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Thanks for the words of advice @M'Kyuun and honestly I can't wait to get Frenzy! My next target after the MT Seekers are done!

The MAAS kickstarter campaign is such a wicked idea and I really do hope it gets made.

I didn't realize the B2Five pilots can actually ride the FPJ Warbot vehicles.

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Side by side with Maketoys Meteor - he's meant to fit in with the MP scale, really.

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It would be awesome if they could figure out a way to have him become either the tetrajet or an F-15. However, kudos for achieving a good tetrajet mode from his F-15 bot. While it's not my cup of tea, I wish MAAS every success with the Kickstarter, as I'm sure there are plenty of TF fans who want this.

Those FPJ Warbots remind me of the Acid Rain toys. Pretty cool.

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I honestly think it looks BETTER than Meteor in both modes but since I already have Meteor and I'm getting the other two it's so hard to justify a place for it on my MP shelves. It this was classics-scaled it'd be a no brainer and makes me hate the massive shift towards that scale by every company in general.

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Since you mention it, yeah, it is kinda funny that few of the 3Ps are producing CHUG scaled toys, tending towards the MP. In my mind, it'd be a fun scale to work in, or even the voyager scale. Guess MP is the popular choice in China and Japan.

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Yea.. I read somewhere that FansToys actually outsells Takara MPs even overseas or something. Absolutely crazy!

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1 hour ago, Kuma Style said:

Yea.. I read somewhere that FansToys actually outsells Takara MPs even overseas or something. Absolutely crazy!

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Wow, what a great picture.

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18 hours ago, Kurisama said:

Side by side with Maketoys Meteor - he's meant to fit in with the MP scale, really.

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Could someone point me to the Kickstarter? Also where is a good place to buy these things? I’m new to the 3P scene. Thanks

Chris

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3 hours ago, Hikaru Ichijo SL said:

Wow, what a great picture.

<3 Thanks!

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Perchance are those rolling treads on that not-Hardhead? I :wub:rolling treads.

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4 hours ago, M'Kyuun said:

Perchance are those rolling treads on that not-Hardhead? I :wub:rolling treads.

Yep! They're about my favorite treads on any figure ever, too. They're really well done. 

This one has a bit of a story... got it with one gun and only one face so never got to review it but the gun came today and someone was kind enough to send me the masked face which will be here tomorrow so I'm pretty enthusiastic to actually give it the full on gallery/review treatment.

Really surprised that you can only store one gun on his back in bot mode, though. It's semi disturbing.

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So is there a general concensus on which is the best 3P manufacturer? Or which ones to watch out for?

Also, what is the best MP sized seeker? I have the Original Takara MP Starscream and the the Hasbro import SkyWarp of the Original MP mold. Never did get the v2 type. Are they the best or is there a 3P version that is even better....like maybe the Maketoys version?

Chris

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1 hour ago, Dobber said:

So is there a general concensus on which is the best 3P manufacturer? Or which ones to watch out for?

Also, what is the best MP sized seeker? I have the Original Takara MP Starscream and the the Hasbro import SkyWarp of the Original MP mold. Never did get the v2 type. Are they the best or is there a 3P version that is even better....like maybe the Maketoys version?

Chris

I can't really say there is a BEST 3rd party company out there.  Even the better known brands have released a stinker of a figure or two.  I recommend looking at different reviews of whatever you're interested in and going from there.  The ideal route would be to see the item in person, but most of us are not that lucky to have 3rd party dealers nearby.

As for the seekers, Maketoys' Meteor is superb. It's not an accurate depiction of a F-15 by far, but the trade off for having an articulate rendition of the G1 bot mode makes up for it.

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1 hour ago, Kuma Style said:

Yep! They're about my favorite treads on any figure ever, too. They're really well done. 

This one has a bit of a story... got it with one gun and only one face so never got to review it but the gun came today and someone was kind enough to send me the masked face which will be here tomorrow so I'm pretty enthusiastic to actually give it the full on gallery/review treatment.

Really surprised that you can only store one gun on his back in bot mode, though. It's semi disturbing.

