Mastermind Creations is closing out the year with a gaggle of new “fembots” for collectors to indulge in. Four fembots to be exact. Along with those four there are at least two more planned for early next year, and possibly additional ones since they had hinted at a Predaking color scheme in the past. So for now we have the following in order of release:
R08D Azalea Stealth Assassin (Con exclusive – Out now)
R08 Azalea Avenger (Retail release – Out now)
R08Z Zinnia Parapax Medic (Retail release – Out now)
Azalea Asterisk Mode (Con exclusive – Out now)
R10 Eupatorium the Warrior (Retail release – 1st quarter 2015)
R11 Salvia Prominon The Saint (Retail release – 1st quarter 2015)
Quite a collection in itself. I currently own the Stealth Assassin and traditional colored Azalea that I’ll be reviewing today. Technically I also own Zinnia, but was a little quick on the BBTS pile-of-loot trigger and shipped the other two a couple days before Zinnia showed up. Big Bad Toy Store can hold onto her until I get a few more items in. Come on Fans Toys, get that Soar out so I can ship my pile!
MMC’s timing was interesting since Hasbro finally decided that the collector base needed fembots as well. They have their own versions of Arcee, Chromia, and Windblade hitting the shelves now. There is no way I could begin to get into which one is a better Arcee since I don’t have the Hasbro version. However, when you are paying $60 or so for the MMC version it SHOULD feel like a better toy than the $20 Hasbro one. I like that we don’t have a basis for comparison here so let’s just jump right into judging Azalea, shall we?
If you’ve previous purchased anything in Mastermind Creations’ Reformatted line then you can expect the same type of window box their releases come in. Obviously Azalea is quite smaller than the likes of Hexatron or any of the Feral Rex parts, so the box is about the size of a slightly large hardback novel. This figure was made to pose (and we’ll get into both the pros and cons of it later) so the back of the box illustrates all the great poses you can get her into. She comes packed with twin sabers, twin blasters, a flight stand, instructions (that includes a comic), and a bio card. Both Azalea and her stealth variant have the same load out of accessories, just different respective deco.
I might as well get to the biggest issue I have with this figure right away, she is not an easy toy to transform. Actually that may be an understatement as it took me quite some time to figure out how to fold this little woman into her alt-mode; even while referencing both MMC’s and various video instructions. I didn’t have too much of a problem with folding her head back and tucking it into her ass … I’m a pro at such things. The difficulty came with getting her little hands to clutch the peg on the inside of her thigh. It’s never really made clear via the instructions that the hand doesn’t really “click” in. It just holds on loosely. This completely threw me off at first, and to an extent still does. I wish there was something in her wrist that would tab into her inner thigh and make me feel better about the placement. Once you get her transformed she’s a nice compact little hovercraft, and that stand works wonders.
However, the real draw of this figure is the bot mode, and it’s no shock that this is obviously where Azalea shines. Part of the reason she is a bit of a pain to transform is because she has such a nice and well articulated bot mode. Her range of motion is great all around except for one part, the head. She has a bit of an issue looking up when transformed correctly because there is a large piece of her back right behind the neck. If you leave a few parts unpegged she can hit some looking up poses fine though, that all just depends on how well you can live with a slightly incorrect transformed figure. Other than that very slight range of motion issue I don’t think you are going to find a better Arcee. I like her. I really like her. I suggest if you are into either fembots, Arcee, or cool robots you grab at least one Azalea colorway.
Being that she is difficult to transform doesn’t take away from how well made Azalea is. I’ve always been a fan of how Mastermind Creations take artistic liberties with the characters they do, and this always seems to be for the better. I don’t need an upsized version of the G1 character. What I like is just a good solid figure and this Reformatted line is really scratching that itch for me. The retail versions are hitting the usual stores now and go for about $50 – $60 each. The convention exclusives are another beast altogether. I suggest you should REALLY like the Azalea mold if you want to pay the prices they are currently fetching. At this point I’ve been so pleased with their work that I think MMC is one of the few third-party companies I trust enough to put in a blind preorder. I can’t say the same for most third-party manufacturers … it is always smart to at least wait until the general public gets a hold of the figures to get some honest opinions.