Reproduction Mirage - In Depth Review - 56K Warning Picture Heavy

Discussion in 'Transformers Feedback & Reviews' started by Soot, Aug 19, 2007.

  1. Soot

    Soot Member

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    My 1st review here, so go easy on me. The guys at the cool stuffs makes snapping shots looks so easy.
    I don't have the original vintage for a direct comparison. But have enough hands on with reissues, and some of my old G1 stuffs.

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    Packaging, theres already a thread for educating the difference between this and the original vintage. I have most of these unofficial releases. And I can say the quality of this one compared with the earlier stuffs like the optimus prime and swoop is way better. The box material has that glossy sheen that was lacking previously with Optimus and Swoop. Really feels great and nostelgic opening it.
    Paperwork, comes with a colored instruction sheet and stickers. No decoder.

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    Mirage, material is definitely similar ABS plastic used in G1. Diecast parts as well. The makers really outdid themselves, Mirage really feels solid and sturdy. Diecast around the legs and axles for front wheels. Nice chrome on the missiles and gun. I never had the opportunity to have the vintage or handled one, but have heard about the known issues like the waist. This is where all the haters will be coming in. The toy really feels top notch, tight joints and parts. Missiles fires great etc. I don't even think the usual negative association of the term KO really fits it.

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    If theres anyone out there with a top notch loose vintage Mirage, I can try to match some shots for comparisons. I am really curious about the origins of these high end bootlegs. If they are really casted from the "lost" moulds or being reversed-engineered. Cos some buds in the manufacturing line says its impractical and expensive reversed engineering something to match the extact original size.
     
  2. Shin-Gouki

    Shin-Gouki Rebuilding Veteran

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    I for one plan on getting this as we will probably never see an official reissue
     
  3. Soot

    Soot Member

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    Seem to have some issues resizing in the 1st post:confused: 

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    Close up
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    Boxart pose
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    I think I ll be getting a second one, really botched up some of the stickers :redface2: 
     
  4. Sol Fury

    Sol Fury The British Butcher Administrator News Staff

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    Looks as good as the original, although it doesn't seem to fit together quite as well as my vintage one (which is missing a few bits but otherwise good)

    I heard a rumour that Hasbro lost some molds when their factories in China & that part of the world went national and didn't return the molds. It is entirely possible the molds sat in the factories all that time until these guys managed to find them and make them serviceable again.

    It's only a possibility though, I don't know the whole story.
     
  5. Mr Grimm

    Mr Grimm Well-Known Member

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    I know we probably shouldn't be supporting the manufacturers of these bootlegs, but when they're of such a seemingly high quality as this one it's certainly getting harder to turn them down.

    I'm quite tempted by this one.
     
  6. Omnius

    Omnius Well-Known Member

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    Hasbro panel at Botcon 2005 stated that, among others, Mirage's mold was 'lost'. It could be that he has since resurfaced, or that this is one very well-engineered bootleg.
     
  7. SureShot90

    SureShot90 Peace=superior firepower

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    He looks better than my loose old G.1 Mirage... I also have an "unofficial reissue" of him coming :) 
     
  8. Master Megatron

    Master Megatron Action Bastard

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    I love these ko-ers. :) 
     
  9. Soot

    Soot Member

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    Together with Hasbro's own admission, I m leaning that its Hasbro's lost molds cos it doesn't make sense for the makers to finance reverse engineering these characters, since its safe to say they are profit driven. Same concept why those dollar and dime Knock Offs are out of scale??

    Been trying to match shots and angles with some of the online gallery.
    Realised taking close ups isn't as easy as it sounds.
    Alot of the online gallery of Mirage shows the same misalignment and fitting as the bootleg.
     
  10. Gears

    Gears buh-buh-body ya Veteran

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    Looks great, I want one!
     
  11. OptimusPrimopoulos

    OptimusPrimopoulos Member

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    I can't tell from the pics, but did the KO Mirage have the Goodyear logo on the tires?
     
