I warn you now that I am going to use Ginrai and Prime, plus a whole heap of other Japanese and western G1 terms interchangeably. So deal with it better than Magnus.
And the likeness is spot on to both. Perfect Effect PC-15 recreates the characters space shell suit design as a fantastic, super poseable little mini-figure with a frightening amount of detail for something this diddy.
If you have the original Powermaster figure and compare the two side by side, almost all the detail carries over and this even extends to things my failing eyes can barely see like the detailing on the upper thigh. He’s rocking the tiny visored helmet of the original toy that looks like something from an 80’s episode of The Clothes Show (you’re humming the theme tune now, no doubt) and ensures he can fill in for either Hi-Q or Ginrai depending on your preference. Colours are beautifully saturated and giving the figure life and energy through colour that yells cartoon at you.
What stands out most are the proportions though. Perfect Effect have ditched that “lying in a coffin” pose all the Titan Masters have, and captured a better physique and body shape. It’s still a dude in a robot shell suit, but that robot shell suit looks like it could do more than shuffle or goose step. Takara have recently shown it doesn’t have to be that way with their fantastic Dianauts all possessing a bewildering level of articulation that we aren’t used to seeing on such small scale figures.
There’s ball jointed shoulders shoulders and knees, hips that swivel forwards and outwards. He’s just an elbow bend short of greatness. The head can’t swivel but does anyone care? If that could move it would just become something else to go up the hoover.
Legs need to be horrifically bent in ways no poor human body was designed to contort but there really isn’t much to the transformation and there doesn’t need to be. Moving the legs forward and swivelling them on a separate joint is clever but it’s all about turning into a small block, and Perfect Effect accomplish that. Each detail on the back is lifted from the vintage toy with a degree of accuracy not seen on the Takara Super Ginrai’s faux Powermaster chest harness thingy.
Young Jinrai here can’t plug into the cab grill in either mode but he can slot inside the chest cavity like some sort of chest bursting radiator.
But man, it makes me excited at the prospect of potential Masterpiece “Masters” with the articulation and engineering of the Dianauts.
The next upgrade in Perfect Effect’s boxy bag is a brand new head whose installation is as simple as sliding the old head out on a mushroom peg and sliding the new one into it’s place. At first I “pegged” (wakka wakka! Now read the rest of this article in Fozzy’s voice) this for a completely superfluous upgrade that needlessly pushed up the price, but if you are replacing the Ginrai/Apex Titan Master then I guess a new face is needed.
These are all little things that are not immediately obvious but it’s precisely the sort of thing fussy gits like me look for. Like when I was a kid and I noticed that the football shirts the players wore were slightly different to the replica shirts you can buy, which caused me to swear vengeance on the Nottingham Forest club shop in 1994.
Takara’s obsession with giving Optimus dead eyes is ignored by Perfect Effect who feel so strongly they stuck light bulbs in there. Yep, it looks nice and gives off a pretty glow, but I like my figures to look good all of the time – not just when I go up to them and press a button. I want to glance at them on a shelf and go “wow, all that money stood there looks fantastic” not have to get up and purposefully press a button step back, and then turn it off and continue trying to defeat M Bison. Most collectors are pretty switched on when it comes to battery leakage, so won’t leave the batteries in anyway. So what purpose does this feature ultimately serve?
Painting the eyes would have been a much better use of every bodies time and money, but hey at least they had the courtesy to throw in the batteries. So I no longer have to go through packs of 800 watch batteries from the pound shop only to find they still don’t have the right ones.
If you are planning to buy the forthcoming cab upgrade, be aware that you need this head if you want it to store in the new cabs chest. You can use the stock Takara/Hasbro helmet in robot mode, but the hinge on the back won’t fit in the new cab. Which I suppose they could get away with as an unintentional homage to the vintage toy. You’d even have to throw it in the trailer in alt mode.
That’s how they get you isn’t it. “You don’t need the other upgrade kit, it’s just more convenient if you do. Ah go on, go on, go on”
That’s what this kit does, it just adds a bit of extra polish to a figure that doesn’t desperately need it. Nothing is drastic and a cursory glance at Legends Ginrai’s capabilities doesn’t indicate any optical distinct deficiencies without it. So it’s absolutely not value for money (the price is obscene for what you get) but it does make an improvement and nudge the base figure closer to a more accurate reflection of what many collectors are looking for. But then the flipside of that outdated £1 coin is it completely nerfs the fun gimmick that Titan’s Return is built on and ironically sets you on a path to another, far more radical upgrade kit.
What’s the old drug dealer saying – “the first hit is always free”? Perfect Effect obviously don’t believe that.