Time for another Transformers review! I’ve finally dipped my toe into the third party robot pool. Hasbro/Takara don’t seem to be in a hurry to make Masterpiece Mirage, so I looked elsewhere. Ocular Max’s Sphinx is one I’ve had my eye on for some time, but prices were high. When I saw a rerelease in a toon-inspired eco, I pulled the trigger. So how is it?
Let’s take a look at the box! We’ve got a very cartoon accurate piece of art featured, with outline views on either side. The top of the box shows the toy in both modes, and the back has a nice stop-motion style photo montage of the transformation. There’s even a tech spec! I love it. Inside, we’ve got a collector card, decoder, instructions, and some spare/alternate heads. This release also comes with a soft plastic parachute (inspired by the scene in More than Meets the Eye 3), but it’s one of those accessories I have little to no interest in and actually forgot to photograph. Whoops!
Once you get past the packaging, you come to Sphinx in car mode. The F1 race car is among the most recognizable of all the 1984 Autobot cars, and this is a very good representation of it. (Note that I added an Autobot logo myself, Sphinx does not come with one.) The wheels are rubber, and the front axles even turn! Very cool. A holographic driver is included if you are into that sort of thing. This release of the toy does NOT have the livery and sponsorship logos all over, as it is more cartoon accurate. I’d like to have had them, plus the cool red trim around the white sections, but it’s still a lovely alt mode. Note that the gun and missile launcher can be attached to the spoilers.
The transformation to robot mode was a bit nerve wracking. This is an expensive toy (for me), and I’ve always feared that third party stuff would be more fragile. This was quite pleasantly not the case. Though there were some steps that weren’t exactly intuitive, and parts that were stiff to release, the end effect was worth it. Sphinx is a beautiful robot, with a nice heft due to the use of diecast metal. Articulation is on par with official Masterpiece releases. The silhouette is slim and lean, and he looks good from all angles.
Sphinx is a great toy. It is a more than passable Masterpiece version of Mirage. He looks great standing next to the rest of the ’84 Autobots I’ve got on my Masterpiece shelf. Mirage was never exactly a favorite character of mine, probably because I never had the toy when I was a kid. However, after getting one as an adult, I’ve grown to appreciate Mirage as a fantastic example of the best of what Transformers is. The “vroom zoom” quality of the car mode, the handsome blue and white color scheme, and the elegance of the robot mode make this toy special. I am thrilled that my first foray into third party toys was such a worthy one. I’m very glad to have it in my collection.