Thursday, 25 September 2014

Mastermind Creations Tigris Review

Rampage vs Sideswipe

Time flies, when you are waiting for robotic Animals that not only turn into robots, but merge to form a gigantic robot.

I *think* the Feralcons were initially announced about two years ago. I know I got Bovis last November, which was already on the back of heavy delays with the set, and they were supposed to be released I think monthly after that.

So here we are in October 2014, and the final member of the main team has finally found his way to freedom from the factory. MMC named him Tigris, but most of us know him as Rampage the Generation 1 Predacon, and Predakings usual right arm.

MMC Tigris

Now that Tigris is finallyhere, is he as good as the other Feralcons? How did Feral Rex turn out?

Hit the jump to find out.

Alt Mode

Tigris, like Rampage, transforms into a large robotic cat, possibly a panther or tiger?

The awesome red and orange colour scheme gives nothing away on that front, as this is an awesome looking robotic beast. I have said a few times that one of the things I love about the Predacons, are that they do look like robot animals, instead of the Beast Wars approach of looking like realistic animals.

There are people who would have preferred more realistic animal modes, but I don’t think the Feralcons (I am going to keep switching between Predacons and Feralcons, sorry about that) are any less animalistic. In fact, they probably come across more so as the way the alt modes are stylised gives them a real Feral look.

a side view of tigris

The use of colour, is really nicely done. It is the classic Predacon colour scheme, but the colours are more muted which play again to the Feral look of the bots. It almost comes across as ever so slightly faded, as if they have been out hunting in the sun or desert environment.

Maybe that is just my imagination being fuelled by too much Mountain Dew or spending too much time looking at colour charts, whilst decorating my house lately.

Rampage on the hunt

What I like about the use of black, is it almost always on a section that does something. Be it the articulated legs and tail, or the cool Legion of Doom spikes (though these are static, but they look really cool. That is doing something I guess).

The black plastic for the moving pieces gives you the notion that Tigris has a basic black endoskeleton underneath, which is a clever idea.

Tigris beast mode head has nice yellow paint for the eyes which is a an excellent choice as it is the only place that colour appears on the figure. It makes it unique, and draws your attention to it, which is an inspired move. The mouth opens, and inside are some very pointy silver teeth, be careful of your fingers – there is no Hasbro here rounding them off.

The head is also on a ball joint, which in turn is attached to a hinge, so there is a lot to work with and it leads to some very expressive head poses.

In terms of articulation, Tigris is well stocked and has a lot of joints, so you get a decent range of movement and can put Tigris in some fine eating other robot poses.

I do find getting all his legs into a position where they are all flat, and relatively even, a bit of a faff, and whilst his front legs are all hinged with thick chunky plastic, his back legs are less so, with hollower plastic and can be a bit stiff.

Tigris waist rotates in multiple places, which allows you to pose his back end (ooerr) in a more cat like stance, as if he is on the prowl and stalking his prey or trying to sort out a bad back.

MMC have added an interesting feature to Tigris, which I believe is linked to their comic. Tigris shares a mold with Talon, and so where Talon has a bonus combiner port on his chest – Tigris should to. In point of fact, it was also in all of the photos – they showed the vestigial combiner peg still there.

But surprising everyone, MMC removed it, and replaced it with an opening compartment that once opened contains a small black Matrix style accessory.

Arise Rampagimus Prime?

Tigris is blessed with multiple options for weapons storage, owing to a wide variety of peg holes strewn across his plastic form.

The peg holes on the underside, on either side of the combiner port, are very useful for keeping things out of the way, so that is where I stick the swords. Mounted guns on the shoulders I can go with, but swords? That is too far fetched.....(ha!).

Despite being the last of the Feralcons, Tigris alt mode has not been just rushed out, or missed out on care and attention. It has gone from my least liked alt mode, when I first saw the original pictures, to just behind Leo Dux in terms of my affections. 
There is a lot of fun to be had here, and the Legion of Doom spikes completely win me over.

Robot Mode

Tigris in robot mode

Tigris transformation is the second easiest of the whole group, with a some visible lessons learned from the earlier bots.

The legs are remolded heavily from Talon, but bear very few similarities. The back panels flip over, followed by the feet, just like Talon, but the knee pads fold inbetween them to lock to them together - which is unique to Tigris. Well done MMC, you have my attention.

