|Mirage Review Capsule
|Mirage is a new mold inspired by a few toys over the years, most notably the original from nearly 20 years ago. While spindly in robot mode, he has a solid car mode covered in in-jokes and is super-articulated. Recommended, $9.99 and up.
As Hasbro announced that the mold for the original Mirage from 1984 is "gone forever," it's fitting the character is getting a little extra love this year in both Classics and Alternators. (And of course, he had a nice Robot Masters remake a few years ago.)
He turns from a car to robot. He has a weapon that is supposedly a gun, but is really just a bunch of car with a handle on it. There are no projectiles with this toy.
The early pictures of this toy had a lot of fans thinking it would be spindly, awful, fragile, and lame. Thankfully, when you actually play with it, you'll probably forget your first impressions and just enjoy it.
If you remember the original toy, or the TV show, this new toy carries the same basic coloring. You have your blue, you have your white, and you have some rally markings. The colors hold the toy together nicely, and the added rally markings do a lot to add to the detail on the toy. Of course, there's plenty already-- lots of sculpted grooves, fans, and other elements make even the plain boring white areas on the figure really look like someone spent a lot of time working on them to make them just a little bit better.
There's never been a better articulated Mirage, but the Alternators toy comes close. With multiple joints on each limb, articulated wrists, and what can loosely be called articulated feet, this is a heck of a nice figure. He can sit-- yes, sit-- at a table or a chair for once. There's no weird kibble hanging off anywhere except above his head, so if you want him to sit at your desk, he can actually do it. It's pretty surprising as usually, a Transformers figure can barely sit down due to wheels, the hood, or other junk hanging off of the back. So kudos to Hasbro on making a nice clean design.
One word of warning-- his hands aren't the standard size. Since Armada, pretty much all Transformers have been given a fist with a 5mm hole, so you can use the same weapons with toys from the whole line. Mirage's seem to be proprietary, and as such, you aren't going to be able to get him to hold on to your Energon weapons or Mini-Cons at all.
As the words on the package read "Robots In Disguise" it's only sensible that Hasbro bring back something that was missing (but loved) from recent lines, and that's a vehicle that isn't covered in symbols of its affiliation. So no Autobot logos here, folks!
Transformation is pretty easy-- flip the gun off, move around the arms, and in just a few short steps you're done. Unlike some toys, it isn't overly difficult to get everything in place, nor are you likely to have issues stressing certain points to near-breakage.
In vehicle mode, Mirage holds together very well and can roll easily-- someone at Hasbro took care to make sure that the car mode actually worked as a toy car, which is nice considering not all of the cars are always capable of that simple action.
Megatron includes a gun, and that's it. It stores in the hood of the car in vehicle mode, or on the back in robot mode.
It's not much of a gun, but it's better than no gun.
For your convenience, here's a look at some new and old toys.
Left: Robot Masters Rieje, Classics Mirage. Center, right: Classics Bumblebee, Mirage, Rodimus.
Packaging, Tech Specs, & Co-Sells
This toy came packaged in the first wave style Transformers Classics deluxe packaging with a few twist-ties. Finding the word "Classic" is a bit like a scavenger hunt-- look on the lower left hand side of the carded front picture for the phrase "Classic Deluxe."
Co-sells on the cardback (and case) include Jetfire, Bumblebee, and Grimlock.
Mirage is probably on the bottom of most people's lists of most-wanted classic Transformers characters, but this toy turned out fairly well. With lots of nifty easter eggs hidden on the toy and amazing articulation, you should probably snag one if you think you might like such a toy, as many will be available over the coming months.
Reviewed and photographed by Adam Pawlus
Sample purchased at Target in Los Angeles in November 2006
Reviewed on November 19, 2006.