Last week I announced the Bayformer takeover of Transformers Thursday, and this week I’m already reneging on it. Yup, I’m a big fat liar. In fact, the next three weeks of TFT will be devoted to some new acquisitions. What can I say? I didn’t expect to be buying a lot of Transformers this month. But fear not, that will still leave plenty of time to spread the Bayformer
hate love during the following month. Today we have bigger fish to fry because I’m taking another crack at MP-12 Lambor. For those that don’t already know, I’ll preface this feature by pointing out that this is indeed the second time I bought this figure. I got the original release of MP-12 and wound up selling it because the paint job was so god awful, that I was furious at myself for spending $80 on it. I had it up on Ebay within hours of receiving it so I didn’t even bother to feature it here. Fortunately, Takara has done a second run on this figure and the word was that Takara “should be” addressing the QC issues this time around. With the three Datsuns under my belt, I had to roll the dice again. Let’s see how I made out this time.
Back then, Lambor was our first look at the MP Autobot Car packaging, but we’ve already seen it here three times with Prowl, Streak, and Smokescreen. There’s not much new to say. It’s compact, it’s collector friendly, and it gets the job done. I like it. I’ll also take this opportunity to say that from now on I’m calling him Sideswipe.
Inside you get a plastic tray that holds the toy in its alt mode along with the gun, the missile launcher, and the two piledrivers. I totally forgot that the piledrivers came with him, and I also totally forgot to snap a picture of him with them on. Unless you see one, and that means I had the time to come back and do it. Hey, I post at least five features a week, there can’t be time for everything! Anyway, you also get a folded instruction sheet and a profile card with some boffo character art. I just said “boffo.” That doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m drinking. But yes, I am.
Takara has also been bundling these MP figures with collector coins and US importers have been charging more if you want them with the figure. I couldn’t give a crap about these, so I haven’t been getting them. Nonetheless, my Sideswipe came with one because the retailer I bought him from didn’t give an option to get the second run figure without it. So here it is. Oddly enough, it says Hasbro on the back. Weird!
As any good TransFan worth their energon knows, Sideswipe is a sexy red Lamborghini Countach. As I removed the figure I let out a sigh of relief. This time around, the paint is indeed quite good. Is it perfect? No, but I really have to nitpick to find flaws in it. There are a couple of grains of dust under the paint on the hood, but you have to get the light to hit it just right to notice. I tried to get it to show up in the pictures, but I don’t think it did. That’s how minor a flaw it is. There are a few minor instances of slop around the black triangle on the driver side. And of course, the shade of red on the roof doesn’t match the rest of the car because it’s painted over clear plastic. Considering the first Lambor I got had huge swirls and chips in the paint and red slop on the windshield, this one is a huge step up. Indeed, the fact that I am nitpicking the paint this time around is a wonderful thing. Anyway, Sideswipe has one hell of a solid alt mode with just some minor issues with getting some of the plates to line up perfectly. I blame this as much on my transforming skills. I’m possibly not comfy enough with him yet to get everything aligned just right. But I tend to get some gaps in seams along the sides and the two halves of the spoiler tend to separate a smidge.
There’s a slot on the top of the roof in case you for some reason want to mount his missile launcher on there. You can even plug the rifle into it too just in case a Lamborghini with a giant missile launcher on top didn’t look ridiculous enough. It’s nice to have options, but I can’t imagine ever making use of this feature again.
I found transforming Sideswipe a little more tricky than the Datsuns, but that could just be because I’ve been through it so many times with those three figures that it’s old hat to me now. There’s nothing terribly uncomfortable about the process, although his legs do involve quite a bit of fiddly bits. I’ll also note that it’s sometimes difficult to get his chest to stay plugged in, whereas the Datsun’s chests locked into place with a rock-solid snap. I think my problem is that I don’t always have the torso packed away properly and I suspect I’ll get better at it.
Of course, it’s hard to argue with the end result and Sideswipe’s bot mode looks amazing. The proportions are perfect and I love the way the legs pack and tab together so perfectly. It’s brilliant. Even from the back he looks so clean and tight. Oooh, baby… so tight. Sure there are some exposed screws visible from the back, but I suppose they had to land somewhere. I’m also happy to say that the paint job looks just as good in robot mode as in his alt mode. There’s no chips or bleeding or any of the crap that I got with my orginal issue Lambor. Either I got lucky with this one or Takara did indeed step up the game on their QC for this second batch. Either way, a winner is me!
Lambor features a white cannon or missile launcher that pegs comfortably into either shoulder and can still be angled up or down so he can attain that perfect firing arc and blow Decepticon Seekers out of the sky. He also comes with a hand gun, which looks great, but doesn’t stay in his hand as well as the guns do on the Datsuns. It seems to tab in fine, but when I close the fingers around it, it seems to knock it loose again. No biggie. It’s just a matter of striking the right balance on the finger hinges.
Having a Sideswipe-shaped hole in my MP collection was really pissing me off. It was even more maddening because I had the figure in hand and had to give him up for being unacceptable. I can’t properly express how happy I am that Takara made this happen and re-issued him. He’s a superb figure and certainly worthy of the name Masterpiece. And he finally offers up a little more diversity to my MP Autobot shelf, which so far was populated mostly by the Datsuns. I’ve got a pre-order in for the second run of Red Alert too, so I’ll be anxiously awaiting his arrival later this year!