Unfolding the hind legs is awkward, for a few different reasons. First off, just like Bovis and Fortis, they are concealed in a block which is very tightly attached, and bends out slightly. Once you have worked it open, and the wave of relief that it is not broken hits you, you then have to unfurl the actual legs, but they unravel by passing through a gap between different pieces and it can take a bit for you to figure out quite what is going on.

Feralcon Tigris

Frustrating moments like this do not end here, as moving to the shoulders reveals another problem, at least on one of the shoulders. In theory they slide on an L shaped joint to move upwards. That works fine on one of the shoulders, but not on the other. It seems to get stuck, and take a lot of wrangling to move properly. Even though it feels completely random as to when it will do it.

Maybe there is some excess plastic in there or something? 

the figures back

The robot mode is quite stunning to look at. All of the points of G1 Rampage (literally sharp points) find their way onto Tigris, and have been very subtly updated.

Not only is the bot mode ultra clean and smooth, with no real kibble hanging off, but it holds together extremely solidly and is rock solid. There is a tall, lean, athletic look to Tigris that makes him stand out as his own bot.

Tigris all weaponed up

To complete the full Rampage look, you can attach the pistols Tigris comes with to his shoulders. It very strongly evokes his G1 silhouette.


The pistols are done in a very nice style. There is quite a bit of detailing in there, and two different colours but it looks subtle and does not overwhelm itself in hyper detailing (which you should know by now, I loathe).

His hands grip them very well, and they just slide in with the minimum off effort, unlike most of the Feralcons weapons.

just the swords

Tigris, like his chums, also comes with some stabby stabby knife/sword/blade weapons.

They do not match his G1 equivalent weapon, which was just a single, simple sword but they do look fantastic and fully fit in with the aesthetic of the figure.

A common complaint with the earlier figures in the group, was that the bladed weapons would not go into the hands with any ease. I am unsure if MMC have fixed that with Tigris, but I have not had anywhere near the trouble I did with the others- these seems to go in a lot easier.

Lesson learned.

MMC Rampage

Many of the photo's taken of each of the Feralcons have them holding the blades downwards, somewhat more menacingly.
It has pretty much become a hallmark of the set.

Tigris can do this, as shown in the photo above, but it takes some fiddling around. Okay, maybe that is an exagerration as all you have to do is open the forearm flaps and move them out of the way. There is not enough clearance otherwise, as his beast mode paw sticks out and block the knives.

Feral Rex Completion Kit

His own weapons are not the only accessories Tigris comes with by the way. Included in the package are Leo Dux/Razorclaws arm cannon, and a Feral Rex completion kit.

It is a little baggy that contains a gold waist piece to cover the missing paint app from his waist armour (that is an extreme, but welcome fix) and 3 sets of weapons and arm filler pieces for all of the limb bots except Tigris.

My gratitude is with MMC for including these as option extras, but I have no need for them so they will live in their box and never see the light of day again.

Can't complain about free stuff though can you? Keep reading....

Tigris facesculpt

Controversy have inevitably enveloped the Internet, with the release of Tigris, when it it was noted that his face plat in the prototypes was coloured yellow, and then MMC included that as a bonus head only with order from BBTS.

Whilst this was down to an honest mistake of a late decision to change the face plate to red, and a few had already been manufactured with the yellow paint, so MMC gave them the correct head as an extra to correct it - never let it be said the Internet cannot transform a tiny thing, into an epic disaster of Michael Bay proportions. *makes explosion noises*

I can say I am partly a touch guilty of this myself, as with the extra Felisabre figure that MMC are releasing (a remold of Tigris into Generation One Pretender Catilla), they are including some extra parts to upgrade Bovis and Fortis along with the final part of their comic book. It slightly irked me that I cannot obtain these without spending over £60 on a figure I don't really want, and that has only been created to get a bit more cash out of the Tigris mold.
I don't care about extra faces, but dudes I would those red feet for Bovis. Personally I think these should have been the completion kit for Rex, not the bonus weapons. To me, MMC got those the wrong way around.


Wandering back from my wild detour, the actual head Tigris comes with is fantastic. It is spot on to Rampage, and every time I look at it I get a real Battlecharger vibe?

