When I was a child in the 80’s I was totally unaware of the Marvel comics and my only exposure to the cartoon was in between ad breaks and Timmy Mallet acting like a pratt. I had a handful of toys and of those toys, Triggerhappy and Ultra Magnus were my absolute favourites. I never even got to watch the animated feature film until I was much, much older. Besides, I was too busy running freely through the wilds of Kent with just a big grey bear and a panther to keep me company, oh those were the days!
In truth I have no real connection with the huge amount canonical lore that is out there floating around on the tinterweb. I didn’t even have that many transformers during that glorious decade so it may come as no surprise but I generally approach every toy I buy, with a totally open mind. I can’t help it, I have very little context to work with, I mean, I see posts on the web where people refer to some awesome incident in the comics and I just don’t get it so I end up doing a bit of google fu to find out what people were talking about. In an effort to try to get up to speed, I have just started reading the Marvel UK comics and I am very impressed.
When I was a kid I would pore over the product catalogues looking at all the cool toys I didn’t have, trying to work out how they transformed and committing their names to memory. There were several moulds that always appealed to me more than others; they were Inferno, Grapple, Ironhide, Ratchet, Hoist and Trailbreaker. It wasn’t the bot modes I liked; it was the alt modes that appealed to me the most. I came to this realisation this week when I was trying to work out why I appear to be collecting all of the various Inferno and Grapple moulds that have come out recently and why I have pre-ordered MMC’s and Badcube’s Speedbump and Lorry offerings. I suppose it begs the question of ‘why bother with Transformers at all?’ Well, that is simple, I love the transformation process, the more ingenious, the better, I am very pleased that Takara designed the ladder to fold away the way it does on their Inferno because that is the redeeming quality in that figure.
This is of course, is Mastermind Creations’ homage to G1 Trailbreaker, at least in alt mode, whereas bot mode is firmly geared towards the cartoon for which I am very grateful! I already have a G1 trailbreaker and I relish the idea of a company designing a better engineered figure that takes qualities from both toon and G1 pools.
Terraegis looks realistic in alt mode, to the layman at least because some friends of mine have been totally surprised to find it actually transforms- which is when they lose interest! The truck is modelled on the Toyota 4WD Hi Lux camper truck which is quite frankly the least exciting vehicle ever…..er…Ironhide anyone. Seriously, when Prime was picking his team these two were the very last to get picked, of course, he would only be allowed to go in goal, force field and all that. I think if it wasn’t for the fact that the fuel guzzling alcoholic could create force fields, he would be left to dish out the orange slices at half time! MMC could have gone mental with his design by adding unnecessary details and paint apps but instead they kept it fairly accurate to the original design and instead pulled off what I consider a stunning looking truck even if the wing mirrors are a breakage waiting to happen.
The truck cover is sprayed and is a shade or two lighter than the rest of the car which is an almost glossy black which I feel is a great contrast. The blue translucent ‘glass’ is not everyone’s preference because it tends to show the squashed up body parts as opposed to the smokier plastic but I am happy either way and as long as it photographs well I can live with it. The blue headlights and orange indicators add to the neat shiny silver of the front bumper and radiator grille. The understated little touches carry on with the door handles and even the lock on the door getting a dab of silver paint.
The silver side skirts and rugged rubber wheels prove that this vehicle is a four wheeled drive, of course if you were left uncertain then it says so on the side. The truck’s colour would be a bit much with just these touches so MMC has really tried to ape the original toy and have included the multi coloured stripes and the go slow faster stripes.
Terraegis comes with numerous accessories, including an alternative head for both Terraegis and Sphinx.
I can’t say I am a massive fan of tonnes of accessories, more bits to lose, especially unnecessarily fiddly bits, which brings me to the most mind boggling part of this toy-the rocket attachments on the shoulders. The way they are made just baffles me; surely there was a much simpler way! Each shoulder has a clip with an as of yet recognised slot which connects to the rockets which have the male version of this slot…why? What is wrong with just a clip or a normal plug? Once you do it a few times, things get easier, ahem.
MMC have released a few figures recently that have suffered from tabbing issues, the Backdraft and Jaegertron moulds spring to mind. Unfortunately Terraegis has not dodged that bullet and is affected in a fairly minor way by these same issues. The windscreen has trouble tabbing in fully, the rear also suffers slightly and in bot mode, there are some slight issues worth noting.
The transformation is, in the main, very simple, however, I struggle with the legs and have a habit of pulling one of the wheel arch panels off but I put this down to user error. The legs suffer from tabbing issues, firstly, the shin sliders don’t sit flush, although some massaging can help to get it to the point where the gap is relatively unnoticeable. Secondly, the knees have a small piece that flips around to tab in, however neither of these sit flush. I wonder if sanding will help but I probably won’t bother as these are nit-picks rather than deciding factors.
Articulation is pretty good overall, especially at the hips, he even has an ab crunch. The head has a decent range, looking up is not a problem for this geezer. The shoulders do very well in my view and there is enough range to get some good poses, I tried one where the hands were up in the air and he was on his knees but unfortunately the knees are where we have limited range, despite them being double jointed. The feet suffer somewhat as he could do with bigger heel spurs to counteract the large backpack.
He does come with the option of two built in hands with a sort of wrist cover that is connected using some loose clips which means when you detach a cannon from his wrist, it tends to pull the whole housing with it.
The bot mode colours and choice in plastic is probably something that I would have changed. The plastic used for the thighs and forearms is an insipid looking grey and quite honestly, looks cheap which is in stark contrast to the good quality black plastic.As much as I prefer the car mode, the bot mode looks the business and he can hold his own with the best of them. He has presence, he stands out because he is well sculpted and because he is as dark as every other MP style Autobot is light which makes for a bit of a change from all the reds we have gotten lately.
Should you buy him? Well, that is up to you. He looks great in both modes, he might have an annoying transformation but in the main he is a respectable piece who deserves house room.