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It definitely seems some random MakeToys Meteors are getting released back at retail, no sign of the other seekers, crazy to see the aftermarket prices on those guys, glad I jumped on them when I did. I got the shin vent and chest fan upgrades, plus the official MakeToys wing fillers, love those three figures, won't bother with the inevitable Takara V3s whenever they drop, and the inevitable $250+ price tag to go with them :(. 

I've been thinking of how to modify the Megatron choking head they come with to fit onto MP-36, I've seen some examples to mixed results. Either way, they look good and scale well with the few official Cons Takara has decided to put out, and all the third party Cons I've bought up for my season 1 collection. 

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Like most here, I do love me some masterpiece scale items. But when I decided to purchase these for my son I immediately fell in love with the size transformation, sculpts, and sturdiness. Sure they are no where near MP status yet for the size they sure pack a punch and are widely fun to transform.

My son loves these as well. The transformation size and playability is what made these his favorite new figures.

We are now off to begin a new collection he can play with.

DFCBA1A1-EABC-43B6-8B7E-96E01B5B9853.jpeg

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Magic Square Prime and New Age Megatron?

I've heared some great things about that Megatron, but I'm holding out for Magic Square's own.

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31 minutes ago, mikeszekely said:

Magic Square Prime and New Age Megatron?

I've heared some great things about that Megatron, but I'm holding out for Magic Square's own.

Yes. And the are both pretty incredible. Hard to believe how much can be done with figures only 4 inches tall.

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20 minutes ago, derex3592 said:

Where can one attain this adorable little Prime and Megs???   Asking for a friends desk at work...:ph34r:

Prime

Megatron

I poked around, but all the sellers I usually shop on my continent are out of Prime.

My review of the little Prime is here.

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1 hour ago, derex3592 said:

Where can one attain this adorable little Prime and Megs???   Asking for a friends desk at work...:ph34r:

I got both at Ebay. There are different finishes for both so you really have to search out the version you like. 
 

The Optimus version posted in mikeszekely review is more animated, versus what I purchased that comes with a metal finish on the legs and does not have the cab stripe, but appears more to what I remember seeing in the opening the the Transformers cartoons.

Megatron selected here is more similar to the MP-34 with no red innards of the legs.

Stock pics.

 

8BEFD421-F907-41A1-A083-02CF4DB9863B.jpeg

F31E7549-DDC7-45C2-A524-91CB14CC7462.jpeg

F84C0E6E-F200-4440-87A0-9A4603CC3F80.jpeg

B65DD51D-1E3A-482A-ABA1-7BA6EE0DEBA7.jpeg

CB9156A4-5F4F-42E8-B194-D28AC2464A49.jpeg

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5 hours ago, derex3592 said:

Where can one attain this adorable little Prime and Megs???   Asking for a friends desk at work...:ph34r:

I think the ultimate desk Prime is the Amazing Yamguchi. I absolutely LOVE mine!

https://www.bigbadtoystore.com/product/variationdetails/93156?gclid=Cj0KCQiA9orxBRD0ARIsAK9JDxRCq5a60L5UMFX0pCCL4wDvXfWnEXONt8Qno8wIqnOPs-X2eBN48UwaAvtHEALw_wcB

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It's a rather curious omission, IMHO, that Magic Square just don't seem to want to include trailer connections to their OP figs. It seems doubly odd that they didn't build it into a figure that comes with its trailer.:wacko: It seems a simple feature to include, and one that fans would certainly appreciate. I have Light of Freedom, and I'd certainly appreciate it if it could connect to MP-10's trailer, even if I didn't use the feature- knowing I could would feel like completion. On the aesthetics side, you can't argue with how good their Light of Justice looks in both modes. Faced with ever shrinking display space, I kinda wish this legends class kick had started, at this level of competency, 10-15 years ago, as I may have been swayed to go that direction...maybe. When I consider figs like Soundwave, trying to do appreciable justice to his cassettes at that scale is pretty tough, and as a fan of the cassettes, that would never do when I know that the MP versions are so much better, especially those condors.