  12. e3nine

    e3nine Poop.

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    Reproduction Mirage - In Depth Review - Picture Heavy - 56K Warning

    Reproduction Mirage Review
    August 25, 2007

    Since this is image heavy, I'll section off the review into parts.

    Part I: Packaging
    Part II: Figure
    Part III: Comparison
    Part IV: Seller Review





    Part I: Packaging

    There are several astonishing characteristics and they are pictured below.

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    The colors on the box are dead onto an original because of the new dye and gloss. The dimensions of the box are also idential to an eHobby release. It stacks perfectly on a shelf with the rest of those reissues.


    Here's the box compared to a previous reproduction release.
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    You can clearly see the difference the gloss makes. It traps the color better and creates a mirror like shine. You can see the "Transformers" print on the box flap reflect off of the transformation instructions.

    If you've ever taken your film for printing, Swoop is matte and Mirage is glossy.


    and one last time with the mirrored finish.
    [​IMG]


    Not every reproduction is perfect. Noted in a previous thread, I pointed out the main differences between the original and reproduction.
    http://www.tfw2005.com/boards/showpost.php?p=1505652&postcount=92
    In no way should this devalue the product at hand. It's meant as an eBay guide for members looking to purchase.


    Box Conclusion:
    The reproduction box has evolved. This release has set a new standard to which all reproductions will be compared to. The manufacturer has made an attept to better the product, which has paid off.

    Box Score: 5.0 / 5.0
    I'm ignoring the differences between the original and reproduction. The Encore reissue Optimus Prime didn't feature 1984 art perfectly aligned, so I'm not expecting this one to.
     
  13. e3nine

    e3nine Poop.

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    Part II: Figure

    This portion of the review will serve as a stand-alone, assuming that the buyer does not have an original Mirage. Not all reissues are compared directly to their G1 original, so this one isn't going to be either ... for now.


    The contents of the repro Mirage is pictured below.
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    1 figure
    3 missiles (not on tree)
    1 launcher (w. inner spring)
    1 gun
    1 instruction book
    1 sticker sheet

    no red decoder, no mail-away minibook.


    We'll start with the bot form:
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    and onto the car form:
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    Notes:
    + The figure is tight. The joints stay positioned after posing. Nothing flops or folds on it's own. Everything from the spoiler feet to the chest piece is fitted properly and will defy gravity.

    + The weapons are tight. The rocket launcher clasps into place. The gun handle squeezes into the fist, not slides.

    + Because of the lack of a missile tree, the weapons are completely finished from end to tip. It's smooth and unchipped.

    + The chroming process yields a brilliant shine. After sitting, the shiny parts feel cold to the touch.

    + The plastic is top notch. This is a thicker composite which leaves no stress marks after many rounds of transformation.

    - In car form, there seems to be a slight gap between the nose and cockpit.

    - In car form, there seems to be a slight gap on the right side. The "Ciantes" doesn't want to line up (discredited in part III)


    Figure Conclusion:
    This is a grade A product. 100%, no doubt, this toy is absolutely up to par with any release. I've honestly never had full control over a G1 figure before. When I move an arm, it stays. When I tilt the rocket launcher, it sticks. I can angle the spoiler in any way I want ... it holds.


    Figure score: 4.75 / 5.0
    The bot mode is flawless. The car form has some minor alignment issues.
     
  14. e3nine

    e3nine Poop.

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    Part III: Comparison

    I have an original G1 release to compare off of. By looking at the leg stamps, it's not quite the same toy which was reverse engineered for the reproduction.

    The original's stamp:
    [​IMG]

    The reproduction's stamp:
    [​IMG]



    First, we'll cover the bot form!

    [​IMG]
    Again, please note the tightness of the figure. I'm able to produce gravity defying mid-transformations because of the build quality. The original (played with constantly 21 years ago), just flops.


