-10. The whites of the legs look so much nicer than the grey plastic thighs of MP-10.

The backpacks between the two are actually surprisingly close in size. The 3rd party figures have smaller back packs due to a simpler transformation design and no sound feature. It will come down to what you value more when deciding which figure you prefer. I don't display my figures facing backwards, so it's a non-issue for me.

MP-44 was obviously designed to complement MP-36 Megatron. They look incredible displayed together, and really do represent the definitive versions of their G1 characters.

If you're a G1 TF fan, I don't think you'll be disappointed with MP-44. Sure there's a higher price, but that's due to all the contents included in the box! I don't think it's a valid comparison against prices of 3rd party figures that don't have anywhere near the contents included.

For me, this is definitely worth the price. Be sure to order direct from Japanese retailers to get far better prices than USA retailers. I got mine from Nippon-Yasan for US$340 shipped to my door. With everything you get in the set, it is worth every penny!

Hot Toys MMS477 Obi-Wan Kenobi (Episode 3)

I'm not a massive Star Wars prequel fan, but after seeing how awesome the Anakin Skywalker figure turned out, I had to get this Obi-Wan to complement it. And Hot Toys have certainly done another fantastic job.

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

It comes pretty well stacked with accessories, even with this standard version. I didn't feel the need to get the Deluxe set with the Luke baby and hologram set. The chopped up Battle Droid is very nicely detailed, and I'm sure a Hot Toys full figure version of that would be pretty amazing.

I havent actually taken any more photos of the figure itself yet as I've been too lazy! But overall the details on the figure are as you would expect with Hot Toys Jedi figures. The robe material is very nice, and I love the way the hood hangs over the head. It doesnt have a wire like the Anakin figure, and works better because of it.

The only thing that scares me about the figure is the hard pleather material used on the boots. Other similar figures have softer pleather, but this one is harder and feels like it might be more prone to cracking over time. I won't be overdoing the poses on this one anyway, so hopefully it's not a long term issue.

There were early complaints about the softness in the head sculpt, but I think it's on par with all the other figures that Hot Toys have released. The paint application and skin tone are the usual high standard, and the detailing in the beard is very nice too. The likeness is a perfect representation of Obi-Wan in Episode 3.

It looks amazing next to Anakin, and hopefully Hot Toys continues this great work with Qui-Gon Jinn. I'm sure they'll announce an Episode 1 Obi-Wan too, so collectors really can get the full Obi-wan evolution in Hot Toys figures!

Transformers Masterpiece MP-10G Optimus Prime Ghostbusters

The Transformers Masterpiece MP-10 mold must be one of the most repainted Optimus Prime molds ever. I've lost track of how many they have done, and almost resisted getting this Ghostbusters crossover version.

But early inhand photos swayed me to click that preorder link, so it was a bit of an impulse buy. Overall, it's a nice repaint, and I do like the little Slimer that comes with it.

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

Packaging has a decent gimmick to use it as a proton pack, but I haven't even bothered undoing the plastic wraps on the backpack straps. I'll keep it like that in case I ever decide to sell this!

The repainted details look pretty nice, and I especially like the Roller addition to make it look like the ghost trap. The trailer itself is OK, but I probably would've preferred the Evangelion trailer to be honest.

In bot mode the details are also pretty nice. The head sculpt suffers the same dead eyes as the original Takara MP-10. I'm not sure why they couldn't have gone the extra mile ti paint them red like they did with the TRU MP-10 release with the blue eyes.

The addition of the proton backpack that attaches to his blaster rifle is a nice throwback to the Ghostbusters in keeping with this crossover too.

All in all, it's a nice piece for 80s fans that love both Transformers and Ghostbusters. Would've been even better if they had done this with the new MP-44 mold instead, but I'm sure they'll repaint the crap out of that mold too!

9 Aug 2019

Transformers Masterpiece MP-18+ Bluestreak

If you've followed Kool Kollectibles for a while, you'll know that I love the Transformers Masterpiece series of figures. Even when they started re-issuing molds in this "+" series, I was happy to get them as variants on the original figures.

This new MP-18+ Bluestreak is no exception, with some nice little tweaks to sweeten the package. Click through below to watch my full video review on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Hope you can give the video a thumbsup and subscribe to stay tuned for upcoming reviews!

The included set of accessories isn't all that extensive, but what you do get is of decent quality. I love the swap out face sculpts that really open up the options for display and poses with the figure. My favourite is definitely the smiling face that gives the character a lot of expression on display next to his stoic Autobot friends.

The blast effect pieces are good for the odd photo opportunity, but I don't think look all that great on display. There is an extra small piece that the instructions say are related to the upcoming MP-44 Optimus figure in some way, so it will be interesting how that works.

Collectors against the "+" series point out that they hate the matte style of the paint application. This new Bluestreak is perhaps the one that stands out most in that regards due to the amount of grey. But I was pleasantly surprised to see that the grey has a nice subtle metallic sheen to it, so it's not just a dull flat grey. It's very similar to the grey finish on the MP-36 Megatron and I think looks nice in hand.

If the dark grey hood was just a shade darker, it might look a tad better, but they really went with as much cartoon accuracy as they could here. The windows are blue, the wheels are grey, and I love the three or four different shades of grey on various parts of the body that give it more differentiation. The original is almost too dark in places, although the high gloss black hood looks great.

In car mode against the others, I think the original and the MP-18B version stand out as the best. Those definitely look as close to real world gorgeous Nissan Fairladies as you can get. The darker wheels, grey windscreens, and high gloss/metallic finish really work best in this car mode.

Where the MP-18+ shines, as with all other "+" figures, is in bot mode. I didn't struggle as much as with MP-20+ Wheeljack to get him into bot mode, which was great. Once in bot mode, the joints are still nice and tight, and nothing felt overly delicate. The head sculpt was a more difficult to swing past the hood during transformation due to a slightly larger head sculpt, but be careful in fitting it through and you should be OK.

In direct comparison to the original in bot mode, you will definitely see a marked difference in how much darker the original paint application looks. It's the only reason I think it would looks slightly better with a darker hood.

But similar to car mode, the various shades of grey actually give more differentiating aspects to the figure, especially around the chest. The head sculp too is far superior to the original sculpt, which was only slightly different to the MP-17 Prowl sculpt. The new sculpt really makes this figure it's own character.

As with all other "+" figures I have in the collection, I'll definitely display the new figure in bot mode with the original in its classic car mode. It really is the best of both worlds! I'm looking forward to MP-19+ early next year, and that will likely be the last Nissan mold I buy in this series.

For fans of the figures and of the cartoon, I certainly recommend these "+" figures, especially if you're going to continue collecting the series for the forseeable future. They blend in well with the latest crop of figures.