It is a wonderful head sculpt, MMC did a cracking job.

tigris is crazy poseable

Articulation is crucial to this figure, and works perfectly, with his tall, slender build. I want to say he is the most poseable of all the Rex bots, but that might just be new toy syndrome.

I will leave it at he is no less poseable than any of them, and has potentially more articulation than they do.

The ab crunch, that is also on Talon, is a great addition and helps to make Tigris stunningly expressive figure.

The arm of Feral Rex

My mind is blown by this figure. When I first saw the Rex project, I had this one down as my least favourite, and did not think much to it. Now I have it in hand, I have done a complete 180 on that, and in fact it is very close to being one of my favourite figures from the set.
Mastermind Creations have done a great job, and this figure is testament to a company at the peak of its powers.

The only downside to Tigris is that for most people he will just be an arm to attach to Feral Rex. If you have got him, do yourself a favour and keep him uncombined for a few days. Tigris is a figure that demands your attention, and really deserves the time that most of the others have got by virtue of their incredibly slow release schedule.

Arm Mode

Tigris in limb mode

Yup, he turns into an arm, with a robot mode head that does not really have anywhere to lets get to Predaking!

Feral Rex

Feral Rex complete

I still cannot believe it has been two years since we first saw this, and least of all that after all of the delays it is finally complete and in my hands.


Combining him is fairly simple as all of the bots transform into their limbs quite easily as they mostly just transformed to animal mode, with some bits tucked away. Leo as the torso is different in that he is in bot mode with some pieces folded away.

The end result is mind blowing in its awesome brilliant stunning glory. *insert sound of my brain exploding here*

This is one of those rare cases where something does look even better than the squillions of photos you have poured over for years, have portrayed it. 

Fully combined, Rex is majestic (I am running out of adjectives) to look at. I cannot tell you how much my heart sings every time I look at him on my desk. He is on my desk, because he is so big I have nowhere else to put him really.

Everything about the individual Feralcons comes together in combined mode. I don't mean just in a physical sense of they are combined, but their personalities and individual styles all play into a larger whole, but still shine through. 

The gorgeous Predacon colour scheme blends perfectly and looks totally like it was intended together, and is not 5 different bots at all.

Truly, it is an amazing achievement that MMC have been able to take the original Predaking, and bring us this. It nails Predaking so unbelievably well in size and aesthetic, it is hard to imagine an official Masterpiece topping it.

My wallet is hoping Takara never read this and decide to take on the challenge.

Feral rex head

Not only is Rex enormous, but he has an insane amount of articulation, unlike any combiner I have ever come across. In many areas, he has multiple joints to do the same thing and you can theoretically get him into any pose you could imagine. He is not limited like Hercules, everything is there for you to get him exactly how you would like him.

You may have noted the word theoretically up there, and I assure you that was intentional because for all Rex's articulation there are several huge problems that ultimately lead to the downfall of Rex as a toy.


This next part is going to make me really sad, because as amazing as Rex is - the combined form turned into a crushing disappointment for me. 

Okay, how did it go so wrong? Purely and simply Rex is far to big and heavy for his own good. Starting at the massive ball joints for his ankles, they are too weak to hold his weight so he rocks forwards or often backwards owing to the weight of the wings.

The main problem though, is Leo Dux legs. See, Rex has 3 height settings which in theory is an inspired idea. You can make tall and lean, squat and strong looking or something inbetween. 

But sadly Leo's legs are just not up to the task. On mine, the legs have a knack for sliding apart as if he is doing the Thriller dance, because the ratchets are ever so slightly aligned differently in each leg, which means you can't get them to "click" with the legs close together. So one clicks into place, stabilising, whilst the other slides outwards, and because of the weight shift, it destabilises it rendering the next click on the ratchet often useless.

Then the height settings involve sliding Rex's legs up and down, but particularly on the left leg on mine, these can be quite loose and they do not really lock into place. A manual locking mechanism, like a catch would have been perfect here, because the weight of the arms, torso and wings make it a battle to stay in position.

If you get him stood straight and still, the sliding joints stay in place, but it is once you move them, or they move of their own accord, that they can fail.

