"Generations" Combiner Wars Mirage Toy Review


General Information:
Release Date: August 2015
Price Point: $14.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Hand/Foot/Weapon, Sword

Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:
Put the cloaking power of Mirage in the hands of a Combiner and look out — that's 30 tons of steel sneaking up behind you and walloping you with a punch you can't see coming. The Decepticons won't know what hit them. Combine and convert for awesome Transformers action! This cover ops Mirage figure brings his blaster to the fight when he’s in robot mode, and he converts fast to race car mode when chasing down Decepticons is the primary objective. But he can also become an arm or a leg when the battle calls for you to build a truly hardcore Optimus Maximus warrior! (Other figures sold separately.) Whatever mode your Mirage figure is in, he’s going to bring maximum carnage to the battle! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

 The theme for the "Generations" segment of the "Transformers" toy line in 2015 is "Combiner Wars". The focus will be on updated versions of Combiners from the past (with some new elements thrown in for good measure). The idea is to take lessons learned from the Bruticus released a couple years ago and create better Combiners featuring a Voyager Class central body piece with Deluxe sized limbs. To spice things up a bit, some of the Legends Class figures released for "Combiner Wars" will be able to serve as weaponry for the combined giants.

The late summer of 2015 brought about a new wave of figures that fans had been speculating on for months. When a picture of Optimus Maximus' artwork leaked with a limb that looked like a yellow version of Sunstreaker, fans suspected the Stunticon molds would be given new decos and retooling as Generation One Autobot characters. At Botcon 2015 this theory was confirmed as Hasbro announced two waves of redecos and retools of the Stunticon molds representing Autobots from the 1984-85 period of G1.

Mirage was part of the first wave of these Autobots. It's cool to see Mirage receive the Deluxe treatment again. The last time there was a mass release Mirage fiure in this scale it was the Classics Mirage figure! This time, Mirage is based on the Dragstrip sculpt, so check out that review if you haven't already. This review will focus on the huanges made to the figure for this release.

The packaging for this wave of the Deluxe "Combiner Wars" figures is significantly different then the first wave. The first wave was a typical bubble on card, with the character art printed onto the card and a separate trading card featuring art from the "Transformers: Legends" mobile app. The back of the cards contained a ton of multi-lingual information with photos of the figure and a diagram of a Combiner made up of four Aerialbots and Dragstrip.

Starting with wave two of "Combiner Wars", the packaging changed significantly. Now a comic book was packaged with the figure, so the card became longer and the bubble on the card wrapped around the edges of the card to offer stability and security. The comic book features an exclusive cover featuring Mirage's artwork. The figure is in robot mode inside the packaging, making for a dramatic presentation. The back of the card has a brief bio of the character along with the requisite safety information in multiple languages.

One of the most interesting points of this new packaging style is the back of the comic book. It features a full page bio of Mirage written from the perspective of the the Autobot psychiatrist, Rung. It really helps give more color to the character's personality and sticks with many G1 elements which is very much appreciated by this old fan. Overall the packaging for "Combiner Wars" wave two and beyond really stepped things up compared to wave one.

Mirage includes the same accessories as Dragstrip. That includes a blade weapon that can be held either as a short sword or like a blaster (albeit, set at an odd angle). He also includes the same hand/foot/weapon piece as Dragstrip, featuring two rectangular weapon barrels at the end. Both of these pieces are cast in silver plastic with the hinge piece at the thumb/heel cast in blue. Most of this accessory is painted silver, which really looks great. I'm glad the designers didn't just leave it plain silver.

Robot Mode:
This figure features a new head sculpt based on G1 Mirage's head design. This distinct head design features a round "helmet" section with a crest in the center and vent like details on the sides. The face features a face that includes two eyes and a "chin" piece sticking out. The nose is a tad more round than I would have expected but it still works, helping to distinguish this figure from its predecessor.

Mirage is cast in blue, white and black plastic. The blue makes up most of the body, with the white used on smaller parts like his fists. The black is of course found on the wheels.

In G1 the front of Mirage's vehicle mode became the torso, but here it winds up on the back so the designers tried to use deco to replicate some of the feel of the G1 toy. The section of the torso that surrounds the combiner peg in the middle is painted white, echoing the white from G1 Mirage's torso. White is also used on his forearms and legs, again a design inspired by similar color arrangements on G1 Mirage. This figure also features silver on Mirage's head and feet, another callback to G1 Mirage. The eyes are painted metallic blue which looks cool against the silver on his face. Other details include red on his upper arms and an Autobot symbol on the right side of his chest.

This color scheme is relatively simple, but I appreciate the sheer amount of paint used (there's a lot on the torso) and the nods to the G! figure are very much appreciated. The only detail I would've loved to have seen would be red stripes on his legs where the white paint is to pay homage to one of G1 Mirage's stickers, but that's hardly a deal breaker.

Mirage can hold both weapons nice and tight in his hands. The joints feel about the same as my copy of the Dragstrip figure, but the hip ball joints feel slightly more loose, but it doesn't affect the functionality of the figure in any way.

