Kool Kollectibles content

24 Oct 2021

Transformers Masterpiece MP-52+ Thundercracker

It's great that Takara aren't wasting too much time releasing the original core three Seekers in this new MP-52 mold. It took them years to eventually release Starscream, Thundercracker, and Skywarp in the old MP-11 mold, but thankfully all three will be released this year.

Thundercracker is second in the MP-52 mold, and the beautiful baby blue paint app in this new style does not disappoint! Click through below to see my review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel, and scroll further down for more pics and thoughts! Don't forget to give the video a thumbs up and subscribe to the channel for more review soon!

Box art is the typically Masterpiece style, and the accessories are similar to those provided with Starscream. Thundercracker doesn't come with any cartoon episode or '86 movie type accessories though, which is a real shame. I would have loved a small Reflector in camera mode for Thundercracker to hold, but Takara seem to ignore Reflector.

As with Starscream, I think the jet mode looks fantastic, and I actually prefer it to the MP-11 mold. Yes, the underside is perhaps not as sleek, but I actually think it looks much nicer from every other direction. I love the properly coloured blue nose cone, the cluster bomb styled underwing weapons, and the panel lining accentuated by the awesome blue paint app.

The unpainted blue plastic of the MP-11 repaint looks rather dull in comparison, with a very slight green tinge and translucency that cheapen its appearance. The silver air intakes and chest area look pretty nice, but even the MP-52+ matt grey painted finish looks great too in keeping with the cartoon aesthetic.

The transformation into bot mode was every bit the pain-in-the-arse I remembered from Starscream. It was slightly easier this time around, and I feel the joints are a little tighter and stronger on Thundercracker. But areas of the transformation, such as the collapsing of the chest area and the pegging in of the air intakes, are still fiddly and annoying.

But at least the end result is worth the struggle, with a gorgeous bot mode in this iconic colourway. I love the cartoon touches such as the lighter blue knee caps and the correct upside down insignias on the wings. As I mentioned in the original Starscream review, the MP-52 mold is a massive upgrade from the MP-11 mold.

That old mold really does look dated now, especially in bot mode. The body proportions and style of the new MP-52 mold are so much more refined and organic. Some people really dislike the less busy and matte finish of the newer figure, but I personally think it's a huge improvement over MP-11, as there should be for almost a 10 year difference in engineering.

It's a shame that Hasbro Asia no longer provide the free collector coin or pin with the figures anymore. I think the last one they did was for MP Arcee. It's disappointing that they didn't do one for Starscream or Thundercracker, but it will be interesting to see if they randomly do it for the upcoming figures in the series.

In the end, for collectors like me that love the original cartoon, this new Seeker mold is perfection. I think the overall QC is better on Thundercracker than it was on Starscream. I had no cracks in mine, although there are still the few obligatory minor paint blemishes. I think every one of my MP figures has some sort of minor paint defect. Considering even my Bandai SoC Voltrons have some tiny blemishes too, I'm just used to these Japanese robots not being perfect in every possible way.

Looking at this pair in my shelf though, along with other Decepticons like MP-36 Megatron and MP-29+ Shockwave, these MP Decepticons really are as perfect as an old 80s G1 fan could possibly hope for. I cannot wait Skywarp to come at the end of the year, and just hope that 2022 brings more iconic G1 Decepticons into the MP series.

Pix Brix Street Fighter 2 puzzle sets

I stumbled across these Pix Brix sets over on the Big Bad Toy Store website. I'm a big Street Fighter fan since growing up playing the original Street Fighter 2 back in the days of actual arcade centres. These sets really spoke to my nostalgia of many things 80s and 90s. Being a brick building fan of Lego, these were pretty much a must-have for me!

Now the Pix Brix design of each individual piece is quite different to Lego, despite the very similar aesthetic on the packaging art! The build styles and technique are quite different too. You may get a better feel for this in some of the close up shots in my video reviews below over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Hope you can check them out, and scroll down further for more pics of the completed set.

It's great that each set comes with a character sheet with some decent artwork and character biography. The colour map to build each set is on the reverse side of each character sheet. I didn't recognise some of the artwork, but by all accounts they are orginal character art from the game.

Each set is 768 pieces, being 24 x 32 bricks in dimensions, taking the complete set to over 6000 pieces. At about USD$21 each, the price to piece count to pretty decent. Once completed and put together, the full size of the set really becomes apparent, and it simply looks fantastic.

Since they are brick built, the character portraits do look better when viewed from a small distance. But that's perfect for placing them on a book shelf, gaming desk, or in your display cabinet. I'm very much out of space these days, but will definitely need to find a spot to display this set.

For a bit more of a size comparison, here is the completed set with me on the couch! This set is perfect for Street Fighter fans, particularly those with fond memories of the original arcade game and core cast of characters. Highly recommended!

17 Oct 2021

Hot Toys MMS536 Captain America

The Endgame version of Captain America was released by Hot Toys earlier in the year. But shipping delays really did affect the worldwide release of the figure, but I finally received my preorder from the local Australian distributor!

It was definitely worth the wait though! Click through below to check out my review over on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. Scroll further down for some pics and more thoughts.

The set comes with a decent array of accessories, with my favourite definitely being the unmasked head sculpt. The default masked head sculpt looks a little undersized to me for the larger body. The swap out face plates are good for the odd action type photo opportunity, but for me this will be museum pose all the way (more on the restrictive suit later).

The unmasked headsculpt I think has a fantastic likeness to Chris Evans, and is scaled much better with the body. The face itself, and the added height with the hairstyle, just makes it suit better with the taller and bulkier body. It of course has the usual amazing Hot Toys paint app and skin texture.

The swap out hands are a decent variety for all sorts of poses. Glad they had one specifically for holding the shield. It is a pain in the arse to attach, especially with the tiny buckles, but following the instructions in the manual is probably the best way to do it.

The broken shield is a good option for those posing with the battle damaged Thanos. Hot Toys even fixed the orientation of the shield harnesses so that it sits right when he's holding it. But for me, I'll be going with the standard shield, which is still nicely weathered.

When I swapped out the head sculpts, I noticed a bit of blue dye from the collar had bled onto the neck piece. So I decided to use the plastic protection around the neck on the unmasked head sculpt in case the collar bled onto that too. Not sure if it will actually be a problem, but I'll err on the side of caution with this one.

Once set up, this figure does look very heroic. The body is definitely taller and bulkier than the old Golden Age Captain America figure I have. I think they did this so that the figure scales with their newer, larger Iron Man figures. The suit is very rigid and restrictive in its material, so crazy poses will be difficult to reach.

But luckily for me, I'm a terrible poser anyway. This thing looks pretty damn heroic just standing their, so that's how he'll be in my collection. This is perhaps my favourite of the Captain America suits, and I love how they incorporated the scales as an homage to the classic comic outfit for this version.

Hopefully I get Fat Thor and the battle damaged Iron Man Mk85 to close out the collection this year. I'm sure the big three will look amazing standing next to each other in the cabinet!