MMC feral rex

But what truly compounds this problem, is that they all combine to create a nightmare if you are trying to pose him in any dynamic fashion. The weight makes him tough to balance, and the joints all moving just makes it a real battle, robbing him of almost any play value in this mode.

Just to top it off, the way Rex is designed make him really difficult to grasp to try and realign things. The hip armour has joints in it so moves around or pops off - so you cannot grab him around the waist.

You cannot pick him up by the torso because you have the Lion head on the chest and all its many joints to contend with, and also the wing pack on the back.


All of this comes together to make it an utter nightmare. There are just too many moving pieces, and whilst visually they give Rex a fantastic look, they do not work well in terms of moving the figure. Posing him is possible, but requires huge levels of patience, and usually ends up quite precarious. Having to constantly realign everything is no fun at all, and can become an exhausting situation.

Often you will look at him, and realise he is leaning slightly to one side, and every attempt to correct that, just makes it worse, or brings a new problem.

Maybe I am blowing up the issues to be more than they are, but I feel I may now be out of large combiners on this evidence, because for all the money they cost, if they can't function as more than a statue in combined mode - what is the point? I am a big proponent of toys are meant to be played with, I have no interest in statues.

Ultimately, having paid a lot of money for each of these figures, it is not unfair to expect that they are perfect - particularly when it comes to their biggest selling point.

a huge gestalt by mmc

I have found that having him on the tallest height setting (instead of MMC's default of medium) does help with his stability quite a bit, as Leos legs lock out better fully extended, and it also means you can bring Rex's legs closer together - making him way more stable.

Back to more positive talk, there are some cool things going on with the weapons. Everything combines, meaning there are no extra bits just to put off to one side.

The gun is formed from all of the guns that come with each Feralcon, and they combine very simply and all clip together nicely. On mine, Tigris guns are a little loose fitting, but they are not going to fall out.

Feralcons combined

Of course  the headline act here is the Oppenheimer sword, an enormous blade created from all of the individual bots weapons, and Leo's tail.

It is quite breathtaking to behold in real life, as it is massive and it is bigger than most kitchen knives for example.

Again though, looks are deceiving, as the sheer weight of it causes some issues. First off, both are Rex's arms struggle to hold it upwards with their weak elbow joints (sigh). Secondly, because the handle is Leo Dux's tail, the joints on it come into play.

So if is holding up, it may flop backwards depending on which way round you have it. Essentially it means if you want to move Rex's arm, you need to take the sword out as chances are somewhere along the way those joints will cause the sword to fall over.

I have found the best way is to just use the hilt of the sword for support by resting it on Tigris.

Make the best of a bad situation.

So now it is all over, the dust has settled, and MMC's first combiner is put to bed, was it all worth it? The answer to that is an emphatic yes.

Sure, this review ended on a downer, but that is my own personal experience and there might be plenty of folks with rock solid Feral Rex's who have no problems at all. Even with all his problems, Rex is breath taking to look at and can be posed even if it takes an insane amount of effort.

Where this whole set really shone was with the individual bots. Too often they are full of compromises to be able to fit in the combination gimmick. Hercules was prime example of that, with some great individual modes, but some very obvious compromises taken to make sure Devastator looked great and worked.

MMC have done something totally different and you could have these figures are in individual modes and you would have no idea they combined. By virtue of the long, and often painful delays in getting these out, it has given me a chance to enjoy every single member of the team on their own merits for a decent length of time. Too often there is a rush to just get them in combiner mode, and then they get left like to display.

To this end, I feel like I really got my moneys worth with this set, and it is arguably the pinnacle of 3rd party transforming toys.

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  1. Good to know about the problems, still looks epic though



    1. Brilliant name there!

      I think in all honesty, I was probably a bit over the top on the problems. It is pretty sucky, but you can get around it.

      Just waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too many moveable parts.

      Are you on the Feralcon train?

  2. Oh yeah. ever since Marvel comic 108!

    When I heard about the quality of Bovis, I had to buy.

    Have the 3 sitting waiting for MP Bee to be released and then they'll be mine!

    Better to be over the top that to gloss over the problems. At least I know what to watch out for. Same with MP Sounders and the cracking joint etc.



    1. Waaaait....cracking joint on Soundwave? I just looked at him in terror!