If you want to have some fun with this figure (imagine that!) you can sort of create a "G1 transformation" for this figure. The front of the vehicle winds up on his back, but you can turn the head around, rotate the arms around and rotate the hips around. Of course, the hands wind up backwards here but hey, put weapons in them and who will know? This "reverse" transform looks surprisingly good

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
  2. Straighten out the arms, legs and head.
  3. Swing each robot fist into the forearm.
  4. Push the lower legs together.
  5. Rotate the lower body around.
  6. Push the legs up against the driver's section.
  7. Lift up the front of the vehicle from the back and rotate it around, then push it down over the robot head.
  8. Swing the robot arms back against the body to form the sides of the vehicle.
  9. The weapons can attach to the sides of the vehicle using the 5mm ports.

Vehicle Mode:
Mirage's G1 vehicle mode was an F-1 style race car so this vehicle mode makes perfect sense for the character. It is in this mode that the vehicle looks the most like Mirage (unofficial robot mode transformation aside). In some ways this mode is a better fit for Mirage since in G1 Drag Strip had two wheels in the back and one in front on each side. Everything from the pointed front end, the big tires, the single person cockpit section to the spoiler in the back say "Mirage" to me.

This mode heavily features the blue plastic with the black plastic on the wheels. White paint is heavily used in the middle section starting in the front and going all the way to the back. You'll also find white on the sides for triangular patterns and the words "Circuit Racing" and the number "62". You'll also find "62" in black on the front along with a large, red Autobot symbol. These are among my favorite details on the vehicle. The "62" is actually a homage to the "26" on G1 Mirage and the "Circuit Racing" text replaces the "Citanes" text from G1 Mirage. All this was done due to not wanting to infringe on any trademarks and I think it looks great.

A really nice touch is silver on the spoiler which echoes the vacuum metallized silver on G1 Mirage's spoiler. I was also very happy to see silver on the rims of the wheels, a detail that has been hit or miss in the "Transformers" line the past few years.

The weapons can both attach to the vehicle. The larger weapon fits right on the peg at the back of the driver section and the sword fits into the 5mm ports on the sides. Both weapons still fit snug so there are no mold degradation issues just yet.

Transformation to Arm Mode (Starting in robot mode):

  1. Detach all weapons.
  2. Transform the fist piece into the hand. Flip out the four fingers that are sculpted together, then swing the thumb up to the side you want to form.
  3. Push the lower legs together.
  4. Rotate the lower body around (as if you were forming the vehicle mode).
  5. Rotate each arm around, then bend the elbow joints at the top, curving the arms inward.
  6. Swing the silver piece in the chest up (this is where it connects to the larger figures).
  7. Attach the fist piece to the port under the feet.

Note: if you want to adjust the length of the limb, you can swing the section with the spoiler up, revealing another attachment port for the hand/foot piece.

Arm Mode:
Mirage's arm mode really looks crisp and clean. I think this is due mostly to the great contrast between the blue and white colors. It's also a much brighter color palette than the Stunticons had, so even though structurally this mode is the same as Dragstrip's arm mode, it still feels significantly different in appearance. No new color details pop out in this mode, but you do get a bette rlook at the thighs (which are painted white) and you get to see the fingers in the hand/foot/weapon piece are unpainted.

The hand piece attaches to Mirage nice and tight in this mode, so no worries about it falling off or anything. The connector piece is still nice and tight. While Mirage can hold some lighter weapons, the hip joints from the robot mode are not quite tight enough to support a heavier weapon like Powerglide in weapon mode. You have to bend the knee joints to offer support for that. My plan is to add some clear nail polish to the hip joints to tighten them up a bit.

Transformation to Leg mode (Starting in robot mode):

  1. Detach all the accessories.
  2. Straighten out all the limbs.
  3. Push the lower legs together, then push them up.
  4. Rotate the lower body around (like you are forming the vehicle mode).
  5. Straighten out each arm, then push them into the sides.
  6. Rotate the robot head around, then push it back.
  7. Swing up the silver piece in the chest.
  8. Attach the foot piece to the bottom of the robot feet.

Note: if you want to adjust the length of the limb, you can swing the section with the spoiler up, revealing another attachment port for the hand/foot piece.

Leg Mode:
Mirage's leg mode is really just a slight variation on the vehicle mode with a foot piece attached, but it still manages to be my preferred "limb mode" for the character. I like how solid and together everything looks. This mode also has the "62" and Autobot symbol from the front of the vehicle mode boldly showing in front and I appreciate how prominent those details appear in this form. On top of all that the foot piece mostly shows off the painted silver section which adds a level of visual appeal.

Final Thoughts:
There are some who were worried about this wave. I know because I was one of them. However now that I have this figure in my hands it really is surprisingly satisfying as Mirage and the colors really pop. It's a wonderful combination of G1 homage with "Combiner Wars" functionality. Recommended!

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