Unusual Mirage Variant or Unknown Knockoff?

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by Lunar Archivist, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. Lunar Archivist

    Lunar Archivist Well-Known Member

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    Here's an unusual question for everyone here who knows about knockoffs.

    About six months ago, I purchased a lot of G1 Autobots. Among them was (what looked like) a G1 pre-rubsign Mirage. Now, I didn't put much thought into him at the time, but I started comparing him to my childhood version of Mirage as well as a junker I bought off of eBay a few weeks ago and noticed a couple of strange things:

    1. This Mirage is actually blue rather that the slightly blueish green of the other G1 ones I have (and no, it's not because of the latter suffering from greening, any color changes in them is relatively minor.).

    2. He has uncolored eyes. The silver face paint is there, but, instead of yellow eyes, they're just the same shade of blue as the rest of his head.

    The fact that this Mirage was also missing the "26 Elf" factory sticker on his hood coupled with his incredible looseness despite being in excellent shape has started me wondering if he's a knockoff. I know he's definitely not the same as the high-quality knockoff that's been touted on these boards and other websites, though.

    If anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear them. I can also provide pictures if you'd like. Thanks. :) 

    EDIT: As per Blitzwing256's request, now featuring pictures: :) 

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Basketball Jones

    Basketball Jones Decepticon

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    It sounds like a knockoff. Since there are a great deal of knockoffs, yours may not be one commonly encountered.
     
  3. Lunar Archivist

    Lunar Archivist Well-Known Member

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    Hmm...any idea where I can go to find out whether or not this is the case? I'm kind of at a loss here...
     
  4. Blitzwing256

    Blitzwing256 Triple changer

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    could you post a picture or two of him? possibly one showing his date stamp (back of his leg I think) might help in identifying him.
     
  5. ninety

    ninety NERDS!!

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    Just what I was thinking.

    Is the plastic of similar quality to your original Mirage? Is his face as clearly defined? If not these would point to him being a KO.

    There's a guy on here with a collection of KO Mirages, but I can't remember whom.
     
  6. Lunar Archivist

    Lunar Archivist Well-Known Member

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    Done. :)  Does this help? The copyright looks official, but these days you can't really tell...
     
  7. Blitzwing256

    Blitzwing256 Triple changer

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    i'm leaning towards a bootleg of the diaclone verison that someone put autobot symbols on when they got it. ,possibly the italian release (I recall some of those were missing paint aps) also could be a mexican version as I know the prowl skywarp and thunderrcaker all had very obvious differrences.

    very interesting piece.
     
  8. Lunar Archivist

    Lunar Archivist Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the assessment. :)  At least there's an off chance he could be legit. The color difference isn't as drastic as I originally thought when I went back and checked, but the unpainted eyes are pretty unique.
     
  9. convoymagnus

    convoymagnus Yeshua Is Mashiach.

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    look at the tires, if they say goodyear, it is legit, if they say dunlop it is a KO.
     
  10. Lunar Archivist

    Lunar Archivist Well-Known Member

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    They say "Good Year". Hmm...
     
  11. Death333

    Death333 Otherwise known as Dx3

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    That only matter if it's MISB. Tires and screwed panels can be replaced, swapped out....

    I'm afraid you're out of luck. Other than observing the figures parts for overall mold degredation you pretty much have no way of knowing these days which is lame and why I've stopped collecting G1.
     
  12. cryotek

    cryotek Criminal Overlord

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    That would be me!!!

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    [​IMG][/IMG]

    Sounds like you got the Racebot Rider 28 knockoff that was from the Philippines. It was produced around 1999. I remember the eyes not being painted.
     
  13. Lunar Archivist

    Lunar Archivist Well-Known Member

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    This would make me sad if it were true. :( 

    After reading this, I went and googled the name of the knockoff you mentioned and found an old thread on this board where you explained the characteristics of Racebot Rider 28:

    While I don't presume to argue with you, I went back and did a close comparison of my genuine G1 Mirages with our mystery robot here and discovered the following:

    1. Contrary to my original assertion, the difference in color between the mystery robot and the genuine G1 Mirage is minimal. It looks like both of my vintage Autobots had suffered some degree of greening. However, I managed to find an unaffected patch of plastic beneath one of the engines: it matches almost perfectly the shade of blue of the alleged knockoff. Moreover, as you can see from my pictures, the mystery bot is not garishly colored. He looks perfectly normal.

    2. As mentioned previously, the tires do indeed say "Good Year". However, as Death333 pointed out, this is no proof at all since parts can be swapped (unfortunately).

    3. The colors you mentioned for the more "correct" looking version of Racebot Rider 28 don't match the mystery robot. His parts are all the correct color (as can be seen in the pictures I posted). Moreover, he has the exact same level of articulation as the genuine G1 Mirages I have.

    4. The chrome appears to be slightly inferior to the verified Mirages. Thought it's worn down to the same degree in the same spots, the mystery bot has the chrome worn all the way down to the plastic on the front fender along the edges where it the white and blue plastic pieces on either side of it meet. However, I tried scratching the chrome off with my fingernail on an exposed location and it stayed in place. So, while it might not be as good the original it's also pretty durable and isn't just flaking off like crazy.

    5. The "Citanes 26" paint application seems a wee bit sloppy in some locations on the mystery robot, but no more so than on the genuine Mirage.