I've only bought two New Age figs thus far (their Prowl:wub: and Cosmos), and I'm pretty pleased with them. I wish these things weren't so expensive for their size (for another $50, you can pick up one of the two 3P MP Primes, and with another $30 or so, a whole swath of MP scaled figs across any number of manufacturers). If they were priced in the $15-20 range, I'd be far more inclined to pick up a tidy collection of these guys, but since my collecting is more focused on CHUG and MP, that's where my money goes, with the rare exception. That said, New Age's Megatron is just a brilliant little figure (not crazy about the hip design, but I can understand the concession when I consider the whole, and just how amazing that gun  mode turned out. I'm a sucker for a well-done G1 Megatron, and this is a perfect travel scale when you just want to bring a figure along to mess with. Not to be outdone, the upcoming Magic Square legends Megatron is looking pretty amazing already just in greyscale. It cleans up much better than the NA. Just amazing the level of detail and engineering in these little guys. New Age's Seekers are better designed and more accurate than the upcoming Earthrise Starscream, which is little more than an upscaling of the 13 year old Classics mold. Lazy and very disappointing.<_< Rather shitastic, if I'm being quite honest.

I see that NA are making a set of Constructicons. It reinforces my vehement wish that these 3Ps would do the full CHUG scale instead of exclusively legends, or that some other 3P would do upscaled KOs of some of these legends so that they'd fit in with a CHUG collection. I passed on the CW Constructicons b/c, IMHO, they were very poorly done, and I don't know what they were thinking with Mixmaster.:bad:  Anyway, I think there's definitely a market for CHUG scaled 3P figs, especially when the official releases are lackluster, or a particular character hasn't been made at all (STILL waiting for updated Omnibots- I thought it might happen after they made Refraktor. Reflector and the three Omnibots were mail-order exclusives which could be yours for a specified number of Robot Points and about $15). Ah, the 80's.:) I keep hoping that this is a trend that will take hold, but so far, there seem, sadly, to be no takers. As Skullface pointed out, CHUG scale is the undisputed domain of Has/Tak, so the move to make high quality legends was, essentially, uncontested ground. Doesn't hurt anything to keep wishing, though.

Edited by M'Kyuun

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Is that supposed to be a Shattered Glass Optimus variant, or an Evangelion homage?  :huh:

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15 minutes ago, tekering said:

Is that supposed to be a Shattered Glass Optimus variant, or an Evangelion homage?  :huh:

Evangelion.

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31 minutes ago, tekering said:

Is that supposed to be a Shattered Glass Optimus variant, or an Evangelion homage?  :huh:

 

16 minutes ago, mikeszekely said:

Evangelion.

I like it.

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1 hour ago, tekering said:

Is that supposed to be a Shattered Glass Optimus variant, or an Evangelion homage?  :huh:

Eva 01. 

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Now I need to refind the fixed ver. Origin Leonidas. Sad that the PerfectEffect is still available but the NeoArt  isn't. Says a lot about their quality.

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Speaking of MakeToys, I found this Chinese reviewer talking about the history of MakeToys:

【变百科】人靠衣装马靠鞍, 史上最会包装的第三方 (The 3P with the best marketing)

【变百科】卸下伪装狰狞的嘴脸, 第三方巨星陨落之路 (The fall of a 3P mega-star)

From Dec 2018.

The rise and fall of MakeToys

According to him, MT's first misstep was Utopia (2014). After that, nothing seemed to go right for MT.

 

tl;dr

Don't expect MT to bounce back any time soon.

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2 hours ago, sqidd said:

 

I like it.

Everything is better with EVA.

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And Neoart Origin got. For 110 shipped at that, even. Really glad to have these two back home.

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2 hours ago, nhyone said:

According to him, MT's first misstep was Utopia (2014).

Not sure I'd agree with that.  Utopia was pretty well-received, IIRC, and it seems doubtful that they'd undertake another expensive city bot (Pandinus) if Utopia hadn't proven worthwhile.  Plus, MT seemed fine until late 2016/2017-ish.

If I had to guess where things went wrong, I'd say things probably started with Despotron.  Don't get me wrong, I think Despotron's a fantastic piece, but it was already facing some tough competition from Mightron when the news that Takara was going to do an official MP Megatron V2 was leaked (by Fans Toys, if the stories are true).  Despotron badly underperformed for them.  And I don't think it helped that they followed it with Contact Shot, another piece that was fairly well-regarded but there just wasn't a lot of demand for.  While I feel like MT could have recovered had they focused on more Re:Master figures of characters that weren't getting any attention at the time or characters that were done, but not well (Cliffjumper, any of the Decepticon triple changers, Blaster, Cyclonus, etc), because Downbeat seemed to sell through very quickly, I think they scared off of the Re:Master line and they shifted gears to Cross Dimension.  And Cross Dimension might very well be the nail in their coffin, because the first two sold pretty well (because Prime and Megatron usually do), but AFAIK Ginrai, Godbomber, and Jetfire didn't.

