Friday, 12 August 2016

REVIEW: Ocular Max PS-01S Stealth Sphinx



I've been a big fan of Ocular Max's Sphinx since first getting my hands on the original release late last year. I always liked Mirage as a character, and so it was exciting to see such a fantastic rendition of the character in 3D form. In fact, so great was my enjoyment of the first version that it didn't take much for me to be quite superbly enabled on the lighter-coloured "Alternative" version, and I don't regret this one bit. Arguably the Alternative brings out even more of the wonderful qualities of this mould. Then of course, we only recently had the striking red version in the form of Liger (my review of which can also be found here).

So, you might think that I am all "Sphinxed" out then, right? Far from it! As soon as I saw photos of this astonishing "Stealth" version, I just knew that it was something that I had to add to my collection somehow.

But what is this version all about, and why is it seemingly so desirable? Well, it actually started life as a custom work from a fan who essentially cobbled together a regular Sphinx and an exclusive clear version, then painted it to make it look as though Mirage was midway through turning invisible, as in the G1 cartoon. That's not really giving enough credit to just how amazing this custom figure really is, but you can check out this incredible piece of work here for yourself. It's worth a look!

Anyway, fast forward several months, and it was announced that a production version of this custom would be available in a limited quantity at TFcon in Canada in July. Needless to say, they sold out pretty quickly by all accounts. A further limited number was then made available online as a A3U exclusive, which seemingly sold out in minutes. Quicker than hot cakes, you might say.

I've been fortunate enough to track one down, and so thought it was a great opportunity to take some photos and give a quick overview of this rather unique figure. Thought I suspect it's going to be quite difficult not to just gush about how pretty he is... I mean just look at it!


Hot damn.

Not only do I love this mould, but I also love clear Transformers. I've been completely enamoured with MP-3G Ghost Starscream since finally picking up one last year, and I've still yet to showcase photos of my G1 Crystal Hot Rod that prove just how beautiful it is to the eye. Yet Stealth Sphinx adds something new to the mix with a completely unique paint job than superbly homages the ability of the original character. It's just sublime.



Amazing stuff, and no mistake. A small part of me was in some way worried that this figure wouldn't live up to the hype in hand, but I was not disappointed in the least. He really is that good looking. Right from the first moment I popped open the box I was truly amazed.


The box itself is also rather lovely, with some attractive artwork. It's also numbered, so you know which of the 500 figures you have in hand (mine is number 053, in case you're wondering). This is the first version of this mould to come packaged in robot form, but you can immediately see why they have made this choice. The internal plastic casing is designed to showcase the figure in the best possible way - you could almost just display it on the shelf like this to begin with, should you wish.


An initial inspection revealed no noticeable QC issues of any kind; just like the deco' this is a truly flawless figure from a quality perspective. Whatever small niggles Ocular Max may have had with the original Sphinx, they have well and truly ironed them out now. And so we're simply left to admire Stealth Sphinx in all his rapturous glory... behold.




Yep, this thing looks amazing from every conceivable angle. I'm just so impressed with how well the orange paint is applied to create the effect - it's so very clever.



At this point, mere words are probably failing to do this thing justice, so I will simply let the pictures speak for themselves!






I love how the clear plastic catches the light. It's really very dramatic, and helps to make the figure pop.



The effect is equally impressive in both modes. The Formula 1 vehicle form has always been an inherent part of Mirage's identity, and I don't personally recall a figure that's done it justice to quite the same degree as Sphinx. As before though, the phasing deco' really adds something unique here.




Beautiful mould meets beautiful deco'. What's not to love?




Of course, things get really amazing once you line him up next to the other versions of this mould. I just don't think I will ever get bored of it!

With the original Sphinx

Also with Sphinx Alternative

And with Liger


So, so pretty. I completely appreciate that I'm further down this particular rabbit hole than most casual collectors would care to go, but frankly I am so enamoured with this mould that I can't help but feel anything but joy looking at the four of them lined up like that. I'm love repaints anyway, but Stealth Sphinx truly represents something quite special in that vein.



As if you needed any further proof, here they all are lined up in robot mode... it's just an incredible joy.

With the original Sphinx

Also with Sphinx Alternative

And with Liger


So, perhaps not my most detailed review ever, but surely you're not in any doubt on how I feel about this figure by now? Now, Ocular Max, how about a retail release of the fully clear version, eh?

CONCLUSION
You can read a more detailed appreciation of this mould in my Liger review, but needless to say it already received a healthy dose of praise. Now that it comes with this absolutely gorgeous semi-transparent deco'? Yeah, this thing's sublime in every sense. A truly unique Transformer.

What's HOT?
It's a great mould to begin with, featuring a stunning vehicle mode, fun transformation, and dynamic robot mode. The new "Stealth" deco' is really very striking in both modes, and the clear plastic is absolutely lovely. Did I mention that the figure is rather good looking?

What's NOT?
I got nothing bad to say except about the price tag.


6 comments:

  1. It's an amazing piece, no doubt about it. I couldn't bring myself to double dip, but I can get the next thing here at least.
    Awesome work as usual mate.

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    1. Thanks so much - appreciate the kind words. :)

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  2. Replies
    1. Hello! Have to say I'm not sure now. I picked him up a while back, so maybe check with a few online retailers?

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