Like with my previous Sunstreaker review, I hope that people find this useful when trying to find out if their loose G1 Transformer Mirage is K.O. or original Hasbro\Takara Generation 1. I’d like to say I don’t have any particular axe to grind regarding these reproductions, I just don’t like people getting scammed! Mirage has been around for quite a while now and seems to have been the most mass produced of all the high quality Transformers KOs. He was available in a multitude of colours, but for the comparison I’ll just use the standard Blue.
Overall, the quality is not that different from original, and from all the reproductions I have seen, Mirage is probably the best effort. It isn’t quite as solid as the original, but is at least equal to Hasbro’s own Reissue series. He has the same feel of the G1 Mirage but with modern day slightly cheaper materials that all toys now have. For example, he does not hold quite the same weight in your hand, and his plastic is visibly thinner, especially on certain areas (Which I’ll show you further down). The joints all seem pretty good, possibly a little too tight around the arms, but the correct bits slide and swivel as they should. There is more play around the wheels, mine have more room to move side to side on their pins and rattle about a bit, but that can be forgiven.
First off the white plastic is very bright, we will see in time how prone it is prone to yellowing. The Blue plastic definitely has a darker deeper more “bluey” tone. Compared to several originals, even discounting blue plastic aging and slight yellowing, it is clearly different. This does come out better in photos than with my eyes though. It is worth noting that the chrome detailing has altered, but not necessarily in a bad way, the application is thicker and has a darker tinge to it. I hope you find this visible in the photographs and it also should be less prone to wear.
Biggest giveaway apart from the darker blue is the removal of the “26” sticker as this has been Tampo’d on the K.O. Like the similar addition on the Takara Encore’s, this is a mixed blessing. On the plus side there is no nasty sticker to get wrong or lose, on the minus side they don’t always get them straight! The “26” is also thicker, in the way the font could have been set to a bolder format. The shoulder sticker varies in colour from the original, this one having the blue areas in a much more purple tone. In general the black lines are all a little thicker on the reproduction stickers, and you should be able to tell from the pictures.
You can just tell on the picture above that the KO is missing the refuelling ring, which is a circle outline molded into the plastic on the original, this is positioned behind the cockpit in car mode and on the groin of robot mode (Just below the elf sticker). The head sculpt is nearly a straight copy with the following changes. The main difference is in the “ear” pieces, you can see in the picture below, that these are definitely a re-sculpt, being of different sizes, depths and design. The yellow paint on the eyes of the reproductions seems to wrap around the head too, making it look almost like a visor.
From the side view, you can see again that the tampo’d 26 is thicker. The other feature to note is that the chrome wheels, like with Sunstreaker, are slightly smaller, but end up the correct size due to the thicker rims and thicker tyres.
At the rear of the vehicle is the only real problem with the plastic, it does not sit flush against the solid metal rear end. However, there is another bonus, this is with the connection of the rear spoiler pieces. These are heavily re-enforced compared to the original and should not snap as easily. On the flip side the stronger design comes with a price, each spoiler piece tilts upward towards the centre of the combined wing, giving it a slight inverted v shape instead of being totally flat.
Overall, he is a pretty good recreation of a classic hard to find G1 Transformer, and very close to the original, just not quite identical. Thanks for reading! :D