Right after I posted, I did a search and found Emgo's review for it. Overall pretty neat figure. He's pretty big. Concerning the tracks, Emgo's didn't seem to roll very well, but it may have just been his copy. Leader CW Megs is kinda like that, too, not to mention any number of LEGO sets I've had over the years using rubber treads. Come to think of it, my ToyWorld Bonecrusher and Scavenger (don't remember their actual names offhand) both have issues rolling smoothly, although that feature was one of the main persuaders for going with TW (that and their Long Haul was the only G1 accurate 3P version, and he's my favorite of the Constructicons). But I digress; back to MT Ironwill.

Kinda funny how the cockpit glass is too small in comparison to the Headmaster fig. As Emgo pointed out, he'd have to lean to his left to see straight ahead. But, I get that they were trying to maintain the G1 look. I love the overall transformation, though. It's tough to pull off with rolling treads, which is probably why we get so few with the feature. Kind of a bummer that the turret is so limited in its rotation- only real flaw I see in the design, besides gun storage, as Kuma pointed out. Anyway, great pics of this guy; appreciate your sharing, Kuma. 

To Dobber, my own 3P purchases are quite limited, so I can't really speak to best third party. What I can say is that I love my Fanstoys Dinobots, my MMC Sphinx, Terraegis, Jaguar, and Furor, and to a lesser degree, my XTransbots Apollyon and Eligos. Eligos is a pain to transform, but he's a thing of beauty in both bot and starship modes. I have yet to own anything from Maketoys, but from all the reviews/pics I've seen of their stuff, they're a company to keep an eye on. 

Which brings me to your Seeker question: I think it depends on what you're looking for. If you like the Takara Seeker aesthetic, then official or Toy World would be your cup of tea. Personally, I'm not a fan of the Takara versions, 1 or 2, as too many things are off to my eye. Maketoy's version, even as slavishly toony as it is (I prefer a mix of toon and toy), is just a thing of beauty to me, hollow wings, notwithstanding, and I can't wait to get Skycrow in my eager little mits. AFAIK, those are your options for a G1 MP Seeker. If you want an updated IDW inspired Seeker, you can try and track down one of IGear's figures, which turned into an F-22 inspired jet. And finally, if you want a G1 bot mode, and a Cybertronian Tetrajet alt mode (based on the look of the seekers in the very first episode of Transformers before they left Cybertron), then look no further than the MAAS Kickstarter figure-scroll up to Kurisama's post for link). My knowledge is a bit limited, so I'm sure some of the other fellas can be of better service, but I hope this helps.

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Thanks guys, it does help a lot! I like a good looking alt mode when it comes to seekers while still having a decent bot mode. The original MP seekers took too much liberty with bot mode but the V2 looked pretty nice. Are they pretty hard to come by still?

Chris

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4 hours ago, Dobber said:

So is there a general concensus on which is the best 3P manufacturer? Or which ones to watch out for?

Not a consensus, no.  A lot of people really like FansToys, and to be totally fair they put out some really great stuff with their Dinobots, Quakewave, and Phoenix.  That said, I think they've been on a steady decline with a couple of QC issues, excessive use of diecast in spots that probably shouldn't be diecast, and overengineering their figures to the point of absurdity.  If all you're looking for is a robot to put on your shelf and never handle they might do, but I'd say wait for reviews.

Another well-regarded company is MMC, but while their Reformatted line has been generally solid their Ocular Max brand of MP-style figures has been plagued with QC issues ranging from fairly minor to snapping at the waist if you handle them wrong.

My personal favorites are Maketoys and Fans Hobby, but even then MT has taken some flak for cutting a few corners in the name of cost (ie, the underside of Meteor's wings), and Fans Hobby's designs tend to be a little more stylized than a lot of other companies.

Something you may here is to stay away from KFC or X-Transbots (who are technically the same company).  I haven't personally bought anything from KFC since Citizen Stack, so I can't comment there, but I have a couple recent XTB releases including Paean (Hoist), Klaatu (Cosmos), and Crackup (Breakdown).  You might want to wait for reviews to be sure, but personally I'd say they're on an upward trend and I've placed reservations on their next Stunticon and their Seaspray.

