Fans Toys FT-49 Phantasm (Transformers Masterpiece Mirage)
Fanstoys items usually come with an outer plastic baggie to protect the box.
Phantasm comes grossly mis-transformed out of the box. Make sure to rotate the waist,
Flip back these blue fins.
Fold out his forearm cuffs.
Pull out the neck of the rocket launcher before attaching the missile.
Since this is a Third Party, non-official item, it doesn’t come with a faction symbol. It’s best to get some stickers from Reprolabels/Toyhax.com to make this guy more “toon-accurate”. Alternately, you can also use “water slide decals” to make them look even more flawless (you won’t see the edges, unlike with stickers) but I’ve never really had the proper skills, or time (usually needs to be individually cut first) to work with those.
For water slide decals, most folks recommend the one from Ocean Studio. Here:
To apply stickers, I find the best way to stick the stickers on is to use the tip of a blade, or a flat, small-tipped object, this way you have more control over the application, as compared to using one’s stubby fingers. You can also use the blade to help gently peel off a corner of the sticker in case you didn’t center it right and need to re-apply.
Back on Cybertron and before the war, Mirage was a member of the Cybertron “upper society”, living in his own large estate and enjoying the finer, more expensive things in life with his rich, snobby friends. While he did choose to join the Autobots when the war came, Mirage would rather not fight, as he feels that violence is beneath him and would rather hope that the Autobots and Decepticons would get all along. This would occasionally provide an air of mistrust from his fellow Autobots, as they sometimes see him as a Decepticon sympathizer. Mirage eventually gained their respect through various heroic actions in battle. He primarily functions as a spy and intelligence operative for the Autobots
Diecast parts include:
-Sections of the legs
I got QC 21.
Hmm.. I can’t say I like this back piece from the vehicle mode sticking out whenever you move Phantasm’s head to the sides.
While the difference in tone on the white sections of Phantasm’s chest can be a bit awkward to look at, it is actually very animation model accurate.
The figure does have an ab crunch joint, it is only very, very minimal.
Phantasm comes with a more rounded alternate head, to recreate occasional animation model changes to the shape of his head as it appeared in various episodes.
Thanks to the base of the neck being just a simple mushroom peg, swapping the heads around is easy peasy. Nicely done, Fans Toys!
The set also included alternate facial expressions for Phantasm. “Speaking/ yelling” and “happy”.
More often than not, the eyes on the default face plate tend to get left behind when you’re changing the facial expressions. It’s not an issue for the alternate plates though. You’re going to need a a small tool to pick the eye plates out if this happens.
Sigh.. I really, really don’t like this gap on his forearm. I wish Fans Toys came up with a better idea here.
Phantasm comes with his iconic “Rocket Dart Hunting Rifle”.
He also comes with his shoulder-mounted rocket launcher. While the rocket does not fire, you can pull out the chromed missile section.
In the classic G1 series, Mirage was equipped with an electro-disruptor, so he can cast illusions to alter his placement (make himself invisible) for up to six minutes. I was hoping that Fans Toys would somehow include a clear yellow plastic “box” to recreate this effect, too bad it didn’t happen.
Another gimmick that the MMC first release Sphinx came with was the parachute accessory, so you could recreate the scene from “More than Meets the Eye part 3”. Again, I really wish Fans Toys included that accessory here. Alas…
When transforming Phantasm, it is recommended that one be extra careful not to scratch the missile’s chrome when you try to insert it into Phantasm’s body. But for the sake of safety, I think it’s much easier to just remove the missile from the launcher and save yourself some grief.
The Rocket Dart Hunting Rifle can be folded up and mounted on the vehicle mode’s spoiler.
Comparison with the Transform Element TE-01 Speed Star.
The FT has everything painted, while the TE only has some sections painted, there are no paint apps on the TE’s arms.
While the backpack section of the TE cleans up better than the FT (you can see the steering wheel and everything on the FT), the FT actually manages to properly capture the animation model’s back more accurately. Plus, the FT manages to hide the vehicle mode’s spoilers in robot mode.
Overall, I love it. I love how the transformation was able to incorporate the actual entire shoulder rocket launcher into the figure without having to remove anything. None of the earlier Third-Party Mirage figures were able to execute that level of engineering! Kudos to the Fans Toys design team on this one. Granted it runs the risk of scratching the chrome, so it’s actually not recommended, but at least they managed to make it possible.
While I do find the different shades of white on Phantasm’s chest awkward to look at, it is true to the animation models in the show. I do wish they went with a silver rifle too instead of the bluish white for it.
Now for the big question, between this or the Transform Element, which would I prefer? I think FT wins it, in terms of build, animation accuracy and sturdiness. The TE looks nice in some spots (head and knees) but has some loose joint issues that can be off-putting. The lack of ratchets and extra paint on the TE can also be a bit disappointing. BUT, if you already own the TE, I think it’s still a good alternate option to this FT release, particularly if you’re on a budget. The TE certainly is better than the much older MMC Sphinx.
On a side note. unfortunately, it seems the TE Speed Star is now out of print, as Transform Element has all but disappeared as a company, so it’s unlikely we’ll be getting a reissue of the TE-01 Speed Star.