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!