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Series: Mastermind Creations Reformatted
Allegiance: Neutral
Year: 2016

Prelude: Legal stuff first as always. This figure depicts a character owned by Marvel Comics, Death’s Head, who once appeared in Transformers comic books published by Marvel UK. The figure, however, is not released by Marvel (hence it’s not called Death’s Head), nor by Hasbro or Takara-Tomy (hence it’s not officially a Transformer). It’s from Mastermind Creations and called Anubis after the Egyptian god of the underworld, since they would get legal trouble from at least two different directions if they called it Transformer Death’s Head. Anubis is a retool of another MMC figure, Jaegertron (aka Lockdown).

Robot Mode: Anubis’ robot mode is based on Death’s Head initial appearance in the Marvel UK comics (he later got a more superhero-like do-over in the main Marvel comics) making him primarily green an grey in appearance. Comic Death’s Head had a red cape, too, which the figure simulates with a big rucksack (really the front portion of his alternate mode). Anubis can either leave the two red struts pointing downward for a more cape-like appearance or fold them up to make himself appear somewhat broader. The former looks good, but kind of hinders his articulation a bit, as the struts are very close to the ground.

Talking about articulation, Anubis does very well here. The figure is fully articulated with no real limitations. Anubis can wield his many, many weapons in all sorts of poses. Speaking of weapons, Anibus has numerous attachments for his wrists, a big blaster to hold in his hands, and a shield that he can store on his back. Which leads us to the only slight downside of this figure: the weapons. One, the shield can ONLY be carried on his back, there is no way to attach it to his arm or have him hold it (which is somewhat fitting as Death’s Head only ever carried that thing on his back, too, but still). The numerous weapon attachments are made of a rather soft rubber and bend very easily. They can be stored on the back behind the shield, but the holes to plug them in are very, very tight. And finally, Anubis comes with a big chainsaw attachment that, while looking cool, has nowhere to go if he isn’t using it. So while it’s cool that the figures comes with so many armament options, a bit more effort could have gone into the individual weapons and their storage possibilities here.

Apart from that, though, an excellent robot mode. Anubis might not look 100% like Death’s Head, but he manages at least 95% in my estimation and just looks cool overall. I would advise just giving him his blaster, leaving the shield and maybe one or two of the attachments on his back, and leaving the rest aside.

Alternate Mode: Now Death’s Head in the Marvel UK comics didn’t hail from Cybertron and didn’t have the ability to transform (which didn’t really slow him down much, though). The MMC figure, however, does have that ability and becomes a sleek science-fiction-style space fighter. The transformation is relatively basic. Anubis folds his legs in, tugs his arms close, unfolds the wings and the red cape / rucksack becomes the front portion of the fighter, done. The result is a very nice-looking star fighter that could easily be at home in whatever your favorite science fiction franchise might be. Seeing as Death’s Head never had an alternate mode, there is nothing to compare it with, either, so judged purely on its own merit: nicely done.

Remarks: When Simon Furman penned the Marvel UK Transformers comics he introduced the bounty hunter (Freelance Peacekeeping Agent, yes?) Death’s Head, who lived in the far-flung future of 2006 and came onto the scene when Rodimus Prime (a far more practical, cold-blooded leader here than in the cartoon) put a high bounty on the head of Galvatron. Death’s Head then travelled through time to the Earth of the then-present to tangle with Galvatron, returned to the future to tangle with Rodimus Prime, pursued Cyclonus and Scourge half-way across the galaxy, killed Decepticon leader Shockwave, and even took on the god-like Unicron. That last bit saw him escaping through an unstable time portal, which led to an encounter with the Time Lord known as the Doctor and a skip across dimensions into the main Marvel Comics universe, where, among other things, he encountered the Fantastic Four, a future Ironman, and She-Hulk before getting a gritty, edgy 1990s do-over as Death’s Head II.

Given that Death’s Head belongs to Marvel, not Hasbro, we never got a Transformers toy of him. Some Marvel action figures, yes, but those don’t really fit with the transforming robots. Now, though, we got a proper Death’s Head thanks to Mastermind Creations. He might not be 100% accurate in some ways, but he is clearly recognizable and fans of the old Marvel UK comics will certainly not find much room for complaint. Anubis was available exclusively at Kapow Toys in the UK (unsurprisingly, as he is mostly a UK guy) and I couldn’t resist getting him. Recommended to fans of Death’s Head, the Marvel UK comics, and the more obscure Transformers characters.

Rating: B+

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