As far as ones to watch out for, like I said KFC and XTB have a bad reputation, but I don't think it's entirely deserved.  I think FT's reputation for "quality" is also grossly overblown.  But honestly, in the last few years engineering and manufacturing have come a long way with 3P.  I think it's rare that you'll get a figure that's junk anymore.  Most of the complaints are nitpicks and debates about scale or aesthetics.  A lot of times we're even getting cases where you'll have multiple options for a character and no clear consensus on which version is best.  My advice is that if there's a character you're after, figure out what your options are, check out a few reviews, and go for the one you personally think is best, because everyone's got different dealbreakers.

4 hours ago, Dobber said:

Also, what is the best MP sized seeker? I have the Original Takara MP Starscream and the the Hasbro import SkyWarp of the Original MP mold. Never did get the v2 type. Are they the best or is there a 3P version that is even better....like maybe the Maketoys version?

I'd only recommend the Takara versions if you want a realistic F-15 and plan to display them in alt mode.  The Maketoys' Seekers aren't as realistic (but to be fair, they're more cartoon-accurate in alt mode).

If you want them in robot mode, though, go with Maketoys.  Seriously, it's not even close.  Now, they're not perfect, but I've found the big complaints to be pretty minor in hand.  But the benefits over the Takaras more than make up for their flaws.  The Meteor mold has much better proportions and much better articulation.

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Sharing some initial shots of Iron Factory IF EX-26A Annihilator; review soon:

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Man, Iron Factory do a really nice job on these little guys. That paint work is sharp. Hard to tell that's a legends sized fig from the pics (which are the usual standard of excellent, thanks Kuma). They look like fun toys, and fun doesn't seem to be part of the equation with a lot of TF toys these days. To that end, I'll give Has/Tak a nod, as I think they've struck a good balance with their mass retail figs, especially in the TR line deluxes, with some nice carry-over into PotP. Perfect, no. Fun, yep.

Which again makes me question why so few 3Ps, if any, are producing figures at CHUG scale, considering what they could bring to the table in terms of improved articulation, paint and deco, complexity, etc. I don't know about other collectors, but it's the line I collect most, and sometimes it'd be nice to have options here, too. Actually, my druthers would be for more 3P improved voyager and leader class figs, as the official toys tend more towards Playskool complexity with each rise in class. I would expect the opposite to be true.

I'm still waiting for some enterprising third party to make the Animated version of Omega Supreme. I was so hoping Has/Tak would release that on the tenth anniversary, but they did absolutely nothing to celebrate that line, which broke a lot of conventions and saw some really cool and innovative toys, not to mention a great show, whether or not you dug the aesthetic. They did something right b/c said toys go for some steep prices on ebay and the like nowadays. 

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Never dived into 3P TFs but may get this one since it's one of those designs I thought impossible to do.  The vid is in Chinese, but you can see full transformation for Unique Toys prime.

here's another with no talking but pretty good shots 

 

Edited by Negotiator

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I'm not a huge fan of the movie designs, but I love me some Primes.  I have Challenger preordered, just waiting patiently for him to come in.

Speaking of 3P Primes... after what feels like forever with MP-10 being basically our only option for a (G1) MP Prime, suddenly 3Ps we've never heard of are coming out of the woodwork to announce they're doing ones to go up against Takara's MP Prime 3.0.  (Pic courtesty of TFW user Cheem the Rup).

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That'd be the Sunbow model, Takara, Magic Square, and Transform Element.

I have some reservations with all three (and MP-10), and I think they're all a little too early in development to commit to any of them right now.  But I'd say I'm leaning toward Magic Square.  Takara's has got the squished midsection and giant diaper that made me pass on MP-36.  TE's looks a little better, but still squished in the middle plus he's got MP-10's gorilla arms.  I have some concerns about how MS's hips may articulate, and I don't think enough of the blue chunk on his crotch is showing, but I like the chunkiness and how it's more cartoon accurate than MP-10 but moe MP-10 than Takara or TE.