Add in the fact that their Headmasters, Guardia, and Striker Manus all got KO'ed, some rumors that they overproduced and deliberately held back stock to create artificial scarcity, etc, and yeah.  We don't have a lot of hope.  Which is a shame, because I bought most of the figures in the Re:Master line, and I really liked all of them.  Brainstorm is my favorite Headmaster and I was really looking forward to MT releasing their version.  I'm just not holding my breath at this point.

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3 hours ago, nhyone said:

Speaking of MakeToys, I found this Chinese reviewer talking about the history of MakeToys:

【变百科】人靠衣装马靠鞍, 史上最会包装的第三方 (The 3P with the best marketing)

【变百科】卸下伪装狰狞的嘴脸, 第三方巨星陨落之路 (The fall of a 3P mega-star)

From Dec 2018.

The rise and fall of MakeToys

According to him, MT's first misstep was Utopia (2014). After that, nothing seemed to go right for MT.

 

tl;dr

Don't expect MT to bounce back any time soon.

Not being able to understand the videos really takes away a lot of value for me as a viewer and it sucks because it's such an insanely interesting topic of discussion.

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9 hours ago, mikeszekely said:

Not sure I'd agree with that.  Utopia was pretty well-received, IIRC, and it seems doubtful that they'd undertake another expensive city bot (Pandinus) if Utopia hadn't proven worthwhile.  Plus, MT seemed fine until late 2016/2017-ish.

Utopia was the start, Despotron was the end.

Up to that point, it was all rosy for MakeToys due to a combination of exoticism ('Japanese'), premium (priced extremely high), niche (the right products) and online propaganda campaign, especially against its main competitor TFC.

 

[My translation of the review, start]

Utopia was supposed to be MT's crowning achievement, except... Hasbro came out with Titan Metroplex. To compete, MT had to slash price by 50% (1,250 yuan [~US$210 then]) and engaged in massive online propaganda. But this time, the massive price reduction upsetted early adopters and the propaganda was too heavy-handed and turned the fandom off.

After this, its two Headmasters didn't take off. Its long-delayed Pandinus was finally released, but production was rushed and didn't catch flaws in design. Its next few products, including Defensor, also suffered from low production values. MT was declining product by product. To compensate, it went overdrive with its online propaganda. But it didn't work as well as in the past because 3P standards had improved and it caused backslash instead.

MT then turned its attention to Masterpiece, starting a new RM line. But it didn't go smoothly, because it encountered competition at every turn: Gundog (Hound), Visualizers (Reflector) . It then tried a Targetmaster (Contact Shot), but it didn't catch on. Its next RM Downbeat (Jazz) sold okay, but fans were price-sensitive or held out stubbornly for official MP. The next RM Hellfire (Inferno) was supposed to be a home-run, then MMC OX revealed Backdraft at 500+ yuan, but ultimately both were pushed aside when MP-33 was revealed. The price crashed from 800+ yuan (~US$122 in 2015) to 300 yuan, upsetting early buyers.

MT did not lose heart. It switched its main online propaganda channel to Weibo and confidently introduced Despotron (Megatron), with its polished design, at 900+ yuan (~US$140 in 2016) with a marketing campaign to match. It was quickly undercut by DX9 who went from announcement to release of its Mightron in one month at a price of 500+ yuan. MT went all out to market its Despotron, and it seemingly worked, until a screenshot of MP-36 showed up. It was like a nuclear blast in the fandom. MT was forced to reduce its price to 700+ yuan, but it was too late. MT had lost its last shot in regaining its glory days.

In hindsight, it was obvious why DX9 rushed out its Mightron at a low price -- it was not due to MakeToys as it so proudly thought.

MT then changed direction and started a new CD line. The first two were slight tweaks to official designs to save design cost, but they suffered from production and material flaws. It tried to play its 'Japanese' origin again, but fans found embarrassing linguistic mistakes and called its bluff.

