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Series: War for Cybertron: Kingdom
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Deluxe
Year: 2021

Prelude: Here we have Mirage, the invisible Autobot who battles across time alongside Maximal Grimlock. Now, I do remember someone once saying that if you have nothing good to say about someone, then don’t say anything. On the other hand, negative reviews always seem to be longer (and more fun) than positive ones. So, what does it mean that this is review is a bit longer than my average ones? We shall see. Let’s say go!

Robot Mode: Let us start by saying that Mirage looks pretty good in robot mode. Very close to the G1 animation model, nice proportions, everything good. That’s until you notice the fact that he lacks his shoulder rocket. Or rather, he has his shoulder rocket, but he cannot put it on his shoulder. He can hold it in hand or plug it into the back of his shoulder, where it points straight up, but that’s not really a shoulder rocket. It’s not a big thing, but very annoying, especially as a peg hole for the shoulder rocket could easily have been added to the top of the shoulders in my opinion (see 7th picture in the gallery). In vehicle mode it would have ended up at the rear end of the car (see 13th picture), so no problem there, either. So why can’t Mirage have his shoulder rocket?

Okay, shoulder rocket rant over, let’s look at the rest of the robot. Like I said, he looks pretty good. The spoiler halves on his shoulders are a bit wobbly, but that’s not a big thing. Articulation is great, no complaints here, he can move as well as you’d expect from a War for Cybertron figure. The only slight complaint I have is that the shoulders tend to pop out of the torso if you move the arms up (see 7th picture again), but again, just a minor thing.

Side note: apart from Mirage’s traditional number 26, the robot also carries the word ‘Orc’ on its chest. This is a bit of a joke, referencing the original Mirage’s advertisement for the French oil company Elf. Elf and Orc? Get it? If not, get back to me once you’ve read Lord of the Rings (or just about any Fantasy novel ever written).

Now we look at the robot from the back and that’s where the problems begin. If you haven’t noticed before, you can now tell that the robot has a fake chest, because the actual front portion of the F1 racing car is stored in the hollow legs. The rear wheels are stored in the hollow back, which combined with the legs gives the entire backside of the figure a somewhat unfinished, piecemeal look in my opinion.

Mirage comes with two guns, the aforementioned shoulder rocket, and a blaster, both close to the weapons the G1 figure carried. Both weapons can be stored on the backs of the shoulders and the rocket from the rocket launcher can be held in hand as well as an additional weapon. So overall, not a bad robot, but with some weird design choices and some disappointing flaws (a simple peg hole on the shoulder, people! It’s not rocket science!).

Alternate Mode: Mirage still transforms into his classic F-1 racer alternate mode, no changes here. Now G1 Mirage had a very straight-forward, simple transformation. Flip up the robot’s chest, turn the waist 180 degrees, and tuck in the arms and legs, done. Classics Mirage more or less transforms the same way, just a bit more intricate. Kingdom Mirage, however, gives us a far more involved and – in my opinion – unnecessarily complex transformation. It’s not difficult, mind you, but most of the vehicle is stored in the legs, the arms form the back, and the fake chest ends up on the bottom rear of the car. Weird, is all I can say.

The resulting F1 car looks good, but the first thing I noticed was that it lacked both the traditional number 26 and the advertisement on the front (both are present on the fake chest in robot mode), leaving only the Autobot symbol there. Again, a weird choice. If you go with a fake chest, shouldn’t you at least try and make it look identical to the real vehicle piece you’re emulating?

Mirage’s weapons can be mounted on the car, no problem, and while the car itself is a bit more streamlined than the original boxy G1 car, it’s still a good deal more angular than Classics Mirage. So bottom line for the car mode: good, but what was wrong with the original transformation design?

Remarks: Mirage is one of the original crew members of the Ark and pretty much saved the day all by his lonesome in the original three-part pilot of the G1 cartoon by sabotaging the Decepticons’ space cruiser. He faded into the background as the series progressed, but had some memorable scenes, such as his conflict with Cliffjumper, who regularly accused him of defecting to the Decepticons. Mirage also appeared in the IDW comics, once again suspected of being a traitor, opening a bar later on, and ended up one of the victims of Star Saber in the end. He also played a big part in Siege, but faded into the background as the series progressed here, too. I don’t actually remember whether he survived to the end of Kingdom or not.

Kingdom Mirage, a significant retool of Siege Mirage, was only available in a two-pack with Maximal Grimlock. Seeing as I, like roughly 80% of the fandom, was only interested in one half of this two-pack, I gratefully surrendered my Mirage to fellow Transformers fan Klaus. My perception of this figure might be colored a bit by not wanting it in the first place, but still: I’m disappointed. Mirage isn’t a bad figure overall, but the lack of a shoulder peg hole, the fake chest, and the unnecessarily complex transformation drag him down quite a bit in my mind. So, unless you’re a die-hard Mirage fan or are simply in it for the G1-looking robot mode (only from the front, mind you), then he might well be for you. I cannot in good conscience recommend him to anyone else, though.

Rating: C

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