As you may be aware, I’ve been bouncing my Transformers reviews between the new Earthrise releases and my backlog of Siege figures. Up until now, I’ve felt hopelessly dated going back to the previous line, but seeing as how the new Netflix series premiered, it now seems a lot more topical to be checking these out. I’ve only seen a few episodes of the series so far, but I like it well enough. I’m pretty impressed at how close the animation models stick to the toy designs. I think it tries a little too hard to be edgy and gritty, but overall it’s pretty good stuff. So, let’s check out my favorite Autobot Infiltrator, Mirage! I’m delighted to see Hasbro taking another crack at Mirage. The Classics one was a cool figure, but it was pretty different than the G1 robot design. Combiner Wars gave us another, but that one was just a repaint of the Stunticon, Dragstrip.
And this one looks like it’s going to be a pretty sweet update! The box contains the usual kick-ass character art and showcases the figure in his robot mode. I should note that this Mirage has been re-released in a Decepticon deco, as part of the Netflix sub-line of Siege repaints. That didn’t make any sense to me until seeing the series. It’s a cool way to introduce and justify a repaint, but I’ve opted to skip the Netflix repaints. Let’s start with his race car mode!
It’s a reach, but to appreciate Siege, you have to accept that there are a lot of native Autobot alt-modes that look conveniently similar to Earth cars. And yeah, I’m OK with that. This Cybertron racer reminds me a bit of Prowl’s alt-mode from the Energon series, and that toy hasn’t aged too well. Mirage has a distinctive Formula-1 configuration, but the canopy and surrounding area are cast in translucent blue to give it the feel of a futuristic alien machine. The front is fairly faithful to its Earth cousin, but the back looks all sorts of stubby and weird, especially since the back of the vehicle is the faked out chest for the robot mode, which is supposed to be the front of the car. The end result is something that has a bit of a super-deformed Tonka-toy feel about it.
The color palate consists of white, gray, and blue, in other words, G1 Mirage colors. You also get some silver paint on the top of the wheels and the top of the spoiler. There’s some Cybertonian script printed on the sides of the car and a bold Autobot emblem printed on the front. All in all, I’m not really digging this alt mode very much. The best thing I can say about it is the translucent plastic looks really cool.
Mirage comes with two weapons and they can both plug into the holes in his spoiler. Yeah, it doesn’t do a whole lot to add to the vehicles aesthetic. Let’s move on to the robot mode.
Now we’re talking! Clearly, Hasbro made all the sacrifices in the alt mode to give us a great looking Mirage in robot mode, and given how good it looks, I’m fine with that! The transformation is totally different, and yet everything falls into place more or less. The armor panels on his arms are now made up from the spoiler, rather than the sides of the car. Those wind up down in his lower legs. And I already mentioned that the chest is faked out to look like the front of the car, when it’s actually the back. The clear plastic looks cool down in his legs, and I like how the Cybertron script winds up down their too.
From the back, he isn’t exactly pretty, but there’s still some neat stuff going on here. I dig how the back wheels fold into his back and are totally obscured from view in the front. The front wheels and stabilizers fold behind his lower legs at an angle, which also puts them out of view from the front. I do wish these locked into place better, but it’s a creative way to stow them.
The head sculpt is comprised of pure G1 goodness. He features the familiar rounded “helmet” with the vents on each side of his face. The face itself is painted in a flashy silver and his eyes are neatly painted blue. I also like that they gave him a kind of good natured smile. That’s the old Mirage that I know and love. The cut-out on his chest, a vestige of where his face was hidden in the original toy, has some great texturing and the blue and red paint really pop. I also dig that huge Autobot insignia on his chest. It matches the one on the real front of the car pretty closely.
One of Mirage’s weapons can work as a shoulder-mounted missile launcher, similar to what the original toy had. It looks OK, but I think it projects out a little too much, and that extra peg on the missile is distracting. The launcher can also double as a hand-held weapon too.
And Mirage also comes with a more conventional rifle, which is not only a very cool design, but clearly based on the rifle that came with the original figure. Before wrapping up, since this guy is replacing the Combiner Wars Mirage in my collection, let’s take a quick look at how they stack up.
Some may say it’s unfair to compare their vehicle modes, since this new Mirage is supposed to be a Cybertron racer and the other is an Earth racer, but still.. Combiner Wars Mirage wins by a mile. It’s sleek and sexy, has some nice curves, and the simpler deco is beautiful.
Of course, going to robot mode is a whole different story. Combiner Wars Mirage never really came close to looking like the real deal, and that’s understandable since he’s a repaint of a Stunticon with a Mirage head on it. And with a robot mode this good, I’ll take the Siege Mirage with his boxy alt mode any day.
Unless you’re totally dead set on getting an Earth Formula-1 Racer, I can’t recommend this figure enough. I’ve taken a lot of jabs at the alt mode, but in all fairness it isn’t that bad. And it’s even easier to swallow it when it delivers such a great looking figure. Surprisingly, I wasn’t all that excited about getting this guy in hand, but now that I have him, I find that he’s really scratching an itch that’s been bothering me for a long time. That old Classics Mirage was a cool figure, but it was more of a re-imagining of the character, where is this is exactly what I was looking for!