Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Review: Mebsuta

Figure Information
Manufacturer: Transformazing Toys
Figure Number: 01
Character Homage: Ultra Magnus (Transformers)
Scale: Non-scale
Height: Approximately 25cm tall
Original Price: 72.90 USD


Being the very first release from 3rd Party Company, Transformazing Toys, Mebsuta's box features a quite intriguing design, projecting a feel of a blue print, we get Mebsuta's overall appearance at the front along with the company's logo and the label that he's the first release from their Pandora's Box line. The Mebsuta cover can be opened up to reveal a more blue print feel along with a window that lets you see part of the enture package.

The sides of the box just feature his weapons and another blue print art that has some labels on certain parts of the Mebsuta Armor. The back is simply a silhouette with a big detailed art of Mebsuta's head.

Details - Alternate Modes:

Being an armor with a cancelled trailer production, Transformazing Toys gives us some alternate options on how to display the armor pieces when they're not combined with FoC Magnus.

The first up on the list is that his upper torso armor transforms into this rather unconvincing fighter jet of sorts.

Though the silhouette is that of a Jet, there's just too much gaps and unexplainable pieces going on around the mode to actually convince me that it is a true fighter jet, but at least we get some blasters out of it as well as a nose, though seriously missing on wings to make it look believable.

With the gaps and all those weird detailing going on, I personally like to think of this as a mini carrier and use it as a ride for my Autobot Kreons like Rodimus and it actually works a little better since the big central gap is now being used as the Kreon's deck.

While the upper half armor turns into something unconvincing, the lower armor is quite different as aside from being leg armor in combined mode, it also has the ability to transform into two other modes; the first of which I will show being the tank/artillery mode.

While passing off to me as a futuristic tank, one would indeed question as to where the tank threads are; but truth be told, it is indeed a more convincing alt mode as it is more compact and lacks the presence of questionable gaps though if Transformazing Toys did actually put on more locking tabs and whatnot, it would have been more solid.

While I think the tank/artillery mode is pretty neat, it can still be transformed into what I believe is the most convincing of the bunch, a glider!

While presenting itself as a very believable glider on the top surface, one minor setback is that when viewed from underneath, the glider is completely hollow; though it does look very neat since it shows off more color variations with more white and some reds in this mode as compared to the tank mode.

Ultimately, being a glider must mean it should be able to serve its purpose correct? And the answer is, yes, it does fulfill its purpose pretty well as it looks very very neat when you make Magnus use it as a glider!

Option Parts:

With the other armor parts transforming into their own alt modes, you are left with the thigh guards and the energon axe; the energon axe is, sad to say, pretty useless when it's not used by the combined mode of Mebsuta as the peg handle is bigger than your average 5mm pegs. The thigh guards however, can attach to any 5mm port on Magnus to act as additional armor; both robot and vehicle modes of FoC Magnus can indeed incorporate the use of the thigh guards.

Additionally, by taking apart the glider/tank/artillery mode, you can take the folding rifle barrel, and make use of it in a more violent manner. (LOL!)

The most basic build is just attaching the folding barrel to FOC Magnus' gun, but as you can see below, the plastic color doesn't match with Hasbro's gun.

Taking the weaponry modification by a notch, you can take one of the ammunition clips and attach it to the lower tab of the folding barrel and then attach it to the gun to make an even more menacing-looking gun.

Alternatively, you can detach the combined mode's crotch armor from the fighter jet and reveal a blaster, which can then be attached to the default gun instead of the folding barrel, turning the gun into a cybertronian crossbow.

Next up with the additional gun upgrades is that you can take off the chest plates found on the fighter jet's cone and then reveal missile pods by turning the flaps by 180 degrees, which can then be clipped to the circular details of the gun.

Last feature makes the mother of all guns as the folding barrel with ammunition clip can still be attached to the crossbow with missile pods, giving Magnus a BFG to take down some cons.

Details - Combined Mode:

Before continuing with the combined mode discussion, I'll be showing how each component will look like before combining. For Magnus, you'll need to hide his head, fold the legs and turn his torso by 180 degrees and then fold his arms via the elbow to a 90 while making sure the smoke stacks are facing front.

From the glider mode, you can store all the extra hands and the ammunition clips inside the lower leg armors; close them up and make the pieces stand and your leg upgrade is ready.

Lastly, for the fighter jet, you'll be doing a lot of unfolding until you can straightly form the arms, reveal the new head and the finally opening up the body armor by folding the arms and the cone upwards; with this set up, you can now form the combined mode!

Unlike the alternate modes of each armor component, the combined mode has almost everything locked in and placed tightly; and without further delay, I present to you... GATTAI JUSTICE!

What I truly love about Transformazing Toys' Mebsuta upgrade is the new head; I am generally not familiar with any of the comic continuities if it was based on one of those variants but seriously, the new head is ridiculously well done, the face looks very very stern and really does give the feel that Magnus is of a commanding authority among Autobot ranks; and it does really give you an idea that it is none other than Ultra Magnus on first look.

