Tuesday 26 November 2019

REVIEW: X-Transbots MM-IXZ Barada

Time goes by extraordinarily quickly in the world of Transformers collecting. I was just sitting down to put together a few words on X-Transbots Barada when I decided to look up the review I did of the previous version of this mould, Klaatu, and was stunned to find it was from well over two years ago. How did that happen? In any case, we're back at it again with a fresh repaint for this design, and a slight feeling of reassurance that enough time has passed to fully indulge in another version of the same toy! Fortunately, it's a pretty good one too.

Before we kick off, let me say a big thanks to the wonderful people at showzstore.com who have made this review possible. I'd definitely recommend giving them a look, as their service has been absolutely top notch in my experience - great prices, excellent free shipping options and reliable packing. They stock plenty of third party (and "fourth party") Transformers, so be sure to check them out.

So, Barada. What's the deal, then? Well, it's a blue Cosmos, isn't it? Perhaps unsurprisingly this has created lots of questions when I've been sharing pics of this toy on social media, with a fair few people assuming it must either be a Generation 2 or a Diaclone homage of some kind. In fact it's neither!

Y'see Barada is actually a representation of Path Finder, who is technically a Generation 1 character, although one with an interesting story. She was originally part of the Takara e-Hobby-exclusive Collector's Edition "G1 GoBots" boxset from 2004, and was indeed a blue redeco of the G1 Cosmos mould. The toy wasn't actually named as "Path Finder" on the packaging, but was intended to be a homage to the GoBots character of the same name (despite not sharing a very similar appearance past transforming into a spaceship). This blue version of the Cosmos mould was itself a nod to how the toy was depicted in an early Japanese Transformers catalogue picture, which showed all of the 1985 Minibots with drastically different colour schemes. Confused yet?

G1 Path Finder

So, yes, there is some precedent behind this recoloured version of X-Transbots' own Cosmos design, if that's the kind of thing you need to have in order to justify awesome-looking repaints. If not, then maybe the fact that this toy is just bloomin' gorgeous will get you there!

I was already a big fan of this mould from the original version, but there's something about the new blue that just makes it sing. From the moment I took Barada out of the box I was struck by just how lovely she is in hand, and dare I say I think she's my favourite version over Klaatu now. As before it's exceptionally solid, and just like Klaatu I think it may be one of the best-made XTB products I've seen.

The toy itself is entirely identical apart from the colour scheme, and even comes with all of the same accessories (check out the original review for more details on those). If I had to be a real nitpicker, I might say its a shame that XTB didn't maybe arm Barada with a new rifle or something instead of repackaging stuff that only really works as a Cosmos nod (such as the bug spray), but it's no big deal. It's just strange to see when we've become so used to the company providing newly-moulded pieces for their recolours, such as the recent G2-styled offerings.

With X-Transbots G2 Neptune & G2 Arkose

As before, the transformation is very fluid and actually a lot of fun. I've done this particular conversion so many times now between the two toys that it's an easy and quick process for me, but even without that familiarity it was always a fairly intuitive process. The whole thing is pretty panel-tastic but still acutely clever at certain points, leaving just about everything tidied away nicely and looking shipshape (pun very clearly intended).

Barada's vehicle mode is really something. Not only does it manage to wonderfully capture the essence of the G1 toy and it's mouldmate's cartoon appearance, but it also somehow avoids looking goofy at all. In fact the spaceship mode is surprisingly large for a mere minibot and looks suitably impressive from every angle.

Oh, and accessories-wise there is still some fun to be had with the clear plastic bases that are carried over from Klaatu.

So what else can I say? I was already a big fan of this design (to me it's the definitive 3PMP Cosmos thus far) and if anything I prefer this recoloured version. But where should she go on your shelf, you ask? Well that's really up to you. If you absolutely need a justification for owning such a thing, then she definitely looks good next to your Masterpiece G2 or Diaclone homages, should that work for you. But if you just like fun designs of cracking transforming robots, then I'd wholeheartedly suggest you give this one a go.

With X-Transbots Herald & Masterpiece MP-18B Bluesteak

With Masterpiece MP-21R Bumblebee

With FansToys Rouge & Masterpiece Road Rage

Final note before we end, you can find this toy for sale at showzstore.com here!

Oh, and 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?
Both modes are fantastic and the conversion between them is slick and repeatable. Barada is also a solid and well-made toy.

What's NOT?
Shame to just see the same accessories from Klaatu repeated, even if they are a lot of fun.

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