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Looks like somebody screwed up scanning that Sunbow model sheet.  The midsection should look like this:

5b4085230e26f_SunbowPrime.jpg.2dd8f729df9ee208ef9bb6a812f8745b.jpg

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3 hours ago, tekering said:

The midsection should look like this:

Drawn from a looking-up-at-it perspective. Doesn't mean that a toy based on it should have that big a pelvis and that small a mid section.

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Between the three options, the Magic Square appeals the most to me right now. Like you, though, I wonder how limited the thigh rotation will be due to his hip skirt, which doesn't seem to have the hinged cutouts like the Takara and the Transform Element. I also wonder if the MS will basically have MP-10's articulation. That's the one area I expect Takara to excel, as that seems to be a big part of their design strategy for MP figs, along with fanatical adherence to cartoon accuracy.

The idea of Prime being a shellformer, not to mention his obvious gappiness in bot mode, are swaying me away from Takara's version. Wish they'd just stop with the toonish plain Jane bot aesthetic with realistic alt mode, as the two things just aren't really compatible without resorting to doing what they're doing with OP V3. I think they had the right idea initially- nice mix of toon and toy.

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Oof. I'm not keen on either of the third-party versions. I think the proportions are off in the shoulders and the chest, and the newcomer has an odd looking head sculpt which doesn't strike my fancy.

If G1 toon accuracy is the goal, I think Takara is meeting that goal with its prototype. Prime and Megatron are both leaders of their respective factions, and are given balanced heroic features to highlight that fact. The pelvis isn't something that I find outrageous, but I'm also not one to over analyze it. Speaking as a tall guy, Takara's robot pelvis for Prime looks about right to me. 

The one thing I will concede is that we get to see the new 3P Primes from all angles, even the back side. Both 3P Primes look like they have a good clean solution for bot mode. I hope it doesn't compromise the alt mode too much. Magic Square appears to have the same thick leg issue that MP-10 has for alt mode, which isn't great but isn't horrible. Takara's v3 Prime looks to improve on MP-10 in that regard, although we have yet to see how all the transforming bits and bobs connect on the official Prime from all angles. It could be clean with a minimum of kibble or it could be messy like Megatron.

The other concern I have with the official version is price. Takara is inching close to Arcadia premium prices for official Masterpiece Transformers.

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"Magic Square" is the best bootleg Prime name ever. I just wanted to say that.

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56 minutes ago, JB0 said:

"Magic Square" is the best bootleg Prime name ever. I just wanted to say that.

It totally would be... but I have to burst your bubble and point out that Magic Square is the company name, not the toy's.

Edited by mikeszekely

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1 hour ago, mikeszekely said:

It totally would be... but I have to burst your bubble and point out that Magic Square is the company name, not the toy's.

It can be both! I choose to believe!

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I was initially dubious of Transform Element's Masterpiece Optimus because of the rigid pose and no alt-mode pics... Not anymore! :o

Takara-Tomy has cause to be worried.

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TE's blows takara's out of the water so far.  takara i think fell in love with their evasion prime too much...note on alt mode the piece between the two main halves..in this picture from tfw2005.

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It doesn't line up right in that photo (it didn't in evasion prime either) and it won't in production...am i being pessimistic?  maybe....but its just a bad design.  also the hinges on the corners are way too obvious!  again, another bad design that will not be fixed by tolerances getting better.  i will likely get the takara becuase i can't imagine not owning the latest mp op but i'll get one of these others too (probably the TE at this point unless something changes) .  TE's has the "feeling" of the cartoon character even more than takara's.  i guess we'll see if takara's presumed advanced articulation can save it, because TE's alt mode is also way better.  right now TE's bot mode is a tiny tiny bit knockkneed (look closesly at the static pose), but the posed picture shows its not a problem at all.  if i was takara i'd be embarrassed. 

Edited by Mechapilot77

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Takara should TOTALLY be embarrassed and scared about that TE because it is freakin awesome so far!!! 

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