Archive for the ‘High Quality KO Comparisons’ Category

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.

KO Mirage is in robot mode.


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.

KO is on the right


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.

KO on the right.


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.

KO on the right, nice Tampo!

Other Comparisons:

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.

KO on right.

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.

KO on the right. With the fatter 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.

KO on the right, Check the spoiler supports!

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

KO is on the...


(14/01/14 Updated with thanks to Specimen-17 and Jim for comments)

Right, I have had my hands on this guy for a while and I know a lot of people have bought him unaware that he is a KO. So here is a quick comparison to help you spot if that ebay loose Sunstreaker is original Hasbro\Takara (84 or Classics release) or not. I’m not doing the box as that has been covered by other people who enjoy such things :D. So let’s start with a picture! (click the pic if you want full size)

Car mode looks great, but check the yellow difference. K.O. On the left.

Out of the box in car mode, the biggest difference with both in front of me is the shade of yellow. Now I know that paint can fade over time but the original SS has good paint condition with consistant colour underneath and for the plastic. The reproduction is simply a brighter yellow. This is a dead giveaway, with the original being far more of a sandy shade and the KO a deeper and on the underside slightly greener shade. The paint application is also far thicker as you can see. The panel lines are less apparent and although it looks good, it comes across as slightly cheap looking. Chrome wise you cannot fault it, looks great, again a slighly different tinge, similar to the Mirage KO but not enough to notice or bother me.

K.O. on the right.

The face is a very very good reproduction, although, the eyes are painted smaller,  the paint not as smooth and the area of yellow on the “ears being smaller and with the depth of the lines being different. You should also be able to see the difference in tyres on the above picture, with the silver wheels being smaller on the KO and the tyres being fatter.

Stamps on underneath, K.O. bottom.

On the underside you can see the greenish tinge to the paint on my particular KO. You can see the manufacturer stamps shown above, They differ from my original SS, but I do not know if they are the same as other versions. Showing Hasbro 85, Takara 85 and JAPAN. The bottom black plate seems to be remoulded from scratch, with the detail being slightly  different sizes and postion. You can also see the addition of two moulded circles on the underside of the cockpit on the KO which are not present on my original. Now for a nice big giveaway!!

KO on the left.

As you can see in the above picture, a totally different colour for the plastic is used on the roof piece. Instead of a smokey plastic it is a fully transparent construct. This should be the easiest way, apart from the colour to tell a KO!

Following information from Specimen-17 and Jim in the comments, the last major difference between my copies are in fact differences between original Takara release molds.

Here is the original cockpit area.

…and here is the K.O.’s

Compare the two black areas, either side of the cockpit. Compared to my original the KOs are totally different, with long nobbly bits in different places, a different amount of small nobbles and some different detail just for fun. Again it seems to be that this not an indicator of being a KO, but an indicator of two different Takara molds with the classics release possibly coming from a Diaclone mold. Any extra input on this would be good.

KO on the right.

The final real obvious difference is above, and that is the shoulder joints. On the KO the metal rod is far more visible as the black shoulder pieces again look like they were made from scratch.

I have no particular axe to grind with these KOs and I’m not going to get into the ethical argument, this comparison has been made with my original Sunstreaker. If you have spotted other differences or believe I have marked something on the KO incorrectly (as it is present on your version of the original), please comment.

Thanks, and I hope you found this useful!

You should be able to tell by now! :D