Today, MT even has to resort to crowdfunding for a Meteor repaint. How the mighty has fallen.

[end]

 

This covers about 70% of the second video. There are several parts I don't know how to translate accurately and hence skipped. The speech is very well done. (The script must have taken some time to prepare.)

Edited by nhyone

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Much appreciated, @nhyone! Thanks for the translation and summary.:hi:

Incidentally, a company presents itself to the public using "PR," and "marketing" is how they present their products.  

"Propaganda" concerns social or political ideology, not toy robots.  ^_^

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Big thanks to everyone that guided me toward the Transform Element TE-01. You guys were 100% right. Great toy! I un-boxed this dude last night. Haven't messed with the head yet.

I actually ordered two so I can have one in truck mode. But, whomever shipped it flubbed the label and it's on it's way back to the sender. What a pain. No idea how long I'm going to have to wait until I can get a refund through PayPal. I did order another last night though. So in theory I will be able to display in both mods sanctimoniously soon.

Also got the "cell shade" windshield decals. All I need now are a couple Autobot decals for the shoulders.

 

Transform Element OP-10.jpg

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3 hours ago, nhyone said:

[My translation of the review, start]

**SNIP**

Thank you very much. There's a lot of personal bias towards this company having worked with them and their designs being such a favorite that MT/FPJ were legitimately the only reason I kept collecting for a few years after official classics went to hell and it's really unfortunate to see.

I understand "changing times" but I really wish that they would have stuck to the classics scaled lines that  gave them the popularity they had in the first place on top of not having fallen so much in terms of quality control. Per report Utopia may have been there first real oops but it feels like nothing they did in terms of Masterpiece-scaled stuff really broke  through as hot items. In fact, you can still get most of them at discount today. 

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And here's some origin Leonidas since I had just shared this elsewhere:

5-129.png

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1 hour ago, sqidd said:

Big thanks to everyone that guided me toward the Transform Element TE-01. You guys were 100% right. Great toy! I un-boxed this dude last night. Haven't messed with the head yet.

I actually ordered two so I can have one in truck mode. But, whomever shipped it flubbed the label and it's on it's way back to the sender. What a pain. No idea how long I'm going to have to wait until I can get a refund through PayPal. I did order another last night though. So in theory I will be able to display in both mods sanctimoniously soon.

Also got the "cell shade" windshield decals. All I need now are a couple Autobot decals for the shoulders.

 

Transform Element OP-10.jpg

Congrats @sqidd!  When you get around to transforming it, there are some good YT videos to follow along with.  The transformation is complex, but not hard and somehow very satisfying!  Didn't want to hurl it into the wall..not even once! :lol:

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Thanks for that translation, Nyone. It's really a shame to see a company that has, from what I've seen in reviews, in addition to my own experience with Gundog and Skycrow, produced a good range of pretty high quality figures over the years falling on hard times. I hope they find a profitable avenue back to their former favor, as they've proven their ability to churn out a good toy with some consistency. The market, unfortunately, can be a harsh environment to navigate. They just need to realign their compass.

As Kuma mentioned, they started out doing Classics scaled stuff, and with really no other 3P touching that scale anymore, there's an opportunity there. The Siege and upcoming Earthrise figures look pretty good, but there are always stinkers, like Astrotrain, that beggar a better figure. If MT did a voyager or leader scaled Astrotrain, and did it well, I'd definitely be interested. I think they'd have to be careful, though, as HasTak have demonstrated a willingness to C&D companies for producing something similar to current or upcoming product, as we've seen with Zeta. I think, too, pricing may put some folks off, especially when official deluxes go for $20, and 3P would likely be double that for the same scale. Still, third parties have far more liberties to include articulation, parts count, features, paint , diecast, accessories, etc than official toys, which have to stay within strict budgetary restraints, so that's an edge they can exploit. If they follow the reception of official product and produce a better version after the official has gone out of production, that's another way to capture that market. 

In the meantime, I hope their Seeker design helps buoy them up, as the Coneheads are due to release this year (I have one PO'd), and that is a really well designed figure that looks beautiful in hand and on display in either mode. With no official update coming from Takara to compete, their design stands out as the MP Seeker right now, so that's good for MT. I hope it's enough to keep them afloat until they can produce something that once again captures the fans and makes them successful once more.

Sqidd, congrats on your purchase of TE-01. Hope you enjoy him!

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