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Series: Fans Hobby
Allegiance: Autobot
Year: 2023

Prelude: More than 30 years have passed since the Turbomasters battled the Predators on the European battlefield and that was also the last time we saw Boss, the blue and pink Turbomaster. But now Boss is back, if but unofficially, carrying the name Bossman in memory of the late, great Ray Traylor (at least that is my take on it). So you better read the signs, respect the law and order, or you’ll be serving hard times, courtesy of Fans Hobby Bossman. Let’s say go!

Robot Mode: Now one thing to keep in mind is that Bossman started life as Fans Hobby’s version of G1 Siren / Masterforce Goshuta. So there are some differences to the original G1 Boss figure, such as the legs forming the car front instead of the car’s rear as they did in 1992. Still, despite the differences in figure design, Bossman is clearly recognizable as a homage to Boss. The paintjob (light and dark blue with pink highlights) and the turbine / missile launcher he carries more than suffice. So this is Boss in Masterpiece scale, very nice.

Boss was never a Headmaster, of course, but given that Siren and Goshuta were, this figure naturally is one as well. The “Junior Driver” figure (a reference to the term Headmaster Juniors from Masterforce) transforms from tiny but very nicely articulated robot into a head, though he needs an additional forehead / helmet piece to do it. That is faithful to the G1 originals, too, though, as the Headmaster Juniors basically used their driver’s seat for additional parts in head mode. As a Headmaster Bossman can flip open his chest plate, where you can see his stats for speed, strength, and intelligence (he seems to be a pretty smart guy).

Enough of the Headmaster thing, though. Bossman looks great as an updated version of Boss. He has those big car pieces on his shoulders (though it’s the rear fenders this time, not the front ones), he has a face reminiscent of Optimus Prime, and he comes heavily armed, too. Apart from two black guns which he can fold up and clip to his hip, he carries his big Turbomaster turbine, of course. Given the constraints of adding a turbine to a finished car mode (more on that below), it’s not a whole turbine, of course, but rather just a shell of one. It still looks pretty good, the only downside is that Bossman has a bit of trouble holding it. It keeps slipping out of his (nicely articulated) hands.

Nothing wrong in terms of articulation, Bossman can bend with the best of them and has no trouble staying upright, either. He has a bit of a backpack with the roof, front and rear window of the car mode folding up on his back, but it doesn’t really hinder him much. The sides of the car shell fold up nicely on the backs of his lower legs, very nicely done. And bonus points for something not mentioned in the instructions: you can flip open Bossman’s back, revealing an empty space (the driver sits here in car mode) where you can store Bossman’s shortened missile used in car mode (see below). So there are no parts left over in either mode.

Bottom line: despite the differences to the way the original Boss figure is designed, this new one fully captures the look and essence of the old Turbomaster. No complaints except that he could use a better grip on his weapon.

Alternate Mode: Bossman transforms into a car resembling the Mazda RX-7, which was Siren’s and Goshuta’s car mode back in the 80s. Boss never had a specific real-life car for an alternate mode, just a generic blue sports car with a huge turbine out front. So Fans Hobby added a huge turbine out front to their Mazda RX-7 car and it looks pretty great. The transformation is complex, but not really difficult, and the resulting car has no visible robot bits, not even on the underside. Both the black guns and the helmet for the Headmaster can be stored in the rear of the car between the arms of the robot.

Now a generic blue Mazda RX-7 becomes Boss by adding the turbine out front. Since they didn’t redesign the entire car front, the turbine is basically just a shell that is put over the hood and front, but it works really well. A shortened missile can be put into the turbine here to make it look more natural. Two of the three long missiles can be put either on the rear spoiler (also an added piece, as Siren / Goshuta didn’t have rear spoilers on their car modes) or on top of the turbine. The third one can be stored inside the cockpit behind the driver if you so wish, again making sure that no parts are left over.

There is a full cockpit for the driver that becomes visible when you flip open the roof and windshield, revealing the Junior Driver sitting behind... well, not the wheel, but it still looks pretty good. Something else worth mentioning: the car has foldaway headlights to somewhat mimic the big red headlights G1 Boss had in car mode. Personally I’m a huge fan of foldaway headlights, something that is sadly no longer in style in today’s cars. Yes, I am that old.

Bottom line: while the car looks a bit more rounded than G1 Boss’ powerful-looking racing machine, the resemblance is still strong and the car mode works very well. No complaints.

Remarks: In the year 1992 the Transformers were already long over in the United States, but in Europe the line was still going strong with the introduction of the Turbomasters and the Predators. The heroic Turbomasters were led by the mighty Thunderclash and his second-in-command and field leader was Boss, one of my all-time favorite Transformers. Not really sure why, to be honest, but I always liked this guy with his Batmobile-like vehicle mode (it’s mostly the turbine). So when Fans Hobby announced a third party version of Boss as an exclusive or TFCon in 2023, my buddy James ensured that I would get one for my collection. It’s good to have friends in distant lands.

So what can I say about Fans Hobby Bossman? Fair warning, given my nostalgic attachment to G1 Boss, I am probably a bit biased here, but even taking that into account, this figure is great. Sure, it’s repurposed from a different figure, so there are a few extra parts like the rear spoiler and the put-on turbine, but it all works pretty well. A better grip on his primary weapon is just about the only thing I can find to complain about here. So bottom line: every Turbomaster fan (and I know there are at least two here in Germany alone) should own this guy. And even if you never heard of Turbomaster Boss before, this is still a pretty great car mode Transformer. Recommended.

Rating: A-

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