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Transformers Purchased in January 2016

October 21st, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

It’s 10 months late, but welcome to 2016! I know – I’m behind in documenting my purchases. But I feel like I’m making good progress towards catching up, and I have been putting more effort into this blog. Things are trending in the right direction.

There were some years where January kicked off with a whole bunch of TFs, like 2013 and 2015. And there were years where I only got a handful of TFs in January, like 2012 and 2014. This being 2016, it follows the even number trend. The only acquisitions this month are two Masterpiece figures.

  • Masterpiece Tracks, hlj.com, $50.58

  • Masterpiece Road Rage, hlj.com, $47.76

Tracks and Road Rage are repaints of each other. There are some minor mold differences, such as the head, crotch, and thigh. To this day I still have not opened Road Rage. So the rest of this post will focus on Tracks.

If you were a boy growing up in the 80s, you probably loved Transformers. And if you loved Transformers, you probably loved Tracks. Seriously, Tracks was a absolute fan favorite among every kid in school. I can only guess at the reasons. Maybe it’s that sexy Corvette alt mode. Maybe it’s that he’s so stylish and debonair in his G1 persona, while being an above average warrior for the Autobots.

As for the G1 Tracks toy, I never had the official US G1 version. I had a Diaclone red Tracks. The Autobot cars from the first two seasons were Diaclones localized for the US. Decades later I would buy an official Tracks re-issue, around 2004 when I got back into TFs. Now that I think about it, Road Rage is probably a an homage/retcon for the red Diaclone Tracks.

As much as I loved Tracks the character, I was not that impressed with the toy back in G1. He was ok, but not great. There were many other better Diaclones, such as Sideswipe, Jazz, or Smokescreen (and their respective repaints). The alt mode for Tracks was perfect, no complaints there at all. But the robot mode seemed a bit lacking. Transformation felt too simple even for G1 standards. He also seemed to have less diecast when compared to his brothers.

When I heard that Takara is doing Tracks for the MP line, I was totally thrilled. I love MP Sideswipe, and it would be so awesome for Tracks to get the same treatment. Did Takara succeed? Let’s find out by first taking a look at the alt mode.

Now that is TRACKS! This alt mode is exactly what I envision Tracks to be in MP form. This Corvette looks perfect. I love the shape of the alt mode in this gorgeous blue. Tracks is kinda pompous in the way he behaves, but if I looked like this I might act the same way too. He’s quite durable in this mode, and rolls well on a flat surface. The flames design on the hood comes painted on, so you don’t have to mess with decals or anything. The Autobot symbol on the car’s roof is on a panel that can be flipped. Perfect if Tracks wants to go undercover in alt mode like we have seen him do. Notice the Blaster alt mode mini-figure sitting inside, which comes as part of the package. He can be removed from Tracks. This is so awesome that I don’t have the words.

Below is a size comparison pic. I really wanted to find my Generations Turbo Tracks for the compare, but he’s located in a box at the back of the closet. The only thing I can find handy is Generations Sideswipe, so here they are.

At this point I should also mention that this MP fig can transform into Tracks’ flight mode. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pics when I had Tracks in this mode. Just know that it’s possible and it’s fairly well done. Tracks also comes with a Raoul figure, who appeared in the G1 episodes “Make Tracks” and “Auto-Bop”.

Now let’s take a look at the robot mode.

This robot mode looks great. You can see that the designers of the figure really looked at the G1 show, and constructed a robot figure modeled after the cartoon. He’s got a fair amount of articulation, you can get some good poses out of him. He’s still got the iconic red face and wings. The missile launchers are incorporated into the toy, as opposed to having extra accessories to attach. That’s always a plus in my book. The gun accessory is clearly modeled after the G1 show and not the G1 toy.

Things are not all gravy, however. My biggest complaint about MP Tracks is that he feels really flimsy. This is true especially in transformation. He’s kind of a jumbled mess when you go from alt mode to robot mode, similar to ROTF leader class Optimus Prime. But ROTF OP comes together well after the transformation is complete. Tracks, not as much. If I remember right, the back section doesn’t peg in anywhere. The car’s rear section kind of just hang off his back. The flimsiness makes transformation more difficult than it should be, and so I don’t see this figure has having that perfect balance of fun and complexity in the transforming mechanism. Tracks’ parts somehow feels lighter when compared to other MP cars. There are no diecast on any of the MP cars, but Sideswipe and Wheeljack feel like they have a nice heft to them, like the plastic is solid and sturdy. Tracks feels light and hollow.

So all in all, I put the Tracks mold behind the Sideswipe and Wheeljack mold, but ahead of the Prowl mold. Despite the negatives, he’s still a recommended purchase. There are way more pros than cons in this figure. It’s just that I was really hoping for a perfect MP like Sideswipe, and in the end the MP toy suffered from some of the same issues that the G1 toy did. I’ll open up Road Rage soon, and see if she (yes, she) is any better or worse than Tracks.

Time to Make Tracks… Transform and Roll Out!

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