Wednesday 27 November 2019

REVIEW: Ocular Max PS-01R Sphinx Regenesis

Love them or hate them, Generation 2 Transformers are a thing. And love them or think they're insanely garish repaints that you wouldn't waste your time with, but Masterpiece versions of them are now also a thing! Whilst it all kinda started with MP-12G Lambor back in 2014 (where have those five years gone?), it's only been more recently that the unofficial scene has cottoned onto the idea that they can rerelease their designs in a ludicrous second colour scheme and some people (like me) will eat it up. You see, be it ever so loud and gaudy, there's nothing quite like G2. So here's Ocular Max with what I fairly confidently believe might be the ninth(!) version of their Sphinx mould, and boy have they gone for it, huh?

Do not adjust your monitor - this thing really is as bright as it looks! Yep, this is OM's take on a G2-style Mirage, and boy is it an eye-catcher. Depending on your initial reaction to this colour scheme, you've probably already decided if this is something you need in your life or not, haven't you? I mean if you've clicked on this page and you're still reading after that photo, that means you haven't run away in terror and so there's a chance you might be ready to go G2. For this is about as G2 as they come! Funny thing is, this colour scheme was never actually released during G2 itself, and has only ever been seen as artwork or on an unproduced mock-up. It's a shame because whilst it is absolutely out there, it would be really something to own the original Mirage in these colours. At least now we get the chance in Masterpiece-style, eh?

Picture c/o TFWiki

I'd heard talk of Ocular Max eventually doing this mould in these colours, but given it's been over three years since the original version was released I'd kinda forgotten about the idea. In truth I'd also given up on ever owning another version of this mould, having experienced it four times myself and still having three of those in my collection! You can read my thoughts on the Diaclone Liger version and the Stealth version as well, but in many ways it's still the original blue that I think sings to me most... well, the alternative version, at least!

With Ocular Max Sphinx Alternative

Also with Ocular Max Liger

Also with Ocular Max Stealth Sphinx

In any case I'm definitely up for giving it another go, and was delighted to see Ocular Max swing so hard into the G2 style by even giving this release appropriately-styled packaging. Nice!

So, it's colourful and it comes in a pretty box, but is it any good? Well, there's no ignoring how nice the thing looks in hand, that's for sure. Besides the brightness there are other aspects to admire, such as the slick-looking new tampos. Again, they're pretty bizarre, especially the crocodile theme, but they look swish and do a great job at imitating that original artwork. I was initially surprised to see that the chromed sections from the original design are done in a matt grey here instead, but I guess it is comparable with the finish they went with for Liger so that's something.

What's slightly less desirable is that my copy feels just a bit wonky in vehicle mode, never quite sitting properly on all four wheels. It seems like the front section is ever so slightly twisted, but try as I might I can't get it to align quite how I want. There are multiple joints that can be adjusted on this figure to compensate, but it's still not quite perfect. Plus after owning so many versions of this toy, I have to say it still annoys me that you can never quite get the front section tabbed and compacted together in a truly satisfying way. My copy doesn't quite look flush on a couple of panels, but again, I think it's just a problem that every version has by now.

Still, there's no denying he looks pretty slick overall, and definitely fits the bill as far as G2 alt' modes go! In terms of transformation this is obviously one I'm already very familiar with, although every repaint brings fresh insight I find. In this case I noted that some of the joints on my copy are oddly tight, and I even needed to loosen one of the screws under the front section just slightly in order to allow for the wheel arch to move and the wheels to fit into place properly. The tolerances overall are absolutely fine, but he definitely feels a bit different compared with the original Sphinx or the other versions I own somehow.

The robot mode remains as dynamic as ever, and extremely posable. You can contort this guy into any number of weird and wonderful stances and he really does look pretty boss, all enhanced wonderfully by that ridiculously eye-popping colour scheme.

If I had to nitpick, I'd point out that I still find it a bit annoying that the shoulder-mounted missile launcher can't be adjusted up or down, meaning that any pose looking at his right side will obscure his face. Maybe that's an odd quibble to have, but by now it would've been cool to see them come up with a solution for this! I probably would have liked them to have included a G2-coloured version of the Sphinx cartoon face as well, as although I might have stuck with the toy-inspired version that we got it's always nice to have options. Still, he really looks cool and I'm very excited to add him to my burgeoning G2 ranks!

With Maketoys Maestro

Also with Masterpiece G2 Lambor

With X-Transbots G2 Neptune, Masterpiece G2 Bumble & X-Transbots G2 Arkose

Woof. It's kinda stunning to see how many companies are now putting out these kinda decos, but clearly there must be some kind of market for it! Needless to say I'm thrilled with how it's all working out! If this does indeed turn out to be my final experience with this mould, I'm glad that it went out with an absolute bang.

With Fans Hobby Gunfighter II

With X-Transbots G2 Overheat

With FansToys G2 Scoria, Grinder & Sever

If you enjoyed this review and would like to help support me to produce more content like this (in exchange for some additional great perks!) then please take a look at my Patreon page here. I've only just got started with it, but a big shout-out to the following early adopters: Andrew Birmingham, Christopher McClure, Gareth Madeley, Jason Highley, Nathan, Peter Hammerson, Spider-Bob, zindios - many thanks!

What's HOT?
THAT colour scheme. The tampos and design are really nicely done. Both modes are still really good, and I really like the overall design. Oh, and the packaging is cool!

What's NOT?
My copy won't quite sit flush in vehicle mode, which is kinda annoying. I also found a couple of the joints a bit weirdly tight.

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  1. Glorious in its hideousness, the 90s distilled into plastic form.

    Great job as usual thanks Sixo (and btw I really dont need this wonderful madness in my life, there's some lines a man can't cross).

  2. Hahah, he looks like a cheap energy drink bottle with those colors, but I kinda love it still. :) I did pick up the Pharaoh version and it looks really nice. Did end up sticking a Decepticon logo on him since that gold-black color scheme gave me Decep-vibes.

    Loved the line-up of the four Sphinxes. Great photographs as always.

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