Transformers Review: Mirage (Energon Voyager-Class)


Intro:
            When the Energon/ Superlink series aired back in 2004-2005, some of the Transformers characters that they brought back really caught my attention. Regardless what so some fans might say, I really liked Grand Convoy, a.k.a. Optimus Prime in the Energon series. Yes, I would agree that on his own, Grand Convoy looked a bit fat, thus earning him the un-endearing nickname Fatimus Prime, but that is to accommodate the main feature of the figure, which is to combine with his various drones in several different combinations.
            Other characters from that series that also appealed to me are Galvatron, Sixshot or Shockblast, Tidal Wave & Mirage. Most of these figures are quite hard to find, but one of my biggest regret was the fact that I let the chance to buy Tidal Wave slip by, and that was way back in 2005/6, which I won’t delve in detail here.
            I did, however, managed to bump into Tidal Wave’s reincarnated figure, a.k.a. Mirage in the later part of 2005, which I never thought twice about getting. Mind you, I got this figure way before I saw him on the actual show, and since he looked really bad@$$, I assume the characterization of the character would be somehow do him justice. Unfortunately, I was proven wrong – he ended up being a comic relief yet again.
            Sheesh…
            Anyways, luckily this is an action figure review, and not a show review, so I’ll let that pass for now.

Alternate Mode:
            Mirage’s alternate mode looks somewhat like a heavily-armed high speed ship. I would love to call him a cruiser warship, but I’m not quite sure about that. Anyways, he looks very fast in this mode and quite convincing – from the front. I say this because this mode is reek with kibbles. Several robot parts are clearly visible from the bottom and the back of the ship. 
            Being unable to actually float on water, there are 5 wheels at the bottom of the boat to help Mirage sail across the table, if you so want him to. In the show, Mirage was also depicted as being able to fly in this mode.
            There are also 2 Minicon ports available, which is at the back of the ship. Personally I think the ports are useless since they are placed too close to one another, thus making it very difficult to attach 2 Minicons at one time. 

            Overall, I like Mirage’s paint job here and I think it really made him stand out.

Alternate Mode (Hyper Mode):
            The Hyper Mode is the main gimmick for the Energon/ Superlink line for the Decepticons. It was a kind of powered-up mode that the Cons would use to counter the Autobots’ Superlink gimmick – the ability for a single Autobot to combine with another. 
            To get to this mode, you just merely release the missiles on the bridge and the wings appendages at the back. By pressing the button to release the missiles, it also activates a sound effect of a mechanized weapon deployment. 
            While the official instructions may show you how to correctly arm the missiles, there is also another way of doing it, which is my personal preference. Personally I think it is neater and provides a cleaner finish.

Robot Mode:
            One word sums up Mirage’s robot mode – sleek. The various colors on his body seem to blend in quite well. 
 
            Articulation-wise: the head swings 360°; the shoulders consist of a combination of ratcheting rotating joints, flap swivels and swivel joints that provide all around motions; there are also rotating joints above and below the double-jointed elbows; the waist turns; ratcheting universal hip joints; the legs rotate slight above the ratcheting knee joints; and finally a set of ratcheting ankle joints which are also able to tilt inward and outward slightly. 
            Now, the head sculpt itself is quite nice and the light piping can only enhance the look. My biggest gripe with this figure is easily with the legs. The joints which enable the legs to rotate pop out way too easily for my liking. 
 
            The finishing at the arms is a bit messy for my liking and there are just too many pieces dangling there. 
 
            Overall, despite the minor gripes, Mirage’s robot mode is one cool cat, but hold on to your horses, there’s more…
 
           
Robot Mode (Hyper Mode):
            The missiles from the ship’s Hyper Mode, which was previously tugged neatly at the back of the robot, can now be deployed as shoulder cannons of sort. Again, the sound effects are the same. 
Overall:
            Despite the weak portrayal of the character – a bumbling, but loyal underling, his figure is cool and sleek. I admit, there are several flaws with this figure, but it’s definitely a figure to get if you’re a fan of the series. For the record, Mirage is also my very first ship/ boat based Transformer.

Recommended.

            Final verdict: 8/10. 

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