    6. Again contrary to my previous assertion that this was a pre-rubsign robot, the mystery bot has a working Autobot rubsign located underneath his right foot.

    In regards to what Ninety said:

    The fine details are ridiculously ambiguous:

    7. As far as I can tell, the plastic feels exactly the same.

    8. While the outlines of the Autobot stickers are sharp, the other stickers (such as the "Ligier"and "Citanes" ones on the spoilers) are much less so. However, I've seen genuine vintage Transformers - such as my G1 Prowl - with absolute crap factory stickers and the labels for the Mexican Aerialbots looked even worse than this, so this is no indication, either.

    9. The groove around the cockpit is much less well-defined for the mystery bot compared to the genuine Mirage.

    10. The exact opposite, however, is true for the head. The mystery robot's head is actually more clearly defined than the genuine Mirage. His facial features - such as his mouth, chin, and grill - are extremely sharp and the silver paint is more carefully applied. This is in stark contrast to the real Mirage, which has overspray of the silver paint and whose facial features look a bit degraded by comparison. Hell, if I didn't know anything about Transformers, I'd almost swear that the mystery bot were the real thing. :p 

    To expand on that a bit: the mystery robot appears to have an entirely new head sculpt. The grills on either side of his head are segmented differently and the layout of his facial features have been slighly altered. Here's a side-by-side comparison of the two:

    [​IMG]

    I don't know what to think anymore. :confused: 
     
  14. cryotek

    cryotek Criminal Overlord

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    There is another version of the Racebot Rider 28. It's the same as the G1 versions: Rubber tires, chrome parts, etc. The box it came in had the G1 box art but it had the Philippines writing all over it. The box was slightly smaller the the original one. I'm trying to locate the picture that I have of it. Someone had it on Ebay around 1997ish. The box was tore up on the left-side and crumpled but the front was ok.

    The other explanation that I have is that you got one that didn't have the eyes painted or it may be the mail-in version (which I doubt)...

    ...any chance you are willing to sell this???

    BTW: Mirage was never released in Mexico.
     
  15. Paradigm-Shift Prime

    Paradigm-Shift Prime Unit Warrior TFW2005 Supporter

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    I don't think you'd seen the pics when this was posted, but that's not really true. There's a big difference between a bootleg and a ko, where a bootleg is intended to be a direct replicate of the authentic version. There haven't been many bootlegs of Mirage, and the one in question here is obviously not a 'ko'.

    Which only leaves a couple of possibilities. With goodyear tires, it's not the new (last year and a half) Chinese bootleg version unless someone switched up the tires. But that version also has the nose sticker tampo-ed on and nothing appears to be scratched off this one there. So that leaves vintage G1 as the most likely possibility, other than the lighter colouring.
     
  16. Lunar Archivist

    Lunar Archivist Well-Known Member

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    *laughs* Actually, I've grown increasingly fond of him as this thread has progressed and promoted debate and confusion. If he's a knockoff, he's a good enough one that no one can tell the difference. For me, that's close enough to being the real thing and, because of it, I'll make sure he gets a good home. Sorry to disappoint, Cryotek. :( 

    As mentioned earlier, I was mistaken about the difference in color. It's minimal to nonexistent. The reason I thought there was a color difference in the first place was because both my vintage G1 Mirages were discolored to the exact same degree.

    The only explanation that comes to mind is that a mold change for the head was made somewhere between the first and second series of G1 releases and that at least some of them had uncolored eyes. Does anyone here own one or several rubsign Mirages that we can compare the head on this one to?

    This does raise an odd question, though: what the heck happened to his factory-applied "26 Elf" sticker and why would someone bother removing it (if it was even applied at all)?
     
  17. convoymagnus

    convoymagnus Yeshua Is Mashiach.

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    Worry not anymore!!!! with this picture you posted i now can tell you, your figure is a REAL mirage as it's face is Identical to my vintage g1 mirage, just the eyes are not painted in yours, I think that this is probably one of the diaclone version that was packed as early prerub tf's because the face has crisp details. the less detailed face sculpt in the picture on the right is a product of a degraded mold.
     
  18. Paradigm-Shift Prime

    Paradigm-Shift Prime Unit Warrior TFW2005 Supporter

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    A) Like I said in the above post, knockoffs would never be that close to the authentic one, only bootlegs, and those are well accounted for and documented.

    B) For the missing eyes, it's perfectly possible that they have just worn off to non-existence. The missing 26elf sticker is a sign that the figure has both had a long life and yet been cleaned at some point, so even if the figure looks in pretty clean condition things can change from 25 years ago. I have some figs that seem in great condition but have strange fades (like eyes) or yellowing or deterioration in one little isolated spot, etc.
     
  19. wheeljaxx

    wheeljaxx Banned

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    It's real. it's just cleaned, like PSP had mentioned. The rear tires are a bitch to replace, and not really worth the effort. Paint apps are missed all the time, and the 1980's were no exception.
     
  20. Blitzwing256

    Blitzwing256 Triple changer

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    has anyone seen a mexican mirage (or proof of such existing?) i'm still leaning towards him being from there.


    and Yeah you have a very unique (and possibly rare) figure, I woudln't recomend selling him or getting rid of him till you can positively identify the little guy.

    (I do love me weird variants, its one of the joys of colllecting toys from before the internet)
     

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