The details really pop out even if majority of the armor's just cast in dark blue, and I think one of the concerns about his build is that the lower half of the torso is really thin since the upper is very very wide, but they did try to remedy that by making the gap between the crotch and the upper body minimal. The backpack looks very beat and you can really see how much planning they did for the combined mode.

Another neat thing here is that to emulate the Ultra Magnus, they even included the towering shoulders as well as the shoulder weaponry, in the form of a blaster in their variant instead of the usual missile, but the colors are a very huge homage to the original. The combined mode looks really majestic and nothing about it leaves a hollow appearance even from the back. I guess for a personal nitpick, I think he could've used more red in his details.

To give an idea on how big this guy is, below are comparison shots; one with the base mold, using Takara's Magnus, and the other standing next to Beast Fire Predaking from the Beast Hunters line. This guy almost doubles FoC Magnus' height and is just a tad bit shorter than Beast Fire Predaking in robot mode.

As a little bonus, the Mebsuta and the Mekbuda (Optimus Prime upgrade) shares the exact same mold, with only the color being the real difference and to prove that, I'll be showing how you can emulate the Mekbuda mode below.

First up, if you followed the instructions, the backpack contains the faceplate, so to get that, open his backpack and take the face plate.

Once you have the faceplate, take that and slide it down on Mebsuta's mouth and it'll be held quite well via friction joints; next is that you need to swivel the short antenna ears upwards to reveal the shorter ear and you have the Mekbuda version's head in Mebsuta colors.

To completely emulate the Mekbuda mode, you'll need to fold down the tower shoulders and then fold the shoulder blasters upwards and then after that, you have the Mekbuda setup!

Articulation Points:

Being an upgrade, Mebsuta gets its own set of joints and articulation points with only a few retained from the original base body. Starting with the head, it moves freely via a ball joint and the range is quite decent to boot.

For the arms, the shoulder does have a hidden hinge which you can flip out to be able to raise his arms to a 90 while the actual shoulders can move a little inwards and outwards but at the same time, freely rotate on a full 360. Bicep swivels are also available and while his elbows are double jointed, you can only get it to bend at a wee bit more than 90. Do note that the elbow joints are loose and I've read some feedback and it doesn't seem to be in my case alone. The hands are on ball joints so it does give you a full swivel and minimal inwards and outwards movement.

Mebsuta retains the use of Magnus' torso joint although the big chunk of the combined mode does give him little to none in bending his torso but it does allow a good range of sidewards movement to act as waist joints.

Also retaining the use of the hips, the combined mode can only split sideways to around 45 degrees due to the crotch armor and also the same for forward and backward movement but this time due to colliding armor pieces. Now his thighs can still make use of Magnus' old knee joints and combined with the actual knee joint of Mebsuta, this can emulate a double jointed knee which can give him more leg movement.

The ankles can tilt to a deliciously good range and even sort of get distorted if needed thanks to transformation; the toes are hinged and do fold to a neat degree.


I do admit the loose elbows (especially the right elbow) was a bummer for this piece but you can tighten them up if you want to (which I still haven't done at this point of writing), but if you can tighten up everything that's loose, Mebsuta can prove to be a totally cool figure to pose.

While it is very tricky to get familiarized with his joints, Mebsuta is by no means a brick when it comes to his legs and does actually pull off very decent kneeling poses if you know how to work around with his joints.

The use of swappable hands actually gives the figure more life and I really think its a praiseworthy act on Transformazing Toys' part and does indeed boost the upgrade's play value.

Additionally, using the folding barrel as a staff allows you to port any 5mm weapon on it, giving your big commander a suitable meelee weapon of his choice, which is a Naginata in this review, since I attached Takara's Super mode Sword to the staff.

Meelee weapons do work wonders with the staff as the length of it allows Mebsuta to dual grip the staff and if there are any plans to make a hammer for this guy, it'd be even more worth it, since admit it, what Ultra Magnus needs is a damn big hammer, not a lance.

The loose joints actually work better with meelee weapons compared to the big rifle so more dynamic poses can be done with them.

The armor certainly does provide the Autobot commander a fair boost and thus, providing him the means to combat even the king of the beasts haha.

Final Thoughts:

As a first release by the company, I think Mebsuta is a good piece, while not as good and solid as MakeToys' first release with Battle Tanker, the upgrade set itself gives Transformazing Toys a good impression on me though I seriously hope, they can learn from the flaws of this release. Making a somewhat ridiculous figure into something better was definitely what I wanted and that is what I got, Mebsuta does actually fit pretty well with a G1 themed collection even though he's an upgrade for an aligned continuity existence. He's definitely not cheap so, with his asking price, I guess, just get him if you really have the spending power but do note that he has his share of flaws, so think about that first before deciding to spend on this upgrade.

I give this upgrade set a good 4 out of 5.

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