At the end of each year we like to take a look at the best figures that dropped. Yesterday we took a look at the top official figs of 2021, and today we have the team’s third party picks. Read on to check out what everyone thought and then share your own on the 2005 boards!
Was Optus Nexus a great figure? Yes! Want it better? Make the inevitable black redeco and you get a total bad-ass figure! MMC really did a great job with the black, red and turquoise Black Convoy/Nemesis Prime deco on their figure. No wonder why this figure has so much love among fans, but the dark deco takes it to the next level for me. (totally non-objective election for me, thanks).
Runners up: Mastermind Creations R-49 Mentis, Dr. Wu Chatter, Mastermind Creations Reformatted Optus Pexus, and all the incredible Legends scale releases by Magic Square, Mech Fans Toys, Newage and more.
When the official MP figure came out, I sorta wanted to get it, but the price along with multiple other reasons such as colors, QC, height, etc. kept me from jumping on the bandwagon and picking him up. When DS-01 was announced and later was listed for order, I knew this was the one the 3rd party MP collector in me was waiting for. It was priced very well and when I finally got him, he was solid with materials and quality that are top notch! It has the extra height I wanted to scale with my current collection and was so good, it convinced me to go in for the whole trio of seekers (for the 4th time). I could rave about it but it’s just a great figure without all the personal negatives I had for the official. I just look at it and go “That’s Starscream” without anything to throw it off or “if only it had this….” stuff going on.
It was the just good enough to barely edge out my other choice which was the Lemon Tree Space Potato, but it was very close to be honest.
Runners up: Lemon Tree Space Potato, Fans Toys Accoustic Wave, Fans Toys Spindrift 2.0
I thought this would be a hard choice, but turns out it’s R-48 Optus Pexus by a country mile. Don’t get me wrong, all of my runner-ups are are fantastic, but R-48 is a work of art. The articulation is fantastic, and the transformation is fun. I don’t know what could have been done to improve it.
Spindrift 2.0 should have been the only Seaspray that Fans Toys made. Even though 1.0 has better articulation, this version is the definitive Seaspray. The transformation is fun without being frustrating and the colors pop out at you. The materials feel awesome and everything feels spot on. Wonderful job by Fans Toys.
Runner Up: Fans Toys Smokey FT-31D
Unfortunately not a lot in the 3P scene did much for me this year, save for one: Reformatted Optus Pexus is Mastermind Creations’ crown jewel, and the culmination of everything they’ve worked on up until this point. Its alt mode is good and its transformation is interesting, but the star of the show is undoubtedly a robot mode that not only looks fantastic, but also sports an insane amount of articulation. For me, Pexus is one of my absolute favorite unofficial figures and one of my favorite Optimus Prime figures of all time. I simply can’t recommend it enough and I hope MMC strives to achieve this same level of quality in future Reformatted figures – hopefully one of them being a Stormbringer Megatron to go with him (please!)
This figure is MMC’s magnum opus. The robot mode is basically flawless. It is such a joy to mess with, and it looks stunning in any pose. The proportions are amazing; the paint is sharp; the plastic is solid; transformation is enjoyable although it’ll never be displayed in vehicle mode; and it sets a new bar for what can be achieved with a transforming action figure. I didn’t think MakeToys Striker Manus could be surpassed, but it has. Even if you’re tired of Optimus Prime figures, you owe it to yourself to own a copy of this mold. I adore this figure—I wish they’d make a new IDW Megatron with this engineering and articulation. Maybe even a Don Figueroa Optimus design. The only negatives I can think of are that the bicep swivels are tight out of the box, and the matrix core is hard to display/remove (first is easily fixed, second is negligible if you don’t care). MMC Optus Pexus earns a hall of fame spot in my eyes alongside figures like ROTF leader Optimus as one of the best this franchise has produced.
Runners up: TFC CS-01 Lumitent, Iron Factory IF-EX47 Void Tyrant, Iron Factory IF-EX48 Hannyamaru, MMC R-45 Mnemo & Motif, MMC R-49 Mentis
Didn’t get too many 3P figures this year but I got an urge for a Masterpiece-scale Sixshot and this dude scratched that itch and more. Impeccable articulation, plenty of weapon storage, and all sorts of character in each mode. The swords being diecast are also a lovely touch that give the figure some weight and edge. Not cartoon accurate, but if you love Sixshot, I very highly recommend.
I didn’t get a lot of 3rd party this year. I actually KNOW that I bought quite a few Mastermind Creations releases this year, but I haven’t even opened them all yet! So, of the two I know that I know I opened, it was basically a tie! Optus Pexus is beautiful and the articulation on that guy is even more beautiful. I need to open the Nemesis version! But Mentis, aka Rung, edges out Pexus because I absolutely love More Than Meets the Eye/Lost Light. It’s still my favorite piece of Transformers fiction and I miss it so much! So anything to celebrate that series tickles my fancy. It helps that Mentis is smaller than some of MMC’s other Reformatted figures such as their Rodimus or Chromedome. It makes him a nice piece that can stand with Hasbro’s versions of these characters. I hope Mastermind Creations decides on doing a Riptide and a Pharma in 2022!
Runners up: Mastermind Creations Reformatted Optus Pexus
Mastermind Creations R-49 Mentis
Another light year for me with third party Transformers. MMC continued to receive all of my attention, with Mentis taking the top spot. Every figure I get that puts me closer to a complete Lost Light cast makes me happy, and Rung was an obvious omission I was happy to have filled (with apologies to the recent official release).
Typically, I can be late to the party with 3rd party figures for one reason or another, so a good portion of what I received this year was from 2020 for most of you. That said, while there are quite a few fantastic figures in my runners up list, this figure took me by surprise by just how much I love it. I think, sometimes, figures can also capture a point in time, and the magic of X-transbots Ono did just that for me. TFcon happened just before Christmas, and this figure really captures the specialness of both an exclusive an a holiday all in one with its red and white color scheme. I’m over the moon with Diaclone redecos/retools of figures anyways, but this one struck a special chord with me. The label set is super fun, and application hit me with the nostalgic feelings. I was already familiar with the mold from previous X-transbots releases of it, but it still managed to hit me on all cylinders.