    Original
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    Reproduction
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    The reproduction's paint application is thicker and cleaner than an original release. Of course, there's about 20+ years of process improvement behind this ... but still, a positive is a positive.


    and onto some various angle side by sides.
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    And just some random notes ...
    The front axels on the original are a dark metal. On the reproduction, they are also a dark metal, but with a dark chroming placed over it. Be cautious of the rocket launcher clip, as it may scratch the georgious finish.

    There's a build issue with the figure I have. The left elbow is a bit overly tight. I haven't tried to adjust it, but when I stare, it looks like the panel next to it is flexed a little.


    Onto the car mode!

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    Right away, you can see that the "26 Elf" on the nose is no longer a factory applied sticker! It's painted on to reveal a seamless look.

    The red / white stripe on the top is now also painted on! So long are the days of crooked application. Also, no need to cut a sticker at the figure's midpoint. No need to worry about applying the sticker to an uneven surface (there's a small ledge on the rear pannel).

    To me, these are Encore-like improvements.


    Also, not pictured, but on the original ... the "Ciantes" on the right side wouldn't line up either. There's a gap I just couldn't close. (mentioned in Part II)


    [​IMG]
    The spoiler is completely locked into place. With the original, that's the only position I could make it hold.

    [​IMG]
    Here's a random belly shot.

    Comparison Conclusion:
    The construciton is of the same quality. The materials are greater than or equal to the original. There are significant "upgrades" to this figure when looking at the original too. "Upgrade" is a perceptional thing, but from my view, the painted on (previously factory stickered) details are terrific.

    The only build issue found was with the over tight elbow. I'm going to investigate later to see if a simple screw driver twist will aleviate the issue.


    Comparison score: 5.0 / 5.0
    If there were ever an Encore Mirage, this would be it.

    I can't really ding for the elbow issue. Takara's given me 2 left fists on a Soundwave and BT Prowl before.
     
  15. e3nine

    e3nine Poop.

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    Part IV: Seller Review

    I purchased this figure from eBay's Spirit-Of-Cybertron.

    Payment:
    I sent funds via PayPal to this verified seller. It doesn't get more simple than that.

    Shipment:
    I paid on a Monday and the shipment was in my possession by Thursday. At the time of shipment, I received an email from support@spirit-of-cybertron.com with a DHL tracing number.

    Packing:
    The figure was bubble wrapped and placed in a single thick cardboard box. The box could have been a bit larger, but no big deal.

    Condition:
    Mirage arrived in flawless condition. The only issues found were some minor print scuffing, but I'm sure those were factory flaws.




    Seller Conclusion:
    This is really the way to go. Spirit-Of-Cybertron ships out of California. There is absolutely no fear of international package trashing ... brutal customs inspections ... and shoddy USPS handling.

    There was terrific communication, great packaging, buyer confidence due to the PayPal verified status, and you can't forget the high eBay feedback scores.

    Seller Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
    Absolutely no issues or complaints here.
     
  16. Blue Meanie

    Blue Meanie Hello from the Gutter

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    I too was blown away with the quality of this "knockoff". More like a reproduction improvement. Another detail, the tires say Dunlop instead of goodyear, the nose/spoiler has sharper edges. Also my first run mirage has different head detailing. Your pics show them nearly identical, my original is much different especially the vents on the side of the head. Apparantly it was a difference in the molding of some of the originals. Awesome awesome awesome repro. BRING ON WHEELJACK AND SUNSTREAKER!
     
  17. CompuGlobal HyperMegatron

    CompuGlobal HyperMegatron Nobody summons Megatron

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    $120? Wow
     
  18. TILALLR1

    TILALLR1 'Til All Are One

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    Excellent review. Already ordered mine from A3U for $65, thanks.
     
  19. Prisoner1138

    Prisoner1138 TFW2005 Supporter

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    Wow, that's kinda crazy. I mean, I saw some pics of it and it looked good, but in the side by side with the original, the bootleg just looks so much better.
     
  20. Foster

    Foster Super Mod

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    If I didn't have an original in better shape than the one in your review, I'd be all over this. The price prevents me from buying the KO.
     

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